Monday, December 31, 2012

HRA tag will haunt Gov. Espino's supporters

Braganza (Extreme Right) and Espino  (2nd from Left) exchanged notes years ago.

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has been O.A. or over-acting on her six months administrative suspension meted by the Office of the President.
She holed- in at her office when different national bodies (like the Department of Finance) have ordered some department heads under her watch to coordinate all officials transaction to acting Governor Agnes A. Magpale - the duly recognized governor by the national government.
With the acquiescence of the heads, the smooth flow of the provincial government transactions in Cebu have been maintained and anarchy has been avoided.
So what’s the agenda of Garcia?
 Her agenda is to procrastinate her stay there by whining and belly aching of political prosecution from the Liberal Party, sponsoring Christmas party for the elderly, hosting political candidates and wannabe like former president Joseph Estrada who is running for Manila mayor and incumbent Vice President Jojo Binay who has the moist eye for the 2016 presidential derby. 
All of these land her on the national papers and television which bodes well for her in case, she runs for the senate in 2016 and media mileage for Estrada and Binay.
Binay has the gumption to tell Garcia not to step down as she questioned the legality of her suspension in the Supreme Court.
Masyado naman kayong trapo Binay, Estrada, and Garcia. Its clear you're exploiting your sandbagging at the capitol.
A veteran politician explained to me the other side of a coin after Pangasinan has been listed under High Risk Areas (HRA) comes election campaign time after I told him that it bodes well for Pangasinan to be under the HRA.
“Its good for our province since augmentation of police force from Manila will deter and mitigate guns for hire that have snapped the lives of 199 persons from January to October this year if I based it on what Former provincial director Sonny Versoza told me recently,” I told him.
The politico smiled and told me that the other sharp edge of the HRA sword is it could also be a bane to the supporters of Governor Amado T. Espino.
“They would be harassed. Their monies, that the police suspected they will use to vote buy, will be confiscated. Espino men, who would be suspected as bullies, would be neutralized. The governor would be paralyzed in this election because of HRA,” he explained.
He said the assassination of Infanta Mayor Ruperto Martinez has sealed the coffin of Pangasinan as a high risk area.
We both agreed that Pangasinan could kiss goodbye its national bid for the prestigious Gawad Pamana ng Lahi (GPL) after it bagged the number one plum in the regional category in Region 1. 

Have both these vice mayoralty bets committed a stupid blunder when they face an electoral uncertainty after they played power play to the incumbent mayor in the province?
Provincial official (PO) has been suspected to undermine before the sitting mayor because he wants his son to run either in the posts of the mayoralty or vice mayoralty.
Mayor was suspended.
Now P.O. brought the vice mayor (VM) who sits as the acting mayor to the governor. P.O wants the VM to be the mayoralty bet of the governor. But the vice mayor asks the governor to talk alone with him because VM did not trust P.O, according to my source.
VM told the governor she has no wherewithal to run for an expensive mayoralty contest against the suspended mayor who is moneyed.
Suspended mayor learned that VM has been undermining him in cahoots with P.O.
 The suspended mayor, who was a former ward of President Benigno Aquino III in the latter security agency during the administration of his mother former President Cory, did not finish serving his two months. He returned, like Douglas MacArthur, after three weeks at the consternation of those provincial officials who engineered his suspension.
During the last day of the filling of candidacy, the mayor thought it was payback time to punish the suspected scheming VM. He asked his wife to file her candidacy for the vice mayoralty race. It means husband and wife run for the two top posts in the town.
Every political spectators that are privy on the politics of that town, where the mayor has put a lot of improvements, knows that the son of P.O and the vice mayor who seeks for  re-election will have no China man’s chance to beat the wife of the mayor.
“Kawawa silang dalawa, walang kalaban si mayor, shoo-in na siya. Kaya lahat ng milyons niya gagamitin sa dalawa para pulbosin sila sa election.
A veteran bursar in the province added that hindi lang karma ang inabot ng dalawa, kundi sampal pa sa kanila kasi next year mag-asawa na ang mayor and vice mayor.
“The mayor likes the vice mayor to be his tandem. But he smarted when he suspected that the VM has been undermining him when the VM acted as the mayor during his suspension,” another source whispered to me.
Another powerful politician in another town told me: After sa mga raids, suspension, at kahihiyan  na ginawa ng mga kalaban ni mayor, dito lang sa political catastrophe hahantong ang tele-nobela sa bayan na iyon.
Susmariosep, a scheme that goes awry.

(You can read my selected thought-provoking columns at and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at

Calimlim will beat Lomibao

CalimlimMaster in Business Administration Strayer University
Lomibao, graduate of Philippine Military Academy

By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – Provincial Board Member Ranjit Shahani predicted that Vice Governor Ferdinand Calimlim will defeat vice gubernatorial candidate Arturo Lomibao in the the May 13, 2013 poll.
Shahani,a former representative of the province’s sixth district and former vice governor, said that although Calimlim has an uphill battle to climb against Lomibao he will still win the  local elections.
Shahani was being interviewed over  DWPR  when he  had a heated debate with fellow Liberal Party member former vice governor Oscar Lambino whom he accused of making whimsical decisions at the expense of the party and its members in Pangasinan.
Meanwhile, Calimlim told this paper before that his highest educational attainment was Master in Business Administration Strayer University in Washington DC in the United States .
“I went to La Salle -Greenhills for my primary and secondary education. For my tertiary level I took it (Bachelor of Science in Commerce) at De la Salle University”, he stressed.
He said his father is the late General Jose Calimlim, and his mother is Ma. Cristina Saludo Calimlim.
Before he became Mayor of Mapandan in 2001 and vice governor in 2010, he did not have any inkling he would become a politician someday.
“I always thought of myself as a private person. I never saw myself in politics until the calling came in 1999 when my late uncle – former Mayor Cesar Calimlim – passed away. There was a clamor by Mapandan Society for our family to continue his legacy. Of course we have to go through the usual transfer of succession. That’s why the clamor for me to run started in 1999 and 2000, became a reality in 2001 when I ran for mayor.”
 He said in his younger years he was always an assistant of his father in his efforts in serving the military, and in serving different high level political figures he used to protect as the commander of the Presidential Security Group.
"I was also always behind my late grandfather and my late uncle (when they were still in political office)in their efforts to serve the people,” he said.
Calimlim is running  for his third term as the vice governor in tandem  with Governor Amado T. Espino the incumbent governor who would be serving his last terms in case he wins over his challenger  Alaminos Mayor Hernani A. Braganza.

The Lims' candidacies

Vice Mayoralty Bet Brian Lim and mother Celia who runs for the congressional post
By Dave Paragas

 NEW YEAR SIGNIFIES a beginning and an end of something. It could be bad or good. And while the leopard cannot change its spots, it can do better by adapting to the circumstances, just like wise people do.
Take the case of some local political players, who seem to have embraced the politics of anything goes.
 I am referring to traditional politicians otherwise known as trapos, and while we can’t blame them for masquerading like they’re agents of change, their fruits cannot lie as their slips would readily show, but this may spell trouble.
 Think of the extravagant hopes and promises that attended our emptiness three years ago, a time when choosing the right candidate could be as hard as taking care of our dignity when trapos extended their hands with money and goodies that fill the hungry stomach of the poor and even the rich.
 This year (2013) would be no different – politically that is – given the kind of electors we have in this country long saddled with the disquieting issues of immorality, poverty and the like. Today, nothing really may change for the better. In past political exercises, we witnessed how voters prostituted their right of suffrage by selling their votes (like commercial products in the market) to the highest bidders.
 Many voters went for traditional and transactional politics, highlighting what was repeatedly observed as a culture of irresponsibility. There’s a crying need to instill into the minds of electors the value of responsible voting. The choice of our leaders should never be compromised was the oft-repeated exhortation aired by moralists that usually falls on deaf ears.
 As a positive thinker, I haven’t lost faith in our political system. I still believe that the coming elections could be seen by our fellow voters as a golden opportunity to change the wayward course of our nation’s politics. This New Year should remind us of our solemn obligation to vote wisely and intelligently. THE POLITICAL GRAPEVINE From the political grapevine came reports that the announced bids of Manang Celia Lim (for congresswoman in the province's fourth district), Dagupan reelectionist Mayor Benjamin S. Lim and Councilor Marc Brian C. Lim (for vice mayor) was a welcome decision that may – literally or otherwise – give their respective rivals a run for their money. For the three Nacionalista Party stalwarts, leading a powerhouse coalition is risky, a tall order rather. But many voters see in them an inspiring, energizing and engaging leadership that could further give a sense of purpose and direction to the advocacies of good governance they have remarkably set for their constituents. What sets the Lim candidacies apart from others is the trio’s proven reputation as politicians with a will and commitment to make a difference in the field of governance.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

VG Calimlim says killing of Martinez aims to weaken clean and stable Pangasinan Politics

Lingayen- - -“Pangasinan mourns the untimely demise of Mayor Ruperto Martinez, the simple public servant of Infanta.”
 This was cited by Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Z. Calimlim, Jr. as he delivered his eulogy on behalf of the entire provincial government before the interment of the late Infanta mayor at the town’s executive building grounds. “Nakakalungkot na sa ganitong paraan nagtapos ang buhay ng ating butihing mayor,” the vice governor lamented as he disclosed that the assassination of the town leader is caused not by people but by the “devil.”
Calimlim said that the people behind the killing are evil enough to commit such crime which was perpetrated to weaken clean and stable politics in Pangasinan. “Ginawa ito ng mga kalaban upang gawing mahina ang malinis at malakas na pulitika,” Vice Gov. Calimlim noted. Furthermore, the vice governor delivered the request of Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. for Pangasinenses to firm up their faith. “Hiling po ni Gov. Espino na ipagdasal po natin ang lahat ng local leaders ng Pangasinan at nawa’y pagtibayin ang suporta natin sa bawat isa para po maituloy natin ang lahat ng nasimulan para sa ganap na progreso ng ating lalawigan,” Vice Gov. Calimlim said.
Meanwhile, former first district representative Arthur Celeste expressed deep sympathy over the death of Mayor Martinez, who during the time of his death (Martinez) was supposed to attend the 50th birthday celebration of the former congressman. Celeste described Martinez as “simple and hardworking leader who has set his sights on the progress of his town.” Also present during the eulogy rites are First District Congressman Jesus “Boying” Celeste and Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member Napoleon Fontellera. Gov. Espino likewise attended the rites much earlier and prayed later privately at the burial site. Mayor Martinez, who has served the town of Infanta for 15 years, was shot to death by still unidentified riding-in-tandem gunmen afternoon of December 15 in front of his house. (PIO/Ruby R. Bernardino)

Mangaldanians, 4th District folks mourn Mayor Romero’s untimely death


 MANGALDAN, Pangasinan – People here and in the 4th District have yet to recover from shock after news broke out on Sunday evening at about 9:45, that Mayor Herminio A. Romero,72, passed away. According to a reliable source who was with the mayor when the tragic incident happened..
 He said Romero, who just finished delivering his message at a Christmas party in Barangay Lipit Tomeeng in San Fabian town last December 23, complained of sudden dizziness and was assisted by his security aide to a chair where he was made to relax for a moment.
 However, upon noticing that the mayor’s head slumping to the left side of his shoulder and sensing of a more serious illness, the aide immediately bodily carried the mayor to his van and was rushed to Decena Hospital in Bonuan Gueset in Dagupan City, the nearest hospital from San Fabian, where Romero could be given emergency attention and first aid.
Unfortunately, Romero was declared dead-on-arrival at the hospital with initial findings made by the doctors as cardiac arrest. Romero, who was into his final three-term as chief executive of Mangaldan, filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for the upcoming 2013 polls last October 1 as candidate for the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Board) in the 4th District under the United Nationalists Alliance (UNA). And since then, he was already seen to be a front-runner among individuals, various peoples’ organizations, as well as civic groups that invite him as either their guest of honor and speaker, or simply the most distinguished guest in their respective affairs, events or celebrations.
Although Romero was usually busy and having a tight schedule in running the affairs, he did not fail in all invitations as his presence was needed.
Source from his camp said he acquiesced to about eight to ten invitations per day. “He was a workaholic and always kept himself busy, that often times even as he settles to bed late in the night, he wakes up at 3:00 A.M and pores over his schedules for the day, at the same time signs various documents that need his signature, said Dr. Rosalie Hulipas. Hulipas has been Romero’s long-time executive/administrative assistant and personal secretary since Romero was still then the municipal vice-mayor.
She added that the mayor was always present in his office and diligently attended all concerned activities in the town hall, as well as performed his duties and responsibilities to the best he could. “Even during calamities, Mayor Romero would not leave his office, staying there for a night and day giving orders and monitoring himself the situation within the 30 barangays of the municipality.
The mayor really acted as a father to every Mangaldanian and had always has an open heart, generosity and kindness, especially to the less fortunate families that come to his office or house for some help,” Hulipas stressed. This writer noticed that in the past days of making himself visible to the various communities within the 4th District, Romero seemed to be energized with how the people he visits welcome him very warmly. Having hectic schedules left and right, the mayor seemed very inspired and happy in all his sorties, that he ignored getting tired. And probably, his body gave way, thus his untimely and unexpected death.
As the people of Mangaldan grieve over the demise of an unparalleled leader and public servant, Romero will be remembered for his remarkable deeds, his enormous love for his people and mostly, his personality as a humble, kind and soft-spoken person.
Romero will surely be cherished in the hearts of the people whom he served and he will always be remembered as the father and architect of progress and development in this now, booming town of Mangaldan.
Since Monday morning shortly before lunch time, when Romero’s remains was brought to his residence, people from all walks of life started flocking there to get a glimpse of him for the last time and to pay their final respects. Romero’s interment will be held on January 3, 2013 after a Mass that shall be held at the Sto. Tomas Catholic Church at 9:00 A.M.
 VM Berex Abalos is sworn in
 Although declared as a non-working holiday last Monday, December 24, Vice-Mayor and Sangguniang Bayan (SB) Presiding Officer Bernardo ‘Berex’ C. Abalos was sworn into office at 9:30 A.M. at the municipal hall as mayor of the municipality. The oath-taking of Abalos was administered by Lawyer Gabriel Magno and witnessed by the members of the SB, a number of employees and department heads of the different offices of the local government unit (LGU).
 The immediate swearing-in of Abalos as the new chief executive of Mangaldan was said to avoid vacuum in the leadership within the LGU.
 However, Local Government Operation Officer Dinah Pinlac cleared that Abalos need not to be sworn in as the next mayor, for the fact that it is automatic for him (Abalos) , by operation of law, to assume office upon the demise of the incumbent mayor. Abalos, who is himself a candidate for the mayoralty  in May 2013 polls, will be the town’s mayor for six months until June 30, 2013.
 On Wednesday, December 26, Abalos’ first day in office as mayor, he called for a meeting with all the department heads and threshed out an orderly turn-over for a continuous and smooth run in the delivery of services to the people.
 Accordingly, Abalos will hold office at the newly constructed annex building at the back of the main municipal hall. On the other hand, number one councilor and SB Presiding Officer Pro Tempore Ma. Teresa ‘Baby’ M. Abalos, has replaced Abalos as the town’s vice-mayor and SB presiding officer, while Mayor Romero’s youngest son Herminio ‘Erjun’, which has been decided upon by the party the former mayor belongs, will seat as an SB member, filling up the vacant position due to the unexpected movement within the municipal council.
As of press time, talks are undergoing on whether Mayor Romero’s eldest son, Christopher ‘Toper’, who at 38 years-old, will finally decide to shoe-in for his father and be a replacement as provincial board member-candidate in the 4th District.
 A strong clamor for him to run for the position though is in the offing, as the majority of the people in Mangaldan would like to have a board member to represent them and the entire 4th District in the provincial’s August Body. Political observers say that Toper would eventually win the elections, in as much as it would surely be sympathy votes that would propel him to be one of the two winning candidates in the 2013 elections. “Toper, although really not yet prepared to run for the position, will however hurdle the campaign and win in the elections. He has the potentials and the same personality of his father, who does not talk a lot, but rather works and performs. And he too like the late mayor, is very generous and very understanding,” said one political pundit.

Monday, December 24, 2012

P'sinan's politicos arming themselves with AK-47

Russian made AK-47 assault rifle invented by a Soviet Sgt. Mikhail Kalashnikov
Before a mayor of Pangasinan went to Infanta recently to pay his last respects to the slain Mayor Ruperto Martinez, I went near his Starex van.
He showed me two Russian-made folding- type Kalashnikov AK-47s sprawled at the floor of his car. “Why not use those M-15 A4 Carbine (baby M-16 Armalite used by U.S special forces in Afghanistan and Iraq) your family has been giving as gift to political friends, ” I asked him.
He just laughed. He told me AK-47 (that has a 100-round detachable box and drum style magazine) is much powerful than M–15. When I told this story two days later to a high elective official in Central Pangasinan who used to hire close-in body guards from Ilocos every election time, he told me he sold all his M-16s he bought before in lieu of the much powerful AK-47.
 I could not agree more. This Russian made assault rifle invented by an Ivan Sergeant Mikhail Kalashnikov has been known to have the same fire-power with the longer M-14 rifle (first entered service in 1957 and was used by the U.S Marines when they set foot in Vietnam in the early of 1960s).
 According to the online Wikepidia: “The main advantages of the Kalashnikov rifle are its simple design, fairly compact size, and adaptation to mass production. It is inexpensive to manufacture and easy to clean and maintain. Its ruggedness and reliability are legendary.
The AK-47 was initially designed for ease of operation and repair by glove-wearing Soviet soldiers in Arctic conditions. The large gas piston, generous clearances between moving parts, and tapered cartridge case d
To would- be- assassins, who would emulate how Mayor Martinez was killed in broad daylight; just take a pre-caution my dear killers.
The Toyota Land Cruiser, Mitsubishi Montero, or the Starex Van you want to ambush has probably a cache of full-jacket Kalash versus your .45 caliber hand gun.
Susmariosep, that would be a mismatch.
 (You can read my selected thought-provoking columns at and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at


Malacanang has up to Feb 13 to suspend Espino


 To Board Member wannabe Teri Sison: Has the pressure of the 2013 poll has taken a toll on your patience (a virtue) already? Your rash of accusing me in your text messages of destroying your candidacy to Mangaldan Mayor Hermie Romero (Sison’s rival for the BM’s post) was so un- statesman.
. I don’t even talked a tinge about you when I interviewed Romero (who suffered from cardiac arrest in December 23 and died not because I interviewed him but when he spoke at a sortie in San Fabian)” for news.
 What I discussed with Romero was how his rivals BM Mojamito Libunao and former Vice Mayor Liberato Villegas Jr., who are with the big league, fare in the provincial board race in the fourth district. The last time I gave my attention about you was when I interviewed you, for old times sake, because you were with Manaoag mayoralty bet Ming Rosario who asked me to accompany him when he filed his candidacy last October. But I regret about it because after I selflessly spent time and effort writing about you in my blog (Pangasinan News! with 5000 and growing hits or read a week) you did not even answer my text message to thank me when I informed you that your self-serving story has been posted already..
Then there you were last week accusing me of undermining you. Wag naman Teri my friend. Voters would not like a candidate who easily jumps with guns blazing into conclusion without verifying first the truth of the matter.
Here is my two-cent worth of opinion in case Pangasinan Governor Amado T. Espino be given a preventive suspension (PS) by the Office of the President in Malacanang Palace for an administrative case of "grave misconduct" in relation to the criminal plunder case filed by Bugallon Mayor Ric Orduna at the Ombudsman. The official can be suspended preventively anytime after the issues (complaint that includes testimonial and documentary evidences) are joined, when the evidence of guilt is strong, and given the gravity of the offense, there is great probability that the continuance in office of the respondent could influence the witness or pose a threat to the safety and integrity of the records and other evidence (Sec. 63 (b), R.A No.7160).
With out all the considerations Espino could not be removed even temporarily from his post. In case an official has been meted a 60 –day PS for a single case or a 90-day PS as maximum for multiple administrative complaints he would be reinstated in his post 90 days prior to a local election.
So if the opponents  of Espino are really after his scalp,  the law give them up to February 13, 2013 or 90 days before the May 13, 2013 poll before they could be shouted by the Comelec guys and supporters of Espino with "estoppel!".
(You can read my selected thought-provoking columns at and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at

Prov'l director ng Pangasinan, ni-relieve na kasunod ng jueteng scandal

DAGUPAN CITY - Epektibo na kagabi ang pagkaka-relieve sa puwesto bilang OIC provincial director ng lalawigan ni S/Supt Mariano Luis Versoza Jr., kasunod ng direktiba mula sa Camp Crame. Sa isinagawang command conference na ginanap sa San Fernando, La Union kagabi, kinumpirma ni C/Supt Franklin Bucayo, ang regional director ng Police Regional Office (PRO-1) ang pagbaba ng relief order sa naturang kautusan. Sinasabing ang direktiba ay walang maliwanag na rason. Tikom naman ang bibig ng mga opisyal ngunit kumpirmadong na-relieve sa puwesto ang nasabing opisyal. Hindi rin inihayag kung may kinalaman ito sa iligal na sugal na jueteng sa probinsiya. Uupo naman bilang OIC provincial director ng PNP Pangasinan si S/Supt Manolito Labador, ang kasalukuyang assistant regional director for operations ng PRO-1. Ayon naman kay P/Supt Jovencio Badua Jr., tagapagsalita ng PRO-1, maaaring magkaroon ng malawakang balasahan sa mga hepe ng kapulisan sa lalawigan partikular na ang mga chief of police na overstaying na sa kanilang mga lugar. Nito lamang nakaraang linggo ay kinaladkad si Gov. Amado Espino Jr., ng isa sa mayor ng lalawigan na umano'y siyang "jueteng lord" sa iligal na operasyon ng pasugalan, bagay na mahigpit namang pinabulaanan ng opisyal. Ang Malacañang at DILG ay una na ring nagpalabas ng direktiba na magpatupad ng balasahan sa mga PNP officials sa nabanggit na probinsya (BOMBO RADYO NEWS).

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Pangasinan gov to file charges vs political foes

Mayor Orduna and Boy Bata sued Espino at Ombudsman

By : Hector Lawas EMBATTLED Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino Jr., who was recently accused of earning nearly Php1 billion in jueteng payola in the past nine years, yesterday vowed to press charges against his political enemies who allegedly bankrolled the smear campaign against him. Espino said as soon as all evidence were in, they would turn the tables and expose who were really behind the operation of jueteng in the province. In a statement, Espino’s lead counsel Dean Abraham Espejo bared that lawsuits will be filed next week to prove that the jueteng accusations were “poorly manufactured and wanting in evidence.” Espino said “even a Grade 1 pupil could discern that everything (jueteng expose’) is politically-motivated.” “The charges filed against Gov. Espino are politically motivated,” Espejo said in a press statement sent to justice reporters. Espejo said the accusation against Espino was clearly the handiwork of his detractors aimed at destroying the governor in time for next year’s election. He said the governor has been “an exemplary government official and had a sterling background as a police officer,” and is “a good man who has been elected overwhelmingly.” Espejo believed that this is the reason why the governor’s political opponents have resorted to black propaganda. He likewise stressed that the governor will remain as a loyal member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition and will continue to support the ruling coalition of President Aquino. Espino has been charged with plunder before the Office of the Ombudsman over his alleged involvement in jueteng.

Of Christmas and politics

By Dave Paragas ACTUALLY, THERE’S NO sense about it. For if you look at the deeper context, Christmas is about Jesus Christ and His magnificent way of saving us, the sinners, while politics is power relations in specific fields. But what interests me in writing about this subject is that the doctrine of church and state in our time has no more value in terms of how we see our politics and religion. Wheeeww! This is heavy, and it gets heavier to understand the reality that most of us do not care anymore about issues of morality and spirituality, and that’s why we just can’t blame the experts who keep on “demonizing” our society with old tricks like katapusan na ng mundo. We can only blame ourselves for this foolhardiness. Okay, let’s proceed to the doctrine of church and state, and let’s be more honest about it. The church imposes ex-communication to those who disobey their doctrinal beliefs (although not all), while the other imposes law and order to preserve peace and security for everyone. The church takes care about spiritual lives of its faithful, while politics is inclined to the bill of rights written by men and their limited sense of equity and justice. The church imposes the law of God, but politics rules over civility of the state’s inhabitants. The church preaches the love of God and charity, while politics teaches us to pay taxes according to the law, and without delay. The church teaches divine forgiveness, but politics promotes justice by the standards of men. The church stands for pro-life and marriage between a man and woman, but politics can play fools according to the will of the majority. The church is strict on abortion, lesbianism and same sex marriage, but politics, and again, play fools because its existence is just based on our taxes. The point is, no matter how you look at it, it’s impossible for us to reconcile the two. And while our politicians engage themselves in matters like spiritualism and heroism, they don’t really sound alike in heavenly realms. Because the church teaches heavenly things, but politics is a game where matters of the flesh are strong and real. However, in the spirit of Christmas, we can’t help but relate our politics into the sense of our merriments. Because politics and politicians have an indispensable role to celebrate man’s existence and its admittedly limited power, it’s about bringing ourselves to a place where we, somehow, can feel as a haven for humans. And so, whatever happens in Pangasinan or Dagupan politics, I submit to God, with my fullest measure of humility, and my silent devotion to the only Divine, the things I know and I do not know about life and this world. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Suspected Killers of Mayor Martinez nabbed

Suspected killer, 47-year-old Ricardo Legarda y Soriano from Cavite, pictured behind bars at the Lingayen police station after being charged with the murder of Infanta town mayor Ruperto Martinez.
 By Jojo Rinoza

Two men believed to be guns for hire were apprehended by police at a checkpoint in Dasol, Pangasinan. The duo were positively identified by witnesses in the alleged killing of Infanta town mayor Ruperto M. Martinez.
 In a police report, Ruperto M. Martinez, town mayor of Infanta, Pangasinan, was gunned down by two male suspects aboard a motorcycle around 2:45pm of December 15, 2012 inside his residential compound at Barangay Cato, Infanta.
 The same day, Police Senior Superintendent Mariano Luis Verzosa Jr. conducts a case conference with members of the Special Investigation Task Group Martinez (SITG-Martinez) to track down the killers. It is here they learned the two suspects fitting the description given by the witnesses had never passed any checkpoints established in the area. Intelligence team were dispatched to monitor hotels, resorts, inns and houses for rents in Infanta and neighboring towns.
 On the afternoon of December 16, 2012, Intelligence unit of SITG-Martinez were able to track down two male fitting the description of the assailants checked-in in a resort at the neighboring town Dasol. After placing a close surveillance, the two male suspects, on board a motorcycle with no plate number, were stopped and arrested at a checkpoint conducted by uniformed policemen and intelligence operatives along the national highway in Dasol, Pangasinan.
 The two suspects are now detained at the Lingayen Police Station and were charged with murder.

Obscenities in Pangasinan

Fire breathing BM Ranjit Ramos Shahani

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

 An information guy should maximize his publicity works for his beleaguered boss. He should stop playing around with his sexy staff. Media men are worried that the other paramour, a powerful man, of the lass would discover the illicit relationship. One of the staff in the office has been telling stories of the affairs of the woman with the powerful man and the propaganda man. Her affairs scandalize and offend the staff there. “Kabago-bago lang sa opis, pero feeling niya boss na rin siya,” one of the male staff there told media men on the woman. ***
A political spectator reacted on my last week’s column “Pathetic Manaoag – Kim and Ming”. He told me that after vice mayoral bet Aiza Villacorta died, mayoralty bet Angie Sales, the wife of Mayor Nap Sales, handpicked a new vice mayoralty bet -Lito Arenas – a favored contractor at the Department of Agriculture. “How pathetic was the tandem of Sales, both of the mayoralty and vice mayoralty candidates have no experience in any post in the government.
Look at Ming (Rosario, mayoralty bet) at least he became a town councilor and board member before venturing for the mayoralty,” he quipped. He took a dig too at mayoralty bet Kim Amador (incumbent vice mayor) crowing to the media that he interceded for some projects like an edifice built near the municipal hall, and the two million pesos he chalked up recently from the Department of Budget & Management he told everyone happened because of his diligence. “Don’t believe about that diligence. He could easily get a fund from the DBM because his sister Claire is an undersecretary there. But he must know that he would be offending the district congresswoman by what he is doing. He was preempting the solon for the funds that should be downloaded to her.”
The past week this Baguio City born columnist has been relishing the book “Senator Cipriano P. Primicias: Vignettes and Anecdotes on His Life and Times “ given to the members of the Sangguniang Panglalawigan (provincial board) by the kin of former Pangasinan Governor Cipriano ”Tito” Primicias, Jr. during the necrological service program at the august chamber in December 10.
Thanks to BM Ranjit Ramos Shahani, former congressman and former vice governor, who grudgingly lent the book to me because I was interrupting his intellectual skirmishes with the local media men Atong Remogat, Vir Maganes, and his immensity Bobot Caracas. “Geez, please stop your conversation and hear what the book said! Don’t you know that the 60 years running political feud between the Marambas and the Primicias (who are relatives) was because of a “Be-e” (woman) in Ms Nieves Benito – who won the Miss Pangasinan plum in the Manila Carnival in 1930 and who jilted Thomas Maramba and married Cipriano Primicias,” I told them as I underscored the paragraphs written by Massachusett Institute Technology alumnus Larry Maramba Henares whose witty and humorous column “Maramba-Primicias Feud” was featured in the book. “The family (Marambas) had a word for Primicias, sagen, meaning a stray dog that has wandered in beefing for food.
You see, he wandered into the family (house) by marrying Nieves Benito… Benito was a very pretty Miss Pangasinan who represented us in Manila Carnival of 1930”. “Oh ito pa! Sabi ni Larry bastos daw ang salita ng Pangasinan. “In Pangalatok, Titi means to fry, guisa; Kiki means to tickle, kiliti; Bayag means tagal, takes too long; and Otot (hahaha), means daga, rat or mouse. Nobody from Pangasinan except me, Eddie Ramos, Bert Romulo and Joe de Venecia speak the dialect. Pangasinan is indeed a dying language” A “pestered” Ranjit, a graduate of Georgetown University in the US and four subjects shy of Bachelor of Laws at University of the Philippines, told me to set aside the book because I was interrupting his intellectual calisthenics with the “who’s who’ of the fourth estate.
Atong emphatically seconded the board member because I was ruining their analysis on my earlier statement that I got a “boner” every time Ranjit talked about international politics (Atong and Ranjit agreed that a boner, a slang, is a misnomer. Ranjit said how can a male organ have a bone when it only hardens through the thickness of skin and the pumping of jets of blood.
On page 35 of the book there is a photo of former Senator Arturo Tolentino, who looks like actor Jake Cuenca, at 91 years and who was sharp as the manhood of media men Harold Barcelona and Ronel de Vera when interviewed for the book, said with the pattern crop of politicians, I think our politics then was very different. We debated on principles and on ideas that were for the good of the people, and not for personal benefit.
But now, I see most politicians as motivated by the desire for personal benefit. And so, politics then was very different in the sense that when election time comes, we do not choose by money. There was no money politics that time. During our time, we chose candidates by their record and the performance that they have. That is the reason why at this time; I do not want to enter politics anymore. This is not the kind of politics in which I was trained.” Son of a gun, the dig of Turing Tolentino, prolific author of the Philippine Civil Law books, are a comeuppance to Senators Lito Lapid and Bong Revilla and Congressman Manny Pacquiao . ***
On page 34 the irrepressible and rabble rouser former Marcos Minister and former Pangasinan Governor Condrado Estrella (I had a privileged to hear his verbal spectacles years ago in Lingayen) said that Senator Primicias fits well as Majority Floor Leader.
 He studies and is very well prepared during sessions. He is very studious. Before, there were quality bills; now laws passed are more on changing of names of streets or of towns… very shallow.” When asked about “Pork Barrel” during their time, the Minister was quick in telling us that “ it was just a “piker” as compared to what people in position have now.” The former Pangasinan Governor mused that Senator Primicias’ statement which he cannot forget was “I would rather be right than win an election.”
After speed reading the book on Lakay Cianong Primicias, I felt that somehow I became part of the history of this colorful and heritage-rich humongous province (bigger than the combined provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos, Sur, and La Union where the four are geographically interlinked in Region 1) after I cut my teeth here as pen pusher and marrying the former Mildred Rosario of Brgy.Sapang, Sta. Barbara.
 My wifey is a town mate of Ka Cianong, Thomas Maramba, and my kasimanwa Larry whom the latter I met and has a chance to chat at the birthday of former Speaker Joe de Venecia at the swanky Golden Bay Chinese Restaurant in Pasay City last December 26, 2011 (Gypsy, sana maulit uli ang pag imbita niyo sa akin sa December 26 para maisu-ot ko uli iyong Americana coat ko na pinamana pa ng Lolo ko na lumaban noon sa Katipunan).
(You can read my selected thought-provoking columns at and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at

Manay Gina, namigay ng higit apat na milyong pondo para sa feeding program

Rep. Gina de Venecia

Namigay ng higit sa apat na milyong pondo si Manay Gina de Venecia, para sa feeding program ng mga kabataang mag-aaral sa pampublikong paaralan sa ika-apat na distrito. Ang pondo, worth P4,067,240 ay nagmula sa kanyang Special Feeding Program Fund sa Kongreso. Katuwang nya sa pagsasagawa ng nasabing feeding program ang DSWD ng bawat bayan at ang Department of Education- Pangasinan II.
 Sa seremonya nitong Biyernes sa kanyang tahanan sa Bonuan Binloc, ibinigay ng kongresista ang halagang P3, 740, 240 sa Dep-Ed Pangasinan II para sa kabataang mag-aaral ng Mangaldan, San Fabian at Manaoag. Para sa mga taga-San Jacinto, P81, 750 naman ang halagang kanyang ibinigay, habang ang DSWD naman ng Dagupan City ay tumanggap ng P 245, 250.
 Kasabay nito, dalawampung nanay naman mula sa Manaoag at San Fabian ang tumanggap ng puhunang pera mula sa SEA- K program ng DSWD. Dahil sa matatag na samahan ni Manay Gina atDSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman, nakahingi ng karagdagang isang milyon ang kongresista sa kanyang regular na congressional allocation para sa Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran program ng DSWD.
Dahil dito, marami pang nanay sa ika-apat na distrito ang makaka-asang mabibiyayaan ng puhunang pangklabuhayan.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pangasinan town mayor shot dead

Assassinated Infanta Mayor Ruperto Martinez
PIA-1/PANGASINAN: Mayor Ruperto Martinez of Infanta, Pangasinan was shot dead with a 45 cal pistol at 3:30pm Saturday right in front of his house by two unidentified gunmen. Martinez sustained two gunshots, neck and breast. 
Martinez, who is in his last term as town mayor, is running as vice-mayor with incumbent vice-mayor Vir Vallarta as his mayoralty running mate. 
 The other angle being looked by authorities is his involvement on allowing a mining site to operate in his town.
Suspects are still at large

Why Mangaldan is richer than its neighbors

Mangaldan modern public market as sketched by an artist. Construction of it is ongoing
MANGALDAN – Political and economic spectators said this town is richer than her neighboring towns San Fabian, San Jacinto, and Manoaog. Mayor Herminio Romero said that this progressive municipality has drawn people from these towns where they buy their basic necessities like fish and vegetables. “Kaya napapansin mo marami na ta-o from San Fabian, Manaoag, and Dagupan (City) dito pa sila pumunta,” he explained. Romero said he is unfazed by the presence of mammoth retail stores like SM (and Robinsons) that rose up in the province as long as people patronize the products here that are more competitive than the neighboring towns and city.
 He said his administration helps the meat industry and its vaunted tapa (cured beef) thrive because it gives livelihood to the people here. “Maraming ta-o ang nag de-depend sa meat industry kung saan ang mga pamilya nila at mga problem nila doon nang-gagaling ang pina-paaral nila. Kaya pino-protekahan namin”. Compared to the three neighboring municipalities, this town eclipsed them in terms of annual fiscal appropriation this year.
This town has P145 Million budget according to Dr. Rosalie R,Hulifas,executive officer of Romero, while Manaoag and San Jacinto have P100 Million and P76 Million for fiscal year 2012, respectively.
Dr. Hulipas said that one of the major sources of revenues here are the thriving market place and the laboratories of renowned pharmaceutical companies that buttressed the coffer of this town.
 Meanwhile,Romero said that in the fiesta in March he will include the promotion of the Tapa Festival in the Palenke – Festival.
 The mayor of this burgeoning town does not want publicity how his projects fare. Instead he wants to silently spruce-up the façade of the public market and the slaughter house.
Mayor Herminio Romero said that he will siphon the funds for the construction of the public edifice from the income of the beauty contest that will be held in the town’s fiesta on March next year.
The appropriation of the proceeds, he said, will go to the improvement of the physical structures of the abattoir and the public market. “Maganda ang publicity mo pagkatapos pupunta ka sa palenke at sa slaughter house hindi naman maganda ang façade. Hindi masu-sustain, kaya ang akin you have to put the physical facilities first. Pagkatapos iyon ang maging ultimate na punputahan natin ang palenke, puntahan natin ang slaughter house kaya dapat kasi maganda ang sa labas nila. Dapat ang products doon akma sa facilities,” he stressed. (MCO).

Carabao City lowers garbage fee to draw more LGUs

URDANETA CITY – To attract more clients, the mayor of this burgeoning city in Region-1 has lowered the tipping fee of its vaunted sanitary landfill. The strategy is to draw more local government units in and out of the region to patronize it. Mayor Amadeo Perez IV said that he decreased the fee per ton of segregated rubbish from P2,200 to P900 so it could attract more towns and cities to avail the land fill located at Sitio Caegu, Barangay Catablan here. This city has yet to reach the projected annual income the landfill can generate to the coffer after the administration of former mayor Amadito Perez Jr., the father of the incumbent hizzoner, borrowed a P220 Million loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines in 2010.
 He said there were feelers from Baguio City who want to intercede for the city to avail the service of the landfill. Perez explained that he was privy of the intention but until now he is to receive a formal proposal from the City of Pines. “That is the time I am going to peruse the application,” he stressed. Presently, only the towns of Sta. Barbara, Mapandan, Alcala, Bautista , and Pozzurobio have availed the sanitary service of the city. The land fill here was created in conjunction with Republic Act 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act that prohibits open dumpsites in all local government units all over the country. The law mandates that all thrash will be segregated and its residuals will be dumped for at the landfilld. Meanwhile, with a more than P700 million annual appropriation this year, this city has eclipsed older cities Dagupan and San Carlos and is now virtually miles away from Pangasinan’s youngest city, Alaminos.
A political spectator here who asked anonymity said that other city executives in Pangasinan and Region 1 acknowledged that they have a lot to catch up with the progress this city chalked up under the stewardship of Mayor Perez IV. This happened after he blasted them in virtually all aspects of development, not only financially but also in urban development and environmental sanitation. “Seguro, political will,” Perez quipped when asked about his secrets in managing this entrepot city famously known for its cattle industry in Northern Luzon. (MCO).

