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Espenido back in Eastern Visayas

Espenido back in Eastern Visayas: PALO, Leyte — Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido, who led the government’s anti-drug war, is back in Eastern Visayas for a new assignment in Samar province, a regional official of the Philippine National Police (PNP) confirmed on Monday.

PNP Eastern Visayas officer-in-charge, Senior Supt. Ariel Arcinas said in a press briefing that Espenido has already reported to the regional office on Friday and attended the flag ceremony on Monday. The controversial official got his transfer order on November 20.

The police officer, one of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s key anti-drug enforcers, will be assigned to Samar police provincial office.

There have been reports that Espenido will head the Calbayog City police office. The city is known for election-related violence every poll season.

“Espenido’s return is a normal process in the PNP since he was previously assigned here. This is just normal for every police official. It just so happens that he’s popular,” Arcinas said told reporters Monday.

Espenido was the chief of police in Albuera, Leyte when the town’s then Mayor Rolando Espinosa, who was a drug suspect, was shot dead inside the sub-provincial jail in Baybay City in 2016.

He was transferred to Ozamiz the following year where then Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and 14 others linked to illegal drugs were killed in pre-dawn raids.

Last month, the PNP’s top leadership ordered his transfer as chief of police of Virac, Catanduanes.

The PNP also belied reports that policemen in the region signed a petition for Espenido’s return due to the alleged resurgence of illegal drugs in Eastern Visayas. (PNA)

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