Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Prov'l govt commemorates Lenten season with series of church activities

Lingayen- - -In observance of the Lenten season, the provincial government through the various offices, will hold series of activities on Holy Wednesday, April 1 at the Pangasinan Training Center and Development Center (PTDC) dubbed, Dalaw nen Kristo and Stations of the Cross.

In a memorandum signed by Ramon M. Morden, Executive Assistant IV, the series of activities will start with the arrival of the Image of the Crucified Jesus at 7 AM followed immediately by a vigil.

Holy confessions will also be held at 1 in the afternoon which will be preceded by a Holy Mass to be officiated by Rev. Fr. Francis Posadas at 2pm.

Right after the mass, the traditional Stations of the Cross will be conducted around the Capitol compound to be participated in by employees of theCatholic faith coming from the different offices.

The 14 stations of the cross will start in the area between Capitol Resort Hotel and side of the Provincial Library while stations two to 14 will have the following locations respectively: Sison Auditorium, Finance building, Veternas Park, beachfront gate, main gate of Urduja House, front of ENRO/OPAg/OPVet building, front of PIO/MISO, Motorpool gate, front of PESO, Governor’s Park Center (front of Consuelo Hotel), front of LTO, front of Palaris building.

Monday, March 30, 2015

P50K a day jueteng for the mayor


Barangay chairmen in a town have been smarting to their mayor.
A kapitan told me lately that each of them used to receive a variance of P1000 to P2000 jueteng payola monthly from their generous former mayor through the illegal number game’s bankero.
“Pang gas daw o para sa mga indigents”.

With the new mayor they initially received a stipend of only P500 a month from jueteng’s successor Meridian.
“Anak ng jueteng, P500 a month from the bankero? Talo kayo ng mga hao-shiao (fake) na media man, kinikita ng bawat isa iyang (P500) o mahigit pa sa isang araw lang na ikot-ikot nila," I exclaimed.
Worse, according to my kapitan source, the mayor’s bag man totally cut off their P500 since last year.
"Kaya wala na kaming tinatangap maski isang pisong duling diyan!"
The mayor of this town's earns a daily of P35,000 from the number game.
There are many police stations in Pangasinan that have no police patrol cars as efficient means to fight criminals.
But a small third class town Dasol in the province got three of these vehicles. Thanks to the intercession of its illustrative son former Philippine National Police’s Chief Director General Jesus Verzosa.
Source told me those police cars are owned by the PNP and not Dasol.
So why not the Police Provincial Director Rey Biay not get two of that vehicles and distribute them to those towns – even bigger than Dasol so we can mitigate crime rates in the huge province?
But my source told me Dasol Mayor Noel Nacar would move heaven and earth in protecting the three cars.
Does Nacar the political nemesis of the Verzosas? The mayor had an ugly spat with Eric Versoza, the general’s son, when the latter challenged Nacar for the mayoralty in the 2013 election.

Election related bickering in Bayambang, Pangasinan has been in feverish pitch nowadays. Selected media men these days have been smiling to heaven.
After business tycoon Cesar Quaimbao (Skyway in Metro Manila and computerization of the Land Transportation Office’s fame) and mayoralty aspirant  Levin Uy gave each of them P3000 talent fee after they were called to map a strategy to boost Uy's stocks.
The eloquent Levin, who had some school stints in South Cotabato, is a political survivor. He wiggled himself to popularity from former Mayor Leo de Vera, then darling of the media, incumbent Mayor Ric Camacho, and now with business tycoon and proud son of the onion and garlic rich town. Quiambao used to financially support the two mayors until they fell from his graces.
Levin is pitted against the wife of Camacho (a last term mayor), Vice Mayor Mylvin T. Junio, and Councilor Chato Junio for the 2016 mayoralty race.
Camacho’s  lawyer Raffy Martinez was unfazed by the financial support showered by tycoon Quaimbao to Levin and his  media rah-rah boys. He said when Camacho and Gerry de Vera tangled for the 2007 mayoralty derby, his client had only P2 million campaign funds while Quaimbao and de Vera had P32 million in their campaign chest.
“Pero ano ang nangyari? Tinalo namin si Quaimbao and de Vera!,” Martinez cited to me.
When I told Martinez that Quaimbao and Uy have been distributing wireless CCTV cameras to every nook and cranny of the every 77 barangays there, Martinez became emphatic. He said he advice Camacho to charge Quimbao and Uy in court because what they were doing was illegal.
“Walang ordinance sa Sangguniang Bayan. Tapos iyong mga cameras hindi sa public place nakatutok but on the residential areas. Violation of privacy! Tapos kuryente pa ng barangay ang gagamitin. Dahil public funds, dapat may ordinance. Worst, sila Quimbao and Uy ang may hawak ng monitor ng mga camera!” he told me when I told him that I saw at the local cable TV that the CCTV cameras would be donated to the police.
Moreover, according to my mole a former top official, just like big town Malasiqui and big city San Carlos, the mayor of the huge Bayambang town earns more than P50,000 a day during the heydays of illegal number game jueteng.
(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at totomortz@yahoo.com)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Random Drug Testing: Factor on Pacquiao's performances vs. Mayweather


