THE Commission on Human Rights reminded police, particularly Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido, to follow protocol in conducting drug raids or buy-bust operations to avoid being accused of resorting to extrajudicial killings (EJKs).
“It is a leadership decision, whatever the intention we can only watch what will happen. Be assured that we will be monitoring what will happen, whether there will excess or abuse of authority. We just want to remind you to observe due process,” said Commissioner Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana, daughter of former senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel.
President Rodrigo Duterte announced during the National Heroes Day commemoration at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City that Espenido would be transferred to Iloilo City.
Espenido is gaining a reputation for hunting down alleged drug lords in areas where he is assigned.
He was Albuera police commander when the town’s mayor, Rolando Espinosa Sr., was arrested on drug charges in Leyte and eventually killed during a police operation in his detention cell at Baybay City, Leyte in November 2016. He was transferred to Ozamiz City in December 2016 and a few months later, its mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., and 15 others were killed in a drug raid.
Duterte has identified Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog as an alleged drug protector.
Mabilog is a nephew of Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, a vocal critic of the Duterte administration.
Mabilog was the alleged protector of drug lord Melvin Odicta who, together with his wife, was shot dead in Aklan in 2016. JAIME R. PILAPIL