MANILA—President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday that he told Police Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido that he is “free to kill everybody” in Bacolod, which the chief executive claimed is “badly hit” by the drug problem.
Espenido, who has just been promoted to lieutenant colonel from major, assumed the post of deputy city director for operations of the Bacolod City Police Office last Tuesday.
“Bacolod is badly hit now and I placed Espenido there, ’yung kinatakutan nila na pulis. Sabi ko, ‘Go there and you are free to kill everybody.’ T*ng*n* start killing there, dalawa na lang tayo pa-preso,” Duterte said during a business conference at the Manila Hotel.
(Bacolod is badly hit now and I placed Espenido there, the police officer that they fear. I said “go there and you are free to kill everybody. Start killing there. Let’s just go to jail together.)
Espenido gained prominence for leading the anti-narcotics operation that resulted in the death of Ozamiz, Leyte, city mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and his wife in July 2017.
He was also the police chief of Albuera town, Leyte, when former mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. was killed in his jail cell after supposedly engaging policemen who served a search warrant in a firefight.
Malacañang earlier hailed Espenido for his ability to bring down drug syndicates amid the reported proliferation of narcotics in Bacolod.
"Ang reputasyon ni Espenido 'pag nandoon sa isang lugar ay bumabagsak ang sindikato ng droga. Ibig sabihin talagang masigasig siya," Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said earlier this month.
(Espenido is know for his reputation that drug syndicates are destroyed wherever he is assigned to that place. It only means he is relentless.)