Monday, November 19, 2012

The PMA "Clash" of 1972

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

Aksyon Radyo veteran commentator Orly Navarro was unceremoniously sacked in November 12 this year from his morning prime time program over Aksyon Radio Pangasinan.
 He cried for “due process” from the arbitrary dismissal done by the Manila Broadcasting Corporation and the local bosses of the MBC in Dagupan City. He denied calling in his show Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez of Dagupan City as “tomboy,” a trait that could prejudice her mayoralty endorsement by the religious group Iglesia ni Cristo.
 The gender profiling I heard was an alleged ground of his dismissal. His friends told me the thing that got the goat of the MBC and the management of Aksyon was when he opined that there are two mayoralty candidates pitted with each other in Dagupan City: “BSL versus BSL. They said the first BSL is Benjie S. Lim, the second BSL is “Babae Sometimes Lalaki “(in reference to Fernandez. Susmariosep, was this true? ***
Media man Ruel Camba told me that a lot of media men commiserated with Orly that the majority of the board of directors resigned from the Pangasinan Press Club headed by Atty. Gonzalo Duque, one of the owners of Aksyon Radio and an avid supporter of Fernandez’s electoral bid. The media men suspected Duque to be behind Orly’s ouster.
Sta. Barbara Mayor Lito Zaplan defeated with a hair-thin 244 votes his opponent former Mayor Rey Velasco in the 2010 poll. Everybody in Pangasinan expects an exciting clash of the duo after both filed their candidacy for the mayoralty last October.
 The excitement between the two went feverish after Velasco, a retired police general, called Zaplan a womanizer who did not add a canal of irrigation after he (Velasco) paved the way for irrigation of 2,000 hectares of rice lands that benefitted 65 percent of the farming population of the town. Zaplan’s bosom friend Bebot Villar, incumbent chief of the Dangerous Drugs Board, reacted in his column to Velasco calling Zaplan a womanizer.
 He said womanizing as an issue does not carry weight nowadays. “Ibahin mo kaya sir ang style mo kasi bulok na iyan eh. Baka sakali manalo ka this time!” he said to Zaplan’s rival. “To spice up the verbal “charivari,” Zaplan chided Velasco in TV, Radio, and newspaper interviews.
He said he could not fathom why Velasco keeps on insisting he was responsible for the construction of the 2000 hectares irrigation canal when it was part of the projects by the national government to complement the construction of the San Roque Dam. “Hindi ba siya nahihiya napaka sinungaling siya. Iyan ba ang pinag-aralan niya sa PMA mag sinungaling?,” Zaplan lashed at his rival.
 What Governor Amado T. Espino of Pangasinan, Mayor Marcelo Navarro of Bani, Pangasinan, and former Land Transportation Office chief Art Lomibao have in common?
They were “mistah” (classmates) at the Philippine Military Academy. They are uncommon however on the following: Espino and Navarro are political nemesis despite their being good friends and bunkmates at PMA (the “bunkmate” thing was told to me by General Velasco — their upperclassman).
While Lomibao maintained a good relationship with his mistah, he challenges Espino’s vice gubernatorial candidate Ferdie Calimlim (present vice governor and a son of a general who is an alumnus too of the PMA).
omibao and Navarro were the guests recently at the weekly forum of the Kapisanan ng Broadkaster ng Pilipinas. “Good morning Cavaliers of Class of 1972 of the PMA,” I greeted the two former “warriors” who smiled and nodded about my quip unexpected from a member of the Fourth Estate.
 I asked Navarro, whose father, a colonel and former mayor of Bani, was the boss of my father at the PMA, if he could reverse the political landscape at the Sanggunian Bayan (town council) in Bani presently dominated by the anti-Navarro politicians, in the May 13, 2013 poll.
 In a gentle manly voice, he said he expected the members of the stalling oppositions to lose and be replaced by those who are allied with him. He also answered my question when his first cousin Marichu assailed him and even sought alliance with Governor Espino.
The soft-spoken general who looks like a pastor in barong said he respected the decision of his cousin. Navarro added too that it is high time for the huge province of Pangasinan to add other congressional seats. He said each additional congressional seat means an additional P70 million priority development assistance funds (pssst we call it as “pork barrel”).
He said it means millions of pesos for the province during the three –year stint of these congressmen. Lomibao answered my query that in case he wins he too will reduce the 300 percent real property tax.
I bumped recently into Dagupan Brian Lim of Dagupan City. I asked him if there is a possibility that he would run for a congressional seat of the 4th District since substitution of bets will be until December 21, 2012. Brian answered me that it was a possibility he runs for congress in the next year’s election.
 In case that happens, he would be pitted against Rep. Gina de Venecia or Former Speaker Joe de Venecia. In case that happens, the people in Dagupan City would be likened to the screaming, dancing, and somersaulting Arabs during the Arab Spring in the Middle East lately. But unlike the Arab spring, bags and bags of grocery items and wads and wads of monies would be the call of the day.
o those who live outside Dagupan City (except those in neighboring Binmaley town) cry your heart out sabi ng mga “highest bidder” na squatters sa Brg. Amado. Inggit na naman daw kayo sa kanila!
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