Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Three-cornered battle looms for Dagupan's Liga top post


DAGUPAN CITY – A three-cornered battle for the presidency of the Liga ng mga Barangay here is shaping up after re-elected  Barangay Captain Pedro Gonzales of Bonuan Binloc hinted his intention to run for the coveted post.
Lucao Barangay Chairman Lino Fernandez
(1st extreme Right), former president of
 the League of Barangays Dagupan City.
            “I am seriously studying the situation and in the process of consulting my fellow barangay captains, including Kapitan Willy Salayog, he said in the vernacular.
            Two names for the Liga top post cropped up even before the barangay polls on Oct. 28, elected barangay captains Marcelino “Lino” Fernandez and Dean Bryan Khua of barangays Lucao and Pogo Chico, respectively.
            Cua reportedly has the blessings of Mayor Belen Fernandez, a relative.
Lino Fernandez reportedly has the support of former Mayor Alipio Fernandez Jr. during whose last stint as city mayor Lino served as Liga president.
Gonzales is closely allied with the camp of former Mayor Benjamin Lim whose support enabled then Poblacion Oeste Punong Barangay Guillermo Vallejos to clinch the Liga presidency in 2010.
Gonzales is confident he has the necessary credentials for the top Liga post having intermittently served as five-term barangay chairman.
He said he is familiar with the concerns of the barangay chiefs, which he could elevate to the Sangguniang Panlungsod through appropriate resolutions and ordinances.
Throughout his years as barangay captain he has established good rapport with his fellow village chiefs, at times sharing with them practices in good governance and effective measures in addressing various barangay concerns, he said.
Gonzales said he is also familiar with the intricacies of the campaign for the Liga presidency, having taken a hand in the successful campaign of his grandson, John Chester Gonzales, for the presidency of the SangguniangKabataan in the city in 2010.
                                    Big chance
Several elected village chiefs initially approached by this writer said Gonzales has a big chance of succeeding the city’s Liga president if Fernandez and Cua will choose to fight it out against each other.
“One of them has to give way considering that Gonzales could possibly count on the support of at least 14 newly elected and re-elected barangay captains,” said a re-elected barangay chairman from an eastern barangay, who requested for anonymity since the three would-be contenders are his friends.
Between Cua and Fernandez, he said Fernandez has the edge in terms of experience and connection with the re-elected village chiefs with whom he (Fernandez) used to work with when he served as Liga president.
“He enjoys the confidence and friendship of his old buddies who got re-elected, as well as some of the new barangay captains elected for the first time,” he said.
On the other hand as a neophyte barangay captain, Cuais yet to establish rapport and leadership credibility practically with all the other barangay captains in the city, he said.
However, he added, Mayor Belen Fernandez is expected to throw her weight for Cua, her blood relative.
“As the saying goes, blood is thicker than water,” he said, even as he was quick to add that it would be wise for the mayor not to ram Cua down the throat of the city’s barangay chiefs.
                                    Reconciliation call
The same village chief said that Gonzales could capitalize on the call made by former Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr. on city officials for them to forge political unity and reconciliation so that the city could move on.
“Gonzales, if elected as Liga president, would stand as a symbol and instrument of genuine political unity and reconciliation in our city,” he said.
During the recent 100-day report of Mayor Belen Fernandez at the CSI stadia, De Venecia in public called on the mayor to extend a hand of unity and reconciliation to Vice Mayor Brian Lim.
“What is a better way for the mayor to show sincere effort toward genuine political unity and reconciliation than allowing Gonzales to be the city’s Liga president?” he said

VP Binay awards to Pangasinan as Best LGU vs. Professional Squatter.

  Engr. Alvin Bigay, chief of Provincial Housing and Urban Development Council Office (right) receives from Vice President and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chair Jejomar Binay (second from right) and HUDCC Secretary General Cecilia Alba (second from left) a trophy and cash prize of P100,000 for the province of Pangasinan for being adjudged the 2013 Best LGU Practice Award on National Drive Against Professional Squatters and Squatting Syndicates (NDPAPSSS) last October 25 at SM Megamall in Manila. The province of Pangasinan bested seven other provinces that were among the finalists. Davao province placed second with a cash prize of P80,000 plus trophy while Las Pinas City got the third slot with trophy and P60,000 cash prize. Witnessing the awarding ceremony were Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos, Jr. (left) and the NDAPSSS Interagency Committee which serves as selection board. (PIO/Photo courtesy of PHUDCC)

Parties settle fishcage row

                                                                BY RUEL CAMBA

PARTIES involved in the fishcage controversy in Sual town have forged an agreement that may have ended the dispute.
            In a recent interview over DWPR-Power Radyo, Mayor Roberto “Bing” Arcinuesaid that in a meeting on Oct. 8 officials from various concerned government agencies, including those representing the fishcage operators, have agreed on the following steps to end the controversy:
Author and savvy media man Ruel Camba (1st from left) recently
interviewed Sual Mayor Roberto Arcinue
1.      Fishcages located within the 250-meter “critical zone” from the Sual Power Plant will be re-located;
2.      A demarcation line will be set up to delineate the 250-meter area, with the plant management providing the buoys, demarcation line, and anchor while the affected fishcage operators will shoulder the relocation expenses;
3.      All fishcage operators will have to secure environmental compliance certificates from the EMB-DENR and pay P4,500 as application fee, and P50,000 fine if any.
Arcinue said that among those who attended the meeting were officials from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Environment Management Bureau (EMB) of DENR, Philippine Ports Authority, Sual Power Plant, and fishcage operators.
“There was mutual understanding on the part of the management of the power plant, the fishcage operators, and municipality of Sual about the need to observe and respect co-existence,” Arcinue said.
Arcinue thanked Federico Puno, president of Team Energy that operates the Sual power plant, for the latter’s intervention in resolving the controversy.
He said Puno in his letter expressed his company’s desire to maintain goodwill with the municipality of Sual even as he hoped that a lasting solution to the dispute be achieved.
Earlier, Sual power plant manager Ruben Licerio raised concern about a fishkill that could disrupt plant operation and trigger a Luzon-wide blackout.
Licerio sought the help of Gov. Amado Espino who ordered an investigation on the matter.
A series of dialogues among concerned parties resulted to an agreement by which a 250-meter critical zone shall be established around the power plant, particularly in the Cabalitian Bay where the fishcages are located.
“Conporme kami lanamin. We have decided to consider the concern of the power plant management,” Arcinue told DWPR-Power Radyo.
He said that affected  operators have started re-locating their fishcages even without a definite date set for relocation.
“Unongedtalusan mi, ayusnaayus kami la. Agko anta balet no antoypakatalosan provincial government edsayan development,” Arcinue said. (As per our agreement, we are now very much settled. I don’t know, however, how the provincial government would consider this development.)
Arcinue explained that the affected fishcage operators could not abruptly relocate the units as this would adversely affect the growth of the milkfish being raised.
“So, I told them to start transferring their stocks little by little or slow motion on a daily basis and not wait for full harvest anymore,” he said, adding that this way they know how to honor their agreement even if verbally made.
He said that Regional Director AvelinoMunar Jr. of the Philippine Ports Authority saw no problem about the presence of fishcages in Cabalitian Bay since the planned international seaport located off in Sual Bay is yet to be completed.
Arcinue added that the possibility of a fishkill disrupting the operation of the plant is “very remote because the municipal agriculturist and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources are constantly monitoring water quality and the operation of the fish cages.”
BFAR Regional Director Nestor Domenden reported that water quality in Cabalitian Bay has not deteriorated even with the presence of the fishcages, he said.
He said the plant management itself is conducting monthly water quality testing, while the BFAR with the assistance of the municipal agriculturist conducts the testing twice a month.
“Kanyanmareen kami la diadSual.Maayos la so talusan.Kumonaglaramanggaway arum yaisyu,” he said.
                                    Investment friendly
Mayor Arcinue said the municipal government of Sual enacted its fishery code that allows the operation of fishcages in its municipal waters to generate jobs and revenues and encourage more investors to do business in the municipality.
He said this policy is in support of the vision of Gov. Espino to transform Pangasinan “to be the best place to invest, work, live and raise a family.”
            Even the SangguniangPanlalawigan supported this thrust of the municipality of Sual when it reviewed and approved the town’s fishery code, he said.
“Our position here in Sual is that, sanamagkaroontayong sustainability ngmga fish cages, mas pagandahinyongatingmariculture zone area nangmakatulongtayosa food security ngatingbansa,” he said.
Aside from generating from P7 million to P9 million annual income for the municipality in terms of business taxes, the fish cages also provide employment to some 3,500 to 5,000 local residents and their families, he said.
            The local fishery code allows for the construction of 735 fish cages in the town’s municipal waters, excluding the 200 units allowed in Babay Sur which is not yet occupied.
            According to BFAR, there are now about 778 fish cages in the Cabalitian Bay.
            Arcinue said he has ordered an inventory of the existing fish cages to verify reports that there are some structures whose owners did not secure business permits and ECC.
            “We will ask them to comply with the requirements and if they refuse, they will have to go,” he said.
            Arcinue said he will never allow the dismantling of the fish cages as these provide additional income to the municipality as well as jobs and livelihood opportunities to residents.
            He added that the milkfish produced by the fish cages are a big boon to the government’s food security program.
The combined production of all the fish cages in Sual is 30 metric tons a day, many of which are shipped to Dagupan City and Metro Manila.
                                    CDO issued
EMB Regional Director Joel Salvador told members of the SangguniangPanlalawigan during last Monday’s regular session that he has already issued on Oct. 11 a cease-and-desist order to 31 fishcage operators who have yet so secure their respective ECCs.
Salvador said he will seek the assistance of the PNP and the provincial government in implementing the cease-and-desist order.
The 31 operators were given within 15 days from receipt of the CDO to explain in writing why they should not be charged administratively for violating the ECC law since they are operating their fish cages in a bay area.

Aside from this, the operators were slapped by DENR-EMB with P50,000 fine for each fish cage that they own. It was learned that each operator own from seven to 50 fish cages. 

