Lacson wonders what happened to Espenido, hopes police official can disprove allegations


‘What happened?’’

Senator Panfilo N. Lacson, a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, asked this after PNP Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido, was included in President Duterte’s narco list.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson
(Senate of the Philippines)

Lacson, chairman of the Senate national defense and security committee, said he has always believed that the true test of character of public officials like Espenido is power or money.

‘’Give them the opportunity to lay their hands on either one or both, and they will reveal who they really are,’’ he said.

‘’I remember then PO1 (Police Officer 1) Espenido during our PAOCTF (Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force) days as someone who consistently performed his duty with integrity and dedication. At least that was how I knew him in the many instances that he faced those challenges. But that time, he was just a non-commissioned officer at the bottom of the salary grade of police personnel. Rising from the ranks, he held several positions of higher authority until his relief recently,’’ Lacson recalled.

‘’This morning, I sent him a text message with a simple question: “What happened?” He has not replied, unlike before when he would even text me with early morning bible quotes,’’ he added.

Lacson said that it is a pity because no less than President Duterte took notice of his performance by publicly acknowledging his contribution to the government’s war on illegal drugs, easily making him the poster boy of the campaign.

‘’Espenido’s case, if true, could be one big reason why the war against illegal drugs is failing,’’ he pointed out.

‘’Being his former superior, I hope he can acquit himself and convincingly disprove this very serious allegation against him. Otherwise, he is just one of the many others I personally knew to have succumbed to the pressure,’’ he added.

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