Jing Jing Espinosa sends a not-so-subtle threat

Jing Jing Espinosa sends a not-so-subtle threat

Jing Jing Espinosa, who has served a prison term for killing a hapless deaf-mute back in 1993, is angry that I reported on the filing of frustrated and attempted murder charges against him by the Department of Justice. He sent me this message through a Facebook private message. He thinks he can frighten everybody because he enjoys protection from the top floor of the overpriced Iloilo City Hall.

Plaridel Nava is Jed’s Pet

 

Councilor Plaridel Nava wants to prove his loyalty to his master, Jed Patrick E. Mabilog. That’s the reason he snarls at a lot of people who manifest a dislike for Mabilog. That includes this writer. Nava hates me for being critical of Mabilog. He hates me for exposing the anomalies of his master.

Last week, Nava found himself in the epicenter of a giant political quake when a youth volunteer of Rommel Ynion complained to the police in Lapaz how the arrogant councilor accosted him for coordinating a “libre sakay” activity in Lapuz.

The volunteer, Aljun Rodriguez, said he was riding a Lapuz-bound jeepney to provide “libre sakay” to about a dozen passengers when Nava showed up near Jalandoni Estate and asked him why he was engaging in that activity.

When local radio stations tried to reach him for his comment that night, Nava was nowhere to be found. It was only the following morning that he found the courage to answer questions from the broadcast media.

As expected, Nava denied having accosted Aljun Rodriguez. He was somewhere else, he said. How could that happen when at the time of the alleged encounter, he was more than 5 kilomters away?

But a lie never really takes long to be unmasked. Aksyon Radyo’s John Paul Tia, using skillful interrogatory questions, made a barangay captain who supposedly could vouch for Nava’s presence there confess that there was a lengthy lull in which the councilor’s whereabouts could not be accounted for.

Nava blames this writer for allegedly spinning lies about his involvement in oppressive acts like that. He claims all the negative stories about him were manufactured.

Oh, really?

Did I make up the story of a trampoline activity center manager who was mauled inside the SM City Mall last December 25 by Nava and his bodyguards?

No.

Did I have any participation in a young basketball player’s complaint in Mandurriao that Nava and his bodyguards threatened him after the councilor could not score a point against him?

No.

Did I ask Kerker Hierro and employees in the Hall of Justice to weave a story about Nava pulling a handgun outside a courtroom and threatened to shoot the husband of his alleged ex-paramour?

No.

Did I concoct that report in the local media about a collector of RUSI Marketing who tried to retrieve a motorcycle bought by Nava after the latter failed to settle the past due amortizations?

No.

There are many more incidents in which Nava was pinpointed as the man who either mauled or threatened ordinary people.

By his own admission, Nava said he won’t hesitate to hurt anybody who embarrasses him or makes fun of him. The words came from his own mouth.

Nava boasted that at least, he hasn’t been charged before the Ombudsman for corruption.

I guess that he feels good that he mauls people, but hasn’t been dragged in corruption cases. That makes his boss, Mabilog, a bad guy in his own language. Mabilog is facing more than two dozen Ombudsman cases.

One thing is clear: Nava likes to throw his weight around, especially when his bodyguards, Rex delos Reyes and “Rambo” Demonteverde, are around.

That’s why I’d caution people who met him on the street not to laugh or even smile, because he won’t hesitate to land a punch or a kick over a perceived slight.

Iloilo City Hall ‘corrupt’ – business sector

Iloilo businessmen indict City Hall corruption

Front page of Panay News November 20, 2012

Jing Jing uploads new slide.ly album

Iloilo City’s emerging drug lord Jing Jing Espinosa posted another slide show of photographs together with City Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog, Congressman Jerry Trenas and other city officials. It shows that the parties with these politicians are frequent, and their friendship is above acquaintance level.

Jacob NO Fear’s Slidely from Jacob NO Fear Espinosa on Slide.ly.

Iloilo City politicians BFF of Jing Jing Espinosa

SALAMAT MAYOR MABILOG AND CONGRESSMAN TRENAS from Jacob NO Fear Espinosa on Slide.ly.

