Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Risks of Being Libeled


 In a press conference called by Liberal Party's gubernatorial bet Hernani Braganza, incumbent mayor of Alaminos City, at the Star Plaza in Dagupan City, he discussed intelligently a lot of issues concerning the state of the province. But one of them that incessantly pestered my mind was his anecdote about Governor Amado T. Espino of Pangasinan.
When he sent his administrator retired Colonel Wilhmer Panabang to offer the city’s ortho-photo map so the province can efficiently monitor who pays and who did not pay the real property taxes without imposing taxes to the people, the governor told Panabang to tell Nani (Braganza’s nickname) that he was a “bakes (monkey)”.
Nani told us he was unperturbed by the accusation.
 He conceded he was a “bakes” but a more handsome bakes than Espino. “Tinitingala ako niyan. Dahil mas matangkad ako sa kanya,” the 6-footer former congressman and cabinet member emphatically said.
After I left the clippings of my column “PNoy should heed FVR on arms purchase” and Q & A on “China cannot be an aggressor forever” at the Ramos Peace and Development Foundation Inc (RPDEV) office of former president Fidel V. Ramos at the 26th Floor of the Export Bank Plaza in Makati City, Ramos reciprocated it by sending me at my residence in Dagupan City two books "State of the Nation’s Adversities , Advocacies, and Aspiration" and "Winning Peace & Development" via Air 21 SuLight.
 “Oh meron pang dedication sa iyo sa inside front cover si FVR (moniker of Ramos) ng mga books,” my wifey told me.
 In his visit in Dagupan two weeks ago, I told the former president that I would be dropping by at his office in Ayala on the 24th after I came back from Davao City. He even instructed his close-in body guard lent to him by the Presidential Security Guard to list that day as our schedule.
But when I, and my eldest son Jigger, dropped by there I was told FVR was out of the country.
 “ A lot of books being displayed here,” my son whispered to me as we were roaming inside his swanky office and gazing at his memorabilia.
 My visit to FVR’s office did not go to drain as it was only stone’s throw away from my son’s apartment. After we left the RPDEV’s office, we went to the Bureau of Customs for an interview with Commissioner Ruffy Biazon and Deputy Commissioner Danny Lim. Unfortunately Biazon was out of town, Danny Lim, a West Pointer and a general in the Scout Ranger, entertained me with my series of questions ranging from smuggling to the modernization of the Armed Forces (They will see print on the next issue of this paper).
When I asked former Speaker Jose de Venecia, at his coastal residence in Dagupan City last week, if Syrian Dictator Bashar Assad can be ousted by the growing number of insurgents, he told me his days are numbered. He told me too that there is a possibility of a shooting war between China and Japan who assert vigorously their claims on the three islets near Taiwan called Senkaku or Diaoyu when I asked him too about this growing bellicosity.
 My Q & A with the former five –time Speaker will be published soon. He discussed to me his takes on local and international politics, a good read for serious political bugs because de Venecia has a deeper understanding of the nitty gritty of issues like South China Sea, Senkaku, Diaoyu and others.
And to cap it all, he even gave solutions on how to settle them.
With the filing of candidacy for elective national and local officials just around, exciting moments just like the monkey-thing between Braganza and Espino are just waiting to pop-up.
Is Dagupan City Mayor Benjamin S. Lim will run for congress? According to Solo de Venecia, whom I bumped into at the residence of his uncle Speaker Joe lately, BSL plans to throw his hat again for a seat in the House of Representatives as a ploy or a quid pro quo for his uncle Joe to lighten the pressures on BSL’s mayoralty bid against his opponents in the city. Our conversation started when I told him I met City Councilor Alfie Fernandez (son of former Mayor Al) at the Liberal Party’s caucus in Binmaley (Hito-an restaurant owned by Binmaley former Mayor Sammy Rosario, another LP stalwart) recently who was ambivalent about the possibility of City Councilor Brian Lim-Alfie Fernandez tandem for the mayoralty and vice mayoralty on the May 13, 2013 poll.
Susmariosep, if there will be a Lim-Fernandez tandem, my snoop dog Harold Barcelona was talking about a Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez- former councilor Michael Fernandez tandem.
 “Do you think this would happen between you and Alfie?” I posed to Michael when I bumped with him at the Star Plaza Hotel lately. “No comment,” he told me with a smile.
Thanks to those Good Samaritans who pick the tab of P10, 650 bail and other fees imposed by the court for my temporary liberty. This is the risk of being a journalist. You expose something imbued with public interest but you get a backlash of a bail bond in the court and acceptance and per appearance fees for a lawyer. As you know , together with two of my colleagues in this paper, I was sued by Board Member Alfonso Bince for libel after I quoted the bravados of BM Danny Uy that most of his colleagues in the Sanggunian Panlalawigan of Pangasinan were recipients of P40 thousand a month jueteng payola.
Since the case is already at the Regional Trial Court in Rosales, Pangasinan awaiting for our arraignment, I’ll not talked about its merits. You know that sub judice thing.
 With few more days to go as of press time before the filing of candidacy in October 1 to 5, 2012 here are the personalities who would be vying to various post in Pangasinan.
According to San Carlos City Vice Mayor Joseres Resuello his older brother Ayoy will be challenged by former SC Mayor Douglas Soriano and Dr. Posadas. He said notwithstanding the re-electionist city councilors, the new slate of councilors who will complement his tandem with his brother will be former treasurer Rudy Mandapat (darling of the press) and former Councilor Lito Millora . He told me that he would have a challenger in the vice mayoralty race as the city history tells that every election there were those who threw their hat for the second highest post of the city.
Calasiao Mayor Mark Roy Macanlalay told me recently that he would still be running for mayor while his father Roy will be his vice mayoralty bet. Mark is reportedly pitted against perennial candidate Wilson de Vera who’s vice mayoralty candidate will be former Vice Mayor Ferdinand Galang.
The mayor will be challenged too by Police Supt. Roger Danoli. He said aside from the councilors who will be seeking re-election, one of the new wannabes would be the son of Administrator Vivencio Vallo. You can read my selected intriguing but thought-provoking columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com. You can send comments too at totomortz@yahoo.com).

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