February 14, 2020
President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed belief that Police Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido is "clean," his spokesman said on Friday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo's statement quoting the President came following reports that Espenido was included in the list of 357 cops who were allegedly involved in illegal drugs.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, whose office has supervision over the Philippine National Police, earlier confirmed that Espenido, one of Duterte's poster boys in the war against illegal drugs, was indeed in the list of so-called narco-cops.
But Año said the allegation against Espenido would still undergo validation.
"There appears to be a black propaganda waged against Lt. Col. Espenido to besmirch the reputation of the latter in the eyes of PRRD ( President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) and the Filipino nation, and to derail his unrelenting campaign against illegal drugs," said Panelo.
He said Espenido continues to enjoy the trust and confidence of Duterte.
"PRRD believes that the reports of his alleged involvement in prohibited drugs are untrue," he added. Celerina Monte/DMS
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