Pangasinan governor linked to jueteng sued for plunder, Espino denies charges

By: Abigail Kwok,

MANILA, Philippines -- Pangasinan
Governor Amado Espino Jr. has been charged with plunder before the Office of the Ombudsman Friday over his alleged involvement in the illegal numbers game "jueteng." The charges were filed by Mayor Rodrigo Orduna of Bugallon town, who claimed Espino was on the take from jueteng operators. But Espino denied the accusation. “That’s an old issue , nasagot ko iyan lahat [I’ve already answered everything], the governor said at a press conference in Pangasinan on Friday. "I am denying na may tinanggap ako diyan sa jai-alai na iyan o sa jueteng ngayon kung meron man sa Pangasinan," he added. [I am denying that I received something from jai-alai or jueteng if ever there are in Pangasinan.] Orduna made the accusations against Espino at a press conference in Camp Crame, Quezon City earlier in the day where he was joined by Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II. Also with him was Fernando Alimagno alias 'Boy Bata,' a barangay captain of Candelaria, Quezon.
 In his sworn statement, Orduna described Espino as the "big boss" of jueteng in Pangasinan Aside from himself and Alimagno, Orduna said Espino had also worked with a certain Lito Millora and Bong Cayabyab. Orduna said the governor had received between P800-900 million in jueteng payoffs over the past 10 years. Jueteng trail Orduna said his relationship with Espino started in 2001, when the latter was running for a congressional seat in Pangasinan and sought his support.
 During his stint in Congress, Espino allegedly ordered Orduna to collect protection money from jueteng operators in Pangasinan, including a certain Romy Lahara. When Orduna met with the operators, they agreed to give Espino P3 million a month divided into four installments of P750,000 a week.
The payoffs were made every Saturday, supposedly on Espino's request. "May mga pagkakataon na sa bahay niya ako nagdadala ng pera, at mayroon din namang okasyon na idinideposito ko ito sa kanyang account sa Security Bank, Dagupan branch, para mapondohan kung mayroon siya na inisyu na tseke (There were times I would take the money to his house, and there were occasions I deposited it in his account at the Security Bank, Dagupan branch, to fund the checks he issued)," Orduna said in his statement.
 When Espino became governor in 2007, his take allegedly increased to P10 million monthly, or P2.5 million every Saturday, though this went up during months with five Saturdays. "Hindi po puwedeng ma-delay ang pagbibigay ng pera kay Gob. Espino. Pero dahil siya ang Big Boss,puwede pong mapaaga o maging advance ang paghahatid sa kanya ng pera (The delivery of money to Gov. Espino could never be delayed. But because he was the Big Boss, it could be advanced)," Orduna said. Campaign fund Orduna claimed that during the 2010 presidential elections, Espino received an additional P2.5 million monthly for his "campaign fund" and was even angered when he stopped receiving the additional amount after the election season.
 The mayor said a police Superintendent Wilson Lopez, whom he described as Espino's godson, acted as a jueteng collector when he was intelligence officer in Pangasinan. The revelation prompted PNP Director General Nicanor Bartolome to order the relief of Lopez and his transfer to Camp Crame for investigation. Orduna did not spare Manila-based police officers, claiming P825,000 in jueteng money was delivered to Camp Crame every month for distribution to officials on the take. For his part, Alimagno claimed journalists from Metro Manila and the provinces also got jueteng payoffs.
However, he claimed he could not name them as they were assigned aliases. Jueteng operations in Pangasinan stopped in 2010 when Archbishop Oscar Cruz, who was also at the press conference, went public against the illegal numbers racket. In 2011, jueteng operators in the province shifted to jai-alai, a similary illegal racket Orduna claimed was run by Charlie "Atong" And and from which Espino allegedly got P8 million monthly. Espino dismissed the accusations made by Orduna and Alimagno , saying their claims were "politically motivated."
 Espino also denied he was receiving about P8 million monthly from Charlie "Atong" Ang, through jai alai which was allegedly being used as a front for jueteng operations in the province. "Wala akong ibinigay na permit kay Mr. Charlie Ang so how can I ask anything from him?" Espino said. "Wala akong tinatanggap na kahit ano man iyan." [I did not give permit to Mr. Charlie Ang so how can I ask anything from him? I did not receive anything.]
 In a subsequent statement, Roxas described Orduna's revelations as “documented” and “actionable.” “We have two insiders who have come out in the open, and have submitted sworn statements, which will be the basis of the Department of the Interior and Local Government to conduct a thorough investigation,” he said. “With my background in finance, I know that when money flows, there will be a trail. We will use the anti-money laundering law para makita ang money trail,” he said. “As they say, we will follow the money.” Politics? Orduna said he would not be surprised if people would attribute his accusations against Espino to the May 2013 elections. "Siguro pag sinabi kong hindi ito sa pulitika baka di rin kayo maniwala pero sa totoo lang po matagal ko nang pinag-isipan ito. Nagkataon lang na ngayon lang ako nagkaroon ng lakas ng loob (Maybe if I said this was not motivated by politics you will not believe me but the truth is I have long been thinking of this. It is only now that I found the courage to do so)," Orduna said.
 But Roxas said Orduna's motives were not important. 'Find a good lawyer' At the press conference, Roxas said: "Matapos ito tatawagan ko si Gov. Espino ... 'kumuha po kayo ng mahusay na abogado dahil hindi ito madadaan sa pulitika, sa kampihan. Dadaan ito sa legal process na tama (After this I will call up Gov. Espinoa ... 'get a good lawyer because this cannot be solved through politics or comradeship. This will pass through the right legal process')'." At the same time, the statement from Roxas' office said the expose of Orduna, “a self confessed jueteng operative," followed a falling between the mayor and Alimagno, a "notorious jueteng financier" in his province, on one hand, and Espino, on the other. Roxas promised Orduna his support. “Lalo na at alam kong inilagay niya ang kanyang sarili at ang kanyang pamilya sa peligro, kaya naman gagamitin ko ang kapangyarihan ng aking tanggapan sang-ayon sa batas upang imbestigahan ang usaping ito at tutukan ito hanggang katapusan (Especially since I know he put himself and his family in danger, I will use the powers of my office in accordance with law to investigate this matter and stay with it to its conclusion),” Roxas said.
 The statement from Roxas’ office also said he had ordered the reshuffling of police personnel in Pangasinan to prevent any whitewash. Roxas said he would work for Orduna and Alimagno to be enrolled in the Witness Protection Program. While this is being worked on, he said he would assign a security detail to the two, who will be given "religious sanctuary" in the meantime.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Romero lauds de Venecia

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

 MANGALDAN – The mayor here hailed Rep.Gina de Venecia (4th District, Pangasinan) for making this town the first recipient of the PhilHealth cards worth P1.2 million.
 Mayor Herminio Romero said that 505 poor family members have been the recipient of the P1.2 million cards that came from de Venecia’s Priority Development Assistance Fund. “This is good for two years and Manay Gina said she will increase the 505 recipients,” Romero announced to the hundreds of residents that came from different village who attended the distribution at the stadia of a public school here.
The mayor said this burgeoning town is the favorite of the solon because the mayor and the people here gave her the biggest votes compared to the city of Dagupan and the towns of San Fabian, San Jacinto, and Manaoag against her opponent in the 2010 congressional election.
“Because of her a lot of government projects have been brought here. Look at the P22 million fish building that came from her PDAF that edifice is the most beautiful fish building in the entire province!”.
 Meanwhile, Rep. de Venecia has given P50 thousand to Barangay Salaan through its village chief Cesar Junatas . She said she gave the sum because Salaan gave here 100% votes in the 2010 election.
Brgy. Salaan, according to the former chieftain there, has more than thousand of votes.
 “Kaya bilang pasasalamat, gusto kong tawagin si Kapitan Cesar Junatas para ibigay ang aking munting handog. Ito po ay cash money, worth 50 thousand na puwede niyong gamitin sa kasayahan o anumang proyekto na nais nyong paglaanan ng pondo. Gusto kong bigyang-diin, na ito ay hindi premyo dahil alam kong hindi kayang tumbasan ng materyal na bagay ang inyong katapatan. Sa halip, ito ay isang munting bonus lamang, mula sa amin ng inyong Kuya Joe, dahil ang talagang handog namin sa inyo ay ang pag-aalay ng aming buhay bilang inyong mga lingkod. At umasa po kayo, na habang kami’y nabubuhay, ang inyong pagmamahal ay susuklian namin, ng Serbisyong Walang Hanggan”.
The congresswoman said she interceded also for funds from the Department of Agriculture to bankroll the farm-to-market roads in Barangays Amansabina, Macayug, Banaoang, Guiguilonen, Embarcadero, Alitaya, Nibalew, Buenlag, at Guesang.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Incompetent DOLE Personnel

Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz 

 Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz of the Department of Labor should be hitting with tongs and hammer the DOLE’s Region-1 and Pangasinan-Dagupan City offices because of inability of its personnel to give the P3000 counterpart in the wages of students who worked at the city hall for a month.
The DOLE is supposed to give P3,000 of the P7000 wages in the department’s Special Program for the Employment of Students last summer. Even Administrator Vlad Mata and City Information Officer Ana Velasco could not believe that until now the counterpart fund DOLE pledged to the city has not been given to some of the sorry summer job workers. Mata even told me that some of these students or their parents have complained to him in the past about this red tape.
In September this year I wrote the following in this column: “ Last summer, students from the marginalized sectors all over the country have been selected by local government unit (LGU) to work in your department’s SPES where the LGU shouldered 60 percent of their salary while DOLE shoulder 40 percent of the more than P7000 salary in a one month work.
Susmariosep, the LGU of Dagupan City has long been given the 60 percent counterpart in May this year to the workers while many of these students and out-of-school youth still wait for the counterpart from your local offices here in Northern Luzon. What is happening with your department Secretary Baldoz? Sylvia Catapia, your point woman for this endeavor in Pangasinan, has been telling parents who follow up the balance fees of their children that their papers are still being scrutinized in the DOLE’s regional office.
 But Holy Casseroles and Guacamole Secretary Baldoz, it is already September of 2012 but still no courtesy of text or call from Catapia from the “scrutiny crap” just to ease up the parents’ anxiety who have been given a run-around in that office despite being there for the umpteenth time. Catapia and your staff in La Union should have the common sense to call up and update the recipients or their parents on what your office should be paying. I could not believe that the DOLE personnel could not even send a letter why the compensation of these workers had not been given.
 Imagine, eight months since that summer job in year 2012 the actuation of DOLE on this counterpart pay’s brouhaha has scandalized a lot of people. Secretary Baldoz,a few days from now and its already year 2013. Baka umabot pa iyan ng Summer 2013?

