Friday, January 4, 2013

‘Pure Harassment’ Says Gov. Espino’s Lead Counsel on Plunder Case

Lawyer Abraham Espejo

LINGAYEN – “We see no strong case against the governor,” thus declared lawyer Abraham Espejo, lead counsel of Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. who is facing a complaint of alleged ill-gotten wealth filed by a town mayor of Pangasinan before the Office of the Ombudsman. “It’s pure harassment based on fabricated evidence,” Espejo, dean of the College of Law of New Era University, said in a media interview at the Capitol Resort here, as he stressed that the governor’s defense panel will use the same statements made by the complainant himself during a Senate investigation over jueteng operations in the province some two years ago. Espejo noted that the complaint is “part of a demolition job against the governor waged by his political foes so they could catch up from trailing miserably in the surveys.” The Senate cleared the governor based on the statements of the complainant who was then witnessing before the legislative body in favor of Espino. “The defense panel is ready should the proceedings in the Ombudsman recommend for a full trial on the allegations of plunder,” Espejo said, adding that the governor’s political detractors will suffer the legal consequences for their misdeeds. Espejo who has been lawyering prominent personalities like Manny Pacquiao and former President Joseph Estrada, said amid the controversy, “the Governor remains a strong ally of President Aquino and that he continues to support the administration of President Noy.” “As he supported President Aquino in his campaign in the 2010 elections, the Governor is still 100 percent behind the president, because he belongs to the ruling coalition, and as a loyal partyman he will not in anyway jeopardize his relationship with the President,” Espejo added. Gov. Espino is a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition. The chief counsel said that not all cases filed before the Ombudsman are meritorious noting that 70 percent of which is pure harassment cases. “What was filed against the governor is pure harassment done by a fiction writer,” he said. While the defense team of Gov. Espino awaits the development of the plunder case filed against him before the Ombudsman, the provincial chief executive stands strong in managing the province’s state-of-affairs, Espejo said. (PIO/Mark Gerry Naval Oblanca)

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