Quantcast
Latest Stories

Espino: It’s jai alai and mayors gave permits

By

DAGUPAN CITY—Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino, who was charged with plunder for alleged accepting payoffs from illegal gambling, has pointed to mayors in the province as the ones who transact directly with operators of jai alai, a numbers game that Justice Secretary Leila de Lima had said operated illegally outside Cagayan.

In a news conference a day after a plunder charge had been filed against him in the Office of the Ombudsman, Espino said it was the province’s mayors who allowed jai alai to operate in the province and dealt with Charlie “Atong” Ang, one of the personalities behind jai alai.

Espino, however, did not deny that he had met Ang, but said that he never received or demanded money from Ang, a former gambling buddy of pardoned plunder convict and ousted President Joseph Estrada.

“There was an issue in Manila about my meeting Mr. Charlie Ang,” said Espino in his press conference.

“Ang sought my permission to visit the mayors so he could apply for a business permit to operate jai alai gaming stations,” he said.

Espino added that Ang was introduced to him by Rodrigo Orduña, mayor of Bugallon town who turned whistle-blower against Espino and charged the governor with plunder at the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly receiving up to P900 million in “jueteng” payoffs.

Espino said it was the mayors who gave permits to jai alai, which police said operates like jueteng.

“The ones who issue permits are the mayors,” said Espino in his press conference during which he refused to take questions.

“Let me repeat that. I did not issue any permit to Mr. Charlie Ang. So, how can I ask anything from him?” the governor said.

Records at the province show that 45 of 48 mayors allow jai alai to operate in their towns or cities.

Senior Supt. Mariano Luis Verzosa, Pangasinan police chief, said police in the province cannot touch jai alai operations because “they are not illegal.”

But in July 2011, according to a report by the Inquirer, De Lima had declared jai alai operations outside Cagayan as illegal. In June 2011, the Court of Appeals issued an order that stopped jai alai operations for at least 60 days for being illegal.

Jai alai, operated by a firm called Meridian Vista Gaming Corp., has its headquarters at  Cagayan Special Economic Zone (CSEZ), where it holds jai alai games. It has established betting stations, however, outside CSEZ which De Lima had questioned.

Noel Nacar, mayor of Dasol town and head of Pangasinan’s League of Municipalities, confirmed that the mayors allowed jai alai to operate.

Verzosa, the Pangasinan police chief, said jai alai is played like jueteng and had a key role in uprooting jueteng from Pangasinan.


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: illegal gambling , Jail alai , Pangasinan , Plunder




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. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  2. Chinese lawyers say they were tortured by police
  3. Hair salon’s Kim Jong Un poster riles embassy
  4. Siquijor ‘healer’: For every cure, there’s a plant
  5. State seeks guilty verdict for Abalos
  6. Why college grads end up in the PNP
  7. Estrada: I will pray for my detractors
  8. Miraculous image makes Gapan City top site for pilgrimage in Central Luzon
  9. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  10. Five men from Cavite found dead in jeep in Batangas
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. Massage attendant arrested on rape complaint filed by Japanese tourist
  3. ‘Tell no one’ Makati bettor won P250M lotto
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  6. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  7. North Korea uses flamethrower to execute official
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  10. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
Advertisement

News

  • How other faiths observe Holy Week
  • No noise, partying in Boracay on Good Friday
  • More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  • NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat
  • DOH issues official statement on confirmed case of MERS-CoV
  • Sports

  • Tenacious Iran frustrates Qatar to retain Asian Club volleyball crown
  • Floyd Mayweather is ESPN’s top-paid athlete
  • Pistorius trial: Judge sets 2-week adjournment
  • China, Taiwan rout foes for 3rd, 5th places in Asian Club volleyball
  • Ginebra’s new import Freeman arrives, makes PBA return vs ROS
  • Lifestyle

  • Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Entertainment

  • Filipino rock icons to hold silent concert
  • Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao’s greatest hits
  • Deniece Cornejo posts bail—report
  • Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels US concert
  • Otaku Summer Jam 2014: Summer’s hottest J-rock/Cosplay event
  • Business

  • Russian economy hit by Ukraine turmoil
  • PSEi firms up ahead of Lenten break
  • I-Remit teams up with Lakhoo for remittances from Oman
  • Megawide nets P1.4 B in 2013
  • Longer TRO sought on rate hike
  • Technology

  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Opinion

  • We may never know
  • Couple of things
  • Mommy D’s magic
  • Stop bizarre and bloody Good Friday rituals
  • Holy Week taboos
  • Global Nation

  • Netizens welcome Japan’s visa-free travel plan
  • Visa-free travel by Filipinos to Japan still a proposal
  • Visa-free travel to Japan could boost tourism
  • 2 PCG men ordered arrested over Balintang Channel shooting
  • US Embassy closed on Holy Thursday, Good Friday
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement