|Vice Gubernatorial bet Art Lomibao (2nd from Right)|
The scandal-ridden Register of Deeds in Lingayen, Pangasinan has a new head again after lawyer Jose Roy B. Raval, its former head, who just barely warmed his seat, was transferred to another post. According to my source, it was the result of a national reshuffle ordered by the leadership of the Land Registration Authority. With 26 towns and a city to boot, Register of Deeds-Lingayen is the biggest land registration office in Region-1 if not in the country. It is perceived to teem with fixers selling fake Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR) before a land can be transferred or sold. One of its personnel Carla Cacapit was entrapped in the past by the joint operation of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Criminal Investigation & Detection Group. Officials at the BIR suspected that the makers of spurious CARs and fixers there were in cahoots with the bosses of the beleaguered land office. BIR Commissioner Kim Henares has charged at the Ombudsman former Assistant Head Melvin Castro of RD-Lingayen .
As you know Quirino Ramos, chief of Revenue District Office-5 of the BIR based in Alaminos City, said the 12 heirs of Gavino Vinluan of Labrador, Pangasinan, allegedly in cahoots with Castro violated Section 258 (E) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended, for allowing the transfer of ownership of the subject parcels of land without a CAR from the BIR that certified that such transfer has been reported and that the Capital Gain Tax has been paid. An official of RDO-5 explained that Castro’s involvement started when he wrote at the Day Book of the RD -Lingayen a statement that was used by the provincial assessor office under Nestor Quimbao to issue new tax declarations in the name of the buyer. The alleged illegal acts of Castro and the heirs have deprived the government of P9.26 million taxes. I hope the new head, a lawyer from Benguet, can exorcise the evils that demonize the Lingayen office.
What happened to Board Member Ranjit Shahani? The latest I heard about him, according to a BM whom I met at the provincial board last Monday, was he planned to call a press conference to denounce the Braganza-Lomibao ticket. He told me Ranjit was smarting to the provincial leaders of the LP because he was given a run-around for his failed ambition to be the second most powerful man in the province. “Kasi siya daw naghirap para ma-organized ang LP sa Pangasinan.” The BM said Shahani, the live wire nephew of former president Fidel V. Ramos, called some of his colleagues at the provincial board that he wants to shift loyalty again to the governor But “liber-liber” political anal list, er, analyst Harold Barcelona was skeptical if Espino would accept Ranjit after he allegedly derisively called him months ago as the “most corrupt governor of Pangasinan.”
Have the engineers of the Department of Public Works & Highway committed a blunder when they designed the P100 million Marusay Bridge in Calasiao, Pangasinan? According to Domingo B. Ayudante, Jr. an enraged resident of the town, there was no proper consultation by the DPWH with the residents of the town particularly those who live and transact business at the peripheries of the bridge. In his letter to DPWH Secretary Rogelio L. Singson and Director Veniedo O. Reyes, chief of the DPWH Region 1, Ayudante deplores: “We therefore appeal to you to reconsider the design of the bridge’s construction particularly on its singular approach whereby all motorists will have to converge on the main platform upon approaching and crossing the bridge. We therefore request that the original and existing local road network be maintained and used by the residents to allow them convenience in going to the market and also to later de-clog the convergent traffic on the main approach platform.” Ayudante also lamented that the residents living nearby the construction site protested the building of riprap that covers their houses and defaced the neighborhood. He said Singson and Reyes perhaps ignored and have trampled on the constitutional rights of abode of these residents. When I referred this problem to Calasiao Mayor Mark Macanlalay, he told me he already sent a letter to the hierarchy of the public works in Manila to solve this fiasco.
Vice Governorship bet Art Lomibao can spend, according to media man Atong Remogat, who have access to his “core group,” up to P200 million to crush Vice Governor Ferdinand Calimlim in the next year’s poll. Lomibao, who used to be the chief of the “prime posts” Philippine National Police, National Electrification Administration, and Land Transportation Office, can buttress the gubernatorial run of Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza against incumbent Governor Amado T. Espino. But a veteran politician, a three term mayor, doubts that Art can beat Calimlim. “How can he beat Calimlim when he is a “maawet” (Pangasinan’s word “kuripot” or tightwad in English)?” the politician said. The politician said some dismayed leaders of Art, when he was positioning to challenge Gina de Venecia for the congressional post in the 2010 poll came to him and told him that not all people who flocked to his Hollywood villa-like mansion in Mangaldan town were treated for a free lunch. “Pinipili lang nila ang pueding kumain doon (People of Lomibao select only who from the hoi polloi can eat lunch them),” he said. The politician said the actuation’s of the former general was a no-no in ingratiating with the votes of the people.
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