Calimlim mum on Lomibao as opponent



By Mortz C. Ortigoza

LINGAYEN – Vice Governor Ferdinand Calimlim refused to comment on who between former Vice Governor Oscar Lambino and former Police Director General Arturo Lomibao is the tougher opponent in the vice gubernatorial race. Instead, he said he concentrates on barnstorming the towns, villages and boondocks of Pangasinan with the same propensity and aggressiveness when he ran against Lambino for the province’s number two post in the 2010 poll.
The vice governor is pitted in the May 13, 2013 election against Lomibao who is his relative. Lomibao, a retired four –star general used to head the Philippine National Police, National Electrification Administration, and Land Transportation Office. Political spectators said the three departments Lomibao headed were ‘juiciest” posts many political appointees dream. Lomibao who runs in tandem with gubernatorial bet Hernani Braganza, mayor of Alaminos City, under the Liberal Party is pitted with Calilim and Governor Amado T. Espino.
 In the three years stint of Calimlim as vice governor that has more than 1.5 million voters, he has been known to distribute 26,660 monoblock chairs or 20 pieces in each of the 1,333 villages of the province. Calimlim gave also 300 plastic chairs to each of the 44 municipalities of Pangasinan. Calimlim used to be a mayor of Mapandan for three terms.
He said his present post is more demanding than being a mayor, as being vice governor means he has to barnstorm 1,333 barangays unlike when he was a mayor of Mapandan, a small town. “My routine in going to the boondocks did not change when I was ‘campaigning’ for the vice governor for one year and a half before the election in 2010,” he stressed.
 He said his style in crisscrossing the villages by feeling the pulse of his constituents is the same as that of Governor Espino. “Nothing changed,” he told the governor when they both exchanged notes when they ran for election in 2010. Aside from the monoblock chairs, he distributed grass cutter and megaphone to every barangay and to the entities who request for financial and material assistance in his office here.

Navy fetes Marine Colonel Mata


Admiral Alexander P. Pama (2nd from Left), flag officer-in- command of the  Philippine Navy, awarded Lt. Col. Vladimir Mata  (Extreme Right) of the Officer Reservist of the Year (Field Grade) 
Dagupenos should laud City Administrator Vladimir Mata, a CESO eligible and a Master in National Security Administration graduate. If he was not reaping awards for himself, he is abroad representing Dagupan City as its ambassador. He told me last week that he was invited by Jennifer Chen, acting director, Kaohsiung City (Taiwan) Environmental Bureau to be one of the distinguished speakers (together with mayors and who’s who of the United States) on the “2012 U.S – Taiwan Sustainability Symposium: Creating Sustainable Cities and Promoting Sustainable Ports in the Asia Pacific Region”. The four-day seminar would start on December 10. Susmariosep, its all hair raising trip for Vlad (a Philippine Marine reservist with a ranked of Lieutenant Colonel), he was just in South Africa and Europe lately speaking about the disaster preparedness of the Bangus City, and now he is in our neighbor the Republic of China of Generalismo Chiang Kai-shek.
He told me and former congressman Ranjit Ramos Shahani (who treated us at the Japanese Restaurant Miki Yaki Bar) that he just received an award from the Philippine Navy (mother branch of the “Few, the Proud, the Marine) as an Officer Reservist of the Year (Field Grade) in an awarding rite where no less than Vice Admiral Alexander P. Pama, flag officer-in- command of the Navy giving it to him.
Speaking of our fledgling navy ridiculously called a bathtub Navy in the East Asian region, don’t you know that our water force (99% water, one percent force) has benefited militarily on the spat between China and Japan over the disputed islands known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China? A news recently from the New York Times said for the first time since World War II the “great” Nippon will be giving the biggest bulk of its aid to the Philippines. In article written by Martin Fackler he said that “Our strategy is to offer hardware and training to create mini-Japanese coast guards and mini-Japanese Self-Defense Forces around the South China Sea,” said Tetsuo Kotani, a researcher at the Japan Institute of International Affairs in Tokyo. Under the decade-old civilian aid program to build up regional coast guards, Japanese officials say they are in the final stages of what would be their biggest security-related aid package yet — to provide the Philippine Coast Guard with 10 cutters worth about $12 million each (or a staggering P4.8 billion). Ministry officials say they may offer similar ships to Vietnam”.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Black Sand Extraction in Lingayen’s Eco-Tourism Zone “No violation of mining law” – MGB

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan ---If there will be selling of the black sand extracted from an area where an 18-hole golf course is being developed here it does not violate any mining law. Based on the clarification of issues made by Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Director Carlos Tayag, the provincial government is cleared from any legal liability on the controversial black sand extraction. “If the black sand has a commercial value then the provincial government can sell it,” Tayag said when asked by the media about the issue. The mines bureau official explained that extraction of the magnetite or black sand was necessary because turf grass would not grow with its presence in the golf course area.” “It is difficult to develop vegetation so the purpose of the magnetite extraction was just to separate it from the soil,” Tayag said, as he pointed out that since the extracted magnetite sand has no use in the project, the “option is to sell it to interested buyers if it has a commercial value.” “Why not maximize the use of magnetite, kung puwedeng ibenta bakit di nila ibenta,” Tayag said during the forum arranged by his office last November 29 at the YMCA Building in Dagupan City. With regards to inquiries of what permit should the government grant to the project, Tayag said they have recommended a government gratuitous permit which is free as long as it is for a government project. Tayag also noted that the Environmental Compliance Certificate which the provincial government applied for will already cover the whole of the eco-tourism project. The MGB Regional Office has called on the media through the forum to ask for their support to help them in informing the people of what they are doing to implement responsible mining. Raul Collado, officer-in-charge of the bureau’s mines management office said the media is the best instrument in providing information to people. (PIO/Angie D. Villanueva)

BRAGANZA URGES ESPINO : Stop blaming Roxas for your inefficiency

Lomibao and Braganza (2nd and 3rd from Left in 2nd Row) during their consultation in the 3rd District, Pangasinan
Gov. Amado Espino and his mouthpieces are barking up the wrong tree in blaming Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas for Pangasinan’s inclusion among the “high-risk” provinces in the 2013 election. “Why blame Secretary Roxas sa mga kaguluhang nangyayari sa Pangasinan?
Nangyari po iyong inclusion na ‘yan hindi ho dahil sa election na paparating kundi dahil sa mga krimeng nangyari sa mga nakaraan na ilang taon. They should not lay the blame on somebody else when politicians are being killed by politicians themselves in the province.” This was pointed out by Alaminos City Mayor Hernani “Nani” Braganza, Liberal Party candidate for governor, and his partymate former PNP Chief Arturo Lomibao, during the Peace and Development Forum. At the said forum held in Lingayen – the seat of the provincial administration – media pundits were surprised as Lingayenians themselves affirmed Braganza’s and Lomibao’s contentions. In giving Braganza and Lomibao a standing ovation, the forum participants have strongly manifested their grave concern over the prevailing peace and order condition in the province, adding that “the province of Pangasinan is far from being the safest place to live in, invest and raise a family.” Lomibao voiced strong suspicion that the demand for the removal of Pangasinan from the list of high-risk provinces is part of a sinister plot. “Be thankful to Roxas. Gusto niyang maging mas secured ang Pangasinan,” he said. “Baka po may balak silang gumawa ng masama sa eleksyon kaya ayaw nila sa inclusion.” Braganza, on the other hand, lamented the demise of the Arcinue couple of Lingayen which he said could have been averted. “Dito ho sa bayan ninyo may mga larawan ng mga pulitikong pinatay. Kung naimbestigahan lang ho nang tama nung una silang inambush dapat buhay pa ho sila ngayon. Pero hindi ho ganon dahil pinabayaan ng ating gobyerno, ng ating gobernador,” he said. He stressed that the provincial government should not blame Secretary Roxas for another murder incident that took the life of a Liga ng Mga Barangay President from Agno. Through Braganza’s efforts, however, the suspect has been caught and charged. Another killing incident transpired in Alcala where the victim was a kagawad opposing illegal quarrying in their town. “Kung may kasamaang nangyayari sa iyong probinsya, harapin mo yan at huwag maninisi ng ibang tao,” Braganza said (PRESS RELEASE).

