MAGANES: People’s support?
The recent inclusion in the “drug link matrix at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP)” of five personalities from Pangasinan, which include former Governor, now 5th District Rep. Amado T. Espino Jr. and 2nd District Board Member Raul P. Sison has drawn mixed reactions from Pangasinenses. Many are utterly disgusted and some others commiserate with them. There are shows of anger as well as compassion. But the thing is, are they really participants to the illegal drug trading inside the NBP?
Espino and Board Member Sison conducted separately their press conferences where they denied their participation in the said matrix exposed by President Rodrigo Duterte. In front of the media practitioners, both decried their inclusion in the illegal drug trading, invoking their past achievements as government officials. Espino denied knowing personally Senator Leila De Lima and her driver cum bodyguard Ronnie Palisoc Dayan. Board Member Sison denied also that he’s close to his cousin Dayan, saying they meet casually during cockfighting derbies. Their denials elicited confusions and acerbic comments from Pangasinenses.
Espino’s not knowing or or not being close to Sen De Lima deserves a second look. We are all aware that Espino is that close to the Baraans- former Justice Undersecretary Toti Baraan and his former Provincial Administrator Rafael Baraan, having been associated with him for many years. In the said matrix, Toti is said to have the full confidence of De Lima, thus assigned as the supervisor of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), an agency attached to the Department of Justice (DOJ). It is not surprising that because Rafael is his brother, the two have constant communication making Toti aware of the ins and outs of the operations of the provincial government under then Governor Espino, even maybe to the cases lodged against Espino that reached the DOJ for investigations and decisions.
Sison’s claim of not being that close to his cousin Dayan deserves also a second look. Both Dayan and Sison hailed from Urbiztondo town. It is quite surprising too that they are not that close as claimed by Sison considering that he’s one of the powerful political figures in their town as well in the 2nd District. However, if we will follow the recent event associated with the matrix, Sison knows very well a former DOJ employee Jonathan Caranto from Basista town. Caranto claimed that during the investigation of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre in relation to bank deposits allegedly owned by De Lima through her driver Dayan, Board Member Sison called him up and advised him to tell the truth.If Caranto, who is a DOJ employee is known to Sison, then how much more Dayan, his cousin, who was also a DOJ employee. Caranto and Dayan I surmised had the chance to be communicating with each other since both are from Pangasinan.
What I am telling here is why resort to denials when chances are, the connections and associations with each other in the matrix are very clear? Is it not better to tell the truth that they knew each other and that they have not participated at all in any illegal drug trading inside the NBP? No amount of denials could cover their participation in the matrix if at the end of thorough investigation, it will be proven.
After the press conference of Espino, the following day national broadsheets carried one-page advertisements with a manifest to Espino by farmer leaders, barangay health workers (BHWs) and provincial resolution expressing their full support and confidence to Espino and that denying his participation in the matrix. That was a very costly endeavor from the Espino’s supporters, if they paid the publication of the manifesto.
Another press release this week was given to media practitioners in Pangasinan stating that Espino had an audience with President Duterte in Malacañang Palace. It said, Espino told the president that he has no participation in the said matrix invoking his innocence. He said, he requested the president for a thorough investigation on the matter and expressed strong support to his administration on the fight of illegal drugs. Espino claimed that his request was granted by the President. It appeared that as of now, President Duterte has not cleared out Espino’s participation in the matrix. We will then expect a wider investigation, maybe by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), PNP and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
A “telenovela” featuring politicians and officials from Pangasinan is slowly unfolding before us. Many characters will come out in the open for sure- many will be villains and some essaying supporting roles to the main characters- De Lima, Baraan brothers, Ronnie Palisoc Dayan, Espino, General Bucayu and Sison. What will happen to them at the end of the “telenovela” is worthy of following and watching.
Hopefully, this will pass soon for the benefit of the Pangasinenses.
(For comments and suggestions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit my blog “The Roving Pen” at http://www.virgilmaganes.wordpress.com. Listen to my radio program “VIRGIL MAGANES SA DWPR” aired over DWPR Radyo Asenso, 1296 KHZ AM Band at 8:00-9:00 AM, Mondays to Saturdays.)
Entry filed under: News.