So: I should have sued Espino for jueteng
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – A former ally of Pangasinan Governor Amado T. Espino Jr. said he should should have incriminated the government for being behind the multi-million peso illegal numbesr game jueteng in Pangasinan.
‘BEST ACTOR’. Abono Party List chair Rosendo So presents a “Best Actor” trophy for Pangasinan Governor Amado T. Espino Jr. who accused him (So) as behind his indictment by the Ombudsman for his involvement in the illegal mining of the magnetite black sand in Lingayen. The amused guy on the left side is Jojo Bigay,brother of Alvin Bigay who was dismissed by the Ombudsman from government service for his involvement in the illegal activity.Bigay denounced the governor for soiling the family’s surname. (MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA)
He said when jueteng operator Fernando “Boy Bata” Alimagno and then Bugallon Mayor Ric Orduna, Espino’s alleged jueteng bagman, sued him at the Ombudsman for plunder, the governor asked him to convince Bata to desist from the case in exchange of ten million pesos.
“Ito ang masasabi ko Amado T. Espino, Jr. kung talagang gusto kitang kasuhan doon kay Boy Bata tinawag mo ako noon, sabi mo sa akin tawagan iyong kaibigan natin sa Isabela kung puwede para mag back out si Boy Bata (This what I tell you Amado T. Espino, Jr. if I want to criminally charge you, it should be on the Boy Bata case. You asked me then to call our common friend in Isabela to convince Alimagno to back out from the case),” So said.
He said he and the lawyer of the governor met with Bata in Manila.
The illegal gambling operator told So that because jueteng operation in Pangasinan was clamped down by authorities, he bought Meridien Vista Gaming Corporation’s Jai Alai Kingpin Atong Ang to Espino.
Espino, according to So, promised to give Bata two percent of the monthly revenue of jai alai.
So quoted bata as saying, “May commitment si Governor na two percent sa akin. Dati nakatangap kami ng sampung milyones (The governor promised me two percent. I used to earn ten million pesos a month when we were running jueteng).”
But the governor, according to Alimagno, reneged on his promise to give him two percent of the proceeds from the game, thus he exposed him as the jueteng lord in Pangasinan at a press conference in Manila.
“Sabi niya, bata nga pag iyong lollipop tinangal mo iiyak iyan. Kaya ako umiyak sa media,” So quoted Boy Bata.
In that Manila expose’ in December 14, 2012, Bata was joined by Orduna, then Secretary Mar Roxas of the Department of Interior & Local Government, and several top police officials.
In a sworn statement submitted at the Ombudsman, Orduña called Espino the “Big Boss” of jueteng in Pangasinan who received P800 to P900 million in jueteng money.
Last week, So called a press conference at the Hotel Lenox here because the governor accused him, in a press conference the latter called, to be behind the indictment at the Ombudsman of the governor, dismissed provincial officials Rafael Barraan and Alvin Bigay.
So said said Espino should accused instead his former police sergeant Vicente C. Oliquino who was one of the complainants in the black mining cases.
The cases would be transmitted to the Sandiganbayan which would issue warrants of arrest against the accused.
The threat of the warrant of arrest did not sit well with the governor who accused So of flaunting it to Espino’s media ally Violy Valdez of Aksyon Radyo
But So said he did not have an interview with Valdez.
“Ang problema naniniwala siya (Espino) sa kuwento ni Violy, hindi naman ako na interview ni Violy. Sinamahan ko lang si (Senator and vice presidential bet) Chiz Escudero doon sa Aksyon Radyo nila. Kung ano na ang kinuwento sa kanya naniwala siya (The problem the governor believed the story of Violy. Violy did not interview me. I went to Aksyon Radyo with senator and vice presidential bet Chiz Escudero),” So told the reporters.
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