Anti-Illegal Recruitment campaign in P’sinan galvanized

Lingayen --- Local Government Units (LGUs) and various line agencies of the government vowed to further galvanize anti-illegal recruitment and human trafficking advocacies in Pangasinan.
            The move was made after representatives from the Phillippine National Police (PNP), Pangasinan Migrant Desk Office, the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) of Pangasinan Association, Overseas Workers’ Welfare Association (OWWA) Region 1 and Public Employment Services Offices (PESO) of LGUs in the province attended the anti-illegal recruitment and human trafficking seminar conducted by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) on October 25 at the new PESO building (former United Way), here.
Earlier, the provincial government led by Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. and POEA led by Administrator Hans Leo J. Cadac -- represented by POEA Deputy Administrator Amuerfina R. Reyes -- forged a MOA to solidify the anti-illegal recruitment campaign in the province.
The campaign seminar, attended by 100 participants -- was part of POEA’s programs to intensify partnership and linkages to eliminate illegal recruitment activities and prosecute law-violators.
 “Talagang full ang support ni Gov. Espino sa anti-illegal recruitment campaign,” POEA Deputy Administrator Reyes said, adding that the MOA-signing set “a milestone partnership against illegal recruitment in the province.”
Reyes expressed optimism that the partnership will reduce or even totally eliminate the incidence of illegal recruitment in the province.
Since 2007, the provincial government through the Provincial Employment Services Office (PESO) led by Manager Alex Ferrer has consistently propelled manpower development in the province, evident with various awards conferred to PESO for implementing programs and initiatives on employment services.
Maria Teresa Delos Santos from the POEA, on the other hand, warned the public on the modus operandi and pertinent information about illegal recruiters.
Aside from information dissemination campaigns, according to Delos Reyes, POEA also provides legal assistance to victims of illegal recruitment.
POEA’s Legal Assistance Division OIC Chief Celso Hernandez elucidated on laws on illegal recruitment.
Meanwhile, a pre-employment orientation seminar gathering about 800 graduating students was also held in the morning at Pangasinan State University Lingayen Campus with Rustico-Mendrato Banal III of POEA as resource speaker.
“Don’t transact with any person who is not an authorized representative of a licensed agency. If an agency has a special jobs fair, ask assistance and inquire from the PESO first to check whether the employment agency has been accredited or not,” he said. (PIO/Mark Gerry Naval Oblanca)

Ex-policeman heads new public assistance office

DAGUPAN CITY – A former policeman who was with the Dagupan City Police Station for 26 years has been tapped to head the newly created Public Assistance and Response Management Center (PARMC).
          Mayor Belen T. Fernandez introduced former SPO4 Carlito O. Ocampo during the Executive Session of the city’s department heads at the City Hall Conference Room last Tuesday as head of the PARMC.
Three city government offices – the Public Order and Safety Office (POSO), the City Disaster Risk-Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) and the Anti-Littering Squad – will be under the umbrella of the new office.
Nevertheless, Ocampo’s appointment will take effect on November 12 due to the election ban still in effect until November 12.
“I will exhaust all the experiences I had in the past as a police officer. I will endeavor to address all problems referred to me hangga’t kaya ko. What is needed, though, is cooperation among all of us in the city government,” Ocampo, who sought early retirement as a policeman in 2006, stressed.
As this developed, Fernandez instructed POSO Chief Michael Hernando to check on the existence of colorum jeepneys entering the city.
Pointing out likewise that the city lacks traffic signages, Fernandez urged the repainting of sidewalks and gutters and to put more color to the signages.
“I hope na maayos na ang flow ng traffic natin. I would like that some railings be put in place in loading/unloading areas for proper guidance to both drivers and pedestrians. Talk to these drivers and explain everything that is being done after all is already in place,” Fernandez averred. (CIO/103013)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hike in poll-related violence noted ; Pangasinan generally peaceful

