Sunday, July 31, 2011

Why cities in Pangasinan should envy Urdaneta City

Urdaneta City Mayor Amadeo “Bobom” Gregorio E. Perez IV (extreme Right) in a huddle with Pangasinan Governor Amado T. Espino

URDANETA CITY – Cities of Dagupan, San Carlos, and Alaminos cry your hearts out, this city’s secret as the number 1 in terms of annual budget, as against all cities in Region 1, is she owned a university that churned outs tens of millions of pesos every year to her coffer.
Mayor Gregorio “Bobom” Perez said that this city’s Urdaneta City University (UCU) has varied income every year that runs to millions of pesos but it averagely convey to this city P25 million a year.
“That is why we have many projects like the gymnasium, library, and all the structures there. The funds all come from the UCU,” he proudly declared.
Perez said that despite the decline of its population because of the sluggish global demand for nurses, UCU still accommodates thousands of students who usually come from the marginalized sector of the society.
City Councilor Jennilyn Sison said that all the income of the tertiary institution goes to the General Appropriation Act  of this Eastern Pangasinan’s entrepot city.
Meanwhile, in a press conference attended by Mayors Benjie S. Lim and Hernani Braganza of the cities of Dagupan and Alaminos in Dagupan City recently, Lim said his city would emulate this city and Alaminos whose successful initiatives resulted to the establishment of a public city college.
Alaminos City gets 30% of the net income earned by the Pangasinan University there since the administration of Braganza bankrolled the construction of its facilities.
San Carlos City has her own nascent Binalatongan College that was borne because of the endeavor of her mayor Julier Resuello not only to help the poor students there but to be another source of revenue for the mango producing city.
A political observer who asked anonymity said a college in Dagupan bode well for her hard up residents.
“Just look at the University of Makati that is owned by the city government there. The college bills its student P1000 only per semester. Can you imagine this privilege to the poor students?” he posed.
He deplored however that myopic and selfish owners of educational institutions in Dagupan would stall the endeavor of Lim to build one for the Bangus City.
“They should be ashamed of themselves. They have been exposed already! Some of them if they are not paying their correct local taxes in the city, they were being warned by the CHED (Commission on Higher Education) for closure because of their sub-standard diploma mill educations.  Their graduates could hardly beat the minimum 14.7 percent of passers for government sanctioned board examinations,” he emphatically declared (MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA).

No-new-tax policy for 2012 a tall order – Atty. Milo

Eastern Pangasinan top tax honcho Atty. Beverly Milo

URDANETA CITY- The top executive of the Bureau of Internal Revenue who supervises Eastern Pangasinan has varied reactions to the Aquino Administration’s “No-New-Tax policy next year despite a higher tax goal of P1.07 Trillion.
Atty. Beverly Milo, the Revenue District Officer who is based here, said that it would be a tall order for tax districts all over the country because a no tax policy from the national government means a missing tax base.
“Kami, wala naman tayong  nakikitang development as far as the local situation is concerned. So we have to introduce development as far as the local situation is concerned. So we have introduction of developments but these developments are handled by the national government. Nandiyan  iyong construction ng TPLEX (Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union-Express Way), nandiyan iyong project sa Agno River, 2nd or 3rd Phase na I believed. And other infrastructures but there would be changes in policy as far as DPWH (Department of Public Works & Highway) is concerned. In local (level) also we are only committed as administrator of projects allocated sa local governments ng DPWH. So if there is no projects given there or implemented (for that) purpose, we don’t expect to collect withholding tax and others
She explained that whenever the government pours infrastructure projects in districts all over the country, it means an increase of withholding taxes like the Value Added Tax and Income Tax for the BIR in the municipality. She said the tax offices assigned in the towns collect from private contractors who subcontract these projects.
Atty. Milo was ambivalent in the national policy to jack-up the P920 billion tax goal for this year to P1.07 Trillion next year.
She said she does not know if she can make it incase the same percentage of the increase in the national level is applied to her district.
“We also rely so much in the economy. There is no progress in the economy. Definitely we don’t expect much taxes (can be) collected from these business people”.
She doubt that the National Economic Development Authority can be certain on its projection that next year Gross National Products (GNP) would be between 5 to 6 percent thus the goal of P1.7 Trillion is attainable.
She subjects herself to the government’s Five –Year- Plan to buttress tax collection.
This Strategy includes  a strengthened auditing of large taxpayers and regular filing of tax-evasion cases against tax cheats.
She said that her office aggressively does surveillances, tax mapping, and others tax measures to increase collection efficiencies.
She opined however that every tax region and district are unique compared to the same offices all over the country.
Because of that she tuned up her strategies with the kind of tax payers she has in her district.
Meanwhile, BIR Regional Director Atty. Arnel Guballa said earlier in this paper that his office mostly collect taxes from the ordinary taxpayers unlike in other regions that have burgeoning industries and commerce thus a healthy tax base.
Guballa office supervises four provinces in the Ilocos Region (Mortz C. Ortigoza).

