MAGANES: Politics of fear?
The political camp of Governor Amado T. Espino Jr. is apparently doing all its best to discredit and block the gubernatorial aspirations of former 5th District Rep. Mark O. Cojuangco.
Lately, the mouthpieces of Espino are harping more lies over their block time radio programs that even mundane things that are not supposed to be given attention and importance are the subjects of their tirades. I was amused hearing them a week ago. Even a back hoe of the provincial government that was deployed in Taratara, Sison to repair a road portion was the center of their commentaries.
The back hoe was reported to have been vandalized, with vandals breaking its mirror and placing sand in its gas tank. These were attributed to Mark Cojuangco as if he was the culprit and tried to sabotage the operations of the provincial government in Sison.
Who will not be amused? Knowing Cojuangco, he is not the kind to destroy government properties nor meddle in any development projects, whether implemented by his political nemesis or not. Clearly, the Espino camp has run out of negative issues against Cojuangco who at this time is already gaining more leverage in his political consultations with the Pangasinenses.
On the back hoe issue, why does the provincial government put the blame to Cojuangco when it has an operator who must to look after the said equipment? Why not investigate the operator or even the watchers who were deployed in that place?
Is provincial government over acting over the issue? Who must be responsible about that incident – Cojuangco or the provincial government which, in its desire to discredit Cojuangco, concocted such incident?
I was informed last week too that a tarpaulin of Cojuangco and Macanlalay that was prominently displayed in Umanday, Bugallon was burned and destroyed. A Cojuangco supporter in Bugallon said it was deliberately done because of the manner it was burned. The tarpaulin was burned at its center defacing the faces of Cojuangco and Macanlalay. Who in his right mind would do that?
Bugallon is known to be a political turf of Espino, he being a resident of Portic village.It is also a fact that the incumbent mayor of Bugallon is the son of Espino- Anthony Jumel.
The burning of Cojuangco’s tarpaulin in Bugallon is a sign of political harassment. It is also a sign that the Espino camp is already resorting to dirty tactics. Don’t tell me that the incident was not the making of Espino’s supporters.
The way I look at it, it is. Is Espino beginning to instill fear in his opponents? Are we now heading to a much “politics of fear” like what he did to media practitioners who are known to be close to the Cojuangcos? Last July, the Governor had the temerity to give veiled threats to the media men even to the extent of using his block time programs .
The election period has not yet started and yet politics is already heating up in Pangasinan. The election campaign for local candidates in 2016 elections will still start on March 25, 2016. From now to that date, we would see unfurling of more political intrigues, throwing of mud and the sowing of political fears.
And by the way, Governor Espino has already endorsed to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan the letter of a certain Ruben Lagmay who proclaimed himself as the president of North and Central Luzon Tobacco Farmers Association. The letter was asking for an investigation on how gubernatorial aspirant Mark Cojuangco spent the 80% congressional share of the tobacco excise tax of the 5th District.
This Lagmay is clearly a “puppy” of Espino, if not so why it is only now that he’s questioning the tobacco excise tax. What is his motive and why he did not include all other districts and the provincial government? His association, unheard of before, just popped up like a mushroom. Tell me Lagmay, are you sincere in what you are doing?
Cojuangco is not cowed by the investigation of the tobacco excise tax because all projects can be accounted for. It should be the provincial government through Espino who had to do a lot of explaining on where he spent the P250 million monetized 10% tobacco excise tax share of the province.
On this, I am seeing a Senate inquiry on the matter as it was reported that a part of it was used as productivity bonus of provincial government’s employees in 2011. The municipalities as of now that are beneficiaries of that tobacco excise tax have not yet receive projects from the provincial government. The guidelines were clear. Only burley and native tobacco producing municipalities will benefit from the excise tax share, meaning not all towns in the province could benefit from it. So, they are saying that it was spent in all municipalities but surprisingly no projects are presented for Pangasinenses to see.
(For comments, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit my blog The Roving Pen at http://www.virgilmaganes.wordpress.com. Listen to my radio programs, “Ang Bagong Bayan Po(e)” aired over DZRD Sonshine Radio, 981 KHZ, 8:00-9:00 AM and “On Your Marks, 2nd Edition” aired over DWPR Radio Asenso, 1296 KHZ,10:15-11:15 AM. Both programs are aired Mondays to Fridays)
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