Voters and watchers waited for the counting
of the polls at the hallway of
the school precincts at the City High School in
Dagupan City
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has recorded a spike in election-related violence, PNP Public Information Chief Reuben Theodore Sindac told Radyo Inquirer 990AM Monday.
“We have 64 incidents for this period alone-September up to 11 p.m. of October 27, of which 22 were killed,” Sindac said.
Deputy Director General Felipe Rojas Jr., National Task Force SAFE (Secure and Fair Elections) commander, said police recorded a total of 13 incidentsof election-related violence in the past 24 hours.
In 2010, Sindac said there were only 25 recorded incidents, with fifteen people dead.
At least 588 people have been arrested for violating an elections gun ban, with police confiscating nearly 500 firearms, 4,000 rounds of ammunition, 191 knives and 68 grenades, said Sindac.
Pangasinan Police Office Director Marlou
Chan lauded by the media for a generally
peaceful October 28 village election.
There are 6,216 areas of concern across the country, which is 14.7 percent of the 42,028 villages nationwide, due to a history of electoral violence or attacks by Muslim and communist insurgents or al-Qaeda-linked militants, said Sindac. Most of these areas are from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), South Central Mindanao, Bicol Region, Ilocos Region and Eastern Visayas.
The pro-active Dagupan City Police Chief Lt. Colonel
Christopher Abrahano
In the ARMM, 1,567 police were deployed in Lanao Del Sur, Maguindanao and Sulu. Of these, 722 were sent to Maguindanao to perform special election duties.
“Our elections in the past have always been marred by untoward incidents,” military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala said, adding that government forces would guard against “spoilers to this democratic exercise.
“We are proceeding smoothly. Despite the reported violence in some areas, we still consider this as peaceful elections. We’re still on track with our security preparations,” Rojas told a news briefing at the PNP Media Center at Camp Crame.
“We assure the people that the PNP and the military are doing everything to have fair, secure and safe barangay elections. We hope to maintain this situation until the close of the polling centers,” he added.
More than 800,000 candidates are vying for chairmanships and other posts in urban and rural villages, locally called barangay (villages) — the Philippines’ smallest political units, where violence and fraud are as much a concern as they are in elections for higher office.
More than 54 million Filipinos have registered to cast their votes.
In the latest violence, unidentified men opened fire on a police car carrying an elections officer and policemen Sunday, setting off a gunbattle that wounded the poll official, two policemen and a civilian in Palanas town in central Masbate province, police said.
Police arrested the son of a candidate for village chairman and 16 other supporters, some of them armed with shotguns and pistols, for allegedly threatening a rival candidate in southern South Cotabato province, police said.
In the country’s worst election violence, 58 members of a political clan and media workers were ruthlessly shot to death in a 2009 massacre allegedly plotted by a rival clan with its armed militias to maintain their political control over southern Maguindanao province. The accused clan members have denied any wrongdoing. Among the dead were at least 31 media workers. It was the single worst killing of journalists in the world.
Officials have postponed Monday’s elections in central Bohol province, which was devastated by a strong earthquake on October 15 that killed more than 200 people. Voting was also postponed in southern Zamboanga city, where Muslim rebels occupied coastal villages and took scores of residents hostage in a three-week standoff last month that killed more than 200 combatants and civilians. With reports from Associated Press and Marlon Ramos, Philippine Daily Inquirer

Sunday, October 27, 2013

CASE DISMISSED?!: No proof Freddie Aguilar had sex with the minor


Can we call this the “Politics of filling a case just for the sake of a filing”? 
 Lawyer Fernando Perito filed a Qualified Seduction case at the prosecution office in Quezon City against “Anak (child)” crooner, the internationally acclaimed folk singer Freddie Aguilar.
Aguilar was accused to having different sexual orgies with a 16 year-old minor.
This cradle snatcher wants to take advantage of the adulation of the child by pretending to be loving her and allegedly marrying her later. This old man deserves to be castrated to spare the children,” Perito argued in his complaint-affidavit given to the prosecutor’s office.
According to Article 337 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, qualified seduction is the seduction of a virgin over twelve years and under eighteen years of age, committed by any person in public authority, priest, home-servant, domestic, guardian, teacher, or any person who, in any capacity, shall be entrusted with the education or custody of the woman seduced, shall be punished by prison correccional  in its minimum and medium periods.
To the tricycle and jeepney drivers who read this article it means imprisonment of two years, four months and one day to four years and two months.
Qualified seduction means consensual sexual intercourse has been consummated by both the accused and the minor.
My poser: Does Attorney Perito has the proof that Aguilar and the minor copulated?
Ask any Tom, Dick, and Atong and they will tell you that the minor and even her parents, who probably benefited from the generosity of Aguilar, would frantically deny heaven and earth that Freddie has completed his carnal knowledge (sexual relationship) with her.
Baka sabihin niya pa na sexual- free and kanilang relasyon and sheer platonic love ang kanilang affair.
Unless members of the Department of Social, Welfare & Development and Perito resorted earlier to peeping Tom, the prosecutor’s office would dismiss the case.
Tsk, tsk another precious government resources been wasted.

Building Public Offices without Spending
In the press conference called recently by Dagupan City Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, she said the city mulls to build a commercial complex at the new growth corridor in the Jose  De Venecia Highway Extension that connects the Dawel-Pantal-Lucao Road.

“Why not emulate a city in Metro Manila which did not spend a peso for a four-story commercial building. The private sector that built the multi-million peso edifice just ask the city for a Build Operate Transfer or Private-Public-Office to run the ground floor for definite years as its market,” I said.
(Son  of a gun, I saw City engineer Virginia Rosario and City Planning and Development Coordinator Romeo C. Rosario nodded their heads  several times in approval for what I asked).
The mayor said she will consider and study my proposal.
I could not fathom why officials of local government units (LGU) insisted that they borrow tens if not hundreds of millions of pesos just to construct a municipal or city hall or a commercial center.
One of the examples of this is just under the noses of Dagupenos: Their losing three-story Malimgas Market that was constructed for half-a-billion pesos that continued to bleed the city coffer for P40 million a year of amortization of its P500 million loan from Land Bank of the Philippines.
LGUs borrow from Land Bank, Development of the Philippines, or Philippine National Bank while the LGU hemorrhages in paying the amortization worth millions of pesos a month.
Someone told me that officials of LGUs love to contract loans because of the kickback that runs up to half-a-million peso for each of the councilor who voted for the resolution empowering the mayor to contract the loans, in behalf of the town, with the bank.
Susmariosep, who said elective public office is a bane?!

