Basketball behind allies’ split


Blame it on basketball.

A disagreement over a referee’s call during a local basketball league involving both their sons triggered the falling out between Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino Jr. and his trusted aide, Bugallon town Mayor Rodrigo Orduña, which led to the latter’s exposé of the governor’s alleged involvement in jueteng (an illegal numbers game).

In an exclusive interview with the Inquirer on Wednesday night, Orduña said he decided to cut his ties with Espino when the governor and his supporters threatened to “wipe out” members of the Orduña clan in Pangasinan.

“Uubusin namin ang lahat ng (we will wipe out the) Orduña (clan). Let’s just (see) what will happen when your father is no longer mayor,” Orduña quoted one of Espino’s supporters telling his son.

The mayor said the conflict between him and Espino started when he refused to grant a mayor’s permit to a “crushing plant” that the governor allegedly owns in Bugallon.

He said the crushing plant processes rocks, gravel and other “soil aggregates” for the infrastructure projects of the Pangasinan provincial government.

Punched the referee

The mayor added that the tension between him and Espino escalated sometime last year when the younger Orduña accosted and punched a referee who, he said, favored the basketball team of Espino’s son.

“My son was just watching the basketball game. But he could not take (the referee’s call) in favor of the team of Espino’s son,” the mayor said.  Espino had sponsored the basketball league, he added.

After the incident, Orduña said Espino’s son and supporters immediately ran to the governor and told him what happened.

He thought Espino would mediate between their sons and “patch things up like a father,” Orduña said, but “instead, (the governor) agreed to his supporters’ plan to look for my son (and) beat him up. It was then that they started to threaten our family,” he said.

That was the trigger, said the mayor, who said it was a painful decision for him to turn against the governor.

“I treated him like a father. Our clan regarded him as family,” he said. “Pinakain niya lang daw kami sa kanyang palad (he claimed we fed at his hand),” Orduña said.

Before he decided to blow the whistle on Espino, the mayor said he consulted members of his family who, he said, agreed that it was time to distance themselves from the governor.


Anger and bitterness

“I suddenly felt all the anger and bitterness that I had been keeping against him all these years. I thought this was the best time to reveal what I know about his involvement in jueteng.”

Added the mayor: “(Espino) said the Orduña clan was just his creation. It’s actually the other way around. Our family adopted him in Bugallon because he was originally from Bautista town, which is located in the fifth congressional district. He knew he couldn’t win as congressman there so he moved to Bugallon.”

Orduña claimed that the police officer-turned-politician used the money he earned from the illegal numbers game to bankroll several dummy companies that cornered multimillion-peso infrastructure projects in Pangasinan.

The mayor said Espino also bought luxury cars, houses, properties and other expensive items from the protection money he allegedly received from jueteng syndicates.

“Espino is a very arrogant man. He acts as if he were God. He is also very intelligent. But he used his intelligence to enrich himself even at the expense of those who helped him,” Orduña said.

Confessed jueteng operator Fernando “Boy Bata” Alimagno, who also turned his back on Espino, claimed the governor “is addict(ed) to money.”

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • ryan andres

    Pareho kayong walang lugar sa public service! ‘nanyong dalawa.

  • tabingbakod

    Nakakahiya naman. Ampatuan masacre na namam ito. Headline na naman tayo sa buong mundo.

    Ilang ulit na lang, ilang ulit pa ba? Wala tayong mga probinsya at bayan. Meron tayong mga maliliit na kaharian.

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    Nuon ko pa naman alam na ang espino na ito ay maraming gagawin na magaganda(sa kanyang pamilya lang) pag naging politiko! hindi naman ako nagkamali marami(ang pamilya niya at malalapit na kaibigan kasama na ito mayor kung hindi lang sila nag-away baka tuloy pa rin ang ligaya) siya napaligaya at napayaman! Mabuhay ka espino(sabi ng pamilya mo at ng mga nakikinabang sa iyo pero ang buong pangasinan ay sinusuka ka na pero natatakot sayo dahil dati ka tigasin na pulis!)

  • farmerpo

    SALN and lifestyle checks of ex government officials running for elective offices is a sure way of preventing ex jueteng security personnel from getting into the government’s most lucrative positons. But no!!!! atin atin lang ito. (Emphasis on LUCRATIVE POSITIONS). KAPWA KO MAHAL KO.

  • eirons1043

    This shows how inexperience are the duo of Rich Boy Mar and Bartolome coz they re-shuffled only the PNP Officers in Pangasinan not knowing that the real action men are the lower rank cops.  Of course jueteng will stop during the investigation period but the apparatus/system were not touch and still there waiting for the right signal. Lastly the expose shows how brillant this Atong Ang is that make him untouchable. The country could use his brillance to good use if he is made PAGCOR head honcho not Naguiat.

    • pinoyobserver

      This is called command responsibility.  If your subordinates screw up, it’s your fault because as a Leader, you must ensure they perform in accordance with their duties and responsibilities.  If you have no idea what your people do, that means you are not holding them accountable. This is the correct procedure.

    • Flavio

      you are the one who is clueless. the guys at the bottom act only with the approval of their superiors, understand ?

  • Roger

    paki imbestiga na din SALN ng mg hepe ng kapulisan sa bawat bayan. madami jan living beyond their means. magagandang bahay at kotse pero kung susuriin mo san sila kukuha ng pera?

  • Opel

    ilalabasa na lahat ng pera incoconvert sa dollar account. naka ready na din mga dummies para magpangap na nagmamayari ng mga hidden wealth, nakaready na highly paid at konnektadong mga abugado pati pang suhol sa mga huwes at fixcals, pati pambayad sa press at mga spin doctors. laki gagastusin ni gob. dahil lang sa basketball. Only in the philippines!