Clear and present danger: city mayor and drug lords are bosom friends in Iloilo City

The first time the name of Jesus “Jing Jing” Espinosa came out in the news happened sometime in 1993 when he was accused of murdering a deaf-mute who had done nothing to provoke him.

Jing Jing, as he is popularly known, happened to pass by when the victim, Augusto Elon, was urinating in front of their house. He shot him three times at close range. The victim died instantly.

Jed is a frequent visitor to Jing Jing Espinosa’s residence in Barangay Monica. He is a godfather to one of Jing Jing’s children.

The Regional Trial Court of Iloilo found Jing Jing guilty of murder and sentenced him to 10-17 years in prison. After serving his prison term, Jing Jing returned to the “waterfront” area in Barangay Monica.

Sources in the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said Jing Jing became friends with a known drug lord while he was in jail. They became business associates upon getting out of jail, the sources said.

“Jing Jing is now a big-time drug lord in Iloilo City,” said a relative in Barangay Monica. His house there is almost like a tower overlooking the waterfront area. It is five stories tall.

In June 2010, Jing Jing’s name again hit the news when a relative, Pascual “Toto E” Espinosa and his brother, Leo, were ambushed on Zamora St., City Proper. “Toto”, a former executive assistant at City Hall during the Malabor administration, suffered wounds but survived. Jing Jing was accused as the perpetrator.

When the case was filed before the City Prosecutor’s Office, Jing Jing asked that the entire prosecutor’s office be inhibited from handling the investigation. The case is still pending before the Department of Justice.

That was the second time “Toto E” was ambushed, allegedly by Jing Jing. In an earlier incident, “Toto E” suffered scratches after his relative allegedly fired at him near a church in the waterfront area.

According to sources, Jing Jing was also convicted of the crime of frustrated murder. The conviction is pending appeal before the Court of Appeals.

Jing Jing is described as a very violent individual. His rise as a drug lord has enabled him to control the entire waterfront area and keeps the police force assigned to the area under his beck and call, according to another relative interviewed for this article.

Because of this, the police is virtually helpless in stopping crimes taking place in the area. One resident said there is hardly a night when there are no gunfire bursts to shatter the quiet evening; the police could do nothing about it, she said.

Jing Jing Espinosa has his own private army in Barangay Monica, armed with heavy firepower. When Mabilog and Trenas visit him, even barangay tanods are issued machine pistols to beef up security.

“Jing Jing is untouchable in the waterfront, and this is largely because of his close friendship with Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog,” an informant in the area said.

Mabilog, the informant said, is a frequent visitor to Jing Jing’s house. This information is validated by the numerous photographs that surfaced over social media networks these last few days showing Mabilog and Jing Jing together.

“Mabilog is the godfather of one of Jing Jing’s children,” said another source. “Mag-kumpare sila,” he added.

When Mabilog was asked about his association with Jing Jing, he told local media there was nothing wrong with it. He even dismissed the issue as “non-sense”.

But the spread of the photographs showing Mabilog and Jing Jing on intimate terms shows many Ilonggos are bothered by this friendship.

Former Iloilo City congressman Raul Gonzalez Jr. sent a text message that in Davao City, drug pushers flee upon seeing the approach of former City Mayor, and now Vice Mayor, Rodrigo Duterte.

“In Iloilo City, our city mayor and congressman (Jerry P. Trenas) even wine and dine with drug lords,” Gonzalez said.

One of the photographs that circulated on the Internet also shows Trenas, along with Vice Mayor Joe Espinosa III and Liga ng mga Barangay federation president Bobby Divinagracia, enjoying a meal with Jing Jing.

There are worries that the intimacy between Mabilog and Jing Jing is the reason the illegal drugs problem has flourished in Iloilo City.

“Mabilog has kept a tight rein on law enforcement authorities and prevented them from pursuing drug pushers in the city,” one police officer, who asked not to be identified, said.

Dirty tricks from City Hall?

Is there a deliberate effort to sabotage the signal quality of the “Kapehan sa Bali”?
This question turned serious yesterday when a regular viewer turned up at the Bali Hotel yesterday to show video footage he took with his smart phone on the poor TV reception of the show earlier.

