Gamboa awaits Espenido, other cops’ probe results

February 18, 2020
Jovie Espenido

THE Philippine National Police leadership is hurting from the allegation of “failure of intelligence” by controversial Lieutenant Colonel Jovie Espenido who has been identified as one of the 357 policemen being thoroughly investigated by Camp Crame for their reported illegal drug activities on orders of PNP chief General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa.

However, the Journal Group learned that the PNP chief refused to respond to Espenido’s statements and would just wait for the outcome of the final adjudication being conducted by the National Headquarters adjudication board.

“Gen. Gamboa won’t stoop down to the level of Espenido and would just submit the result of the investigation on the 357 policemen to President Duterte,” said an official close to the PNP chief on condition of anonymity.

The Palace also had spoken and said that President Duterte can still change his position on Espenido. Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that neither did the President exonerate Espenido by declaring he is “clean.”

Other police officials said it was “very unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman” for Espenido when he stated there was a failure of police intelligence amid the inclusion of his name in the list of 357 police officers and men being investigated for their reported links to illegal drugs. Out of the 357 policemen, it was only Espenido who spoke to the media to complain of “failure of intelligence.”

Officials said that the PNP is a professional organization in which officers are required to follow the chain of command and seek redress through the PNP grievance committee and not the media. “Anybody who doesn’t want to follow the policies and rules of our organization can always get out and speak everything he wants to say once he’s already out of the force,” one police general said.

Gen. Gamboa had asked the public and the media to just wait for the result of their investigation of the 357 policemen before jumping to hasty conclusions. He also did not identify any of those on the list.

Espenido gained national prominence after he led the operation against the Parojinog clan in Ozamiz City in 2017 which ended with the killing of Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. and his other relatives and supporters.

The slain mayor as well as his daughter and son were linked to illegal drugs prior to that operation. His two children are now in jail facing charges for illegal possession of drugs and firearms and ammunition.

He was also the chief of the Albuera Municipal Police Station in Leyte when Mayor Rolando Espinosa died during a reported shootout with policemen inside the mayor’s prison cell in Baybay City.

Former PNP chief-turned Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa said that as far as he is concerned, there was “no failure of intelligence” on the part of the PNP but rather a failure of the police to immediately act on the allegations against Espenido.