Urdaneta City has the Goose that lays the Golden Eggs
I asked Mayor Fernandez if we can still regain the grandeur of the Bangus City as the premier city in Region 1 after Urdaneta City eclipsed Dagupan in budget appropriation:
“In 2013 Urdaneta City yearly budget runs up to P637 million (It became P700 million as it included the supplemental budgets, while Dagupan City settled only for P612 million in the same year,” I said.
In 2012, Urdaneta  approved an appropriation of P641 million for fiscal year 2012 compared to Dagupan City that has proposed budget of P P581 million only which was be subjected to some slash by the opposing city council,” I commented.
 Fernandez said, for starter, she will make the One-Stop-Shop business friendly by reducing the processing time of business permits from four days to one hour.
“Why Urdaneta City seems to be richer than Dagupan City?” I posed to some media friends who were near my seat.
“It has the goose that lays the golden egg through its Urdaneta City University!” cried  Northern Time Publisher Lelia Sy.
In my recent conversation with Carabao City Mayor Amadeo ”Bobom” Perez IV, he said UCU used to give the city coffer P200 million a year but because of the slump in the demand for Filipino nurses abroad,  UCU delivered only more than P100 million to the city treasury a year.
Susmariosep, that’s still a huge amount that Dagupan City, San Carlos City, and Alaminos City can not emulate.
But Attorney Gonzalo Duque, who was seated near the mayor, reacted to the questions of City Information Officer Rhee Hortaleza and DWIZ Manager Allan Sison about his take of Dagupan City constructing a city college.
Duque, owner of Lyceum Northwestern University, explained that the city must  first improve its  Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) on its two year program in K to 12 basic education before it ventures in running a city college. He said that for the city to construct the edifices of the college, it needs P500 million which is impossible because the city is cash- strapped.
“Wala pondo ang siyudad. Asikasuhin muna natin ang basic education na K-12 para mabigyan ng skills ang  mga bata”.

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Bloody Family War in Pangasinan

ASSASSIN:A bullet vest clad suspected 
assassin Arnulfo Calaunan being 
interrogated by the Philippine 
National Police investigator from the
 provincial police office. This photo was
taken 30 minutes after he was arrested
in gun fire chase.

According to my source, the Philippine National Police would help get justice to the Calaunans of Barangay Talebaew, Calasiao, Pangasinan whose bloody feud that started last year with the Mesinas of Brgy. Longos, Calasiao snapped several lives already.

Longos Brgy. Chairman Muja Dave Mesina and
wife. This photo was taken from the wallet of
suspected avenger cum hit man Arnulfo Mesina.
"I took their photo from Face Book," he said.

My police source told me that the grudge war between the two families have cost  five lives and four wounded persons already through gun fires since the traffic altercation that turned physical between Brgy. Chairman Maja Dave Mesina and Albert Calaunan in Brgy. Talebaew in 2012.

Calaunans version of the Event that Trigger the Killings
When I accidentally met last October 21 at the Justice Hall of Dagupan City two Calaunan sisters Arlene Calaunan Bautista and Beth Calaunan Millan when they accompanied their brother Arnulfo Calaunan, who was in hand cuffed and was guarded by ten fully armed policemen in camouflage uniform, who wounded Muja Dave and killed his body guard at the public market of Calasiao last October 18 (you can accessed the complete story of the shooting incidents and the photos of the personalities there at, Arlene told me that the altercation ensued when both Albert and Mesina nearly  bumped each other motorcycles at Brgy. Talebaew in August 2012.
Wounded body guard of Brgy Chairman  Mesina
“Kasama ni  Albert iyong pamangkin namin na si Jumel (Calaunan Millan), si Kapitan Mesina naman kaangkas niya iyong anak niya. Mainit si Kapitan kaya noong bumaba sinuntok siya ng kapatid ko sa ulo pero naka-ilag dahil karatista pala siya. Ang ginawa ng kapatid ko ni hand locked niya sa likod si Kapitan. Tapos dumating iyong dalawang pinsan namin”.
Arlene denied to me when I told her that the aiding cousins help mauled Mesina as what I heard from some quarters.
“Pinabayaan silang dalawang magsuntukan. Pero si Kapitan nagbanta sa kapatid ko”.
Arlene said she wants the media to monitor thoroughly the case since their lives and their siblings and relatives are in danger.
“Pati kami ng ate ko (Beth) ay nagtatago na sa Manila”.
That fisticuff or the mauling incident has been the powder keg to the spates of killings on the sides of both parties.
Provincial Director Marlou Chan gives his piece
on the peace and order situation in Pangasinan
to an ABS/CBN TV reporter.

