By Mario Casayuran
Senator Panfilo M. Lacson said Saturday the Philippine National Police (PNP) has to explain or apologize for including PNP Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido in the narcolist of President Duterte.
Lacson anchored his statement on an explanation by Espenido himself that he was cleared of any suspicion of being linked to the multi-billion-peso illegal drugs groups operating in the country.
The clearance was made by an adjudication board in May, 2017, according to Lacson based on documents in the hands of Espenido.
But Espenido has to explain if the basis for being included in President Duterte’s narco list is based on allegations of misdeeds after 2017, Lacson said.
Lacson, a former PNP chief, had asked himself ‘’what happened’’ to Espenido falling from President Duterte’s grace because he knows Espenido as an upright and hardworking police officer when he was still a Police Officer 1 (PO1).
‘’So hindi rin niya mawari at medyo masakit sa kalooban niya na nasama siya sa isang basehan na napakaluma na at na-resolve na. So siguro kung yan talaga ang naging dahilan at hindi bagong dahilan sa bagong assignment niya, agad-agad dapat i-correct ng PNP ito at wala silang gagawin kundi i-check ang records kasi si Espenido mismo may hawak ng files niya,’’ he said. (So he is confused and it hurts him that the basis for his inclusion in the narco list is based on an old case and that it has been resolved. If that is so, the PNP should immediately correct it. They can check their files since Espenido has his own files on the issue.) So dapat i-correct, i-check ng PNP at kung yan ang naging dahilan, at least magpaumanhin sila o kaya i-correct nila kaagad sa record nila para maging fair kay Lt. Col. Espenido,’’ he pointed out. (The PNP should check its records and if that – exoneration by an adjudication board in 2017- is the basis, the PNP should immediately correct it to be fair to Lt. Col. Espenido.)
Clearance by the PNP of Espenido of being suspected of involvement in illegal drugs would dispel suspicions by the public, he added.