By MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
The axing of the two Chiefs of Police (COP) in Pangasinan from their post would be a wake up call to many COPs in the humongous province.
They have to put a stop to those hotshots who run a “bukis” or number game that piggy backs on the winning numbers of Meridian Jai Alai (MJA) that is being played like jueteng otherwise Gambling King Atong Ang reports them allegedly to the Philippine National Police’s hierarchy for the latter to sack them.
Why Atong seems to be influential with the police "apparatchiks" that when he reports some COPs heads have been seen rolling? Son of a gun, that’s a multi-million pesos question!
That deprivation happened last year when “bookish” or "bukis" rear their “ugly heads” in the Eastern Parts of the province.
Some COPs have been cut off with the manna there for months.
MJA, that is still stuck with injunction at the Court of Appeals, has the semblance of legality while “bukis” has the smirks of illegality before the eyes of Atong Et al.
“The problem now dito sa Pangasinan karamihan sa mga bayan and siyudad ay may bukis kasi gusto ng mga mayors kumita ng malaki kasi malapit na ang election,” my source at the PNP told me.
He said when he was the COP of a city, bukis was being operated by the protégée of a mayor.
“Binibigyan lang ako ng P7000 kada linggo o P28,000 kada buwan. E pag may nag report na influential sa itaas di natangal pa ako”.
He said he have a serious talked with the local operators of the illegal game and told them to stop it.
“Mabuti naman huminto sila”.
He cited that if he was the COP of the two towns he would raid the place where the illegal number game was raffled and the bets were remitted even he would get the ire of those who run the gambling there.
If what the grapevine says was true that outgoing Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. runs as Vice Governor of his gubernatorial aspirant son and namesake Amado T. Espino III then that actuation was laudable before the eyes of political tacticians.
The governor running for a seat in congress against a weak congressional rival Congresswoman Rosemarie “Baby” Arenas (3rd District, Pangasinan) would weaken the election bid of his son even he wins the congressional post, according to some political pundits.
The voters still know the “master” and without him as a second fiddle for his namesake, it is just throwing Nonito Donaire to fend for himself in the dais to fight either Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Maywether in Mark Cojuangco.
“Lagyan mo ng isang Donaire at isang Sugar Ray Leonard para labanan si Pacqauio Mark Cojuangco o Mayweather Mark Cojuangco,” my gofer Policarpio Dimaculangan told me during his drunken stupor.
So where’s Vice Governor Ferdie Calimlim on this reconfiguration? According to my source, my good friend Ferdie, an alumnus of the Master’s in Business Administration in Strayer University in Washington DC, has been encouraged to run as one of the nominees of the most powerful party-list group in the province.
Even though he did not join the Espinos in jumping ship from the Nationalist People’s Coalition of the Cojuancos, Ferdie has no chance of running for reelection for Vice Governor under the monolith party.
Mag Cong na lang kayo Vice Guv, mas prestigious pa iyang post kesa sa Vice Guv, di ba Vice Governor’s Office Chief of Staff Darwina Sampang?
Because in the last press conference called by Cojuangco he was vigorous that the ticket of Cojuangco and Calasiao Mayor Mark Macanlalay for Governor and Vice Governor, respectively, are tight proof na kahit na ang tigas ng Northern Cement ay hindi kayang tibagin ang tandem ng dalawa.
“Hindi ko alam kung tatakbo siya ng Vice Governor. Hindi siya bibigyan ng Certificate (of Candidacy) ng partido for Vice Governor. Baka sa mayor (candidacy of Calimlim) we have no problem diyan,” Cojuangco told the media.
Gubernatorial aspirant Mark Cojuangco was game, in a press conference he called recently in a hotel in Dagupan City, to some media men who jostled and shoved with each other in a jam packed room just to throw their questions – valid and invalid.
He emphatically explained to them their insistence why not the Department of Public Works & Highway just cement those road widening the projects that have been started despite the presence of huge trees menacingly waiting for accident to happen against the unwary motorists.
“Bakit tumatagal ba ang kalsada sa Pilipinas? Mali nga, e! Dapat baguhin natin ng maka bagong sistema. Mali nga, e!,” he told a radio reporter whom he lectured because of his insistence that DPWH goes with its concretization.
He explained that solid highways in the Philippines did not last because growing roots of existing trees wreck the sturdiness of the cement.
District Engineer Yolly Tangco of the 2nd Engineering District based in Lingayen, Pangasinan told me a while ago that a kilometer of concrete national highway costs the government P20 million if it would have slope protection while the ordinary one costs not less than P16 million in a 1.28 meters thick.
Cojuangco said there is no coalition between NPC and the Liberal Party in Congress.
“In Congress only, in support of President (Benigno) Aquino (his cousin). Not in support of LP, magkaiba po iyon, ha? Para sa NPC ang suporta po namin ay hindi sa LP kung hindi with President Aquino dahil gusto po naming magtagumpay ang kanyang administration. Kaya tumutulong kami na mailusot sa kamara ang agenda niya sa legislature”.
He however was ambivalent if there could be a coalition of the LP and NPC, whom his illustrated father Danding Cojuangco founded, in Pangasinan come the 2016 local derby.
“Lahat posibli sa politika, hindi natin masagot. Para sa akin its unlikely. I don’t have a crystal ball. Ang importante sa akin mapahayag ko sa tao ang aking intention, ang aking plano at vision, ang aking gusto kong gawin sa probinsiya. Everything else ay peripheral”.
(NOTE: To the tricycle and jeepney drivers who attempt to read this column (every other week kasi ang Pilipino version nito) again, pumunta na kayo sa dictionary at tingnan niyo kung ano ang “Peripheral”, lagi na lang ako ang nagbibigay sa inyo dito ng meaning ng words that seldom use by the hoi polloi. Isali niyo na rin kung saan nabibili ang hoi-polloi!)
“Would Mark convince former Governor and Congressman Victor Agbayani to run against incumbent Congressman Pol Bataoil in the 2nd District of the province?” asked by a news hen to the former solon about the fate of Bataoil who is still with the NPC but did not publicly declare his support to the provincial chair of the party unlike the other five members of the House of Representatives in Princess Urduja's Province.
“Abangan (just wait),” he emphatically told us.
He said come Christmas this year, the NPC would be fielding a bet for the district.
(NOTE: You can read the retort of Congressman Bataoil on " Cojuangco to Field Bet for Congress in the 2nd District" somewhere in this paper.)
(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too firstname.lastname@example.org).