By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – Police Lieutenant Colonel Jovie Espenido, deputy city director for operations of Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), was ordered relieved from his post here effective February 5, 2020.
This was confirmed Friday by Police Lieutenant Colonel Joem Malong, public information officer of Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 in based Iloilo City.
Malong said they received the written order from the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame on Thursday.
Espenido was among the 15 police officials relieved by the national headquarters based on the Special Order No. 2020-1079 issued by Police Major General Cesar Hawthorne Binag, acting chief of PNP Directorial Staff, and signed by Police Major General Reynaldo Biay, director for Personnel and Records Management of PNP.
Espenido was reassigned to the office of PNP chief, General Archie Francisco Gamboa.
Espenido has become a controversial figure in the government’s war against illegal drugs with the deaths of high profile personalities linked to illegal drugs in his previous areas of assignment such as Albuera, Leyte and Ozamiz City in Mindanao.
He was assigned to Bacolod in October 2019 and also served as head of the City Drug Enforcement Unit (CDEU).
Meanwhile, Police Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Pico, public information officer of BCPO, said that they are still waiting for the written order from the higher headquarters.
He said they don’t know who will assume replace Espenido’s post at the BCPO.
Also relieved from PRO-6 was Police Lieutenant Colonel Mannan Muarip who was also transferred to the office of the PNP chief.
Meanwhile, what could be considered as Espenido’s last operation in Western Visayas was failure after his target escaped.
Espenido said he was disappointed after three alleged drug suspects slipped past a buy-bust operation at Sibucao, Barangay Banago here Thursday night.
Espenido said the CDEU was supposed to arrest a certain “Japoy,” a high-value target, who allegedly supplies illegal drugs at the said area and in Talisay City, Negros Occidental.
Japoy escaped along with two other companions on board a motorcycle when they sensed the presence of other police operatives in the area during a transaction, he added.
Espenido said a brief chase happened but they failed to corner the three suspects.
“Sakit man sa dughan. Iyong buwan mukhang hindi swerte. Pero ang bilis nilang tumakbo kasi area din talaga nila dito. First time na natakasan ako sa mga ginawa kong operations,” he said.
“Nakatakas ka man (Japoy) ngayon, next kung hindi ka patay, buhay. Pag hindi ka nag-stop, may time lang,” he said.
Meanwhile, police here seized a total of P442,900 worth of suspected shabu in four separate drug bust operations in the past two days.
Personnel of Police Station 1 arrested Samuel Sumagaysay, 38, of Barangay Villamonte; Melanie Del Valle, 40, of Barangay 12; and Sergio Rivera, 33, of Barangay Mansilingan, after police seized from them 17 sachets of suspected shabu worth P234,400, the P500 marked money, drug paraphernalia, and P960 cash at Barangay 12.
In Barangay 9, Ma. Erica Talabon, 29, of Barangay 2; and Melchor Baybado, 23, of Kabankalan City were arrested by personnel of Police Station 2, for the confiscation of nine sachets of suspected shabu worth P128,000, the P500 marked money, and drug paraphernalia.
Also arrested yesterday at Barangay Vista Alegre here was 30-year-old Dennis Besanes after he allegedly yielded six sachets of suspected shabu worth P72,000, and the P200 marked money. He is detained at Police Station 7.
Personnel of Police Station 5 also conducted an operation at the said village last Thursday which led in the arrest of Raymond Rasonable, 30.
Police recovered from him six sachets of suspected shabu worth P8,500, and the P300 marked money.