Sunday, February 26, 2012

Maceda: JDV for congress, Gina for either mayor or governor

Former Senator Ernesto Maceda (3rd from left) answers question to mediamen

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

Former Senator Ernesto Maceda, who was with former House Speaker Joe and Rep. Gina de Venecia recently, told the crowd who witnessed the mass wedding in San Jacinto, Pangasinan that because Speaker Joe will seek a congressional seat next year, his spouse congresswoman Gina (Maceda’s sister-in-law) can either run as governor, mayor (Dagupan City) or seek another congressional seat in another district.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Camacho focuses on infra despite lower budget

By Mortz C. Ortigoza BAYAMBANG – Despite a reduced proposed budget of P147 million, the mayor implemented high impact social projects this year to better serve his constituents. Dr. Romulo Velasquez, this first class town administrator, said the administration of Mayor Ricardo Camacho while the town was not been spared by the reduction of the Internal Revenue Allotment by the Department of Budget & Management, projects have been in the pipeline after the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) and the mayor approved and signed into law the P147 million appropriations for the year. He said the projects to be funded by the proposed appropriations are needed infrastructures like the drainage systems, delivery of basic services and support to education, agriculture, health, and other programs. Arturo Mandapat, treasurer of San Carlos City and the town of Urbiztondo, explained that the reduction of the IRA like what happened in this town hinges on the event that the national government incurs an unmanageable public sector deficit, the president of the Philippines is authorized, upon the recommendation of Secretary of Finance, Secretary of Interior and Local Government and Secretary of Budget and Management, to reduce IRA of towns. “This is subject to consultation with the presiding officers of both houses of Congress and the presidents of the Liga to make the necessary adjustments in the IRA of local government units but in no case shall the allotment be less than thirty percent (30%) of the collection of national internal revenue taxes of the third fiscal year preceding the current fiscal year,” Mandapat explained. Meanwhile, Velasquez said he was not privy on how much loan this town has contracted with lending institutions. He said it was the Local Finance Committee which can divulge the amount of the loan. He said nevertheless the SB has approved a loan before for the Camacho administration to use for a certain project.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Gen. Danny Lim on the Porsche’s Brouhaha and NBI’s post

With Gen. Danny Lim: From left Mortz, Lim, retired Col. Wilmher Panabang, Alaminos City Mayor Nani Braganza, and an official of Guardian.

“Your clerk is already famous. His story was already picked up by the Agence France Press for global consumption,” I told retired army general Danilo Lim in reference to Bureau of Custom’s lowly employee who shot the car of a college student when the latter bumped and damaged his muti-million of pesos German made Porshe.
 I met Lim when I joined him and Alaminos City mayor Nani Braganza over a sumptuous lunch of lechon kawali , adobong squid, and stewed shrimps with tamarind at the Island Tropic Hotel & Restaurant that overlooks the scenic Hundred Islands. Lim, a West Pointer who was imprisoned by the now jailed former President Gloria “no longer the Excelsis” Arroyo, told me that Paulino Elevado, a P10 thousand a month worker, denied he owned the multi-million of pesos German made $118, 000 Porsche.
 Elevado explained that he was asked by the owner to sell the gas guzzling luxury fast, snazzy, and zippy German car.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Politics of SM Malls


My mole at the Dagupan City hall told me that SM Mall would finally construct its edifice this year in the Bangus City. He said the giant retail store would be bigger than those in Rosales town and in the nearby Baguio City as it would be a regional SM that would cater to the people of four provinces of Region 1.
My mole said SM management has signified to the office of the mayor that it would have its own water system independent from the National Water & Sanitation Association -Dagupan City on its site at Brgy. Tambac.
“Paranggalitang SM sapera.”
He said SM did not give a qualm in paying the lot offered by the last “stalling” owner who sold it for a staggering P40 thousand per square meter. This in contrast with a stalling owner of Dagupena Restaurant whose inflated offer per square meter to Robinson Mall –Calasiaowas not been called by the latter.
The mole said the entry of SM in Dagupan is a double whammy.
“It gives a thousand of jobs to Dagupenos, and would marginalize the “monopolistic” CSI malls owned by the family of vice mayor Belen Fernandez in the City. Whether we like it or not the entry of SM to a city like Dagupan is inevitable. It’s a symbol of progress and modernization,” he stressed.

