This, essentially, became the reaction of Zambales Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane to reports implicating him in the murder of Mayor Ruperto Martinez of Infanta, Pangasinan.
In a statement, the governor’s lawyer said the reports were “unfounded.”
Ebdane, according to lawyer Ianela Jusi-Barrantes, “never met (Gov. Amado) Espino and (Rep. Jesus) Celeste in any instance in Zambales or anywhere else in the country.”
Ebdane was named in a National Bureau of Investigation report as among those who took part in planning the murder of Martinez based on the testimony of a 16-year-old witness.
‘Not taken seriously’
In a statement, Barrantes said the account of the young witness narrating Ebdane’s alleged presence in a meeting with the two Pangasinan officials to plot the murder of Martinez must not be taken seriously any further.
“Such false accusation is absurd and a patent lie designed to besmirch the reputation of Governor Ebdane,” said Barrantes in the statement.
“He does not have anything to do with the cases filed against Espino and Celeste,” she said.
She warned the witness that he could be facing perjury and other related cases for lying under oath in his statements.
“Ebdane maintains his focus in accomplishing multiple tasks for the welfare of the people of Zambales,” said Barrantes.
“He is not distracted by the ill motives of his detractors who opt to resort to cheap gimmickry to besmirch his reputation and good track record as a dedicated public servant,” she said.
In an affidavit dated Jan. 8, the boy said he was with his father on a trip to Iba, Zambales, in November 2011 where he saw Ebdane, Espino and Celeste meeting.
The boy said he heard Espino talk to Ebdane about Martinez and a “black stone” that is linked to Martinez’s murder.