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Malacañang to look into Espenido’s alleged illegal drug link

MALACAÑANG will “validate the veracity” of reports that Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido, the controversial police officer who led a bloody operation against members of an influential family allegedly involved in the narcotics trade, is among the 357 police officers who are under investigation for illegal drugs. “If that is officially received by the Office of the President, then the President will investigate,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said in a phone interview with reporters on Wednesday. A Philippine Star source at the Philippine National Police (PNP) has confirmed that Mr. Espenido is among those under investigation. “He (Espenido) is included in that group,” said the PNP official who spoke on condition of anonymity. PNP Chief Archie Francisco F. Gamboa declined to comment on the matter when asked by reporters. Mr. Gamboa stressed that all those under investigation are still presumed innocent. Mr. Espenido was relieved from his post last week as deputy chief for operations and head of the drug enforcement units in Bacolod City. The relief order was issued by Maj. Gen. Cesar Hawthorne Bing, chief of the PNP directorial staff. Mr. Espenido is currently assigned to the Office of the Chief PNP at the police headquarters in Quezon City. Mr. Espenido did not reply when sought for comment. — Gillian M. Cortez and Emmanuel Tupas, PHILSTAR

1st-time jobseekers required to submit certified documents

A crowd of jobseekers during a government-organized job fair in Metro Manila in 2019. — DPWH

EMPLOYERS ARE directed to accept only certified true copies of required documents from first time jobseekers (FTJs), based on a new advisory by the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE). In DoLE Labor Advisory No. 07 series of 2020, the department said all employers from the private sector should only accept a true copy of the required government papers, which are issued for free to new jobseekers. “Private establishments are hereby enjoined to accept certified true copy from the issuing government authority of the pre-employment documents of the FTJ during the application process,” states the advisory dated February 11. DoLE, however, clarified that original pre-employment documents will only be kept once the FTJ is officially hired for the job. Republic Act 11261, or the First Time Jobseekers Act, provides that all government establishments concerned in the issuance of needed documents for job application will waive fees and charges for first-timers. — Gillian M. Cortez