Constitutional Authority

By Atty. Napoleon Arenas

At the time of the drafting of the Constitution, impeachment was an established process in English law and government. The Founding Fathers incorporated the process, with modifications, into the fabric of United States government. The Constitution, however, only provides the framework-the basic who's, why's, and how's. The remaining procedural intricacies reside in the internal rules of the House and Senate.
Article 2, Section 4--"The President, Vice-President, and all civil officers of the United States. . ."

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Q and A Spratly Islands’ conundrum:” We should play the Philippines Card” – De Venecia

Philippines Former Five- time Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr ,who is seated second from left, spoke in an international forum. De Venecia founded and co-chairs the International Conference of (All) Asian Political Parties , and is the president of the Centrist Asia Pacific Democrats International .  
. In a recent article of theGlobal Times published by the Communist Party's People's Daily, the tabloid exhorted China to punish economically the Philippines because of its recent military dialogues with the United States to host a more regular and much bigger military exercises on her territory.Former five-time House Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr., an imminent connoisseur of geo-politics, was interviewed by Mortz C. Ortigoza, political columnist of Northern Watch, on the threatening Chinese’s belligerence towards the Philippines and the East Asian Countries who have claims on the Spratlys and other island territories in the South China Sea (SCS), the United States growing presence in the SCS, and the debt crises at the European Union in the face of the forthcoming election in France and the volatile political coalition in Germany. Excerpts:

 MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA (MCO): Mainland China’s president Hu Jintao recently said war is imminent between China and the United States, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

 JOSE DE VENECIA (JDV): Well, in the first place I don’t know whether it was true Hu Jintao made that statement that war is imminent against the U.S, Philippine, and Vietnam.

 MCO: I read that in the internet an article entitled “China prepares for war over South China Sea Spratly Islands” ( after Hu reacted, in a speech he delivered at a military industrial complex in China, to U.S President Obama’s announcement in January 5, 2011 on a new military strategy in Asia as Vietnam and the Philippines were acrimonious on China’s incessant and aggressive encroachment in the Spratlys. JDV: I don’t think there will be war in the South China Sea.

Re-regulating pond seen to improve farmers’ lot

By Mortz C. Ortigoza The president of a regional farmer’s organization said the multibillion- peso re-regulating pond (RRP) in San Manuel town would finally change the economic status of the farmers in Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, and Tarlac. Oftociano M. Manalo explained that with the water from the mammoth P4.5 billion, 85-hectare- ponds to the various irrigation and lateral canals in the three provinces, farmers could harvest five times in two years. Many farmers in the three provinces used to harvestonly once a year as they depend on the rainy season. Manalo said that the prospect of a harvest of three times a year is not feasible because the lands they till need some “rest”. “It needs four months to plant and harvest a palay. With a thrice a year harvest, the soil could be prejudiced,” Manalo said. Manalo said the pond would irrigate between 40,000 to 50,000 farm hectares in the three provinces. Pangasinan farmers till an average of one hectare. Manalo said a farmer spends an average of P40 thousand a hectare to get an average of a gross revenues of P62 thousand or a net profit of P22 thousand in four months or an averaged of P5 thousand a month. With the RRP, the farmer’s average harvest of 2.5 a year can give him P12, 500 a month -- a 150 percent increase. “At present, the re-regulating pond is more than 90 percent done. The Chinese engineers who supervise the constructions are very efficient that they could finish the project earlier than the stipulated target date,” Manalo said.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Play of English words at the Impeachment Try

