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          Former PNP chief and Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa (left) and Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido. (File photo)

          MANILA -- Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa on Thursday urged Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido to stop talking about his inclusion on the list of police officers allegedly involved in illegal drugs or step out of the police force.

          “You are still in the PNP organization. You observe what should be observed and talking indiscriminately is not observing the proper decorum. Otherwise, kung gusto niya magsalita nang magsalita against the PNP, lumabas siya, umalis siya (if he wants to blabber continuously against the PNP, go out and leave) from the organization,” dela Rosa said in media interview at Camp Crame, Quezon City.

          Though vouching for Espenido's integrity, dela Rosa said his actions are becoming out of bounds.

          Espenido earlier expressed dismay over his inclusion on the list in press conferences regarding the issue.

          Dela Rosa said Espenido's name was not included on the government's drug watchlist when he was PNP chief from July 2016 to April 2018.

          He noted that he would not have appointed Espenido as police chief of Albuera, Leyte and Ozamiz City if he was linked to illegal drugs.

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          Dela Rosa said the PNP should also investigate the information that linked Espenido to illegal drugs.

          Dapat ungkatin ng PNP kung sino ang gumawa ng report na yan. Most likely sindikato na pulis ang gumawa nun. Dapat i-follow up ng PNP yan (The PNP should investigate the cop who made the report. Most likely, police officers belonging to a syndicate made that. The PNP should follow up on that),” he said.

          On Wednesday, PNP chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa said he will personally deal with Espenido over his remarks of "failure of intelligence" on the matter.

          He, however, did not specify how the PNP would deal with Espenido's statements as police officers on the list were barred from speaking to the public regarding the matter. (PNA)

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