By Mortz C. Ortigoza
BUGALLON – “Sinungaling, liar. Matila in Pangasinan, ulbod in Ilocano (He is a liar. Matila in Pangasinan, ulbod in Ilocano,” described by this town Vice Mayor Ric Orduna the Pangasinan’s governor to reporters.
Orduna, as he acknowledged in the past, was the illegal gambling jueteng treasurer of Pangasinan Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr.
He said the governor had the propensity to break what he promised with him or to his allies.
“When he asked me to run for the presidency of League of Mayors in the Philippine-Pangasinan Chapter, I thought he would aid me when mayors need financial help. When I told him I will be meeting them I thought he shell out his share but I have to personally fund their entire expenses,” he recalled when he was still in good graces of the governor.
Former Espino ally and financial supporter Abono Party List chairman Rosendo So said the fall out between Espino and Fernando “Boy Bata” Alimagno happened because the governor reneged to what he promised with the jueteng operator.
So quoted Alimagno as saying, “May commitment si Governor na two percent sa akin. Dati nakatangap kami ng sampung milyones (The governor promised me two percent. I used to earn ten million pesos a month when we were running jueteng).”
But the governor, according to Alimagno, breached on his promise to give him two percent of the proceeds from the Meriadiane Jai Alai - a gambling played just like jueteng, thus he exposed him as the jueteng lord in Pangasinan at a press conference in Manila.
Orduna and Alimagno said they and Espino operated and protected the illegal gambling number game in the 44 towns and four cities’ province.
But because the governor weaselled out both sued him with plunder at the Ombudsman in December 14, 2012.
Before sueing Espino in Manila, Bata and Orduna were joined on that day by then Secretary Mar Roxas of the Department of Interior & Local Government, and several top police officials in a press conference aired on TV nationwide.
In a sworn statement submitted at the Ombudsman, Orduña called Espino the “Big Boss” of jueteng in Pangasinan who received P800 to P900 million in jueteng money
But Alimango, who experienced economic hardship after his fall out with the governor, filed an affidavit of desistance at the Ombudsman that made Orduna the lone accuser of the governor on the non-bailable criminal case.
According to So he was asked by Espino to convince Boy Bata to back out from the case against the governor in exchange of ten million pesos.