Rep. Espino starts serving 3-month graft suspension
Former Pangasinan governor and now 5th District Rep. Amado Espino has voluntarily agreed to serve his three-month suspension for graft over alleged black sand mining in the province.
In his manifestation before the Sandiganbayan Sixth Division, the politiko said he is voluntarily submitting himself for preventive suspension for a period of 90 days from December 15, 2016 to March 15, 2017, without prejudice to the motion for reconsideration he filed on the court’ s order to preventively suspend him.
He said his voluntary suspension is not an indication of guilt.
“As such, Accused voluntarily submits to the preventive suspension imposed by the Sandiganbayan for a period of 90 days to commence on December 15, 2016 until March 15, 2017,” Espino said.
“Such voluntary submission, however, is in no way, an admission of guilt or culpability,” the Pangasinan solon added.
“It is worth mentioning that Accused accepts the preventive suspension with a heavy heart as it effectively deprives his constituents of (their) voice in Congress,” he said.
The politiko was suspended for a graft charge for allegedly allowing firms to operate illegal black sand mining in the province.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor sought Espino’s preventive suspension, citing Section 13 of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act which states that incumbent public officials being prosecuted under a valid information involving fraud of public funds should be suspended from office.
According to the graft sheet, Espino when serving as Pangasinan governor in 2011 issued two permits to Xypher Builders Inc. and Alexandra Mining and Oil Ventures Inc. for the companies to conduct soil remediation and magnetite and mineral extraction in Barangay Sabangan, Lingayen.
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