ARAYAT – Incumbent Mayor Emmanuel “Bon” Alejandrino of this town on Thursday belied the allegations of his political rival, former mayor Luisito “Chito” Espino on the supposed involvement of the local government unit in his recent arrest.

Operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), together with members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) and local police raided the house of Espino while serving search warrant operation 23-2017 issued on February 7, 2017 by Judge Ana Marie Joson-Viterbo of RTC Branch 24 (Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija) against the former mayor for alleged illegal possession of firearms and narcotics.

Espino, Cacutud village chairman Rosendo Dizon, along with Romy Mallari, Cesar Peralta and Rosauro Dillera, were nabbed by CIDG and local police for allegedly operating a private armed group identified as Espino Criminal Gang allegedly led by the former mayor.

The former mayor, however, claimed that he is not a leader nor a member of any syndicate, particularly a gun-for-hire group, and does not or never sold or used illegal drugs.

He claimed that the charges against him are “purely politically motivated orchestrated to mar his reputation and discredit him to his fellow Arayateños.”

Dismissing Espino’s case, Alejandrino said that the only role of the local government unit was to provide information requested from them by the law enforcement bodies.

He explained that residents around Espino’s house are the ones reporting the incidents based from the activities they witness in the area.

“May mga reports kami na natatanggap na lahat ng mga may iligal na gawain, pag may namamatay tsaka nahoholdap, diyan tumatakbo sa banda nila. So nag-validate ang CIDG, with the help of our constituents there, na dun nga sila lumalabas at pumapasok,” he said.

Alejandrino asserted that there is clearly no politics behind Espino’s arrest but is the fruit of the illegal activities he allegedly committed.

He said that it was not he or the local government who conducted the raid but law enforcement agencies.

“Anong motibo ko? Tinalo ko siya by almost 15,000. Ang mga kababayan namin gusto na ng pagbabago, matalino na ang mga tao. Siya ang gumawa niyan kaya dapat harapin niya,” he stressed.