Chronology of the Murder Cases
In October 2012, Albert Calaunan was killed by hired gun in Marikina. In December 21, 2012 the father of Muja Dave, Antonio Mesina, a retiring Examiner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, was ambushed by riders in tandem in Brgy. Lasip.
The police in Calasiao arrested Rogelio de Luna – the suspected killer of Antonio – and a case of murder was filled against him.
In July 2013 Jumel Calaunan Millan, the back rider on the motorcycle of Albert Calaunan when the latter bitterly argued and engaged Muja Dave in a fist fight was wounded by an assassin allegedly hired by the Mesinas.
A case was filled by the police against Muja Dave but was immediately dismissed by the provincial prosecutor in Dagupan City as baseless and full of loopholes.
Elvira Quenoljico, the alleged informer of the Mesinas in Barangay Talibaew who monitored the movements of the Calaunans, was murdered by hit men.
Arlito Estrada, 36, the alleged provider of hired killers for the Calaunan, was peppered by bullets from long and short firearms by hired guns that came out from a black car in Brgy. Minien, Santa Barbara.
In October 18, 2013 after the peace covenant of candidates for the October 28 village polls, Mesina and two of his body guards were gunned down by Arnulfo Calaunan, a U.S citizen who arrived last August, when he saw the trio buying banana and lansonez at the fruit stand in Calasiao.
 “The Mesinas have killed my brother and wounded my nephew. My other relatives have migrated to Manila because we heard that the Mesinas wanted to exterminate all of them,” the police source quoted Calaunan, who was still dripping with water after he was found hiding on the watery part of the grassy area.

Provincial Director Marlou Chan Relieved Chief of Police of Calasiao
Because of this seeming police negligence in preventing a blood bath at the heart of the town, my source told me that provincial director Senior Superintendent Marlou Chan through a commander’s prerogative relieved Calasiao Chief of Police Noel Vallo after the incident after it was found out that there was no police men guarding the peripheries of the puto stalls, a major thoroughfare, after the peace covenant and the meeting of the candidates at the municipal hall.
Another high official at the provincial police office told me that Vallo was relieved because of the PNP three-strike policy.
“Noong last week si Lolita Rancudo , (60, Department of Education) supervisor (of Calasiao II of the Department of Education) and her husband were killed by bullets by riders in Tandem in Brg. Macabito in Calasiao. Before Mesina and his body guards were shot by Calaunan, Amado Lomibao Miranda,60,  a jueteng bet collector, was shot by motorcycle riding criminals at 7 a.m of the same day at Sitio Cabarun in Brgy. Banaoang, Calasiao”
My earlier source told me the Calaunans felt they were unfairly treated by the justice system after the prosecutor dismissed the case against Muja Dave on a frustrated murder case against him filled by the police  (under the watch of Vallo's predecessor) on behalf of Jumel.
“Kaya si Arnulfo was determined to avenge by himself because he felt the police in Calasiao was not on their sides”.

Police to file cases against Mesina and his body guard
After the wounding of Muja Dave and the wounding and killing of his body guards – where unlicensed hand guns were found, the police provincial office under Colonel Chan was hell-bent to file illegal possession of firearm and election gun ban law to the surviving body guard, and a disqualification case against Mesina who enlisted body guards without following the requisites of the laws on illegal possession of firearm and the ban of the Commission on Election on bearing, carrying , or transporting of firearms or other deadly weapons.

After Police filled murder case against Calaunan, would the spates of murders stop?
Last October 21 ten armed to the teeth policemen of Calasiao brought Arnulfo at the provincial prosecutor’s office in Dagupan City for inquest by filling murder, frustrated murder, illegal position of a .45 caliber hand gun, and election gun ban raps against him.
With Arnulfo behind bar in a non-bailable murder case as he awaits for his trial at the Regional Trial Court, and with Muja Dave survived the assassin’s bullets, and Beth Calaunan Millan plans to reopen the case against his son Jumel who was allegedly ordered by Muja Dave to be murdered but survived, would the bloody family war in Calasiao, Pangasinan come to end?
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TPLEx partially opens on Oct. 30

SOFT OPENING. The partial opening of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway will
cut travel time to Baguio City by 40 minutes. Map courtesy of DPWH

MANILA, Philippines - Passengers and motorists bound for north Luzon destinations can breeze through traffic when a portion of the 88.6 kilometer Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) opens on October 30.
The first phase of the TPLEx project – the 17 kilometer stretch from Tarlac City, Victoria, up to Gerona, Tarlac – will be open to traffic, according to the October 25 statement of the infrastructure unit of San Miguel Corporation.
This portion of the toll road will cut current travel time to Baguio City, the country's summer capital, by as much as 40 minutes, according to the statement.
TPLEx connects to the northern tip of another expressway, the Subic-Clark- Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), which in turn connects to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx).
This 'soft-opening' provides a seamless connection for passengers coming from Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga and other areas via NLEx, SCTEx, and TPLEx up to Gerona town in central Luzon.
The Toll Regulatory Board authorized the issuance of the Toll Operating Permit for Private Infra Development Corporation (PIDC), the all-Filipino consortium of San Miguel unit Rapid Thoroughfares, Inc., DMCI Group and D.M. Wenceslao & Associates, Inc, also on Friday, October 25.
It did not provide details about toll rates.
Exit points
Once completed, the P23.8 billion TPLEx project will have exits from Gerona in the following:
  • Paniqui, Tarlac
  • Moncada, Tarlac
  • Rosales, Pangasinan
  • Urdaneta City, Pangasinan
  • Pozorrubio, Pangasinan
  • Rosario, La Union
Target completion of the section up to Rosales is mid-2014. The section up to La Union is scheduled for completion by 2016.
According to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) site, the entire stretch of TPLEx is91.95% complete as of September 2013.
DPWH said the toll road will reduce travel time from Tarlac to Rosales to 30 minutes from 2 hours, benefitting 13,00 travelers a day.
For travelers from Tarlac to Rosario, travel will be cut to 1-hour from the current 3.5 hours. Target is to have 20,000 travelers using it per day.
During the May 2013 San Miguel annual stockholders meeting, the company's chair Eduardo Cojuangco said there are plans to extend TPLEx all the way to Laoag.
The proponents highlighted these:
  • There will be a fleet of patrol cars and emergency assistance vehicles that can respond to motorists anywhere along the stretch within 10 minutes
  • concrete barriers
  • guardrails
  • lighting and cameras in all toll plazas
  • signs and pavement markings with powdered glass beads for enhanced visibility
  • Speed sensors to ensure motorists will keep to the 100-kilometers per hour limit
  • Toll plazas in major entry points will be equipped with electronic card dispensing machines
  • All installations will be fiber optic, internet-enabled
First San Miguel infra project
Originally designed as a two-lane road, the TPLEX proponents decided to upgrade it to 4 lanes "to enhance efficiency and road safety and anticipate future growth in traffic volume," San Miguel said.
“This marks our first foray into the construction of tollways and is a major milestone in our infrastructure master plan," noted San Miguel president and COO Ramon S. Ang.
"The opening of TPLEX holds great significance for us because this is the first in a number of major greenfield projects since we began diversifying into new businesses," he added.
Other toll road projects in San Miguel's infrastructure portfolio include the P11-billion NAIA Expressway and Skyway Stage 3, which will connect Makati to NLEx. -

Prov’l Gov’t inks MOU with POEA, OWWA, TESDA and DOLE for an illegal recruitment-free community

Lingayen- - -Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. signed today a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to bolster the national government’s campaign against illegal recruitment and human trafficking.
            Amuerfina R. Reyes, Deputy Administrator of the POEA, said that the MOU strengthens the partnership of the provincial government and the agency along with other local government units (LGUs) and attached agencies like the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and the Technical Employment Services Development Authority (TESDA) in the fight against illegal recruitment and human trafficking in the country.
            Reyes said that the MOU has three salient features which include massive information campaign, establishment of OFW Help Desk, and enumeration of corrective measures or law enforcement measures against illegal recruiters.
            Meanwhile, the provincial government through the Provincial Employment Services Office (PESO) is continuously embarking on innovative strategies to fully protect the local OFWs.
            Gov. Espino said that the present administration has set its sight in tapping the cooperation of the LGUs especially the barangay political units.
            The governor said that part of the strategy is the launching of the Bantay Barangay Tulong OFW program.
            PESO Manager Alex F. Ferrer said the program will require an agreement with the LGUs to ensure a more effective campaign.
            Before the MOU signing, the governor distributed livelihood checks for six groups of overseas workers as start-up capital for business.
            This was preceded by the courtesy call of the regional awardees for Best PESO Awards and Model OFW Family of the Year Award and the oath-taking of the Pangasinan OFW Federation Officers.
            Coinciding with the event are other connected undertakings such as pre-employment orientation seminar held at the Pangasinan State University (PSU) Lingayen campus, and anti-illegal recruitment (AIR) seminar at the PESO Bldg. (former United Way building). (PIO/Ruby R. Bernardino)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

JDV's Bilateral Talk formula between PH and China


Is former five-time Speaker Jose de Venecia vindicated about his  proposed formula that to solve the brewing conflict between China and the Philippines in their claims in the South China Sea (SCS) the duo should engage in a bilateral talk for a joint exploration of the territorial dispute between the two countries on the SCS?
Former Speaker
Jose de Venecia
Many of us do not know our two neighbors Vietnam and Brunei Darusallam that claim too, some islets and water of the SCS, have been talking since last year with Mainland China.

Vietnam, where the Chinese sunk four of her warships if not damaged them and killed 53 of her soldiers in the battle of Paracel Islands in January 19, 1974has been nearing a bilateral agreement with China.
According to news report they will establish a bilateral working group to discuss joint maritime development, a move analyst said is a “breakthrough” for the neighbors to peacefully handle disputes.
The working group began its discussion in May last year on a joint development in the water outside the mouth of Beibu Gulf.
The two countries will establish two other working groups regarding infrastructure and financial cooperation according to Premier Li Keqiang and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung who told reporters at a news conference after their talks last Sunday in Beijing.
According to Asia News NetworkMCT, the three working groups send a positive signal of the bilateral readiness in solving difficult problems through cooperation in the area that has been considered by the Philippine and its patron the United States as flash point.

