Quantcast
Latest Stories

NPC decries ‘harassment’ of Espino

By

Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino Jr. Photo from pangasinan.gov.ph

DAGUPAN CITY—The Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) on Saturday accused the Aquino administration of harassing a party member, Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino, in anticipation of next year’s elections.

“It was timed after a survey that says their (Liberal Party) candidate will not win against Governor Espino,” former Pangasinan Rep. Mark Cojuangco, NPC provincial chair, said in a phone interview.

Espino is seeking a third and last term against Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza, the LP’s gubernatorial bet. Thirty-nine of Pangasinan’s 48 town and city mayors are NPC members.

On Friday, Bugallon Mayor Rodrigo Orduña filed a plunder case in the Office of the Ombudsman in Manila against Espino who, he claimed, had accepted P900 million in payoffs from “jueteng” operators in the last 10 years.

“If he (Orduña) claims that he was the one giving the money he collected to Espino, why didn’t he tell [authorities] where the money was coming from?” Cojuangco said.

He said Interior Secretary Mar Roxas should look for the source of the alleged payola which Orduña claimed to have delivered to Espino.

“Why single out Governor Espino as if he is the cause of all jueteng [operations] in the whole country? That is not right. It smacks of harassment because their candidate has no chance of winning,” Cojuangco said.

In 2007, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office proposed the Loterya ng Bayan, which was supposed to be an alternative to jueteng, he said.

“But nothing happened with [the proposal]. If they were really serious about [eradicating jueteng] then, we should not be talking about this now,” he said.

A former University of the Philippines official also questioned the timing of Orduña’s exposé.

“Why only now? Why didn’t he do that earlier? Very political. He just would like to destroy [Espino’s] image because I think he is a strong candidate,” said Dr. Perla Legaspi, former director of the UP Center for Local and Regional Governance and former vice chancellor of UP Diliman.

All kinds of issues

“There will always be issues of all kinds against a candidate during elections. That’s why we should be very vigilant when it pertains to governance. Let’s not wait for the elections,” said Legaspi, who is now program head and professor at Lyceum-Northwestern University here.

In a news conference on Friday, Espino said town mayors transacted directly with operators of jai alai, a legal gaming operation that Orduña claimed was a front for jueteng.

Espino said: “There was an issue in Manila about my meeting Mr. Charlie Ang. The man who introduced me to Ang was Mayor Orduña of Bugallon. Mr. Ang sought my permission to visit the mayors so he could apply for business permits to operate jai alai gaming stations.”

“The ones who issue permits are the mayors. Let me repeat that—I did not issue any permit to Mr. Charlie Ang. So how can I ask anything from him?” Espino said.

Provincial records showed that 45 of 48 towns and cities of the province allowed jai alai to operate in their areas, after it was introduced in 2010 by Ang, a consultant to Meridian Vista Gaming Inc.

Senior Supt. Mariano Luis Verzosa, Pangasinan police director, confirmed that jai alai operations in the province were played like jueteng, although the police had not touched them because “they are not illegal.”

Verzosa said Pangasinan was “96 percent jueteng-free” because jai alai operations had become dominant in the province.

“Jai alai betting in the province is like betting in jueteng,” he said. He said in jai alai, a bettor chooses a combination of three numbers from one to 10.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Amado Espino , Bugallon Mayor Rodrigo Orduña , Hernani Braganza , Jueteng , Mark Cojuangco , Nationalist People's Coalition




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  • PNP chief on plunder raps: ‘Amateurish’
  • Makati readies 12-month traffic plan for Skyway 3
  • Heard on Radyo Inquirer 990AM
  • Did you know
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces, force do-or-die tiff
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Banks allowed to use ‘cloud’
  • SMIC to issue P15-B bonds
  • Honda upgrades PH plant
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  • Filipinos coming home from Mideast must obtain MERS clearance – DOH
  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement