CONTROVERSIAL Lt. Colonel Jovie Espenido has been cleared of any drug involvement by the Police Regional Office 6 and is on his way to being finally removed from the drug list of President Rodrigo Duterte.
According to PRO6 director Brig. Gen. Rene Pamuspusan, they have not found any reliable information that would link Espenido to illegal drug activities.
The PRO6 investigation into Espenido will be forwarded to the Philippine National Police - National Adjudication Board, which is hearing the case of the 364 policemen ordered adjudicated by PNP chief General Archie Francisco Gamboa, after their names appeared in the national drug watchlist.
“As far as the PRO6 is concerned, there is no reliable information or confirmatory report that would say that Espenido is involved in illegal drugs,” Pamuspusan said.
Pamuspusan even cited the several anti-drug programs of Espenido in Bacolod City, where he was assigned previously as deputy city director for operations.
However, Espenido will still be investigated for defying a “gag order” by the PNP leadership on those subjected to the adjudication.
Pamuspusan cleared Espenido of any drug links as the PRO6 on Monday marked its 29th PNP Foundation Day at the regional headquarters in Camp Martin Delgado in Iloilo City.
After offering flowers to fallen PRO6 officers and men, Pamuspusan and Iloilo City Rep. Julienne Baronda gave medals to outstanding Western Visayas police officers and men.
Those feted were Majors Jonathan Pinuela and Jojo Tabaloc and Chief Master Sergeant Kim Pinuela of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office, who were cited for the arrest of two top drug dealers in Pavia municipality last February 2; Major Jigger Gimeno and Staff Sgt. Daryl Pahilanga of the Talisay and Silay Municipal Police Station in Negros Occidental, respectively, for their involvement in the arrest of five “high-value” drug targets in the province last January 22;
Lieutenant Colonels Orly Gabinete and Norby Escobar of the Antique PPO, Capt. Bryan Alamo of the Antique PPO, Cpt. Armlyn Vargas of the Bacolod City Police Station 10, Staff Sgt. Armelle Ramilla of the Kalibo Municipal Police Station, and Cpl. Charo Lascona of the 1st Iloilo Provincial Mobile Force Company.