The political party founded by an uncle of President Benigno Aquino III, businessman Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, on Thursday cried foul over what it said was political harassment and machinations being used against its candidates in Pangasinan led by reelectionist Gov. Amado Espino.
Former Rep. Mark Cojuangco, chair of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) in Pangasinan and son of Danding, said the NPC will continue to support Espino in the wake of a murder case being linked to the governor.
“It is unfortunate that [President Aquino’s] ‘daan na matuwid’ (straight path) is now opportunistically hijacked by underlings, for partisan ends,” said Mark in a text message.
“We are very dismayed over these petty tactics against our candidate,” he said in a statement.
In another statement, the Abono party-list group also expressed disbelief at allegations that Espino is involved in the murder of Ruperto Martinez, mayor of Infanta town.
“Mayor Martinez consistently delivered votes to the NPC. It is impossible for his allies to order his murder,” said Rosendo So, Abono chair, in a statement.
“This is not a joke. If they are training their guns on Governor Espino, they will allow the real mastermind to get away and justice will not be served,” So said.
The National Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday filed a murder complaint against Espino and Rep. Jesus Celeste based on the testimony of a 16-year-old boy who linked Espino and Celeste to the murder of Martinez.
Mark Cojuangco said Espino and Celeste were “collateral damage” in the campaign to remove non-Liberal Party members from local positions. With a report from Yolanda Sotelo, Inquirer Northern Luzon