Saturday, June 28, 2014

Millions of Pesos Bribe from Thousands of "Colorum" in Region 1?

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

Last Sunday (July 20) when I asked my errand boy to deliver the bundle of copies of this newspaper through a mini-bus plying Dagupan City-Carmen, Rosales and vice versa son of a gun I was told that dozens of busses except two were on a business-as-usual mode while the rest stopped plying because of the stiffed penalties imposed by the Land Transportation Office that reached up to P1 million to be paid by the operator of a colorum bus caught on the street.
The new regulation and penalty was mandated by the Land Transportation, Franchising, & Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and as published in the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No. 2014-01 that was released early this month by the LTFRB and LTO.
If all hundreds if not a thousand of mini- buses hauling passengers vice versa not only in Dagupan City –Carmen, Rosales but Dagupan City-Lingayen,  Dagupan City-San Fernando City, La Union,  Carmen, Rosales- Vigan, Ilocos Norte, and others notwithstanding the vans that ply Alaminos City and  Dagupan City, Dagupan City-Tayug, Pangasinan, and others have  no franchise from the government since time immemorial until the JAO took effect in June 19 this year, then may kumikita ng malaki sa Land Transportation Office (LTO) and LTFRB kasi itong mga hinayupaks na colorum operators have been paying protection monies to corrupt officials of these government agencies at the expense of the fines they should be paying the government.
In July last year I wrote in this column the following:
“What this I heard? The regional office of the Land Transportation Office in Region 1 has been earning
almost a million pesos a month from “colorum” (not government franchise) vehicles like vans, buses, and others that ply the four provinces Region 1. “Dito sa Pangasinan nakaka half-a-million pesos na ang LTO. Iyong taga Melvin Bus Company sa Lingayen, nagbibigay daw sila ng P30, 000 a month sa mga taga-LTO in exchange of their buses using improvised plates,” my source told me.
Paging the attention of LTO Regional Director Attorney Jojo Guadiz. Are these accusations true?”
Kasi pag hindi totoo ito na walang kumikita, bakit biglang nag si pag hintu-an magbiyahi itong mga mokong na operators na ito ng dumating ang one million pesos na multa.
At the recent birthday bash of Solo de Venecia , nephew of former House Speaker Joe de Venecia, held at Aristogracia along the de Venecia Highway, I asked Solo and Calasiao Vice Mayor Roy Macanlalay if they were following the development at CNN and Fox cable TV about the occupation of  one half of Iraq by Sunni militants supported Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) for a caliphate state and the plan of U.S President Barrack Obama to send 300 Special Forces to laser spray the tanks of ISIS so the drones and aircraft carrier based F-18 jets can accurately fire their hell fire missiles above?
The two were not only privy about the tribal configurations of Shiite, Sunni, and Kurds in that Middle East country, son of a gun, they have been there and even visited places that ISIS’s now  controlled or heavily contested cities Mosul, Kirkuk, Tikrit, Ramadi, and Fallujah
 “I, Speaker Joe, and company were called Sheiks there by the Iraqis when we were drilling oil through Speaker Joe and the Romans of Bataan’s consortium Land Oil,” Solo said.
 “I’ve been there when I was still an overseas worker. It was Iran-Iraq war when they clashed near and in Bashr. Iraq was a liberal country where nigh clubs and other Western cultures proliferated in the cities. It was dirty, and the four halls of a restaurant there have  four laminated pictures of Saddam (Hussein) while public places have huge billboards with the face of the dictator,” zealously recalled by the former mayor and the patriarch of the politics of Calasiao.
 I could not believe what I heard from both of these folks, I thought I was the only one glued on CNN, Fox, or BBC following the development of this war that the U.S taxpayers bled by P$1.7 Trillion and lost the lives of 4,486 compatriots' service men and women between years 2003 and 2012 when it invaded it because of the “selfish” desire of the ‘oil hungry and neo-conservatives’ gang” of former President George Walker Bush , former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfield, and former Deputy Secretary of State Paul Wolfowitz  .
“All I know about Iraq, like the bloody sea - saw battles between the U.S Marines and the Shiite  Mahdi Army of religious and political leader Sadrist Muqtada al-Sadr  at Fallujah was through the books of Bob Woodward, the left, er, pro Democrat New York Times, and the right or pro Republican’s Washington Post.

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