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Espenido: I was ashamed and embarrassed to be included in the President’s narco list

By: Alven Marie A. Timtim February 18,2020 - 08:40 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — “Na uwaw ko at first gyud (I was ashamed at first).

” This was the revelation of controversial Police Lieutenant Colonel Jovie Espenido to Cebu reporters in an interview during his short visit in the city on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, en route to Iloilo City where he will be detailed for his adjudication process.

Espendio said that he felt embarrassed and very ashamed when his name was included in the list of 357 policemen recalled to Camp Crame for investigation for their alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.

He said he immediately sent a message to President Rodrigo Duterte and Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Archie Gamboa expressing his gratitude and asking for their forgiveness for his inclusion on the list.

He said he also expressed his innocence to the aforementioned officials and vehemently denied any involvement with illegal drugs.

“Naa man ko text ‘Sir salamat naka serbisyo ko sa inyong time. Salamat sa inyong trust. Pero mangayo kog pasaylo nga HVT diay ko. Nasa list diay ko’,” said Espenido.

(I sent them [Duterte and Gamboa] a text saying, ‘Sir, I am thankful I was able to serve during your term. Thank you for the trust. But I would like to ask for your pardon as I was included in the HVT list.’”)

Espenido, known as President Duterte’s poster boy in his war against drugs, made headlines recently when his name was included in the President’s own narco list.

Confusing turn of events

According to Espenido, he was still clueless as to how his name got on the list but said he was not surprised it got there.

He suspected that some politicians and even top police officers are involved although he did not name names.

President Duterte has since openly defended Espenido and said he could never imagine the latter to have any involvement in illegal activities.

“As government employee representing the PNP, normal na,” said Espenido.

Espenido said suspicions about his possible involvement in the illegal drug trade may have started when he was seen in a photo with Lawyer Rogelio Bato Jr., legal counsel of killed Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., in a restaurant.

Espinosa, who was in Duterte’s narco list was killed in November 2016, only three months after Bato was shot dead in August of the same year.

Espenido said that during that time, he was asked by then PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa to assist Espinosa who has expressed his intention of surrendering to Camp Crame and meeting up with Bato after to talk about legal matters.

Clearing his name

As he broke his silence about the issue, Espenido said he was only taking the chance to explain his side and try to clean his name. He said he was not angry towards anybody with his current situation, but hoped to make sense of it one day.

He also said that he is grateful that the President chose to stand by him.

“I remember that I have a God and there is always a purpose… when the time comes, I will know my purpose,” said Espenido. /rcg

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