Tuesday July 17, 2018

Seares: Seventh-day Adventist as our police chief

JOVIE Espenido advertised himself, in seeking assignment as police chief in Cebu, as a Seventh-day Adventist who is “pro-life.”

The chief inspector was police chief of Albuera, Leyte when police raided on Aug. 3, 2016 the house of then mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.

Six of the men hired by the suspected drug trafficker were killed.

Espenido was also police chief of Ozamiz City when last July 30 police raided Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog’s three houses. The mayor, his wife, his brother and his daughter and 12 others were killed.

Wrong label

If Espenido is being billed as “killer” of two mayors and linked to the death of 21 other drug suspects, why did he harp, during his Cebu visit last Saturday, about his being religious and “pro-life”?

For the record, Espenido arrested Albuera Mayor Espinosa but it was CIDG troopers who shot dead the mayor and another inmate inside Baybay jail.

Espenido was not even at the scene. As to the Ozamiz raids, city police, province police and CIDG jointly pulled the raids. Espenido was just one of the commanders. Mostly likely the CIDGs took the lead but it wasn’t known until now who shot whom.

And certainly Espenido couldn’t hog the credit or liability.


Apparently though, true or not, he has been basking in the “fame” as a drug lords exterminator. Why then should he play up his being religious and defender of life in telling Cebuanos he’d be happy to work in Cebu?

It must be the current backlash against the killings of illegal drug suspects, notably the death of student Kian delos Santos. Church leaders, lawmakers and other sectors have come out to denounce the rash of executions. Espenido could be back-pedaling a bit.

Espenido repeatedly put a qualifier for a cop to kill a drug suspect: “kon kinakailangan,” “kon necessary gyud,” “if unnecessary di puwede.”

Temple of God

The would-be police chief in Cebu didn’t clarify what he meant by “necessary.” Under the law, the killing must be in self-defense or defense of a stranger and unlawful aggression must be made by the crime suspect. That could be what Espenido referred to as the requirement before a cop kills.

Adventists consider each human body as “a temple of the living God.” How does Espenido’s condition--that the killing of a suspect must be necessary--square with the Adventist precept?