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Elite Navy Seals train Mangaldan residents on rescue operation

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

MANGALDAN – For the first time in the province,  the local version of the elite Navy Seals of the Philippine Navy trained selected residents here for search and rescue operations during floods.
Mayor Herminio Romero lauded the graduates of the two-day refresher training, saying  the rescue and operations conducted was  unique " because it was conducted  by the Philippine Navy despite our limited resources”.
The training that was held in the town  and at the seaside of neighboring San Fabian town, was participated in by selected members of the Philippine National Police, officials of this town and villages, and members of communication group Delta Com.
The participants were under the tutelage of Navy Lt. Junior Grade John Caleza and his men from the Naval Force of Northern Luzon that is base d in La Union.
Caleza said they were invited to conduct the training by chief of police Lt. Col. Mateo Casupang who was his upper class at the Officer Candidate School.
Romero told the graduates that in the last deadly flood that left  12 people dead and countless of properties  was   in 2009, caused by typhoon Pepeng.  
“ Now, people are aware about the dangers of a calamity like flood. Thank you Navy who come  to help Mangaldan.  We should be committed on this  Water Search and Rescue (WASAR) Refresher Training”, he  said.
The mayor told the participants that they  should help make the rivers  clean by not throwing their garbage into the river; and to plant trees at the earth dikes.
The graduation was graced too by lawyer  Monday Samson, the provincial head of the National Police Commission.

The indispensability of Ebdane to Arroyo

Hermogenes "Jun" Ebdane: The controversial former secretary of President Gloria Arroyo

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

I came to know presently controversial former police four-star general and incumbent Zambales Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. days  after the 2010 election when  he beat a formidable and long-entrenched veteran politico in Amor Deloso in the gubernatorial contest that could shame Adolf Hitler’s blitzkrieg in Poland and Czechoslovakia.
Before the poll, many media men regularly went  en mass to neighboring Zambales they considered as Mecca of  oodles and oodles of monies ..
“He (Ebdane) generously gave P5000 to each, repeat, to each  ordinary media men including the hao-shiao (fake). He gave P20 thousand to an elite and not the illiterate, “ crowed a Pangasinan media friend whom Ebdane met during his stints as chief of police and provincial police commander of Dagupan City and Pangasinan, respectively.
I thought that this media guy, who loves to flaunt how much the general gave him, was telling me a tall tale, but found  credibility of his stories when many media men grumbled why they only received P1 thousand and P2000 when Ebdane’s staff told them that each of them were appropriated P5000.
“My mga tulisan na mga media men who did not know about “Dagdag-Bawas” but “Bawas ng Bawas” after they got hold of the monies intended for their colleague,” another media guy fumed.
I thought that this media friend (whose loyalty according to former Bombo-Radyo manager Camba is with assassinated Ninoy Aquino and his look-alikes) told me that some favored media guys of the governor were given monies to buy their cars.
A media pal of Ebdane told me that he has a P6 billion campaign chest for the presidency but has a changed mind and instead challenged Deloso in a financial electoral blitzkrieg one has seen in modern electoral history.
I was awed by his palatial mansions in Candelaria, Zambales when media guys close to him brought me.
I was awed by his water skis, his white beach island (I heard the white sands were transported from Boracay).
I was awed about the orderliness of his victory party when the thousands of hoi-polloi – including those mountain people who looked like Vice President Jojo Binay - were asked by the emcee to stay seated on their chairs as waiters distribute the food in the Styrofoam and the slices of beef and pork from the seven roasted calves and dozens of roasted hogs.
“Ibang-iba ito sa victory party ni Congressman (Pol) Bataoil where the Unwashed of the Society jostled and hustled just to get the foods at the table,” somebody quipped.
It was a ‘Bacchanalian Feast” given by the favorite son of Candelaria for his beloved people who were entertained by countless rock bands and stand- up comedians.
During his inauguration I was awed by those micro light or ultra light aircrafts from Clark, Pampanga that showered the people with sacks and sacks of petals as Ebdane spoke.
 I was awed when his media friend told me that after being appointed as PNP chief, National Security Adviser, Director of the National Security Council, Vice-Chairmanship of the Anti-Terrorism Task Force and National Anti-Terrorism Coordinator, secretaries of Defense and the Department of Public Works & Highway where in the latter post he supervised President Arroyo’s multi-billion of pesos flag ship bridge and highway projects all over the country, he became indispensable to  the president.
“He has a lot of secrets that could incriminate the president,” my media friend continued.
Now, I start to believe those secrets after Police Senior Superintendent  (Colonel) Rafael Santiago exposed recently that Ebdane upon the order of Arroyo’s husband tasked the elite Special Action Force (Ebdane once  headed ) to switch Election Returns  of the 2004 presidential elections in favor of former president Arroyo in the Batasan Complex. Arroyo was challenged in that poll by actor Fernando Poe  Jr.
(You can read my conversations with Ebdane after his victory party in Candelaria at We talked about retired generals joining politics)
During the last visit of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala in Alaminos City, an erstwhile confidante of Pangasinan Governor Amado T. Espino was seen rubbing elbows with some mayors identified with Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza, a gubernatorial contender, who is rumored to be the anointed bet in Pangasinan by President Noynoy Aquino’s Liberal Party.
Bugallon Mayor Ric Orduna was seen breaking bread with League of Mayors in the Philippine-Pangasinan Chapter president and Mabini  Mayor Noel Nacar, Braganza, and Bani Mayor Marcelo Navarro – the last one is the pet peeve of  Espino even though they were classmates and bunkmates at  the Philippine Military Academy.
I just don’t know as of press time if this paper has availed of the photo from the office of Mayor Braganza of Orduna’s “sleeping with the enemies” that  political spectators  would relish to see.
Susmariosep, what this I heard that Orduna narrated there how Governor Espino beat to pulp former Governor Victor Agbayani in the May 10, 2010 poll?
Since I was not there to hear the how and wherefore of that bravado from the pepper- and- salt haired cursing- talkin’ mayor, you better ask perceptive media man Ruel Camba about it.
 Lingayen mayor Jonas Castaneda seems impervious when I asked why he did not veto the ordinance unanimously passed by the members of the Sanggunian Bayan (Legislative Council) of his town.
The ordinance is the banning of plastic  bag given by a vendor to a vendee at the capital town’s public market.
“If it is an ordinance there is a fine for violators. But this is quite a tall order since the sellers could spend more on paper bag. Why you did not veto it?” I posed to the last- termer  mayor.
I asked the mayor who told me before that though he agreed with the proposal to ban plastics at the market, it should undergo broader consultations among the stakeholders like the vendors.
Meanwhile, the mayor told me that a month ago the Ombudsman dismissed the criminal and administrative cases filed by some of the members of the August Body against him. It was about the purchase of 23 service vehicles to the 22 villages and to the police department, fire truck , refrigerated van, loader, and dump tuck worth P45 Million that he loaned in behalf of the capital town from Land Bank of the Philippine in Lingayen.
 “I know from the beginning that these cases would eventually be dismissed because these councilors were there when I distributed 22 vehicles to the recipients.”
(You can read my selected intriguing but thought-provoking columns at You can send comments too at

