Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Governor Assails "Moralist" Board Member

A chief of police of a town in Pangasinan is sad despite the daily dole-out of P500 a day from the operator of a gambling game Jai-Alai to his station.
During the proliferation of illegal number game Jueteng, this game's operator does not only give meal money to policemen but gives a bigger amount to the chief, and a much bigger sum to the mayor for his personal expenses.
My other source said some police chiefs received more or less P100 thousand a month, each members of the Provincial Board receives P45 thousand  to P60 thousand a month. Many mayors averagely received P300 thousand a month. This not to mention some town and city mayors who received P1.2 million average a month.
Jai-Alai operation in Pangasinan continues because of the April 7,2011 court -granted Writ of Preliminary Injunction  its stake-holder files at the Court of Appeals.
The civil case numbered 115121 is Meridien Vista Gaming Corporation versus Games & Amusement Board.
It’s about the petition of the legality of the operation of Jai-Alai in the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority
The Injunction otherwise known as TRO or Temporary Restraining Order gives petitioner Meridien legal blanket to run the controversial and acrimonious game of chance until it is lifted by the court or  the main petition is resolved by it on the respondent’s favor.
“The judgment on the issue whether the operation of Jai-Alai outside CEZA (like in Pangasinan, emphasis mine-author) is legal or not is beyond the authority of this office because it was already raised in court,” said by the memorandum from Provincial Director Colonel Rosueto Ricaporte.
But Secretary Bebot Villar of the Dangerous Drugs Board incessantly attacks Jai-Alai and its protector Atong  Ang in his column and radio program. Villar opined that its agents (kabo in the vernacular) used it as a front for jueteng.
Villar used to be a mayor in Sto. Tomas, Pangasinan, and the head of the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group under the Arroyo Administration.
An angry and hurt Pangasinan governor Amado T. Espino called an immediate press conference last week.
He said that from Bulacan up to the Ilocos provinces jueteng operations have been proliferating with a vengeance except in the humongous province of Pangasinan.
“Tayo ang pinaka-malinis sa buong region (We are Jueteng –free in the Region)”.
The reason why he called the conference?
 He felt alluded to the article of my friend Eva Visperas of the Philippine Star that quoted seasoned Board Member Alfonso Bince that influential people in Pangasinan did not lift a hand to stop the unabated issuance of mayors of permit to operators of Jai-Alai to run their business in the province.
He said Bince’s plan to call and quiz Col. Rosueto Ricaporte, Provincial Police Director, is out-of-sync.
He said the police could not do anything to the issuance thing because the mayors are the one given power by law to issue the permit.  They are, too, the boss of the police in their towns.
He said a governor does not give business permit but the mayors.
Espino continued that the news article and the statement of BM Bince were malicious and pregnant of innuendos.
“Bince has no monopoly of morality, “he emphatically emphasized.
“He (Bince) knows who the operator of jueteng in his district,” the tough-talking governor tersely remarked.
Media men who were there could only speculate.
Has Bince burned his bridge with the under siege governor?
Has Bince, a last term solon, has a moist eyes for the vice governorship?
 Or he is into something that could better his stocks?
Recently, Mayor  Gregorio “Bobom” Perez of the burgeoning Urdaneta City unveiled a huge black marbled statute of a seemingly angry carabao located at the intersection of the city’s busy swanky highway that accommodates travelers to the North, South, East, and West of major cities in Luzon.
The water buffalo with a backdrop of comforting electronically operated springs of water at the foreground of a wall made of black marble, too, show the bullishness of the city.
Commerce in Urdaneta has leapfrogged since the time of Bobom’ mayor- father Amadito – now the Philippine’s ambassador or chief to Taiwan called the Manila Economic Cultural Office.
But what worries me every time I passed in that intersection is the possibility of the carabao jumping from its more that ten feet perch and run berserk and “horning” scampering and screaming travelers and commuters.
It’s my prayer that Mayor Bobom and the officials of Urdaneta leash (tali-an) that menacing animal before it could hurt unwary human beings.
The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000) is a stupid law co-chaired and authored by former party-list congressman Neric Acosta and Senator Pia Cayetano.
Imagine, it requires each town or city to build a hundred of million of pesos worth of land-fill.
City of Alaminos for instance could not afford it if she based it on her P50 million local revenues yearly that she uses for her current operating expenditures and capital outlays.
Local governments do not have practical capacity to this palpably impossible project whose penal provision has been implemented in February 16, 2006.
A penal or fine worth half-a-million-pesos the government did not implement against local government units all over the country because it found the impracticality of its folly.
But this did not discourage the Perezes in Urdaneta.
Mayor Bobom told me a day before President Noynoy Aquino inaugurates it how he and his father chalked up a loan P220 million from Land Bank of the Philippines just to make this happens.
Now it does not only benefit his progressive city but could cater to the nearby towns and cities like Dagupan and Baguio that are beset by their own garbage dilemmas.

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