by Mortz C. Ortigoza
LINGAYEN – The Police Provincial Director of Pangasinan vehemently denied the accusation of Jestin Aquino, 17, that he interceded for the meeting of the latter with some political candidates in the May 2013 election so he can implicate Pangasinan Governor Amado T. Espino and others as mastermind in the murder of a mayor.
|Pangasinan Police Provincial Director|
Sr. Supt. Marlou C. Chan
Senior Superintendent Marlou C. Chan incessantly declared to reporters that in his entire life he did not meet Aquino.
“I never had the opportunity in any instances na maka-usap, maka-salimuha, makita, makilala itong bata. Never in my entire life nagkaroon kami ng ugnayan”.
Chan vigorously denied that he even accompanied the boy to President Benigno Aquino III and Secretary Mar Roxas of the Department of Interior Local Government when the duo visited Pangasinan so they can hear how the minor would accuse Governor Espino, Congressman Jesus Celeste (1st District, Pangasinan) Zambales Governor Hermogenes Ebdane, his father Jaime, a controversial newspaperman, colluded in the killing of Mayor Ruperto Martinez of Infanta, Pangasinan.
“Hindi totoo po iyan.Hindi po natin personalidad iyan. Hindi kami nagkita noong bata noong pag dating ni presidente dito sa Pangasinan. Wala hong pagkakata-on na pinakilala ho natin si Jestin sa mga personalities na ito,” he stressed.
The mayor was felled by two bullets in December 15 last year at the neck and the head by motorcycle riders in tandem as he was being interviewed by a TV reporter in a phone-patch at his residence in Barangay Cato, Infanta.
Aquino reappeared in a press conference in November 28 this year in a hotel here where in a 180-degree turned around fashion accused Chan, losing gubernatorial, congressional, and mayoral candidates Hernani Braganza, Lawyer Bodie Pulido, and Manuel Tolentino, respectively, whom he accused to conspire in incriminating Espino, Celeste, and Ebdane.
He said he escaped from his Special Action Force watchmen at the national police headquarter in Quezon City after he induced them to get drunk from the liquor he bought for them.
Aquino has been receiving allowances from the Witness Protection Program of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The minor declared that the late mayor opposed the plan of Espino et. al to explore the mining site of the town because of the “itim na bato (nickel).
In a transmittal letter to the DOJ by the then National Bureau of Investigation Director Nonnatus Rojas, the department gave credence to the testimony of the minor who allegedly overheard his father discussed with Celeste and Espino the plan to kill Martinez.
The witness said they hatched the dastardly act at the El Pescador Beach Resort in Bolinao, Pangasinan.
"It was there that witness... heard Governor Espino saying that Mayor Martinez should be killed in order to prevent the latter to implicate them with respect to the nickel.' He also heard the congressman replied that they should not worry since they have someone who will kill Mayor Martinez," the transmittal letter read.
Celeste called the case "ridiculous" since he even helped Martinez's family to find justice.
Minor Aquino, who executed his affidavit before representatives of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), said he also have information on the murders of Councilor Jovencia Gasmin of San Juan village in Alcala town and Councilor Nato Sabangan of Bayambang, Pangasinan
Chan said that it was during the watch of then Provincial Director Mariano Luis Versoza, Jr. that the police apprehended the alleged hired guns Ricardo “Kardo” Legarda and Richard Manuel a day after the assassination of Martinez.
“So iyong pagpa-file ng kaso is unilateral investigation solidly undertaken by the NBI. Ang PNP Pangasinan is wala ho silang kinalaman doon sa pagpa-file ng kaso”.