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Politics behind the Delectable "Letchon" (Roasted Pig)


'Divine wrath’ for lechon celebration at Abubakar  – For eating pork on Muslim hallowed ground, ousted President Joseph Estrada got his just desserts, as Moro clerics believe.
And that’s not the end of it.
For most Moro preachers, Estrada’s conviction was just part of the murkah (divine wrath) he would suffer for feasting on roasted pork inside an Arabic school, or Madrasah, to celebrate the fall of a rebel bastion seven years ago.
Then President Estrada and some members of his Cabinet also brought in three truckloads of beer to the supposedly sacred ground for Muslims. As beer was passed around to soldiers, some of them were inside a nearby mosque, gorging on lechon with their muddy combat boots on.(Star)

Most Pangasinan's BMs received P40 monthly from Jueteng – BM Uy

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

 Recently, I overheard Board Member Alfonso Bince adversely commenting on the surge of Loterya ng Bayan (LNB) in Pangasinan.
“Loterya ng Mayayaman,” he incessantly and derisively quipped to two radio stations where he was interviewed the other week in a phone patch.
LNB is a number game similar to jueteng but sanctioned by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes.
Gambling kibitzers said it is the antidote to jueteng as its daily draws are seen on cable-TV and heard on radio, while its counterpart jueteng has no transparent mechanical draw thus vulnerable to manipulations by cheating operators.
Bet for LNB is as low as P1 from the Unwashed of our Society who give their fate to gambling.
Does Bince’s dislike for LNB reflect the mentality of his colleagues whose names are preceded with the adjective “Honorable”?
As you know many members of the media, in some informal gatherings, were treated by BM Danny Uy’s bravados that most if not all of his colleagues at the provincial board received P40 monthly payola from a jueteng operator.
Aside from LNB “killing” the illegal swindling game jueteng, it would not give any dime to the “honorable” vice governor and "honorable" members of the Board.
Is the absence of payola the reason that made members of the August Body critical of LNB?
According to LNB’s mechanics, the provincial and municipal governments, and the police get a percentage from the revenues earned daily in a certain local government units.
Since I just divulged for the first time the alleged insidious immoral wrong doings at the provincial board, the magnanimous and incorruptible BM Uy owed me a drink. Sir, wag lason, ha? San Miguel Lights lang, Mr. Future Vice Governor.

A city councilor asked the chief of police (COP) of the city invited by the August Body to shed lights on the proliferation of jueteng.
He asked the COP if he was privy to the fact that  two of his colleagues  were allegedly protectors of the illegal numbers game.
Media men who cut their teeth on the nitty gritty of the profession could just shake their heads.
Everybody knows among these media men that the dad, including the rest of his colleagues, has been a recipient of P8 thousand monthly from the operator of the game.
“Nag tatanung lang iyon, kasi hindi na binibigyan ng share niya sa 1-3-7 (moniker use by media men to describe jueteng whose bet numbers could be selected from 1 to 37)
Media men could just shake their heads as what their colleague narrated to them how a married “eccentric” woman was exposed in court lying through her teeth.
“Her likewise married paramour who coached her to fabricate a case on her complaint sheet against the defendant still has a lot to learn in the Art of Fabrication” a veteran media man quipped to the group composed of the “who is who” in the local media industry.
An influential broadcaster quipped that after the case is dismissed for a lot of iota of doubt, the defendant sued criminally and civilly big time the fabricator to teach her a lesson in smearing one’s reputation, and make it as a lesson to policemen, particularly, not to make a story for the sake of filing a case.
This is not only waste of precious government funds and time, but would give adverse repercussions to your profession.
 “I will write an extensive detailed story on that to expose this shenanigan,” the veteran media man told the group.
(You can read my selected intriguing but thought-provoking columns at You can send comments too at

