Pangasinan gov on 'gift': I got none
by Danny O. Sagun
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan (30 October) -- "Sayang nga hindi e." Thus replied Gov. Amado T. Espino when asked Friday if he also received a gift from Malacaņang as revealed earlier by at least two governors.
Espino told a press conference that he left the Palace earlier than his fellow governors so that he did not know that money was handed to his colleagues after a meeting there some two Fridays ago.
He said that he already left the place even before the start of the meeting of the League of Provinces of the Philippines. President Arroyo inducted the officers of the governors' league on that day.
Pampanga Gov. Ed Panlilio, about two days later, bared thru the media that he received P500,000 cash after the meeting. The money, placed in a bag, was handed to his staff by Bulacan Gov. Joselito Mendoza, who also admitted that he indeed had received two bags from a woman, with one bag intended for Panlilio.
Malacaņang distanced itself from the controversy stressing that it was the affairs of the governors' league.
Two officers of the league admitted several days later that the money came from the league's funds as assistance to the new governors. Both Panlilio and Mendoza are first-termers.
Espino himself is a first-term governor but denies he got any such assistance from their league. (PIA-Pangasinan) [top]