Aquino orders DILG to build strong case vs Pangasinan gov, ensure safety of witnesses

December 14, 2012 11:03 pm 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, Dec. 14 — President Benigno Aquino III on Friday directed Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II to build a strong case and ensure the safety of witnesses who will testify against the illegal numbers game and the alleged involvement of Pangasinan governor Amado Espino.

"The resolve of government to eradicate illegal gambling operations is unwavering. The President has directed Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Mar Roxas to build a strong case and ensure the safety of the witnesses who will testify against 'jueteng' operations and the alleged involvement of Governor (Amado) Espino in the Province of Pangasinan," said Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda in a statement.

Lacierda said the DILG Chief has already ordered the reshuffling of police personnel in Pangasinan "to determine culpability, if any, and to guarantee that there will be no whitewash in the investigation."

Governor Espino has been charged with plunder before the Office of the Ombudsman Friday over his alleged involvement in the illegal numbers game "jueteng."

The charges were filed by Bugallon Mayor Rodrigo Orduna, who claimed the Pangasinan governor was on the take from jueteng operators.

"We are determined to pursue this case to its logical end under the rule of law and should serve as a warning to syndicates and coddlers of illegal gambling operations to stop or be stopped," Lacierda stressed. (PNA)

FPV/LGI

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