By: Jennifer P. Rendon and F. Allan L. Angelo
CHIEF Inspector Jovie Espenido will head the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) soon despite his deficiency in rank.
In a press conference in Metro Manila on Aug 30, 2017, PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa said he already assigned Espenido as officer-in-charge of ICPO even if he wanted the latter to stay in Ozamiz City in the meantime.
“I have already issued the order assigning him (Espenido) to Iloilo City,” Dela Rosa said during a press conference in Camp Crame.
A report by GMA News Online quoted dela Rosa as saying that Espenido will only be the officer-in-charge as the post of city director in a highly-urbanized city like Iloilo requires a police official with a rank of senior superintendent which is two ranks higher than that of Espenido.
“Hindi siya i-designate as full time capacity city director kundi officer-in-charge para ma-solve natin ang order ni Presidente,” the GMA News report quoted dela Rosa as saying.
He added that Espenido may be promoted soon so that his rank would suit the position of Iloilo City police director.
The PNP chief said he would have wanted Espenido to remain in Ozamiz City even as he credited Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog of doing his part in the campaign against illegal drugs, a far softer stance compared to the tirades of President Rodrigo Duterte against the beleaguered city mayor.
“If I will have my way, I prefer him (Espenido) to stay in Ozamiz para matapos ‘yung problema doon kung mamarapatin. Mas maganda nga doon muna siya. Anyway ‘yung sa sitwasyon sa Iloilo e nakikita ko na inaamin naman ni Mayor Jed Mabilog na napabayaan niya yung problema sa drugs noon, hindi niya na-address but right now, in fairness to the good mayor, nakikita ko rin naman na nagsususmikap siya sa anti-drug campaign sa Iloilo City,” he said.
IS JOVIE QUALIFIED?
Despite dela Rosa’s statement, Supt. Gilbert Gorero, PRO-6 spokesperson, said all they have received is Espenido’s transfer to Region 6 from Region 10.
Based on Special Order Number8834 dated Aug 29, 2017, Espenido is relieved from Police Regional Office 10 and reassigned to PRO6 effective the same day.
“His designation will follow after his courtesy call to PRO-6,” Gorero said.
To end speculations, Gorero explained that Espenido could not be designated as city or provincial police director.
Under Republic Act 6975 (An Act Establishing the Philippine National Police under a Reorganized Department of the Interior and Local Government, and for Other Purposes), a city or provincial director is a third-level position.
As such, an officer who holds at least a senior superintendent (police colonel) rank should be designated.
If such law is to be based upon, “Espenido could only be designated as chief of police of a town or component city, and not a chartered city just like in the case of Iloilo City.”
Further, recommenders for city or provincial police director post will still need to deliberated by the PNP Senior Officers Placement and Promotion Board (SOPPB).
Gorero said they are not aware when Espenido will report to PRO-6.
“He will make his courtesy call just like any other police commissioned officer,” he stated.
When told about dela Rosa’s decision to designate Espenido as OIC of the ICPO, Gorero said they will have to follow the PNP chief’s orders.
As regards the rank of Espenido, Gorero said he can be catapulted to the senior superintended rank via meritorious promotion.
“Under meritorious promotion, the requirements of time and grade, schooling, and awards and decorations are waived. He does not have to pass through the usual process of applying for promotions,” he added.
Espenido once headed the police forces of Albuera, Leyte and Ozamiz City where mayors of both areas were killed in separate police operations.
President Rodrigo Duterte tagged Mayors Rolando Espinosa of Albuera and Reynaldo Parojinog to the illegal drug trade in Visayas and Mindanao before their deaths.
Espinosa was gunned down by cops inside a jail in Baybay City, Leyte in November 2016.
In July 2017, Espenido led an operation on the properties of Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and his family. The mayor, his wife Susan and brother Octavio Jr. were among 15 persons killed in the simultaneous raids.
Espenido’s transfer to Western Visayas coincided with the relief of Senior Superintendent Remus Zacharias Canieso as ICPO director.
Both Canieso and PRO-6 labeled the relief as a promotion since the former will transfer to a higher position.
But Canieso’s reassignment was not without suprises.
Gorero said Canieso was designated as chief directorial staff (CDS) of PRO – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Canieso’s relief took effect Aug. 28, 2017 based on General Orders Number 1300 dated Aug. 29.
Details of the message were sent to journalists at 8 p.m.
But by 10 a.m. of Aug. 30, another text message was sent by PRO-6 stating that Canieso’s assignment to ARMM was cancelled and he will now be assigned as CDS of PRO-6.
With Canieso’s promotion, Senior Superintendent Nolasco Bathan, the CDS of PRO-6x was relieved from his post and will be the incoming deputy regional director for operations (DRDO) at PRO-Calabarzon.
Meanwhile, GO Number 1301 designated Senior Superintendent Jesus Cambay as ICPO officer-in-charge concurrent to his being the PRO-6 deputy regional director for operation remains.
Gorero revealed that Canieso applied for the CDS position months ago.
“You only need six months as city director to apply for promotion. In his case, I think he applied early this year,” he added.
Gorero said there were many applicants for the post but Canieso was privileged enough to snatch it.
“The post is a gateway to achieving a star-rank (chief superintendent or police general) position,” he further explained.
While many believed that his relief has something to do with Espenido’s assignment, Canieso believed otherwise. He confirmed that he only received the order late afternoon of Aug 29.
Canieso was appointed to the top ICPO post on June 2, 2016.
A graduate of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Class 1989, Canieso previously held the top post at the Regional Public Safety Battalion 6 (RPSB).
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