Defeated mayoral bet who fixed minor’s testimony vs P’sinan governor, congressman tagged author of ambush vs newsman

Defeated LP bet tagged 'brains' 
in ambush vs newsman

Defeated mayoral bet who fixed minor’s testimony vs P’sinan governor, congressman tagged author of ambush vs newsman

The assassination attempt committed against the newsman on July 2, 2013 in Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan exposed that politics was behind why the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) made the journalist’s minor son sign an affidavit charging the father, Pangasinan Gov. Amado T. Espino Jr., and Representative Jesus “Boying” Celeste as the brains in three killings in the province, including the murder that killed on December 15, 2012 Infanta, Pangasinan mayor Ruperto Martinez.

Newsman Jaime Aquino, at ICU of Villaflor Hospital
 “Now I have a strong piece of evidence to prove that the reason the DOJ and the NBI made my minor son Jestin sign an affidavit falsely charging me, Governor Espino and Congressman Celeste was the political war for the governorship of Pangasinan between Espino and Hernani Braganza,” stressed Jaime G. Aquino.

Aquino said this to his lawyer, Berteni Cataluña Causing, while the publisher of Northern Star was still recuperating at the ICU of Villaflor Hospital in Dagupan City, perhaps the best hospital in Region 1.

The bullet that hit Aquino in the middle upper part of his back exited at the left part of his chest, barely grazing his heart and damaging completely the root of the lobe of his upper left lung and destroyed some branches of the lower left lobe.

The doctor that operated on Aquino disclosed to Atty. Causing that the hospital had to remove the upper left lobe of the lungs and parts of the lower left lobe if only to save the journalist from death.

Jaime disclosed to his lawyer that  while he was seated at the waiting shed and reading a newspaper, he saw the first two men on a motorcycle and when one of the two pulled a gun and fired a couple of gunshots at him.

Jaime said he was not hit by the first two men because he jumped to the other edge of the bench of the waiting shed as he saw the assassin pulling a gun.

But just after he landed on the soil shoulder of the highway, the second team of riding-in-tandem followed up with three more gunshots.

One of the three shots hit him in the back while he was about to make his next move, throwing him to crawl on the ground to go to his car to get his pistol.

Jaime told his lawyer that as his body was weak, he fell lying on the ground but this time determined to kill one of the four assassins if they had come back to finish him off.

Atty. Toto Causing after getting instructions from the client

“But they did not come back. What I saw were kibitzers who probably prevented the gunmen from coming back.  Some of them identified themselves as barangay officials and tanods and they informed me they already called up a mobile police car that was already rushing to bring me to the nearest hospital,”  Jaime recalled.

Jaime said that when cops asked him to what hospital they would rush him, he requested to be brought to Villaflor Hospital. He said he insisted this hospital because it saved him from death 20 years ago from stab wounds.

He named the attackers as Jerry “Kokoy” Aquino, William Garcia, Ronald Pine and Allan Pine.

He said he knew them as hired guns maintained by the defeated mayoral candidate who took his son Jestin to the NBI to sign an affidavit saying that the boy was with his father in November 2011 when the latter discussed with Espino and Celeste on how to kill Martinez.

Jaime insisted that this is not true because he has never met with the governor and the congressman just to discuss murder plots.

“Granting without admitting that the discussions of murder plots were true, there is no father in the world who would have the heart to bring his minor children to overhear discussions on how to kill people.  Besides, if it were true, for sure the governor and the congressman will never ever allow that a minor will be present to hear the discussions,” Jaime argued.

In the affidavit caused by the NBI and the DOJ to be signed by the minor, it also claimed that the minor was present when his father met with Governor Espino to discuss two murder plot in 2006 to kill Bayambang, Pangasinan councilor Nato Sabangan. 

The same affidavit also claimed that the son was with the father and Engineer Reynaldo Mencias in a May 2012 meeting to discuss how to kill barangay kagawad Jovencita Gazmin of Alcala town in Pangasinan.

Another proof that Jaime’s son was lying was when the minor claimed he graduated valedictorian of Mapandan Elementary School.  But a certification by the school principal showed that another kid was the valedictorian and his son got only an average of 82.05%.

Asked who this mayoral candidate who maintained those persons he identified as hired guns, Jaime said that this was the same man who brought his son to AKAP SA BATA Caritas that, in turn, brought the boy to the NBI for that false affidavit.

Despite being clear that the affidavit was not cross-checked against the truth and clearly appearing on its face as false, the NBI and the DOJ filed the same in January 2013 to accuse that Espino and Celeste authored the murder committed against Martinez and that the boy’s father was there present when the plot was discussed in November 2011 at the Provincial Capitol in Iba, Zambales in the presence of Governor Hermogenes Ebdane.

“Now, I am very sure that the author of the assassination try against me is this mayoral candidate of Liberal Party, Manny Tolentino, who was defeated by then incumbent Vice-Mayor Ryan Paolo Mencias in the last mayoral election of Alcala,” Jaime said.

Ryan Paolo is a son of Engineer Mencias.

Meanwhile, Aquino had directed his lawyer to prepare the murder charges against Tolentino and the four gunmen.

Espino defeated Bragaza in the gubernatorial race with the former getting more than 600,000 votes while the latter getting only more than 200,000 votes.
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