MANILA - Controversial police officer Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido has been reassigned as chief of police of Ozamiz City, after his brief stint in Samar province.
In an order dated November 29, Espenido was instructed to return as soon as possible to the region where he was once assigned.
This followed President Rodrigo Duterte's pronouncement Wednesday that he wants to bring back Espenido to Ozamiz City amid reports that remaining members of the drug-linked Parojinog family, whose members were killed in raids during the police official's time as top cop, were threatening witnesses against them.
Espenido was chief of the Ozamiz City police when then Mayor Reynaldo "Aldong" Parojinog and 15 others linked to illegal drugs were killed in a series of pre-dawn raids in 2017.
Before his assignment there, he was also chief of police in Albuera, Leyte when the town's then mayor Rolando Espinosa, a drug suspect, was shot dead inside his jail cell in 2016 as police officers served a search warrant.
In ordering Espenido's return to Ozamiz, Duterte said: "Ang order ko kay Espenido, ubusin ang p***g i***g…"
(My order to Espenido is to finish off [curses then trails off].)
Asked if he has any unfinished business in Ozamiz, Espenido claimed that several men of the Parojinogs were still roaming around the city, instilling fear among residents.
"'Yung mga triggerman, may anak pa 'yang nakakulong, ongoing pa ang communication nila... Sila ang papatay kung sakaling pabayaan silang mag-gala-gala doon sa Ozamiz," he told DZMM Thursday.
(The remaining members of the family still have communication with their men. These people will do the killings if we allow them to roam around Ozamiz.)
Espenido was earlier assigned in Virac, Catanduanes before being transferred to Samar. He was supposed to head the Calbayog City police when he was assigned back to Northern Mindanao.