RPOC welcomes Bicol Espenido assignment
By Jorge Hallare LEGAZPI CITY --- Bicol’s Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) has welcomed the assignment of Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido in Catanduanes province, Legazpi City Mayor and council chairman Noel Rosal said. “We should treat it as (a) positive move by the administration and do not consider it as a negative one,” Rosal said in an interview on Tuesday. Espenido’s new assignment, he said, is “part of the development of the administration’s fight against the proliferation of illegal drugs in the region.” Espenido became controversial due to the killing of big-time drug suspects in two areas where he previously served as police chief. He was assigned to Albuera, Leyte when suspected drug lord Mayor Rolando Espinosa, who was then detained, was killed. When Espenido was transferred to Ozamiz City, Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., who was also a suspected drug lord, was killed in a police raid. Rosal, however, said he believes those incidents will not happen in Catanduanes. “We do not know what really happened during those operations and why the two mayors were killed,” he said. “We cannot dispute the fact that there is still a drug problem in the region, not only in Catanduanes but maybe in Camarines Sur or in Albay province and that (Philippine National Police -- PNP) Chief, Director General Oscar) Albayalde is giving his best move to combat the problem of illegal drugs in the country,” he added. Police Regional Office 5 (Bicol) spokesperson, Chief Insp. Ma. Luisa Calubaquib, confirmed Espenido’s assignment in Catanduanes based on the verbal instruction of Albayalde to the Directorate for Personnel and Records Management in Camp Crame on October 11. Espenido has yet to report to his new post as he is said to be on vacation.