Saturday, July 30, 2011

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.”
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