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Sinabotahe! Jealous ex-cops include Espenido in narco list

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By Nancy Carvajal

Lieutenant Colonel Jovie Espenido, considered as a “poster boy” in President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial drug war, will soon be removed from the list of cops allegedly linked to the illegal narcotics trade, a source from the Philippine National Police (PNP) told Politiko.

The source said Espenido was merely included in the so called “narco list” as payback for the people he was at odds with as a ranking police official in the Visayas.

“Espenido should not have been included in the narco list but there are influential personalities he hurt in the past that insisted on his inclusion as payback,” the source said.

Some of the people whom Espenido was at loggerheads with were former police officials who are now at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Politiko’s source added.

PDEA was the main government agency tasked to draw up the narco list this time since the previous list made by another group was “blacklisted” by President Rodrigo Duterte for unreliability, the source said.

Politiko’s source said Espenido passed the polygraph tests and lifestyle checks conducted by the PNP, indicating he has zero involvement in the illegal drug trade.

“He will soon be removed from the narco list,” the source said.

As police chief of Albuera, Leyte, Espenido submitted the “blue book” owned by then-Mayor Rolando Espinosa, which allegedly contained the names of personalities allegedy involved in the illegal drug trade in Visayas and Mindanao.

Espinosa was killed inside his jail cell in Leyte in November 2016 when he allegedly fought back as cops were trying to serve a warrant on him.

In 2017, Espenido received an award for his efforts in helping the government fight illegal drugs. He was also promised a promotion. However, it took more than two years before the feisty cop moved up a rank.

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