Urbiztondo’s controversial bursar reassigned Capitol

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

URBIZTONDO – The mayor of this town can now pay anytime the ten vehicles he mortgaged to banks so he can to pay the salaries of this town’s employees. This is after his pet peeve treasurer was reassigned at the Provincial Capitol.
Mayor Ernesto Balolong said the regional office of the Bureau of Local Government Finance of the Department of Finance (DOF) has received the memorandum issued by Maria Presentacion R. Montejo, executive director of the DOF, ordering this town’s bursar Loida Cancino to report to the office of the provincial treasurer.
The directive however, said  Cancino should continue draw her salary, allowance, health benefits from this town during her one year stint at the provincial office.
Mayor Balolong was engaged in  legal and psychological battle in the past four years against Cancino whom he wanted removed from the town but could not as she was under the Department of Finance.
Balolong succeeded to temporarily have Cancino  suspended for six months by the  Ombudsman, for a graft case lifestyle checks filled by the mayor.
Cancino has already served the suspension but it gives a problem in this town as the mayor would not recognized her but instead appointed a care taker bursar who was endorsed by this town’s Sanggunian Banyan.
But the appointment of William Gusto hit a snag as the Land Bank of the Philippines-San Carlos City would not recognize him. Thus, the salaries of  town employees could not be paid.
The mayor had to mortgage his vehicles and use the money  to pay the employees’ salaries.
Balolong said during Cancino’s stint, she collected only P4 million for one year while Officer –in-Charge treasurer Rudy Mandapat from the City of San Carlos collected more than P7 million last year.
“Mandapat showed that the town deserves a better treasurer,” he said.
Balolong said before Mandapat retired, he obliged Central Pangasinan Electric Corporation and Digitel to pay business taxes here.
Balolong said even the water district pays now a 1% Water Sales Tax through the negotiation of Mandapat.

De Venecia's P10 B saves Dagupan from Killer Quake

Former Five-Time Speaker Jose de Venecia in an international forum
DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines -“It was my P10 billion fund which Tita Cory (former president Aquino) helped to fund the rehabilitation of Dagupan City”.
This was declared recently by five-time former Speaker Jose de Venecia during the 21st anniversary of the 7.7 magnitude earthquake that bellied up this city.
De Venecia, who is known to solve governmental problems of gigantic proportions from conflicting political parties to Spratly’s,  said that the P10 billion that was used to rehabilitate not only this city but other cities in Northern and Central Luzon was sourced from the United States, Europe, Japan, and local funds.
“I went to Washington, I went to Europe, and then I went to Tokyo, to explain our disaster,” De Venecia stressed.
The former speaker said that the law he co-authored with former Congressman Rolando Andaya, was known as Republic Act 6960 or Earthquake-Damage-Reconstruction Project.
“And we shared it with Aspiras in Agoo (in La Union), with Baguio,” the former speaker continued, “and we shared the funds with Cabanatuan.”
De Venecia credited former President Aquino whose intercession expedited the passing of the Act.
The former Speaker attended the commemoration of  the 21the anniversary of the killer quake at the St. John the Evangelist Cathedral here with his wife Rep. Gina (4th District,Pangasinan), Rep, Kimi Cojuanco (5th District, Pangasinan), and Archbishop Socrates Villegas.
He said  some national officials proposed that this devastated city with its collapsed buildings and which sank by one meter, should be abandoned.
But an adamant de Venecia vehemently torpedoed this proposal by criss-crossing the capitals of major countries to convince their leaders to help fund this city’s reconstruction.
As a result, the cityrose from the abyss of the Big One that not only made her a burgeoning city but earned the moniker  Bangus (Milkfish) Capital City of the World.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Dasol Mayor Noel Nacar( 2ndfrom Right, front row) poses with the members of his town’s legislative and executive departments. Nacar got 21 votes against the 17 votes of Mangatarem Mayor Teddy Cruz. Nacar replaced Bugallon Mayor Ricardo Orduɦa who resigned recently for personal reasons. The League of Mayors of the Philippines-Pangasinan Chapter's election was held last July 15 at the Lenox Hotel in Dagupan City. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA

Poor mayors, ain’t got no fronts for jueteng

Mayors and chiefs of police in Pangasinan are sad these days. Why? The Court of Appeals has just lifted the 60-day Temporary Restraining Order filed by Meridien Vista Gaming Corporation (MVGC) to operate Jai-Alai outside the Cagayan Freeport Zone.
They are sad because illegal number game jueteng operators don’t have the legal front to abet the poor man’s game of chance.
As you know, bet collectors of Jai-Alai, who used to be cobradores of jueteng, could just flash to all and sundry their Meridien I.Ds to avoid apprehension.
But every bettor knows that underneath the papelitos of Jai-Alai they brought were sheet lists of numbers from jueteng bettors.
I don’t believed the statements of a colleague in the trade that the presence of despised and controversial media man Atong Remogat at the bid of Mangatarem Mayor Teddy Cruz for the presidency of the Pangasinan’s Mayors’ League (PML) caused him to losethe election that was held at Lenox Hotel in Dagupan City last July 15.
The monies given to some mayors allegedly by Dasol mayor Noel Nacar catapulted him to the PML’s top post.The rationale, according to my source, was some mayors in Pangasinan have a price tag, too, like the ordinary vulnerable voters they paid to vote for them.
It was a close fight of 21 votes for Nacar and 17 votes for Teddy since latter did not resort to vote buying because of the presumption that fellow mayors would cherish friendship and camaraderie than the glitters of monies offered by the other camp.
Susmariosep, he was darn wrong.
In the midst of the absence of jueteng and jai-alai as front, mayors in Pangasinan have a hard time to meet both ends before their needy constituents.
This mayor in Pangasinan does not trust the president of the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) in this town.
He said that this top official (who has a rank of a municipal councilor) tried to double cross him in the past but to no avail.
He told me that in 2010, the ABC guy told him to join forces when the former would ran for the vice mayoralty under his slate.
“Hindi akopumayag. I was not stupid enough to get him as my second fiddle. Tapos, pag vice mayor nasiya, ipapatayniyaakoparasiyanaangmaging mayor,” he disclosed.
He said despite of his being mayor, this ABC’s prexy keeps being elected in his present post because majority of the barangay captains who supported him were indebted to him through the high powered firearms he gifted them and their fear to politically abandon him because of his capacity to neutralize them.
Politicians should watch the shenanigans of their media PR guy.
A press liaison of a mayor in Central Pangasinan has the propensity to sneak two names of media men who were not on the events called by his mayor who needs members of the FourthEstate to cover it.
Sometimes when it was an event held in that town called by dignitaries, this liaison and his office colleague asked media guys to include their names, too.
His reasons: Two get a piece of actions on whatever financial dole-outs customarily given by VIPs to media men.
Mayor, you should check these scoundrels in your midst. Ninanakawanna kayo, masisira pa kayo doon sa mga kaibiganniyona high officials.
(You can read my selected intriguing but thought-provoking columns at You can send comments too at

