Pangasinan lawmaker to serve 90-day suspension

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 15 2016 01:10 PM

While asserting his innocence, Pangasinan Rep. Amado Espino said he will be serving the 90-day suspension ordered by the Sandiganbayan in connection with the graft cases filed against him.

The Sandiganbayan 6th Division had ordered Espino's suspension for allegedly allowing black sand mining operations in Lingayen Gulf, and for permitting the export of P10.750 million worth of minerals to China when he was the provincial governor in 2011.

He still has a pending motion for reconsideration on the suspension order.

But in a manifestation, Espino said he will still serve the 90-day suspension from December 15, 2016 to March 15, 2017.

He quickly noted, however, that his submission to the suspension order is not an indication of guilt or culpability.

Instead, he said it was "to show his willingness to cooperate with (Sandiganbayan) and abide by the rule of law."

"Furthermore, is worth mentioning that (Espino) accepts this preventive suspension with a heavy heart as it effectively deprives constituents of its voice in Congress," his manifestation read.

Under Philippine laws, an accused incumbent public officer with pending criminal cases involving fraud upon public funds or property are to be suspended while pending litigation.