Nalzaro: No ‘gangster cops’ in CV?

POLICE Regional Office (PRO) 7 Chief Jose Mario Espino said no police gangsters are under his command in Central Visayas. Those suspected of having been involved in illegal activities such as protection rackets and active participation in the illegal drug trade and illegal gambling have been relieved or dismissed from service. This is Espino’s reaction to President Duterte’s dismissal of about 90 police scalawags, including senior officers, whom he “gangster cops.”

Is Espino sure about his statement? How do you define “gangster”? Answer: gang member, hoodlum, racketeer, robber, thug, law breaker or criminal. Don’t tell me that no policeman in Central Visayas falls under those definitions. Any policeman involved in whatever shenanigan is considered a gangster.

Some policemen who are in the president’s list as drug protectors or who are actively involved in the illegal drug trade are still assigned here, although some have been relieved or are dead. So, how do we classify them? Aren’t they gangsters? If a policeman is receiving a monthly protection money from either druglords and gambling lords, is he not considered as gangster?

And don’t tell me no policeman in the region is “on the take” for protecting illegal activities. Even Espino was placed under investigation when he was newly assigned here because somebody texted Malacañang’s hot line that he is on the take from gambling lords, although he was cleared.

Is Espino sure that there is no policeman here who serves as a henchman of politicians or businessmen? Is he sure that no cop serves as bodyguard and “go-between” of known druglords? What about those escorting smugglers? I suggest that Espino should check first his facts.

By the way, I received a “white paper” from concerned PRO 7 personnel who are privy to what’s happening inside the regional command and the alleged conduct of Espino. I refer the letter first to the public information officer of PRO 7 for Espino to react before I publish it here or discuss it in my radio program. The paper contains serious allegations.

But here’s an advancer or “patikim.” The wife of Espino, who is a native of Sogod, Cebu, is poking her fingers into official matters at the PRO 7 headquarters. One time in Sogod, Mrs. Espino reportedly ate in a restaurant and when she did not like the food got into a rant. She called the town’s police chief and ordered him to investigate the restaurant owner. But the police chief found no violation. The poor police chief was reportedly ordered relieved later.

Two of her escorts, Inspectors Tejada and Sumandal, were reportedly late in reporting for duty. Again, Mrs. Espino ranted. But the two were later found out to be just waiting for her outside their residence. After the incident, the two junior officers were ordered to clean the comfort room.

But in fairness, I want Espino to first comment on these allegations before I discuss the details of this “’white paper.” I am sure he will deny this. Pero sige na lang, ato siyang patubagon.

•••

Since we don’t have an issue on Monday, Dec. 25, Christmas Day, I will just greet our readers “Merry Christmas” in advance. Enjoy the holidays.
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