Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino Jr. yesterday asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to immediately drop the murder charges against them, and to “deliver true justice to the murder of Infanta Mayor Ruperto Martinez by arresting and prosecuting the real culprits.”
In his counter-affidavit filed by his lawyers during the preliminary hearing of the case arising from the Dec. 15, 2012 killing, Espino asserted that Martinez was a “personal friend and an ally” hence, he would not have any motive whatsoever to harm the mayor.
According to him, the lone witness whose testimony was used by the NBI to file the case “is not a credible witness, having a checkered history involving errant school behavior, previous incidents of duping people for money, threatening his siblings, and drug use.”
On the other hand, Mrs. Crisanta Martinez, submitted her sworn statement clearing respondents Espino and Celeste of any complicity in the gun-slaying of her husband.
The widow added that she and her children refused to sign the complaint prepared by the NBI, and insisted that the authorities should instead go after her husband’s known political foe she identified as lawyer Florante Miano. “Our quest for justice is being misled by politics.
The death of our father has been exploited to promote the political agenda of some people. Worse, those who are most innocent are being framed up and accused, while the real masterminds go scot-free and continue to sow deceit and lies, at the expense of true justice for the death of our father,” said the Martinez sons, Richard and Martin.
The widow maintained that both the governor and the congressman were close allies of her husband under the New People’s Coalition (NPC) party. Martinez brushed aside as manifestly unbelievable and patently untrue the case filed by the National Bureau of Investigations (NBI) against Espino and Celeste, saying it was based on the testimony of a “dubious” witness.
She was referring to a certain minor kid, Justin Aquino, 16, of Bayambang, Pangasinan, who claimed to have eavesdropped on the plotting of Martinez’s murder at a resort in Bolinao town. The Martinez children opted to file their own murder charges against Miano at the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Alaminos City owing to their displeasure with the NBI’s alleged mishandling of the case.
“We had told the NBI that they should investigate Atty. Miano, but Agent Roland Argabioso would not hear us. Instead, they went on to file the case (against Espino and Celeste) despite our disapproval,” Mrs. Martinez recalled.
She stressed that justice would never be served for her husband’s murder “unless the real killers were put behind bars.” “But this would never happen if the authorities would continue to be used by certain political quarters for their own selfish motives,” Mrs. Martinez lamented.