Quantcast
Latest Stories

Espino says earnings came from businesses

By ,

DAGUPAN CITY—Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino on Monday denied living on money from the illegal numbers racket “jueteng.”

“That is very unfair,” he said.

Espino, formerly the top police official in Pangasinan, said he was nursing a bruised ego and consoling a hurt family after being identified last week by a former political ally as the “big boss” of jueteng in the province.

That former ally, Bugallon Mayor Rodrigo Orduña, reported for work in his town on Monday under heavy security. He returned home on Friday night after filing plunder charges against Espino in the Office of the Ombudsman in Manila.

Espino said the charges were “politically motivated” and decried the airing of Orduña’s accusations in a news conference at the Philippine National Police  headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City, with Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and PNP Director General Nicanor Bartolome on Friday.

“I should have been given a chance to answer the accusations first before these were announced to the whole world [by Roxas],” Espino said.

“I wasn’t treated fairly as an elected official. It was as if I was already convicted,” he said.

“I’m sad and a little stressed. My family is hurting because of what happened to me,” he said.

In a sworn affidavit he submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman, Orduña admitted to having served as Espino’s bagman since 2001 and charged that the governor had amassed up to P900 million in payoffs from operators of jueteng in Pangasinan.

A confessed jueteng operator from the province, Fernando “Boy Bata” Alimagno, submitted an affidavit to the Ombudsman, corroborating Orduña’s allegations.

Trucking, construction

Espino denied the charges, saying he had been operating trucking and construction businesses even before he became the Pangasinan police director in 1992.

He said that after retiring from the police service in 1998, he went into farming and poultry raising in Bugallon.

Espino denied any links to jueteng. After being linked to jueteng by Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz in 2010, Espino appeared at a Senate inquiry into the alleged involvement of public officials in the illegal game to deny the prelate’s accusation.

On Monday, he reiterated that he had always been against jueteng.

He said that when he was the police director, he and his staff shaved their heads to show their opposition to jueteng.

“For almost a year then, there were no jueteng operations in the province,” Espino said.

One of his officers at the time, he said, was Alan Purisima, now ranked deputy director general and appointed to become the next PNP chief.

Espino said there was no jueteng wherever he was assigned, including Angeles City in Pampanga, where he served as chief of the Metropolitan District Command.

They’re not close

Espino belied Orduña’s claim that they were close. He said it was Orduña’s brother Paterno, a retired police superintendent, who was “like a brother to me.”

He said he met Paterno Orduña when he was assigned to Camp Olivas in Pampanga, and they developed a deep friendship.

“I only met Ric (Mayor Orduña’s nickname) through Pat when I was assigned here,” Espino said.

“I won’t even recognize [Mayor Orduña’s] children if I saw them, because I really do not know them,” he said. “He is not really that close to me as he claimed.”

Orduña claimed that a quarrel over a basketball game between his son and Espino’s son led to his falling out with the governor.

On Monday, he said Espino’s denials were “just natural.”

If they meet, Orduña said, “I would tell him to stop lying.”

“He knows what I know and I know what he knows,” he said.

“I know I was involved [in jueteng] and I do not deny that I earned from [it], but not as much as he earned,” Orduña said.

No politics

Orduña, a new member of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), said politics had nothing to do with his disclosure, although he admitted that he consulted Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza before coming out against Espino.

Braganza is the LP’s gubernatorial candidate in Pangasinan. Local commentators have said that Orduña’s disclosures would benefit Braganza’s bid for the provincial capitol.

Orduña said he had been planning to expose jueteng operations in Pangasinan for some time and he had been talking to some groups about it.

Those groups offered support, but he decided to open up only after he had consulted Braganza.

“I found someone I could trust only now,” Orduña said. “It just so happened that we belong to the same political party.”

Asked if he had received threats since coming come, he replied in the negative. “But I anticipate that threats would soon come,” he said.

“They should deal only with me,” he added. “I am their enemy. They should not involve my family. I pray to God to protect my family.”

Orduña had also implicated in the scandal the husband of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Jose Miguel Arroyo, then Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno and the PNP chiefs during the previous administration.

He said Jose Miguel Arroyo, Puno and the police chiefs regularly received payoffs from jueteng operators, though he never saw them actually receiving money.

Orduna described Jose Miguel Arroyo, Puno and the PNP chief the “Three Kings” of jueteng during the Arroyo administration.

Hard evidence

On Monday, Malacañang said Orduña should back his allegations with hard evidence.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the mayor would be asked to submit evidence to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), which had opened an investigation into his disclosures.

“Obviously, there is no documentary evidence here. But if he has some oral evidence that can be supported, then that is something that the DILG will have to investigate,” Lacierda said.

He called on Orduña to disclose the other officials who took payoffs from jueteng operators and support his claims with evidence.

Only with hard evidence can the government make the charges against the accused stick, Lacierda said. With a report from TJ Burgonio in Manila


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: DILG , gambling , Gov. Amado Espino Jr , Government , illegal numbers game , Jueteng , local government , Mike Arroyo , Pangasinan , Rodrigo Orduña , Ronaldo Puno




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. US teacher fired over comment on black president
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. Filipinos, Dane re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  4. Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  5. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Massive infra spending set
  8. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  9. Easter crucifixions draw huge crowds
  10. Korea ferry captain arrested, divers spot bodies
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  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. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • Russia promises support to ending Ukraine crisis
  • Busted valve delays water interruption
  • Cardinal Tagle decries human ‘commercialization’
  • Religion builds bridges in ethnically split Cyprus
  • Iran general urges Tehran to make new UN pick
  • Sports

  • Vettel hoping for resurgence at Chinese GP
  • MLB pitcher donates $100,000 for Sewol ferry victims
  • Hamilton takes pole at Chinese Grand Prix
  • Duke’s Rodney Hood joining Jabari Parker in NBA draft
  • Phelps entered in 3 events at comeback meet
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • Fiat-Chrysler to produce iconic Jeep in China from 2015
  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • 5 Filipinos with MERS in UAE reported in stable condition
  • PH boosts MERS monitoring after UAE nurse scare
  • Canadians back PH plea to take back waste
  • We treasure our Sierra Madre
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement