MANILA, Philippines – Will his reassignment to Iloilo City mean that the mayor there will also end up dead like the mayors of Albuera, Leyte and Ozamiz City?
This was the question posed by the media on Tuesday to Jovie Espenido a day after he was asked by President Rodrigo Duterte if Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog would survive if he becomes police chief of Iloilo, which was described by the chief executive last year as the “most shabulized” place in the country.
Espenido replied that he was unsure of what would happen to Mabilog, who remains in Duterte’s list of personalities allegedly involved in narcotics trade, because only God could decide on the mayor’s fate.
“God’s will, God’s will,” he said.
Espenido was the police chief of Albuera town in Leyte when suspected drug lord Mayor Rolando Espinosa was killed by authorities on November 5, 2016 inside his detention cell.
In December 2016, Espenido was transferred to Ozamiz and seven months later, on July 30 this year, Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog, and 15 others were killed by police in a predawn drug raid.
On Tuesday, Espenido sent Mabilog best wishes and told him they would meet soon.
“Regards lang talaga mayor. Magkitakits tayo,” he said.
He also told the mayor that he is professional and has a god.”
“At least si Espenido, pulis, professional na law enforcer, may panginoon.”
Mabilog said he would welcome Espenido in his city and he had nothing to fear about the police officer’s reassignment to Iloilo because he was never involved in illegal drugs.
“Hindi ko po talaga alam saan nanggaling [I don’t really know where the allegations against me came from]. But I respect the words of our President. Probably it’s because of the existence of some of the drug personalities here in Iloilo before],” he said.
“As far as my office and self is concerned, since the President declared war on drugs, it also became the number one priority in Iloilo,” added Mabilog.
On Monday, Duterte warned Mabilog to end his alleged ties to drug lords now when nothing’s happening yet.
“Sa totoo lang, ngayon na wala pang nangyari, baka gusto mo nang tapusin ang connection mo,” said Duterte during a press conference in San Fernando, Pampanga.
The President further told Mabilog not to protect anyone linked to narcotics.
“Do not protect, do not call the police, ganito na ganito [like this, like that]. Do not just mess up with the…kasi ‘pagka nandiyan, drug lord ka rin eh, mapipilitan ako (because if you’re there, you’re also a drug lord, I’ll be forced to act). Bakit ka nag-protektor [Why did you protect them]?,” said Duterte.
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