Meeting Speaker de Venecia in Dagupan City
When I stumbled recently with Speaker de Venecia at the “100 Days Report” of Mayor Belen Fernandez at the Stadia, I asked him about his take on China building a concrete barriers at the Scarborough Shoals which is just near Zambales Peninsula.
“There is no physical evidence that they are putting barriers. These could be rocks. There are no confirmed statements from the Philippines armed forces or the Philippine government. I think they are all rocks. But I don’t know, “Speaker de Venecia, who just arrived from Azerbaijan as observer of the Centrist Asia Pacific Democrats International that he heads explained to me.
In September 13, 2013 Defense News of the Gannet Company published that “Manila has expressed concern over the discovery of 75 squares concrete blocks found near the entrance of the Scarborough Shoal, which is within the Philippines exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the South China Sea but China has claimed as sovereign territory. Manila is accusing China of laying the foundation for a permanent facility in violation of international maritime law and ignoring Manila’s call for international arbitration for a peaceful resolution”.
The same news website said: “However, it is still unclear if the concrete blocks will be used to tether fishing boats or be used as the foundation of a facility, Thayer said.
“First of all, I think we should not jump to conclusions,” said Ian Storey, a maritime specialist at Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Despite claims by Manila, “this is not the typical pattern of Chinese construction,” which normally begins with “wooden structures on stilts; then octagonal wooden structures, and then a concrete fortification?”
“The photographs provided by Manila show what appears to be a “random pattern of concrete blocks scattered around the reef,” and it is “not immediately obvious that these blocks can or will be used as the foundations for a Chinese structure.”
“One school of thoughts is that the blocks were dropped by Chinese fishermen and used to tie up their boats”
Speaker de Venecia told me what the Philippines and China would do is a comprehensive joint exploration of the disputed area
“That is when we need a joint fishery for us to prevent confrontation in the sea. Secondly, we need a joint exploration and joint development for the hydro carbon and gas so that both sides of claimants should benefit”.
Proposed partnership between China and the Philippines has precedence in Europe
The former five-time Speaker explained to me before at his coastal mansion in Dagupan City about his formula that was not new since it was tested already by Great Britain, Germany, and Norway when I asked  him of a precedence of this partnership formula in my 2011 meeting with him. Excerpts of that conversation:
Mortz C. Ortigoza (MCO): Is there a precedent model of your consortium’s formula?
Jose de Venecia (JDV): Just like that in the North Sea after World War II, England is here (as he lifted the empty coffee cup and the sandwich of the interviewee to put on the other parts of the table to emphasize his point). This is England; the oil field is here in Ecofisk in the North Sea. They took a median line partition so the oil flows to Stavanger in Norway. The oil is in Teesside in England. And the natural gas goes to Crimea, German. I landed here in the Ecofisk which is above 20 stories high. The platforms from the sea, very stormy seas but (they were composed of) hundreds of oil wells! And siguro mga (Just like) several stories high buildings and platforms from the sea.
MCO: So nobody own these areas? The consortium owns them?

JDV: They have agreed. This part belongs to Norway! (Lifting again the sandwich and coffee cup of the interviewer by putting them to another part of the table to emphasize his point)This part belongs to England! This part belongs to Germany! In the meantime we jointly developed.
MCO: Is the North Sea’s model the only model the claimants in the Spratly’s can replicate?
JDV: Puwedi nating gawin ito( We can copy it). This is one model. The other model is that we will drill together and the profit we split. You see? So we shelve the issue of sovereignty. This is the formula that will solve the problems of China, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Therefore that will solve the problem between China and Vietnam in the Paracel. This (in) the Spratly claim, Vietnam went to war over there a dozen years ago. This is the same formula that should be used because (by) Japan in Diaoyu Strait, what the Chinese call the Senkaku Strait. This is the third formula that could be used on the Sea of Japan and the East Sea, between Japan and South Korea.
Will U.S Block any Bilateral Talk between Ph and China?
Since his wife Congresswoman Maria Georgina de Venecia excitedly called him to come at the stage for pictorial with Mayor Fernandez and members of the city council, I failed to ask him about his take on the scheme of the Philippines and the United States government to build a mini-Subic at Oyster Bay in Palawan – a military strategical location where the Philippine government spent half a billion pesos already in building it because of its proximity to the disputed islets and water in Scarborough shoals and Spratly Islets.
In case the talks between China and Vietnam and China and Brunei bear fruits, would this give the United States goose bumps as the Philippines would emulate it especially with de Venecia at the sideline pressuring his country with reasons and precedence to follow suit?
 Would Uncle Sam pressure the Philippines too not to capitulate with the come-on of China (psst, the Sinos this year got a U.S $ 189.3 billion foreign aid for good will with other countries that want to have economic and political intercourse with her) and the insistence of Speaker Joe for bilateral talk by dangling more economic quotas in the huge U.S market or more military hand me down goodies just for the Flips to maintain its indispensable tactical alliance with her in the oil rich South China Sea?
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