  • randyaltarejos

    AMLAC should now take heed of what is happening here. Millions of money earned from the illegal numbers game will now be withdrawn from their bank accounts and buy foreign currencies for safekeeping. The government must freeze those accounts.

    • Homer Guo

       wala namang silbi ang AMLAC

  • ApoLapullapu

    Conduct a lifestyle check and let the AMLC open Espino’s account like they did to Corona so that the truth will out.  It’s that simple unless the inquiry involves some close friends of the President.

    • rgf_md

       Agree kabayan but GOOD LUCK! The “money addicted Governor” is a Liberal Party member. Lets see if what PNoy would do to a “disgruntled” party mate.

      • Flavio

        isa pang ungas Ito na hindi alam ang pinagsasabi nya…

    • Flavio

      anu na naman ang ipinagkakalat mong tsismis.check your facts bago mo buksan ang bunganga mong amoy imburnal !

      • ApoLapullapu

        Walang tsismis dito.  Imbestigahan lang para makikita ang katotohanan.  Kung wala, di wala.  Pero ano ba ang nangyayari sa maraming imbestigasyon?  Kalaban lang ng Administrrasyon ang tinatamaan, eh.

      • Flavio

        Kung wala e di wala pala e. Kung ganun bakit may conclusion ka agad ? Mali naman….

  • Boodie

    Let’s ban basketball now. Nakakasira lang ng pagiing magkaibigan.

    • UrHONOR


  • pinoyobserver

    Alam mong kurakot ang Gobernador nuon pa pero nakikinabang ka kaya tahimik ka lang. Ngayong magkaaway na kayo ay ngayoy nagsusumbong ka na.  Dapat una pa lang nagsumbong ka na.  Ang mga taong katulad mo ay kasama sa problema kaya dapat pareho kayong makulong.

  • azkal futbol

    more expose’ on espino please… when smoke is seen, sure the fire is hidden somewhere else… let the rival party and good samaritans join to bring down the jueteng of espino, or we will forever be poor.

  • Homer Guo

    “the conflict between him and Espino started when he refused to grant a mayor’s permit”—EXAGGERATED TITLE, hindi naman pala basketball ang pinagmulan, sobrang babaw makasulat lang. IRRESPONSIBLE Marlon Ramos

    • Gerard Ortiz Espero III

      Ang labo nga ng writer, sa totoo lang. At pinagpas din ng editor.Maryosep.

  • I Love This game


  • Darwin

    JAIL ALL OF THEM. From the gambling operators to the erring politcians. Include also everyone who took part of the loot: children, wives, relatives.

    • Magsasaka

       i like your statement, angelo reyes is dead but his family is enjoying his loots, just because the culprit killed himself authorities also stopped from pursuing the case, from retrieving millions of pesos stolen from AFP fund.

  • Stuubs

    Two dirty politicians with their dirty laundry, …kunting kuskos,..ayos !

  • concernedofw02

    this is a very confusing column…mr. writer please study your subject and objective first…you’re criss-crossing your subject and objective…jumping from one point to the other….

    • ADD

      Where’s the example?

  • Herminio

    BIR Commissioner Kim Henares paki check naman tong si Gov. Espino!


    KAYA walang kwenta ang basketbol…..buti pa ang boksing!

    • kalikasanipagtanggol

      Eh di umpisahan na natin kung gusto mo? Ay oo nga pala sabunutan ang gusto mo…..ihanap na lang kita ng ka match mo!

  • tarikan

    Thanks a lot to the basketball referee. Kung honest sya at hindi kampi dun sa anak ni Gob na kalaban ng anak ni mayor eh di walang “waiting” expose si mayor. Kahit si retired-but-very-much-active Bishop Cruz nabulaga, walang alam yata eh diyan laang sa probinsya nya. P900M so far ang kinita ni gob sa “waiting” ha mayor? Kaya sinong Uloool na opisyal ang pupuksa sa “waiting” kung nakikinabang?

  • Jack

    napakababaw naman ang dahilan ng kanilang paghihiwalay. dahil lang sa isang referee.

    the way i see it, it’s all about politics. LP party vs NPC party 

  • dequis

    magsimula na silang magubosan, ang tagal eh.

  • AllaMo

    Iboto pa ang mga hangal at hunghang!

  • orchid

    These are a bunch of thugs elected in office. Kick them out of elected office and charge for corruption and jail them for life. Good riddance of these corrupt elected officials.

    Implement a law to prevent elected officials in establishing a new or running an existing company for profit. Elected officials are there to improve the standard of living of their constituents and not just their own self, friends, and families. 

    • Noel

      Ebdane is also one.

  • josefe38

    Tatalon lang yan sa partido ni Abnoy, abswelto na agad yan!

    • Flavio

      ikaw kailangan ka tatalon sa 13th floor ng building ! bweeseeet…

  • Noel

    Between a powerful Governor and a lowly town Mayor, I’m with the Mayor’s side.

  • 1GeorgeTolentino2

    Tip of the iceberg lang yan. Imbestigahan ng mabuti ang bawat sulok at warehouse ng Sual Powerplant. Dyan ang pinakamalakas na pasukan ng Shabu sa buong Pilipinas. Kontrolado ng mga bata ni Espino ang pier sa loob ng powerplant. Dahil walang customs control at may dorektang byahe mula sa international shipping lanes,  pinalulusot na piyesa at supplies ng powerplant ang Shabu na pinapasok mula sa China. Nasilip ng PDEA yan last August kaya ng binomba ang Office nila sa Urdaneta, problema lang sobrang takot kay Espino kaya nag-alsa balutan ang PDEA papuntang La Union.  I repeat, the biggest supplier of Shabu in the Philippines is Espino!

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