Pangasinan gov thanks Duterte for clearing dad from 'drug matrix'

John Germono, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 28 2016 12:27 PM

Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino III and President Rodrigo Duterte. File/Composite

MANILA - Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino III on Wednesday thanked President Duterte for clearing his father, Pangasinan Rep. Amado Espino Jr., of alleged involvement in the New Bilibid Prison's (NBP) multi-million peso narcotics ring.

"Natutuwa po kami. Bilang isang public servant, very humbled po kaming pamilya na sabihin pa po ng ating Presidente sa national TV na being sorry, na hindi po na-validate 'yung mga binanggit niya po [We are rejoicing. As public servants, our family was very humbled that the President admitted on national TV that he is sorry, that his claims were not validated]," the governor said.

"It is not for me only but para po sa aming [for our] patriarch, iyung nagbibitbit po ng apelyido namin [the one carrying our family name], Congressman Amado Espino Jr., napakasarap naman pong pakinggan 'yun [that is a very nice thing to hear]."

The younger Espino also commended the President's humility in admitting that the lawmaker, Pangasinan provincial administrator Rafael Baraan, and Urbiztondo board member Raul Sison should not have been included in the NBP "drug matrix" he released last August. 

Struggling to keep his emotion in check, the younger Espino added: "I am very sorry for being emotional. Sabi ko nga po kanina [as I said earlier] it's been a roller coaster ride in this night, isa sa pinakamalungkot pero at the same time pinakamasaya po na gabi ng aming pamilya [one of the loneliest but at the same time, happiest nights for our family]."

Duterte admitted Tuesday that the Espino patriarch, dismissed Pangasinan provincial administrator Rafael Baraan, and Urbiztondo board member Raul Sison should not have been included in the "NBP drug matrix" he released last August.

Despite the supposed errors, the President did not retract the inclusion of his fierce enemy, Senator Leila de Lima and former Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan in the matrix.

Echoing Duterte's claim, witnesses at an ongoing congressional inquiry have also accused De Lima of accepting campaign funds from high-profile inmates running the NBP's narcotics trade.