A POLICE officer whose career left a bloody trail of dead politicians tagged to the illegal drug trade said he wants Iloilo City to be his next assignment.
Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido said he hopes to be assigned in Iloilo City if given the chance to choose.
Espenido’s last two assignments were marked by the deaths of Mayors Rolando Espinosa Sr. of Albuera, Leyte in December 2016 and Reynaldo Parojinog and his family of Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental in July 2017.
Espinosa and Parojinog were among the government officials accused by President Rodrigo Duterte of protecting the illegal drug trade in a speech in August 2016.
Pres. Duterte also tagged Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog as a “narco-politician,” which the latter vehemently denied.
The label prompted Mabilog to exert more effort in the campaign against illegal drugs like institutionalizing the rehabilitation of drug addicts and giving more resources to the police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Lately Mabilog, has been pressuring barangay officials to prioritize drug-clearing operations.
In an interview with Karen Davila, anchor of ANC’s Headstart, Espenido said he wants to be assigned to Iloilo City “if God wills it.”
When asked by Davila if he wants to dare Mabilog to make things right or face his wrath, Espenido said he will first hold a dialogue with the embattled mayor.
“I will talk to him first. We’ll have a serious dialogue. I’ll be able to tell if he is sincere or not,” he said.
But Espenido’s dream assignment might not happen soon after Pres. Duterte ordered him to run after rogue cops who dabbled in the illegal drug trade in Ozamiz City.
Mabilog has yet to react to Espenido’s interview but he has consistently said that he is serious and sincere in erasing Iloilo City’s tag as “most shabulized” and “bedrock of illegal drugs” in the Visayas.
Mabilog also called on his critics to move on as he has been focusing his effort in curbing illegal drugs in the city.
Earlier, the PNP and PDEA said Iloilo City Hall officials are not included in their watch list of drug protectors.
But authorities said they are readying charges against barangay officials who either coddled drug peddlers or neglected the anti-narcotics campaign.