Progressive groups: Police official’s
stance will ‘drown the region in blood’
The Negros chapters of the Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights (Karapatan) and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) issued a joint statement slamming recent statements by Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) deputy director, Police Lt. Colonel Jovie Espenido, where he called on those involved with illegal drugs to “cooperate or die,” characterizing the law enforcement official’s stance as a “blatant disregard to due process and human rights.”
“It appears that Espenido’s only option to accelerate the resolution of [the] illegal drug problem [on] the island is to commit murderous act and drown the region with the blood of civilians,” said Karapatan-Negros spokesperson Clarizza Singson and Bayan-Negros spokesperson Ereneo Longinos in the statement.
They anticipate, with the police official’s transfer into Negros, he will worsen the “already unrelenting human rights violations in the region.”
Last Thursday, Espenido warned drug groups operating in the city to stop their activities immediately, surrender to him, and assist the government in eliminating the problem.
He was assigned to Bacolod City after President Rodrigo Duterte commented that the locality had been “badly hit” by illegal drugs.
The law enforcement official previously made headlines following high-profile deaths in jurisdictions he led, including Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog in 2017 and Rolando Espinosa, mayor of Albuera, Leyte, in 2016.
Both were allegedly involved with illegal drug activity.
Espenido was earlier considered for Iloilo City police chief in 2017, when former Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog was still in office./DGB, WDJ