Manay Gina bats for the rights of special children

Representative Gina de Venecia is pushing for the passage of the Empowerment of Children with Special Needs Act to ensure that all special children will have the capability to live a productive life.
In House Bill 4447 authored by De Venecia of Pangasinan’s 4th District, it is proposed that a Center for Children with Special Needs will be put up in all provinces. “These are assisted-living communities for children below 14 years old, who suffer from autism and other mental and sensory impairment”, she says.
“The centers will have therapists, teachers and social workers who can provide comprehensive developmental programs and services responsive to the needs of persons with disability. We need to help them attain their highest possible level of functionality, and effective integration to a productive family and community life.”
De Venecia laments the lack of an aggressive government program to address the needs of other disability groups, especially those who suffer from autism, ADHD, Down syndrome and other mental and behavioral impairment. 
“Persons with disability, particularly the poor, have become preys to discrimination, because there aren’t enough rehabilitation institutions that address their special needs”, she adds.
At present, the DSWD operates Area Vocational and Rehabilitation Center (AVRC) to help the disabled but it is focused mainly on serving the blind, the deaf and the physically handicapped adults. It also has limited coverage as there are only four branches of AVRC in the country, to date.
De Venecia has also filed House Resolution 01030 that seeks to create a special committee on persons with disabilities in the House of Representatives to guarantee that the rights of the disabled are being upheld.
She explains that while the “Magna Carta for Disabled Persons” and the “United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” warrant the rehabilitation of children with special needs, most Filipinos are yet to be informed on the rights of the disabled.
A 2004 survey estimated that there are 8.3 million disabled persons in the country.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Romero lauds de Venecia for P20 M Fish Market

Swanky Pink Colored Fish Market: Pangasinan Rep. Gina de Venecia (2nd from right) graced the inauguration of the P20 million fish market located at the public market in Mangaldan, Pangasinan. She got the fund from her P70 million Countryside Development Fund. From Left: Mangaldan Mayor Herminio Romero, former Speaker Joe de Venecia, Rep. de Venecia, and Mangaldan Vice Mayor Berex Abalos

P20 million fish market located at the public market in Mangaldan, Pangasinan
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
MANGALDAN – The mayor of this burgeoning first class town lauds Congresswoman Gina de Venecia for the P20 million pink-colour huge and swanky fish market the latter has given for the people here.
Mayor Hermie  Romero told the lady solon how deep was the gratitude of his constituents to her on  the monumental project.
“Thank you so much and we prayed for more projects from Manay,” Romero referred to de Venecia.
The edifice would house 136 fish vendors who were displaced by the fire that gutted their stalls last year.
Former Speaker Jose de Venecia, who also spoke in the inauguration held here recently, said that the fish building is incomparable to none in the 4th congressional district he used to represent and is presently represented by his wife Gina.
“This project is free! This project helps Mangaldan to contract a lesser loan to finance her other public building. We made this so Mangaldan would have fewer loans. This is for the people of Mangaldan,” the former five-time speaker of the House of Representatives rabble roused to the cheering crowd who were composed of this town’s officials, village chiefs, and the hoi polloi.
Mayor Romero told the former Speaker that in the last week of July will start the groundbreaking of another much bigger P60 million public market that will be located near the Fish Market.
The funds of this hailed from the loan this town’s contracted with the Land Bank of the Philippines- Dagupan City.
Rep. Gina de Venecia, who was introduced by the mayor as “Visita de Honour” declared that she will add another second floor for the P20 million fish market that she bankrolled from her annual P70 million Priority Development Fund..
“We would reciprocate a thousand times the love of the people here has given to us (De Venecias),” the amiable lady solon told the crowd.

Friday, July 15, 2011

DENIED!: Morante’s case vs. Braganza et al

Administrative Beefs against Alaminos: Provincial Board complainant Ruben Morante (left) shows to members of the print and broadcast media in Dagupan City files of documents that he used against Alaminos City Mayor  Nani Braganza and company after the latter funded the edifices and belongings of Pangasinan State University-Alaminos City. With Morante is lawyer Gonzalo Duque, owner of Lyceum Northwestern University in Dagupan.

