ESPENIDO IN CEBU
THE controversial police chief of Ozamiz City, Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido, yesterday, assured the city’s barangay captains that they have nothing to fear even though they were once associated with Ozamiz Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. who was killed in a police operation he led.
“Dili na pasabot nga sa linya ni Parojinog, mao napud mo. Dili na mao,” Espenido said.
(It does not mean that just because you belong to the Parojinog line, you are just like them. It’s not like that.)
Espenido, who was guest speaker in a Liga ng mga Barangay Mindanao Chapter meeting held Wednesday in Waterfront Hotel, Cebu City, later approached the village chiefs of Ozamiz seated on a table to seek their forgiveness.
He said that the police operation which led to the deaths of Mayor Parojinog, his wife Susan and 14 others, was not his own doing but God’s will.
“Nangayo ko og pasaylo sa tanan. Sa mga nahitabo. Dili na akong kagustuhan pero kanang gitugot na sa Ginoo ang nahitabo, dawaton ta (I ask for your forgiveness. I did not intend for it to happen but God allowed it. So let us accept God’s will),” Espenido said.
The mayor and the others were reportedly killed in an ensuing gun battle with police operatives during a predawn raid at the Parojinog compound in San Roque Lawis, Ozamiz.
The police operation also resulted in the arrest of Ozamiz Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog-Echaves and her brother Reynaldo Jr.
Nova Princess, said to be the girlfriend of convicted robber Herbert Colanggo, is facing charges for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, and illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions, while Reynaldo Jr. was indicted for possession of illegal drugs and three counts of illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions.
In a talk with reporters yesterday, Espenido explained that he had heard reports that Ozamiz barangay captains and some of their constituents were now afraid for their safety and even fear going back to the city.
“Nangayo ko og pasaylo nila. Isip hepe, mapahibaw nato nila, nga mapahiubsanon ta. Pero wa ko kahibaw nganong nahadlok sila,” Espenido said.
(I asked for their forgiveness. I want them to know that I am a humble police chief. But I don’t know why they are afraid.)
Espenido vowed to clear Ozamiz City of illegal drugs and to change public perception that it is drug infested. The city’s slain mayor was on President Rodrigo Duterte’s narco list prior to his death.
Of the 51 barangays in Ozamiz City, Espenido claimed that 10 villages are already drug-free. He asked the barangay captains to help him achieve his goal of making Ozamiz a drug-free city.
“They want to cooperate. We will try our best to achieve this within the year,” said Espenido.