Lingayen- – -No less than the family of the slain Infanta Mayor Ruperto Martinez expressed disbelief over the recent complaint filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) with the Department of Justice (DOJ) linking Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. and First District Congressman Jesus “Boying” Celeste as alleged masterminds.
In a press conference held in Alaminos City, Jennifer Martinez, daughter of the slain mayor (who was accompanied by the members of the Martinez family), said that the entire family is dismayed by the recent turn of events.
“Hindi kami naniniwala sa sinasabi ng witness,” she said as she further added that the overwhelming support given by Gov. Espino and Celestes (whom they consider as close friends of their father) in bringing justice to their slain kin is more than enough. “Mula pa noong nabubuhay ang father namin buo na ang suporta nila sa kanya mas lalo na noong siya ay napaslang para lamang mabigyan hustisya ang kanyang pagkamatay,” the mayor’s daughter lamented.
The Martinezes recounted that the PNP Provincial Director in Lingayen sought their presence only to be advised to proceed to the NBI office in Manila to check on the recent progress of their father’s case.
It was in the NBI office that they have read the content of the complaint affidavit filed by a 16-year old witness who claimed personal knowledge of the killing.
In said affidavit, the witness said that he heard the governor and the congressman (in a beach resort in Bolinao town) planning for the killing of the mayor allegedly to prevent implication about the “black stone.”
In a report published over Philippine Daily Inquirer today (Feb. 13), the witness who is a minor had sought the help of social welfare authorities reportedly to escape an abusive father. In the process of retelling his alleged experiences of abuse, the Martinez murder plot was revealed.
Congressman Celeste, on the other hand, denied the accusations as he said that he has not personally met Gov. Ebdane at all.
“Puro fabricated ang sinasabi nila, hindi ko personal na kakilala si Gov. Ebdane at malinaw na paninira lamang ito ng mga taong desperado na,” Celeste pointed out as he added that the recent squabble is a result of dirty politics orchestrated by their rival in the coming May elections.
Celeste said that it is saddening to know that a minor is being used to advance the political agenda of some desperate candidates who from the start are aware of their defeat.
Meanwhile, Jaime Aquino (the father of the witness) claimed that his son has previous cases of delinquency to include theft and extortion (particularly to politicians as he recently joined the company of two fly-by-night local media men).
Aquino said that he is contemplating on filing habeas corpus to get back the custody of his 16-year-old son (who is now reportedly under the refuge of Akap sa Bata Philippines).
“Naging gawain na po niya ang masangkot sa mga ganitong bagay. Bilang ama, hindi naman po ako nagkukulang ng sustento sa aking mga anak. Gusto kong bumalik ang custody sa akin dahil siya po ay menor-de-edad,” Aquino disclosed.
Former First District Congressman Arthur Celeste (who is now running for mayoral race in Alaminos City) openly expressed dismay over the tactics allegedly thrown by their rivals as he further stated that the image of Pangasinan as a province is being marred based on the projected political situation.
On the other hand, Celeste called on Pangasinenses to unite.
Lawyers Art Amon and Joseph Segundino, legal counsels of Cong. Celeste, both affirmed that once they have received a copy of the subpoena they will automatically study all options leading to the filing of counter charges to rebut the filed complaint.