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

LINGAYEN-The acrimonious debate on whether the Office of the President (OP) or the Sanggunian Panlalawigan (SP) has jurisdiction to discipline the elected officials of Alaminos City has been put to rest after the provincial legal officer joined the call to deny the complaint filed by Ruben Morante.
Atty. Geraldine Baniqued declared at the hearing here of a committee of the provincial board that despite the provision brought by Section 51 of the City Charter of Alaminos that it shall be under the jurisdiction of the provincial government she opined that it is still the OP that has the jurisdiction to discipline the officials of the city.
Baniqued’s opinion at the committee chaired by Board Member Alfie Bince bolstered the queries of BM Mojamito Libunao who disputed the arguments of complainant  and school owner Ruben Morante.
Morante, who filled the administrative case against Mayor Hernani Braganza et al., argued that in case there is a conflict between a general law and a special law the latter prevails.
Morante, a harsh critic of Braganza, confidently said that Alaminos is under the jurisdiction of the provincial government.
He stressed that the Local Government Code (LGC) was created in 1992 while the charter of Alaminos as a component city has been signed into a law in 2001.  
He said the older Section 61 of the LGC yields to the newer Section 51 of the City Charter that says “it shall unless otherwise provided by law to be under the province of Pangasinan”.
Sections 61(a)  says ” a complaint against any elective official of a province, a highly urbanized city, an independent component city or component city shall be filed before the Office of the President”,
BM Libunao however told Morante that the charter has a general provision but failed to provide a disciplinary clause, while the Code is specific on its disciplinary clause.
“How could you reconcile that?” he posed to Morante who did not bring a lawyer but argued like one earlier in the hearing.
Morante, the owner of Philippine Accountancy and Science School, filed the administrative case against the elected officials of Alaminos because of their imprimatur to fund the creation of the physical facilities of the Pangasinan State University –Alaminos City for it to cater to marginalized students there.
Before Baniqued and Libunao, a lawyer like Bince, gave their legal opinion, the hearing was marred by confusions whether to implement Sections 61 (a) or 63(a) of the LGC that says “Preventive suspension may be imposed (2) By the governor, if the respondent is an elective official of a component city or municipality”.

Braganza and critics' freak show

Seasoned Board Member Alfie Bince

At left is Mayor Nani Braganza's Arch-critic Ruben Morante
By Mortz C. Ortigoza

Is seasoned Pangasinan Board Member Alfie Bince suffers political senility?
He sponsored an ordinance in the past that there should be a law that bans motorcycle travel during wee hours up to 4 am.
He said this measure could deter assassins who ride on the two-wheeled bike.
But the Philippine Constitution enunciates the non-impairment of the Right to Travel with the exceptions that Bince’s justifications could not meet – as the killings could be blamed primordially on the police’s incompetence.
The Constitution is superior than any ordinance passed by the lousy rubber stamp August Body the veteran provincial dad serves.
Now Bince and machine gun-mouth BM Ranjit Shahani (estranged cousin of Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza) want to ‘grill’, “grandstand”, or “feast”, on Braganza’s act of using his city funds to bankroll the construction of the Pangasinan State University-Alaminos City.
But Braganza’s lawyer who was quick as a Texan drawer shoots down to smithereens the duo’s scheme.
He said Section 61 (a) of the Local Government Code provides that a complaint against any elective official of a province, a highly urbanized city, an independent component city or component city shall be filed before the Office of the President (OP).
Alaminos is a component city since 2001. It means it’s the OP not the Sangguanian Panlalawigan that has a jurisdiction over whatever grievances filed against the city and her officials.
Mr. Ruben Morante is now the no. 1 arch critic of Braganza.
But is Morante, owner of PASS College in that western Pangasinan ‘s city, a credible critic?
Morante has been bitching and bellyaching to all and sundry that the PSU’s operations was illegal.
But Nani and his supporters said the Board of Regents (BoR) has already resolved the creation of the college in Alaminos.
“Hindi totoo iyan that BOR has given their okay. There were conditions to be met,” Morante hissed in a radio interview in Dagupan City recently.
I will not delve on this “he says, I say” exchanges between Braganza et al and Morante.
What I saw here is the mayor constructed this college’s edifices and funded computers so more than a thousand marginalized students could acquire education.
What I saw here is these poor students, with P5000 scholarship every semester from the city, can be accommodated by PSU-Alaminos.
Without PSU, these students could not avail of tertiary education with the said amount.
Morante is not different from those hypocrites owners of educational institutions in Pangasinan who opposed Braganza’s endeavor.
Their motherhood statements in favor of their schools were all bullshits.
They don’t want a PSU in Alaminos because it gnawed at their market share.
That’s plain and simple greed.
Thus I doff my hat to Dagupan Mayor Benjie S. Lim who plans to put up a city college in his city.
Alaminos got a Memorandum of Agreement with PSU to share a percentage of the net income from the latter every semester.
Urdaneta City has been reaping tens of millions of pesos of the fruits of her investment in University of Urdaneta.
Mayor Gregorio Amadeo “Bobom” Perez IV told me last week that his city earns P25 million last year alone as net profit that helps Urdaneta soar to “greatness”.
Susmariosep, P25 million is very big amount in Pangasinan for a city to use for its social services especially to the poor.
Mayor Lim should act on this endeavor the soonest. Urdaneta has already eclipsed the Bangus City in revenues in the past years.
Remember, once- lousy city San Carlos City has already her Binalatongan College.
A public college that inculcates what quality education could be a wake-up call for colleges and universities in Dagupan and San Carlos.
Most of them have already been warned by the Commission on Higher Education for closure.
Why? Their graduates in nursing, accountancy and other courses that require government sanctioned board examination could hardly pass even the minimum 14.5 percent passing rate every year for takers.
Stop the diploma mill education!
(You can read my selected intriguing but thought-provoking columns at You can send comments too at

