5th District Rep. Espino serves 90-day preventive suspension

December 18, 2016 at 11:21 pm Leave a comment

                                              ON ILLEGAL BLACK SAND MINING
By Virgilio Sar. Maganes
URDANETA CITY- Fifth District Rep. Amado T. Espino Jr. said he would serve his 90-day suspension because of the illegal black sand case filed against him.
Through his lawyers, he submitted to the anti-graft court last December 14 a manifestation to serve his suspension from December 15 to March 15, 2017 after the 6th Division of Sandiganbayan acted unfavorably to his appeal to reverse its earlier order for a 90-day preventive suspension,
 Espino said this is “to show his willingness to cooperate with the Sandiganbayan and to abide with the rule of law” and  (that) “serving his suspension was not an admission of guilt.”
 Espino appealed the order arguing that the House of Representatives has the sole power to suspend elected representatives after it was not implemented by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
 On November 29, the anti-graft court dismissed Espino’s motion to nullify the 90-day preventive suspension it issued on September 7.

It can be recalled that the 6th Division of Sandiganbayan had ordered Espino’s suspension for allegedly allowing black sand mining operations in Lingayen Gulf- an environmentally critical area and for permitting the export of P10.750 million worth of magnetite (black sand) to China when he was the provincial governor in 2011.
Seven others were charged with Espino—dismissed provincial administrator Rafael Baraan and housing official Alvin Bigay; Cynthia Camara and Lolita Bolayog of Alexandra Mining and Oil Ventures Inc.; and Michael Ramirez, Gina Alcazar and Avery Pujol of Xypher Builders Inc.
He pleaded not guilty when arraigned on July 14.

The Ombudsman said a small-scale mining permit was issued to Alexandra Mining and Oil Ventures, Inc. in June 2011 but which later canceled, and the firm was ordered to vacate the Lingayen Gulf area.
In August 2011, Espino entered into an agreement with Xypher Builders, Inc.to remove the metallic materials from the stockpile left behind by Alexandra Mining.
The extraction of the magnetite or black sand took place from 2011 to 2013 within an area that was enclosed by the provincial government with a 3-kilometer-long, 6-foot-high concrete wall that spans the coastal barangays of Sabangan, Estanza and Malimpuec.
The Ombudsman held Espino, Baraan and Bigay criminally liable for issuing permits and transacting with Alexandra Mining and Xypher Builders when these were not accredited contractors or qualified to undertake mining activities.

Entry filed under: News.

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