Temperamental Philippines Senator Merriam D. Santiago


One of the members of the “amateur” impeachment prosecutor panel is Rep. Marlyn Premicias Agabas. She represents the 6th congressional district of my province Pangasinan.
Don’t you know that her husband Tyrone Agabas, who hailed from Abra Province, is a lawyer and a former member of the Provincial Board?
Lately, in a gathering with some government officials in the district, one of them quipped that Tyrone has been “disbarred.”
I fell from my seat because Tyrone is a nice guy who warmly joined me in some short tête-à-tête every time I met him. He even told me in the past he reads this column.
“Aws, was that true? I surprisingly posed to the group who were amused by my reaction.
“Yes, it was true. He was disbarred because as a lawyer he should not interfere with the nuances of the road works and other projects that should be given to the expert engineers at the DPWH.
“Nakiki-alam doon sa engineering specifications ng projects)” someone naughtily butted.
Susmariosep, Tyronne please tell me that you’re still a lawyer and not an engineer.
Sometimes if my schedule permits, I watched the impeachment circus, er, trial at the boob tube.
As a zealous fan of the Shakespearean language, I relish the choice of words used in the exchange of esteemed lawyers former secretary Serafin Cuevas senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Miriam Defensor Santiago.
Miriam was heard to say “colloquy (a conversation). And the seldom used line of “Believed you me.” She even quipped that the impeachment trial is “Sui Generis (unique, peculiar )” where the quantum of proof in impeaching Corona could not strictly be on the criminal laws’ “proof beyond reasonable doubt” but should be on the Civil Law’s “preponderances of evidence.”

10 frozen meat importers to be investigated- Abono

By Mortz C. Ortigoza
ROSALES – Are corporate giants Pure foods and Monterey the top importers of frozen meat like pork in the country?
A resounding “no” from Abono Party list chairman Rosendo So who said the top ten importers of pork are ten individuals who declared a measly capital of P100,000 only.
“Who are they? We told (Agriculture) Secretary Proceso Alcala that we are going to meet them through a congressional inquiry participated by Representatives Robert Raymund Estrella, Dong Mendoza, and Angelo Palmones,” So said.
So bared that plain and technical smuggling are the order of the day at the Bureau of Custom (BoC) where he suspected that officials of the BoC, National Meat Inspection Service, and the Bureau of Animal Industry were in cahoots with each other.
He called as “plain and simple technical smuggling” if one looks at the records of BAI.
“The pork composed of good meats like belly and pork chops that enter the country runs to 73,202,000 kilos according to the records of BAI in 2010. But based on the record of the United Nations on the same year and with the same quality of pork that entered the country there was 105,761,459 kilos,” he explained.
Eng. So said the discrepancy of the two bodies is 32,559,459 kilos.
“Saan napunta ito?” he posed.
He said smuggling ensued too in the importation of offal (parts of butchered pigs like chopped ears, snout, brain, and others, which are major ingredient of a popular delicacy sisig) in the country. Eng. So cited the incredible records that haunt the importation of good meat.
“Based on the BAI 2010 records, there was 105,595,096 kilos that entered the custom area. But based on the UN records there was only 56, 447,706 kilos.”
He wondered why an increase of 105,595,096 in the importation of offal when the UN records said the country imported only 56, 447,706 kilos.
He said the difference of P32, 559,459 that was part of the 105,761,459 kilos the UN has recorded should be included as part of good meat and not the cheaper offal.
So said that misdeclaration in the price of good meat reared its ugly head in the January to December 2010 records of the BOC.
He cited that the price of good meat is $1.90 a kilo during that time while the record at the BOC said it was only 85 U.S cents a kilo.
A difference he said of $1.05 or P46 .20 if computed to the U.S-Pesos exchange rate of $1 dollar to P44.
He explained that misdeclaration at the BOC can be seen in the records if one based it on the 32,559,459 kilos difference of good meat mis-declared as offal.
“32,559,459 multiplied by P32 (price of offal a kilo) then we lost P1.05 billion. That’s technical smuggling,” So said.
He said the 16, 587,851million kilos (32,559,459 million kilos minus 49,147,310 kilos) was money lost that amounted to P554 million because of plain smuggling.
He explained the total revenues lost due to smuggling, technical smuggling, and misdeclaration of good meat to offal deprived the government of a staggering P2.8 billion in 2010.