Manay Gina has 16 on-going infra-projects in Dagupan

This Saturday, Fourth District Representative Gina de Venecia joins Archbishop Socrates Villegas of the Archdiocese of Lingayen and Dagupan in “Run for Life”, a fun- run to commemorate the rise of Dagupan City from the rubbles of the July 16, 1990 earthquake.
Rep. De Venecia pays tribute to the architects of modern Dagupan, led by her husband Speaker Joe de Venecia, who authored the 10 billion earthquake rehabilitation fund that served as the springboard for the total reconstruction of Dagupan and other areas ravaged by the 1990 earthquake.
“A Dagupan a city of greater freedom and prosperity that we enjoy today will not be possible without former President Cory Aquino, former Mayors Al Fernandez and Liberato Reyna Sr, former DPWH Secretary Ping de Jesus and your Kuya Joe de Venecia, who worked hard for its reconstruction after it was ravaged by the 1990 earthquake.
At the same time, Rep. de Venecia announces that she has 16 ongoing infra-projects in Dagupan City, ranging from school-buildings to drainage systems and road concreting.
 The said 16 projects are worth P13.7 million, including the 5.5 million school-building in Dagupan East Integrated School in Barangay Mayombo.
            At present, Rep. De Venecia has 7 road concreting projects in the city: PNR site road in Mayombo; Sitio Centro road in Lasip Grande; Purok 4 road in Lucao; Sitio Boquig road at Patalan, Bacayao Sur; Salisay road; Callejon extension road in Pogo Chico; and Cassimira Claveria road in Pogo Grande.
She is also building the foot bridge at Sitio Nibaliw in Mangin and the drainage system of Francisco Duque road in Tapuac; Cassimira Claveria road in Malued; Sitio Boquig road in Sagur, Mamalingling; Bacayao Norte road; and the entire Herrero Perez road.
De Venecia is also constructing the barangay halls in Lomboy and Tebeng and six classrooms for Dagupan East Central Integrated School.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pangasinan guy pays P740 M tax a year

Business Czar Cesar Quimbao

BAYAMBANG- Why the Bureau of Internal Revenue based in Calasiao, Pangasinan is sad these days?
This town’s based Stradcom, the information technology arms of the Land Transportation Office of the Philippines, owned by her favorite son Nestor Quimbao has paid lately the Calasiao tax office a staggering P740 million for 2010 alone.
According to BIR regional director Arnel Guballa and Revenue District-4 Christine Cardona the large tax payers division in Manila would get this year all those revenues Stradcom used to pay the BIR’s Pangasinan office.
Quimbao told this paper that he pays last April 2011 for his last year’s tax the following amounts: Corporate Income Tax, P240 million; Quarterly Taxes, P320 million, and; Value Added Tax, P180 million or a total amount of P740 million.
He said that his home town gets a share in the 85% or P153 million share from the P180 million VAT.
Mayor Camacho, who was with Quimbao at the kicked-off  recently of the bicycle race here for this town’s 400 years anniversary, said that his town gets a windfall  of mayor’s and businesses taxes from Quimbao’s Stradcom and the mother server computer of the Land Registration Administration that are both based here.
The top honcho’s of Stradcom also owned the swanky newly opened three-storey Royal Mall that has branches in Metro Manila, too.
Quimbao chuckled when asked if he is the top tax payer in Pangasinan.
“Not in Pangasinan, siguro sa Bayambang lang,” he quipped.
Meanwhile, he said that it will be a matter of time before he collects the P1.2 billion LTO owed him.
Quimbao takes a swipe at controversial LTO’s commissioner Virginia Torres who opted to stay at the transportation office.
“Alam mo kung ikaw ay normal na ta-o, may sense of delicadeza or responsibility ka, maawa ka naman sa presidenti (President Benigno Aquino III). Kung mahal mo ang presidenti, umalis ka na diyan,” Quimbao declared as he gave his infectious chuckle again to the media men who milled him inside the Royal Mall (Mortz C. Ortigoza).

