MAGANES: ‘Deny pa more’
According to many practicing psychologists and psychiatrists, denial is a coping mechanism that gives someone time to adjust to distressing situations — but staying in denial can interfere with treatment or his ability to tackle challenges. If someone is in denial mood, he’s trying to protect himself by refusing to accept the truth about something that’s happening in his life.
Initial short-term denial can be a good thing. It gives someone time to adjust to a painful or stressful issue. But denial has a dark side too. Being in denial for too long can prevent someone from dealing with issues that require action.
Undoubtedly, these are the situations being experienced by Governor Amado T. Espino Jr., Rafael Baraan, Alvin Bigay and their other co-accused in violating Section 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Corrupt Practices Act for undertaking illegal black sand mining in Lingayen in 2011 and 2012.
After series of denials in the past, although documents and other pieces of evidence showed otherwise, Espino and his ilk have not accepted the truth up to now that they have ventured into illegal black sand mining notwithstanding the results of investigations conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The denial has been that long, so the issue has not been put to rest. The Office of the Ombudsman already resolved the issue with finality when it denied the motions for reconsideration filed by Espino and his group.
Last March 14, the Office of the Ombudsman formally indicted Espino, Baraan, Bigay and the Board of Directors of Alexandria Mining and Oil Ventures Inc. and Xypher Builders Inc. before the Sandiganbayan where legal battles are expected. The cases are docketed as SB 16-CRM-0118 and SB 16-CRM 0119 with two counts of violations by Espino, Baraan and the Board of Directors of the aforementioned contractors with Bigay for one count.
The filing of the cases at the Sandiganbayan should have ended the denials of Espino and his camp. But instead of silencing themselves, Espino’s denials escalated even to the extent of telling media men that DENR has already cleared him because they found out that there was no black sand mining in Lingayen. There was no such pronouncement, however, from DENR particularly from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) or even the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB). If indeed, there were pronouncements to that effect, the results of the findings of the Office of the Ombudsman will prevail.
Lest Espino forgets, the DENR, through MGB, already confiscated the 9,583 cubic meters of black sand or magnetite on May 15, 2015 including equipment used in the black sand mining operations. Now tell me that MGB has pronounced that no black sand mining was undertaken by Espino and his group. What were confiscated in favor of the government?
After delivering his message during the Provincial Population Congress last March 16 at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center in Lingayen, Espino told reporters when asked about the graft case filed at the Sandiganbayan that he’s sad about it but has to face it as it is already there. That was supposed to be a nice answer but he segued to what was amusing when he again associated the cases filed against him due to politics as the filing of the cases coincided with the election period.
Espino said the issues on illegal black sand mining has ” long been there” since 2012 before the 2013 election period and brought up again for the 2016 election. What was he trying to convey was that all these cases against him are “politically motivated”. Further he said, “I was surprised why it came out suddenly in the Sandiganbayan when the election is now nearing.”
His nauseating statement during the media interview was when he said the real issue was not the black sand, but there are those who don’t want him and his son to run for political posts. Really? And, who are those who don’t want him and his son to run? With his statement, Espino is trying to have scapegoats for his predicaments. His “politically motivated” mantra has already been overused by politicians like him facing charges of graft and corruption.
Deny pa more! The denials on the issues on black sand mining will do no good for the Espinos. How can he deny that his two trusted men- Baraan and Bigay – were dismissed from the government service due to illegal black sand mining? How can he deny that he signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Xypher Builders Inc. without any authority from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan? How can he deny that he issued a ” mineral ore export permit” (even he has no authority to do it) to Xypher Builders Inc. that paved the way to export more than P10 million worth of black sand to China?
Denial is but of course a form of defense. But how long will Espino give false statements regarding the illegal black sand mining? How long until his consciences bother him on the destroyed professional lives of Baraan and Bigay? Maybe, for continuing his denials, Espino thinks that he is gaining sympathy from the Pangasinenses. Methinks, Pangasinenses have long been awaken on issues against Espinos particularly on graft and corruption activities.
Deny pa more and more blows will be coming on Espino’s political career. Don’t we deserve a better Pangasinan under a better leader?
(For comments, email me at email@example.com. 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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