Iloilo city mayor welcomes Espenido deployment

Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 28 2017 06:14 PM | Updated as of Aug 28 2017 06:27 PM

MANILA - Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog welcomed Chief Superintendent Jovie Espenido's assignment to his city, saying the controversial cop can provide additional pointers on how they can eradicate illegal drugs in the city.

"Yung latest announcement niya (President Rodrigo Duterte) po and 'yung order niya to assign Chief Inspector Espenido to the City of Iloilo will be a welcome development for us, for Iloilo and me, kasi po at least this will give us a venue for us to be able to show kung ano na po ang mga interventions at mga programs na ginagawa ng Iloilo against illegal drugs," Mabilog told DZMM.

He added that he is willing to work with Espenido to improve their methods in fighting illegal drugs. 

"Kung meron pong pagkukulang, if there is something missing, probably po sa presence po ni Chief Inspector Espenido, makapagbigay pa po siya ng additional pointers, or additional things that we can do just to make sure na ma-follow namin 'yung orders ni President Duterte," Mabilog said.

Mabilog also denied getting involved in the illegal drug trade.

"I've never been into drugs. I'm not a user, not even a pusher or neither am I a protector, so wala talaga. Kung nadawit man ang pangalan ko, hindi ko po alam, but I still respect the announcement of the President, probably because of the existence of drug lords here po, sa lungsod ng Iloilo before, when I became mayor," he said.

According to Mabilog, he has done everything he can to follow Duterte's order to eliminate illegal drugs.

"When I became mayor in 2010, these drug personalities were already there. I did everything that I could do to extend assistance to our police and the PDEA, even since 2010," he said.

He also apologized to Duterte, if his efforts had not been good enough.

"If it is not enough, that's why po humihingi ako ng paumanhin kay Pangulong Duterte at sa mga Ilonggo ng Iloilo City, but whatever po ng sinasabi sa akin ay talagang ginagawa ko naman po," he said.

Mabilog said he will fully cooperate with Espenido, and is ready for any investigation on his alleged drug links.

"Ipapakita ko po sa kanya (Espenido) what we have done, kung nasaan na po kami. We will let him be the judge to see what have we actually done. Kung hindi po siya satisfied, then bahala na po siya," Mabilog said, adding he is willing to undergo a drug test if needed.

Duterte on Monday confirmed that he is sending Espenido to Iloilo, which the chief executive once described as the “most shabulized” city in the country.

The President said he decided to assign Espenido to Iloilo City after the police official said he wants to go after the city’s mayor.