Friday, July 8, 2011

‘Idiotic’ Professor, ‘Presumptuous’ Lawyer

Who was that “idiotic” professor (who comes from a substandard university in Dagupan City) tasked by a local TV to give his analysis on President Benigno Aquino’s one year in office?
He said Aquino’s one year was economically better than the last year  of former president Gloria M. Arroyo.
By George! This guy does not read even the newspaper’s wrap of tinapa (smoked fish).
Year 2010 of former President Arroyo was an economic banner year of the country for the 2000s.
The GNP (not Gutom Na Pilipino, but the real Gross National Product) in that year was 7.2 percent.
The projection of the GNP for this year is only 4.5 percent according to the International Monetary Fund.
First semester of 2010 was   a campaign and national election year.
Months before the poll, politicians spent billions of pesos as if there was no tomorrow. These spending- spree bode well for the economy.
For Christ sake my dear presumptuous professor, it was a national election year where P500 and P1000 bills were just like wrappers of candies that were thrown like shits by politicians to all and sundry.
What Davao City Mayor Sarah Duterte has done against her mauled court sheriff was condemnable. This was premeditated for media mileage as toughie “kuno” projection. It exposes also the political greed of a politician like Duterte taking the cudgels of the squatters cum future voters against a legal court order. She should be sanctioned by the Supreme Court as unethical member of the Bar, and by the Department of Interior & Local Government as public officer.
I doubt if Judge Emmanuel Carpio could cite Davao City Mayor Sarah for contempt of court. First, he could probably disappear in Davao; second, his perks like gas, allowance, etc, from the City will disappear, too.
I know this dilemma. In cities in Pangasinan, even fiscals or prosecutors are indebted to the mayors’ monetary favours.
What is condemnable about this practice? These fiscals (and probably judges, too) hopped to the offices of mayors of the city and towns under their watch by soliciting monies to pay for their plane fares and hotel accommodations whenever they have seminars.
“Pinagkikita-an pa ng mga lintek na iyan ang solicitations,” a city administrator quipped to me before.
He told me three fixcals, er, fiscals who would be attending a seminar in Davao asked for P120 thousand as financial aids for their two-day seminar that has been appropriated a budget already by their office.
A media friend Ronel has similar experience what the sheriff has experienced in the hands of Mayor Duterte. He was slapped by the Mayor of Laoac, Pangasinan years ago for instigating ABS CBN to expose the anomalies of the mayor. He was slapped big time inside the Sangguniang Bayan’s office where the dads there were having their session.
Susmariosep, three of my friend’s molar teeth were extracted by that slap.
I told him to sue the mayor with slander by deed (kasi napahiya siya before the TV cam and the public) and slight physical injury plus moral damages.
But he did not heed my advice. He instead filed ILLEGAL PRACTICE OF DENTISTRY versus the mayor. Hanggang ngayon nahihilo ang Supreme Court what to do with his case.
Our country is pathetic.
First, Business World article’s (Page 1, dated March 9,  2011) entitled “Philippines snubbed as investment destination (in East Asia)” described our country as laggard.
In a survey that involved 355 senior and middle managers of firms in the region, most of whom were based in Thailand and Singapore; they said:
“Of the destinations offering the best investment prospects over the next three years were 48% ASEAN countries; China 29%; USA 6% and India 5%’; Unidentified 12%. Of the 48% ASEAN group, Vietnam was top choice followed by Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. None chose the Philippines.”
Second, the decision of the Supreme Court recently for PLDT to divest 24 percent of the 64 percent shares (to retain the 40 percent shares the Constitutional mandates for foreigners to own a business in the Philippines) would be a bad signal for investors to sell their stocks from the companies listed at the Philippine Stock Exchange.
PLDT chairman Manny V. Pangilinan warned the market would definitely going to plummet if the Supreme Court interpretation would be implemented by the Security Exchange Commission.
Tsk, tsk. This was what I was saying before. We should amend the Constitution and change that obsolete 40 percent foreign ownership of our local industries.
If the United States, China, and Vietnam have 100 percent ownership for foreign investors for their industries, why can’t we emulate them?
Business Czar and Stradcom ‘s top honcho Nestor Quimbao told me lately his take on this 40 percent thing, and the possibility of giving foreigners 100 percent ownership in real property.
“Hindi naman puedeng dalhin ng foreigners’ ang lupa natin pag ayaw na nila dito (Philippines)”.
He said 100 percent ownership is good for the country except to industries that involved the national security of our country.
Another provision that we should amend in the Constitution is the law that prohibit the return of the U.S Bases.
If you look at the disputed Spratly islets and her surrounding water they are  thousands of miles away to Mainland China, while they are “stone’s throw away” in our island Palawan.
Without any U.S air and naval blanket for our air and sea territories that include the “explosive” islets, we are vulnerable to the intrusion of these chinky-eyed Sinos. Remember they have already taken over our Mischief Reef Islets there in 1995 without even a fart from our U. S made Japanese vintage Tora-Tora (T-28 propeller powered plane).
Spratly is suspected to have one of the richest deposits of natural gas and oil in the world.
Because we are deplorably poor, we could not afford to buy a squadron of U.S made F-16 Interceptor and the latest French –made Mirage. Each, remember the word is “each”, F-16 and Mirage cost $45 Million or P1.9 billion and $ 58 Million or P2.5 billion.
Otherwise, we would just heed what Supreme Court suspended lawyer Allan “All-Knowing” Paguia who scandalously told us media men (in the inauguration of the officers of the Pangasinan Press & Radio Club, Inc.) that we just give up the Spratly without any tinge of resistance to the Chinese because they owned it since the 17th Century.
If Dagupan City administrator and Marine reserved colonel Vlad Mata was not writing about global issues like the militarily volatile’s Spratly’s, he was hitting the key board of his PC about socially relevant issues like cooperatives  that he submitted to think-tanks in Western Europe.
Now he is in the Netherlands for a global conference and would be country -hopping to states under the European Union.
“Next you co-author with me so you can visit these countries,” the Philippine Science High School and University of the Philippines –Diliman alumnus quipped to me.
“Geez man, I like it. The farthest place I have been was in Divisoria in Manila,” I retorted to him.
(You can read my selected intriguing but thought-provoking columns at You can send comments too at