MANILA – The reassignment of controversial Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido to Iloilo City has been called off, the Philippine National Police said Saturday.
Senior Superintendent Henry Biñas, currently Negros Oriental police director, will be assigned to the Western Visayas city instead.
No reason was given for why Espenido would no longer be officer-in-charge of the Iloilo police, although it has been pointed out that he lacks the rank to be assigned to head the police force of a highly urbanized city, which the rules say should be headed by a senior superintendent, the equivalent of a full colonel in the military.
Word of the scrapping of Espenido’s assignment came the day after police killed the alleged top drug lord in Western Visayas, Richared Prevendido, in what authorities said was a shootout in Jaro districy, Iloilo City Friday night.
The announcement of President Duterte that Espenido – who gained notoriety after Mayors Rolando Espinosa Sr. of Albuera, Leyte and Reynaldo Parojinog of Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental were killed during his watch as police chief in those places – was Iloilo-bound stoked fears its mayor, Jed Mabilog, might be in danger of being “neutralized.”
Duterte has openly and repeatedly accused Mabilog of being a drug protector and Iloilo of being the most “shabulized” in the country.
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