Kapehan sa Bali focuses on the launching of the maiden international flights to and from the New Iloilo Airport with the Bureau of Immigration officers headed by Noel Bangeles, Nov. 7. (Photo by Chona Guntao/The News Today)

I have been getting text messages from viewers since three weeks ago about the bad reception, and I was assured by SkyCable that those cases might be isolated to certain areas.
I made a quick survey in several areas and found out that indeed, the signal quality of my program was bad. The quality returned to normal after my program. I complained to the technical staff of SkyCable. I will file a formal complaint today.
Who else would be in a position to do this? The answer, I think, is obvious.

The deafening silence of Drilon

Rick B. Ramos, executive director of InfraWatch, found it puzzling that Senator Franklin M. Drilon did not show interest in the privilege speech of Senator Serge Osmena on the alleged P111-billion anomaly of the mega-bridges projects, two of which projects are situated in Iloilo City. Four other Senators stood to interpellate Osmena after his speech and express support for the Senate Probe.

As everybody knows, Drilon is one of the “big guns” of the Aquino administration against corruption. Or so he would like people to believe. Drilon has been vocal about alleged anomalies in various government agencies. In the past, he exposed rice smuggling in Iloilo City. Hence, people expected him to pick up the cudgels for the people of Iloilo City. The anomalies took place in his own backyard.

Drilon, however, left the chamber before Osmena could finish his speech and never came back, according to Ramos. Since then, he has hardly uttered a word about the expose.

Why did Drilon not join the fray against the mega-bridges? Why didn’t he condemn the glaring overprice? Well, as it turns out, Drilon is a close friend of Rep. Ted Haresco, the man who profited vastly from the anomalous projects. Drilon cut the ceremonial ribbon when the second fly-over was inaugurated in August 2010.

But this isn’t the first anomaly that Drilon has refused to discuss. The most glaring, of course, is the Hall of Justice in Iloilo City. This 21 year-old edifice was built in 1991 when Drilon was Secretary of Justice. According to insiders, the project was undertaken by a very close friend of Drilon, using the contractor’s license of Kanlaon Builders.

This Drilon bosom buddy used substandard materials in putting up the building. The architect for the project complained about the irregularities and brought this to the attention of Drilon’s office. He was ignored. In frustration, the architect resigned from the project and issued a waiver to dissociate himself from any defects arising from the substandard construction.

Last February 6, 2012, a magnitude 6.7 earthquake with epicenter in Negros Oriental shook Iloilo City. The force of the earthquake in Iloilo City was estimated at 5.4 magnitude. While it was strong enough to cause evacuation in many buildings, it did not cause significant damage. Except for one building: the Hall of Justice.

Judges, lawyers and court employees found big cracks in the structure right after the earthquake and evacuated the building. When engineers of the DPWH inspected the building, they validated the worst fears of the judicial officials. The building had become unsafe. The complaints about substandard construction made by the architect of the building 21 years ago were proven right.

But Drilon refused to acknowledge the issue about the substandard construction. He promised to look for funds to “retrofit” the building and make it safe for occupancy once more. Judges and lawyers, however, refuse to accept this approach of just “retrofitting”. They want the building demolished and a new one put up. An expert structural engineer, Nilo Jardeleza, agreed. The Hall of Justice has to be condemned.

Against this backdrop, it is not surprising that Drilon should be keeping quiet about the list of mega-anomalies that have taken place in Iloilo City. He can’t claim to be immaculately clean, and officials involved in the later anomalies might just throw the Hall of Justice issue back at him. It was also Drilon who funded the P62 million purchase of the San Isidro property in Jaro that was used as relocation site. The original cost of the property was P2.6 million!

Drilon is now in the thick of undertaking several huge infrastructure projects in Iloilo City costing more than a billion pesos. It is possible, observers say, that he is cavorting with local officials who are mired in corruption issues to protect his interests in these projects. He can’t dwell on the corruption involved in the mega-bridges so as not to call attention to himself with the flurry of construction activities being undertaken under his patronage.

An ‘obscene’ City Hall building

Rick B. Ramos of the Citizens Infrastructure Integrity Watchdog (InfraWatch) has described the New Iloilo City Hall, which was built at a total cost of P810 million, as “obscene” and an insult to the people of Iloilo City. He was guest yesterday in the Kapehan sa Bali.