PLtCol Jovie Espenido still enjoys the trust and confidence of President Rodrigo Duterte even following reports of the police officer’s inclusion in a list of illegal drug personalities in the Philippines.
“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte believes that Police Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido is clean,” Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said in a statement on Friday, Feb. 14.
Panelo also described the allegations against Espenido as ‘black propaganda’ that seeks to besmirch the reputation of the police officer and to derail the unrelenting capaign against illegal drugs.
“PRRD believes that the reports of his alleged involvement in prohibited drugs are untrue,” the Palace official added.
Department of Interior and Local Government Sec. Eduardo Ano confirmed the inclusion of Espenido in the illegal drugs list.
Ano, however, stressed that they still need to verify and validate these accusations.
Espenido led the police raid against then Ozamiz, Misamis Occidental mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., who was accused of being involved in illegal drugs in 2017, which led to his death and 14 others.
Espenido, was also the chief of police in Albuera, Leyte, when then mayor Rolando Espinosa was killed in 2016 by police who were serving a search warrant at the Baybay City Provincial Jail.