President Duterte has offered a million peso bounty for every policeman involved in the illegal drug trade in Mindanao, stressing he would not tolerate rogue members of the police force.
The President made the offer during his visit to Ozamiz City Wednesday.
“I am mad about it because I said it will destroy the nation. And those policemen who think they are so tough, I told you I will kill all of you, all of you. I will really finish you all off. Gusto ninyo? Inyong ulo patungan ko ng 500,000 [I’ll offer P500, 000 on your head],” Duterte said in Bisaya during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ozamiz airport modernization project.
The reward would reportedly be given to informants, including soldiers, for every “ninja cop” and other errant policemen nabbed in the south.
“Now all of you identified by mayor before, are you still threatening people? O one million. Those ninjas who are here in Mindanao, one million,” he added.
He was referring to ninja cops or policemen allegedly involved in recycling illegal drugs seized in legitimate police operations
The informants, he said could split the reward with the military who would deal with the rogue cops.
“The Army would be happy sharing the 500,000. That’s just one bullet. I have a lot of money if money is what you want. I will place 500 value for your head. If you are really hard-headed, then one million,” he said.
Dead men walking
He also gave mayors and barangay officials involved in the illegal drug trade a fair notice.
“When I go out, halos lahat ng mga big time, mga mayor, mga barangay, I will take care of you all. One way or the other you will get hit. You could either be sitting on the toilet, taking a bath, eating, or walking… You are a dead man walking. I’ll be frank with you,” he added.
The President said he would “not hesitate to kill” those who destroy the nation with illegal drugs, adding he was prepared to go to jail for his anti-drug campaign.
“I’m ready really to even to go to jail after. I don’t mind. I’m old. And if I can save my country… ubusin ko talaga kayo [I will finish off all of you]. It’s my promise to God,” Duterte said during the groundbreaking of Panguil Bay bridge in Tubod, Lanao del Norte Wednesday.
“Ang problema dito sa probinsya [The problem in the provinces] you allowed — I said despots — to rule your politics and your way of life,” he said.
He claimed that some mayors were even behind the killings of policemen and maids doing intelligence work.
“Until now we cannot find their bodies. Ganun kalala [That’s how bad it is] using the platform of a public office, using the money of the government to destroy his own people. That’s what makes things worse. We don’t agree with each other,” he said.
“Because once you go into drugs, you destroy my country. Once you feed my daughter and my son with drugs and they go crazy, you are destroying the next generation of Filipinos. Therefore, I will not hesitate to kill you,” he said.
In Ozamiz City, the President issued a stern warning to the family of slain drug suspect and former town mayor Reynaldo Parojinog.
“The Parojinog family, stop threatening people. I will wipe you from the face of the earth,” he said.
“I will really finish all of you off including the police. You better watch out. I’ll have you called in Manila. When you arrive at the airport, I’ll have you killed. L***** ninyo,” he said.
Espenido back in Ozamiz
Giving in to public clamor, President Duterte ordered the reassignment of Police Supt. Jovie Espenido to Ozamiz City effective immediately.
The order for Espenido’s transfer was made public when Duterte called Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde by mobile phone to convey the request of the people of Ozamiz who said they feel safe with Espenido around.
As City police director of Ozamiz, Espenido led the raid in the house of the Parojinogs last year killing Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and 14 others.
Parojinog was reportedly involved in the illegal drugs trade in Ozamiz City and nearby areas. His daughter Nova Princess is now detained over her alleged links to convicted drug lords in National Bilibid Prisons.
As police chief of Albuera town in Leyte, Espenido was responsible for dismantling the illegal drug operations of the region’s biggest drug syndicate ran by Rolando
“Kerwin” Espinosa Jr., whose father, Rolando Sr., was mayor.
After he was transferred to Albuera on July 18, 2016, Espenido ran after the members of the drug group, forcing the elder Espinosa to surrender to the police and Kerwin to flee the country.
The mayor was jailed and later killed at the Leyte sub-provincial jail in Baybay City on Nov. 5, 2016, reportedly in an alleged shootout with members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
Kerwin was eventually arrested in Abu Dhabi and repatriated to the country.
Before his reassignment to Ozamiz, Espenido was police chief of Virac, Catanduanes.