LINGAYEN CITY, Philippines – Newly proclaimed for his third and final term, Pangasinan Gov Amado Espino Jr said he is “very open to reconciliation” with defeated Liberal Party candidate Hernani Braganza, vowing to develop his rival’s territory Alaminos City.
“Kalimutan na sana natin ang pagtutungali nitong nakaraan eleksiyon. Magtulungan sabi nila. Mahal natin ang ating bayan. Bayan muna bago bulsa. Gawin natin ‘yun. Ginagawa naman natin ‘yun noon pa,” Espino said in a press conference after his proclamation Wednesday morning, May 15. (Let’s end this political fight. We should help each other. We should put the nation first before our pockets.)
The rivalry between the Liberal Party (LP) and Espino’s Nationalist People’s Coalition was intense in Pangasinan. But it was a landslide victory for Espino, whose political party is well entrenched in the province. He defeated Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza.
READ: Espino, Braganza and a divided clan
Espino also made 5 requests to the government. Among them are his personal appeals to the Department of the Interior and Local Government headed by Mar Roxas.
Espino wants the recall of assigned units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police “especially those in battle gear, those with Armored Personnel Carrier, and assault weapons.” It is scaring investors away, he said.
Espino wants provincial director Marlou Chan relieved from his assignment. The governor’s camp accused Chan of harrassing allies in the NPC.
Espino asked the Department of Justice and the National Bureau of Investigation to review the cases filed against him.
Espino appealed to the DILG to allow him to leave the country so he said he can look for a hospital abroad for his ailing mother.
“Yun lang ang maliit kong kahilingan bilang nanalong gubernador,” Espino said.
The NPC in Pangasinan accused Roxas, who is LP president-on-leave, of using government machinery to favor Braganza’s campaign.
The province was declared an election hotspot. Units of the AFP and PNP were sent to the province.
Espino reiterated his support for President Benigno Aquino III even if the President campaigned for his rival. – Rappler.com
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