Guv Espino behind ‘orchestrated attacks’ against me’- Braganza
Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza, Liberal Party standard bearer, has finally broken silence as he fingered Gov. Amado T. Espino as the “mastermind” behind orchestrated attacks against him.
During the KBP Forum here last Thursday, Braganza answered one-by-one all the issues hurled against him by Alaminos City Vice Mayor Cesar Manzano and first district Rep. Jesus “Boying” as he challenged them to file charges against him in court to prove their allegations.
Calling them “mercenaries of Governor Espino”, Braganza said that all the issues raised by Manzano and Celeste are politically motivated and are lies meant to destroy his reputation.
Braganza said that the loan secured by the city government which was used to purchase heavy equipment; construct the PSU-Alaminos Campus, public hospital and convention center was authorized by an ordinance enacted by the Sangguniang Panlungsod. The ordinance bears the signature of Manzano and was duly approved by the Sanggunian. The ordinance was also duly approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
The remaining P120 million of the city government loan, Braganza added, “is with the DBP, intact.”
Without the loan, Braganza said, it would not have been possible for the city to erect the Pangasinan State University-Alaminos Campus which is now providing accessible, economical but quality education to 1,500 poor college students annually in Alaminos and the entire first district.
“Dati, taun-taon ay mayroong 1,700 graduates sa high school sa Alaminos. Yung 700 lamang po ang nakakapag-tuloy sa kolehiyo, at 70 lamang po ang nakakapagtapos sa kanila. ‘Yong 1,000 hindi na po nakapag-aaral dati. Sa pamamagitan ng PSU-Alaminos, nabigyan po natin ng pagkakataon yong 1,000 na makapag-aral din at magkaroon ng magandang kinabukasan,” said Braganza.
Out of the loan, according to Braganza, the city was able to purchase in 2010 brand new heavy equipment which are used during emergency situations and in the construction of farm-to-market roads, repair of school buildings and houses destroyed by typhoons and collection of wastes.
“Bumili po kami ng sariling heavy equipment ng siyudad, hindi po para maghire ng heavy equipment na pag-aari ng pribadong indibidwal para pagkakitaan pa,” Braganza said.
The loan was also used to construct the soon-to-be-opened modern public hospital, the Hundred Islands Medical Services Complex, to complement the district hospital in Alaminos.
“Bago po ang ospital at modern pati serbisyo. Hindi po yung ipinagmamalaki sa probinsya na mga ospital na bagong pintura lang eh bulok naman po ang serbisyo,” Braganza said.
Another project funded by the loan is the construction of the convention center which is now 69% complete. The facility which can accommodate 500 persons targets weekday tourists and corporate conventions and conferences.
Braganza said that aside from being income-generating, the projects address the most basic needs of education and health and promote tourism and investment for Alaminians and Pangasinenses.
“Vice Mayor Manzano, Congressman Celeste and Gov. Espino are very much alike. They all profess love for Pangasinan but – the irony of all ironies – is that they continue to besmirch the Hundred Islands and the projects meant to improve the lives of Alaminians and other Pangasinenses.
“When they said through the media that the Hundred Islands is mabaho and marumi, they did a great disservice to Pangasinenses. Nagwawala po tuloy ‘yung mga may-ari ng hotel at mga bankero. Huwag naman po sanang ganyan ang gawin n’yo dahil lang sa pulitika,” Braganza said.
He said that despite their attempts to destroy the image of the Hundred Islands, tourist arrivals continue to soar in Alaminos. “In fact,” said the mayor, “70% percent of the number of tourists visiting Pangasinan, based on the report of the provincial government, choose the Hundred Islands as their destination.”