CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) leadership has ordered for the 90-day suspension without pay of Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido then cancelled it but the controversial police officer has yet to get hold of a copy of it.
“I have not received the cancellation of my suspension order,” Espenido said by phone Tuesday afternoon, adding he will only believe it once he get the official letter from Camp Crame reversing his suspension.
He also confirmed that he is on “floating” status since he no longer reported for duty on Monday, July 17, but there was no reassignment or relief order for him.
Espenido served as the chief of Ozamiz City police office from December 20. 2016 to July 16, 2017.
He said he longer went to his office on Monday but he is still in Ozamiz.
A portion of the cancellation of the suspension order, provided by PNP-10 spokesperson Superintendent Lemuel Gonda to reporters on Monday, said: “Ninety days Preventive Suspension of PCINSP Jovie Rodriguez Espenido 0-21251, PRO 10 as published in Special Orders No. 7072 NHQ July 7, 2017 is hereby cancelled/set aside effective July 13, 2017. (Authority: Approval of CPNP dated July 13, 2017).”
CPNP refers to Director General Ronald dela Rosa, the chief of the PNP.
In an interview on Monday, Gonda did not provide any additional details to the order from Camp Crame except that they will wait for further advice the PNP leadership.
“We will just wait if there is an order [to cancel or carry it out]. We are just the implementing agency,” Gonda said.
The suspension order stemmed from the complaint filed by Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez against Espenido in 2016 for alleging that the local chief executive has connections to the alleged illegal drug operations of the late Albuera, Leyte mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., who was killed last year, and his son Kerwin, who’s now serving time in jail.
In a previous interview Monday, Espenido said that he has yet to receive a copy of the cancellation of the suspension order, although he will comply with any order from his higher-ups.
“Law-abiding police officer ko, kung unsay pagbuot akong sundon. Wala tay labad ana (I’m a law-abiding police officer, whatever is the order I will follow. I have no problem with that),” he said.
Espenido was expecting to pack his bags since he already received the suspension order, signed by Chief Superintendent Rene Aspera, chief of the PNP’s Directorate for Personnel and Records Management (DPRM).
Espenido claimed he got hold of the suspension order on Friday, July 14.
In fact, he was already given a certificate of commendation from the local government unit of Ozamiz City signed by Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. and Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog, on July 15 when Espenido paid the local government officials a visit.
The vice mayor is Parojinog’s daughter and vice chair of the City Peace and Order Council.
Espenido was appointed as Ozamiz’s city police chief in December 20, 2016. He was supposed to end his stint last July 16.
Espenido was embroiled in a controversy during his time in Ozamiz for allegedly slapping a suspect last March, a video footage of which went viral on social media.
Just recently, the police officer figured in another controversy when some officers from the Ozamiz police reportedly displayed and left nine cadavers on pavement, who were shot by law enforcers in an operation, to dry in the sun, last June.
In more than seven months as the head of the Ozamiz city police, Espenido has contributed to the anti-drug campaign of the city, said the mayor.
“The local government cannot do it alone. We need the help of the police in our fight against illegal drugs and criminality. His (Espenido) leadership has helped us achieve that,” Parojinog said in another interview.
Espenido said the city government has been very supportive to the Ozamiz police in terms of food, fuel, and allowance for its personnel.
Parojinog added they will just wait from the PNP high command to appoint the next city police chief.
“His achievement is an inspiration to both the law enforcement sector and the local government functionaries who have worked with him in the pursuit of unified goals to preserve peace and tranquility necessary for local development and excellence in governance,” read a part of the certificate given by the Parojinogs to Espenido.
The vice mayor said they will miss Espenido for his dedication and service to the people of Ozamiz.
Ozamiz city information officer Elena Pelare has confirmed Monday afternoon that Espenido no longer reported in his office.
Pelare added that Espenido’s deputy, Senior Inspector Dennis Pano, is temporarily acting as the city police chief until Camp Crame will appoint a replacement.
For his part, Espenido said he is looking forward to spending the three months going on a vacation.
“In my 21 years of service, I have yet to take a leave of absence,” he said, adding this might be the best time for him to take a break, even joking that he plans to take a dip in a pool in Clarin, Misamis Occidental. (davaotoday.com)