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Espenido is one of Duterte’s most favorite yes-men police officials who, have since been synonymous with Duterte’s evil wrath against illegal drug pushers and users. It even came to the point where he was featured many of Duterte’s propaganda messages claiming that Espenido could come and be re-assigned to the drug-infested area to slaughter all drug-lords and druggies.
Kung gusto mo madliin ang buhay mo, sana magkita tayo – Espenido
In fact, last October he was interviewed by reporters in Bacolod. He was quoted saying “Sa mga gumagawa pa rin ng kalokohan sa illegal drugs sana mag-i-stop na. Life is beautiful, you should reconsider that your life is not yours, and also to maintain a good relationship with your family. Pero kung gusto mo talagang magmadali, sana tayo magkita para may resulta,”
Truly chilling words against those engaged in illegal drugs – pushers and users alike. However, this was not always the case. Many of those killed in Duterte’s drug-war were in fact innocent civilians – children, mothers, sisters and fathers. All of them were not even in the drug-watchlist and many were simply unsuspecting bystanders which were hit by flying bullets when policemen came firing indiscriminately in the nearby neighborhood.
One of the most notable police operation led by Espenido was the merciless execution of Rolando Espinosa Sr., inside his detention cell in 2016. And then when he was the chief of police of Ozamiz, He led the operation which slaughtered Mayor, Reynaldo Parojinog, in anti-drug operation in 2017.
Duterte awarded Espenido in 2016 for the latter’s contributions to the government’s anti-narcotics drive. And then ever since, he has been the face of Duterte’s policy of mass butchery by routinely transferring him from different police offices to stir the public’s imagination of an anti-drug hero commanded by the President himself.
But is he? As you know, just recently a report published by online-news website Rappler showed that he ”Espenido” was actually part of Duterte’s illegal drug watchlist. Though many were shocked by this revelation — however DOJ themselves confirmed that Espenido’s inclusion of the list, however, such inclusion needs to be further verified and reviewed by the President. As well as Espenido deserves the benefit of the doubt and ‘due-process’ of the law. Exactly the same rights that Espenido robbed from his victims.
375 policemen involved in illegal drugs including Duterte’s Anti Drug Hero Bacolod Operations Chief, Espenido
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Friday confirmed that Espenido is among the 357 policemen on President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug watchlist, also known as narco list. In response, Espenido broke his silence, accusing his higher-ups of committing “failure of intelligence.”
Espenido believes that his name was planted in the controversial drug list by well-connected people, who whispered to his superiors that he was involved in the illegal drug trade.
He was so disappointed that he laments how it may even be possible that the Duterte government might already be planning to wipe him out. Though he didn’t imply in a direct manner it is exactly what he meant.
Though despite the controversy – Duterte himself assured Espenido that he still believes in him, and that he remains to be clean and untainted by any involvement with the illegal drug trade.
The Palace even offered police protection to the beleaguered anti-drug war poster boy himself in order to prevent any attempts or harm against his life. And again, according to the Duterte government — Espenido deserves the benefit of the doubt and the due-process of the law. The same rights that Duterte and his yes-men butcherers stole from more than 28,000 innocent victims in Duterte’s policy of mass butchery.