SP expresses dismay on ‘hot spot’ tag on Pangasinan

Lingayen- - - The Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed a resolution expressing dismay over a declaration by the Department of the Interior and Local Government in the list of 15 hot spots in the country which caused an uproar in the entire province. The resolution, entitled, “Expressing the deep sense of dismay and frustration in the identification of Pangasinan among the election high-risk spots in the 2013 election and seeking the immediate removal of the province from the said list by the Honorable Dept. of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas,” is the unanimous move of the provincial and local government officials to disprove the negative perception tagged against the province. In the question hour during the Sanggunaing Panlalawigan’s regular session on December 3, DILG Regional Director said that his office was “not consulted regarding the matter nor asked to submit any report.” Guray said that she was surprised to learn the inclusion of Pangasinan in the list of 15 high-risk provinces, as she pointed out that the province is an awardee of the Gawad Pamana ng Lahi Award (the mother of all governance awards). “I may not know the other parameters used but Pangasinan will vie against 6 other provinces in the entire country in the national level for GPL award,”guray said as she noted that one of the factors of the search pertains to peace and order. Earlier, the provincial government conducted a consultation-dialogue with local government officials and other national agencies like COMELEC, DILG and PNP on Safe Elections 2013 where 35 town and city mayors of Pangasinan signed a resolution seeming to delis the province as high risk spot. Board Member Agerico Rosario said that while the province has been earning numerous awards and citations over the past five years, the high-risk tag has caused a negative impression for Pangasinan. PNP Police Senior Supt and OIC Provincial Director Mariano Luis M. Verzosa, Jr. noted that there are five parameters considered before an area can be dubbed as election hot spot. According to Verzosa, the parameters include presence of private armed groups, history of election-related incidents, shooting incidents victimizing political personalities, proliferation of loose firearms/end of renewed license, and intense political rivalry. While the PNP OIC said that although there are some isolated cases involving at least nine towns in the province, he reported that Pangasinan has the lowest index crime rate in Region I. Positive steps undertaken by the police force, Verzosa said, involve the creation of Special Task Force 2013 that will mobilize PNP units and regional special units like DILG among others. Most senior Board Member Alfonso Bince, Jr. said that even without consultation and “relevant sharing,” Pangasinan was included by the DILG in the list thus, he stressed, the move to strongly refute the declaration is justifiable since that the province is generally peaceful and there had never been any reported violence in the past (during and after the holding of national and local elections). Meanwhile, Board Member Ranjit Shahani said that the high-risk tag basically not fair to Pangasinan considering the PNP report that the province posted the lowest in terms of crime rate percentage as compared to the three other provinces in Region I. Copies of the resolution will be forwarded to Pres. Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, and PNP Police Chief Nicanor Bartolome. (PIO/Ruby R. Bernardino)

Pangasinan included in 15 'high-risk' provinces for polls


 The government on Friday identified a total of 15 provinces where violence is likely to take place in next year's midterm elections.
 On Friday, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas described the areas as high risk because of the number of election-related violence, private armies, running family feuds, rebel groups, and gangs and crime groups existing there. "Itong 15 probinsyang ito ayon sa datos ng nakaraan na hawak ng DILG at PNP, dito yung pinaka high risk na magkaroon ng karahasan sa darating na halalan kaya ito ang pina-prioritize ng probinsya," Roxas said during a press briefing at Camp Crame. He identified the 15 provinces as:
 Ilocos Sur
La Union
Nueva Ecija
Cavite Masbate
 Lanao del Sur
 "Usually generational ito [feuds], nagkapatayan na. Sobrang intense at bawat halalan ay pagkakataon para masariwa ang giyera sa pagitan ng mga ito. Yung crime groups and gangs, nagiging gun for hire sila. Nagpapa-tap sila sa pulitika na ganid at kapit tuko sa pwesto kaya karahasan ang ginagamit para manatili sa pwesto," Roxas said. Citing data from the Philippine National Police, Roxas said there are 60 active private armed groups all over the country while there are another 37 potential groups being monitored. But Roxas said that they are not forgetting the other provinces with the listing of the 15. He likewise said that the "areas of concern" will be a different list. "There may be some provinces where one congressional district [is] an area of concern but not the entire province. Inuna natin ang places na may high risk. Hindi naman ibig sabihin kinalimutan na ang iba. Pinriority lang," he said. "Gusto talaga nating maiwasan na maulit ang Maguindanao massacre kaya ngayon pa lang inuunahan na natin para hindi kami maging left behind, hindi behind the curve," he added. The Maguindanao massacre, also known as the Ampatuan massacre, occurred on November 23, 2009 in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao. On that day, 58 people - 32 of whom were journalists - were bruttaly killed while they were on their way to file then Buluan vice mayor Esmael Mangudadatu's certificate of candidacy for Maguindanao governor. The DILG chief said the PNP began its operations in the 15 provinces early so that the risks may be lessened. The PNP is under the supervision of the DILG. Task forces PNP Deputy Director General Alan Purisima, who has been touted to be the next PNP chief, said they will have several task forces, including one for legal offensive, firearms and security, logistics, and finance to prepare for the polls. "There will [also] be regional task force that will be implementing out operations in each region," Purisima said. Roxas added there will be a task force in each province, which he said can also help out during the holiday season. "There will be intensified operations. Ngayon pa lang magkakaroon ng checkpoint, operation sita, operation bakal," he said. Loose firearms Roxas said that among their priorities is the collection of loose firearms. "There are estimated 35 thousand loose firearms in the country. There is [also] about 552, 338 firearms whose license has not been renewed. So technically illegal na ito," he said. "Pupuntahan [namin] ang address ng bawat isa dito, kung kasama sa 15 probinsya. Kakatukin ng pulis, ipapa-deposito ang firearms habang nagpapa-renew ng lisensya para hindi imaging illegal ito, malaki ang parusa sa illegal possession of firearms," he added. Roxas also said there will be a reshuffle among bodyguards of officials and an audit of jails in the province. He said the number of bodyguards will be limited to two per official. Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome added that security personnel will be required to use a uniform while they are on duty. "Ang mga protective agents, meron silang uniporme na gagamitin. Ito po ay mag-uumpisa sa aming pakikipag usap sa kalihim. December 10 mag uumpisa ang paggamit ng uniporme ng protective agents at PNP. Hindi na natin i-aallow ang mga naka-barong. Para ito sa mga nagparehistrong kandidato starting December 10," he said. Aside from this, he said that the PNP will likewise establish a joint security desk with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). He said that there will also be a media center which will operate 24/7, which will disseminate important information to the public through the media. With all of these preparations, Roxas assured of a safe and peaceful electins next year. "Iba ang halalan sa ilalim ni PNoy. Ito ay magiging ligtas, fair, orderly at kung ano ang tinig ng sambayan, siya ang lalabas. Hindi magpapagamit ang pulis at DILG para sa isang panig o kaninuman. Wala po kaming sasantuhin, hindi itop sa partido at kung anong tsaleko ang suot. Gagawing tama para maging ligtas ang magiging halalan," he said. — RSJ, GMA News