Sunday, January 27, 2013

For inaccurate reporting: LAWYER BLAMES MEDIA

Atty. Ambraham Espejo has practically blamed the media for erroneously reporting that a P4.7 billion plunder case was filed against Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza. It appeared from Espejo’s statement during a press conference at the Star Plaza Hotel here that he was holding the media responsible for misinterpreting the said complaint filed by 11 barangay captains from Alaminos. “Well, basically isinama po ng media sa kaso yong P3.9 billion na budget for the airport; so nasa media po yan kung anong anggulo po yong kinuha nila,” Espejo said. He said that “Kung tatanggalin po yan (P3.9 B of the P4.7 B), plunder pa rin po yan, more or less. Siguro P1 billion or P700 million to P800 million.” When pressed to specify the exact amount that may have been embezzled, Espejo evaded the question saying: “Unang-una wala kaming sinasabing ibinulsa lahat iyon ni Mayor Braganza, hindi naman po,” Espejo is the lead counsel of the 11 complainant-barangay captains and of Gov. Amado T. Espino Jr. who himself is facing a P900-million plunder case filed by Bugallon Mayor Ric Orduña for jueteng involvement. According to political observers, the statements of Espejo during the press conference virtually absolved Braganza who maintained that the plunder report was not a valid criminal complaint. Meanwhile, mediamen in Pangasinan took notice of the confusing and contradicting statements of Espejo. Espejo earlier branded Mayor Braganza’s infrastructure projects as “ghost projects.” He, however, admitted during the press conference that the procurement of heavy equipment, construction of Alaminos City Hotel and Hundred Islands Medical Complex, road projects, Pangasinan State University (PSU-Alaminos), E-Kawayan Factory, and airport are in various stages of construction. “May natapos naman po, yong kalsada, ospital, hotel, airport. May natapos naman po,” he said. Espejo eventually made the absolute turn-around after major TV networks like the ABS CBN, GMA-7 and Net 25 played videos of the said projects being under construction. Much earlier, Braganza, the Liberal Party candidate for governor, said that it is impossible for local executives to pocket the budget for these projects as the bank providing loans release the fund in tranches depending on the completion rate of construction work and submission of required documents. He said official records would show that only P85.772 million, and not P249 million as alleged by the village chiefs, in loan money had been released to the city government for the projects. Braganza also said the city was awarded the Seal of Good Housekeeping by the late Interior and Local Government Jessie Robredo for having no adverse findings from the Commission on Audit, and for faithfully and effectively implementing the Anti-Red Tape Act and the Full Disclosure Policy.

No comments:

Post a Comment