Manny Pacquiao's coach Freddie Roach said he knew how to expose the ring savvy of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. come the May 2 mega fight.
CAN HE BRAVE IT? The U.S Anti Doping Agency's random drug testing
 will be a third for the Filipino world class pug Manny Pacquiao
“I learned how he works a little bit, so it’s helping out with my strategy with Pacquiao quite a bit,” he said at Wild Card Gym in California.
Roach was in the corner of then Pay Per View’s King the dashing Oscar dela Hoya when he tangled in May 2007 with the then ambitious and smaller but loquacious Mayweather Jr.
He explained that when his ward dela Hoya fought Mayweather they won the first six rounds but lost to Mayweather the last six rounds.
Roach explained that split decision fight that went to Mayweather happened because Oscar stopped using his left incessant jabs and contented himself roughing out Floyd at the ropes.
 Yes Virginia, that roughing and smothering strategies  started from Luis Castillo in their (Mayweather) first fight in April 2002), imitated by Miguel Cotto, Victor Ortiz (with his two hands and head), and Marcus Maidana (in his first fight because their  rematch, just like with Castillo, were lopsided in favor of Floyd who stick, slipped, ran, and accurately counter punched.
"He sets traps and if you walk into the trap  you'll get hit," Mayweather is a master counter puncher and it's clear that a focus of the camp  which is extremely private compared to the past ¬ is to not give him certain openings,"Roach cited.
 He explained that Pacquiao will identify when Mayweather sets the trap so the Filipino Superman - except Superman's handsome face - "won't fall for it" and his face, in my impression, would not be a paper target with the accurate looping left jabs and accurate counter punching of the American.
Many experts in this hurt business said the Mayweather-dela Hoya's tiff was a blue print how to defeat Floyd. They said Oscar should have won that fight.
But here's the rub!

Mayweather was the smaller guy, dela Hoya was the bigger one

When Mayweather challenged dela Hoya, the Golden Boy and then PPV king asked an onerous contract with the former.
Oscar gets 80% of the revenues, Floyd gets the measly 20%. Floyd agreed. Oscar wants to fight Floyd at Junior Middleweight (154 pounds) even Floyd had just fought Carlos Baldomir ( November 2006), Zab Judah (April 2006), and Shamba Mitchell (June 2005) at Welterweight or 147 lbs. Before Mitchelle, Floyd was fighting at 140 lbs or Lightweight.
Mayweather agreed even thought Oscar fought two years earlier Bernard Hopkins at 160 lbs.
They fought, by the way, with 10- ounce gloves not the 8- ounce Welterweight pugs wear.
Even how closed was that fight (that I scored in favor of the weaving, bobbling, shoulder rolling, snapping counter punching Mayweather), I still gave the credit to Floyd.
NO POWER. The first time Pacquiao submitted himself for random drug testing 
was he could not knocked out Brandon Rios where the former threw every
 bombs in his arsenal including the proverbial kitchen sink
 and the antic aparador (wooden cabinet) of his mother Dionesia
 to Rios.

Pilgrimage sites in Pangasinan, places to relax, reflect

DAGUPAN CITY - It may seem strange to combine religion with summer vacation, but for many Filipinos, Holy Week is a chance to catch up on much needed rest, as well as being a time for reflection and prayer.
Calvary Hill in Bani, Pangasinan. The place has a 1,000-step “Via Crusis” that leads to a gigantic cross. The cross is perched on a plateau overlooking the West Philippine Sea.
Catholic devotees and tourists who are hoping to make a spiritual vacation during the Holy Week need not go too far as notable pilgrimage sites abound in the province of Pangasinan.
On top of the list is a road trip to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag in Manaoag town which was recently elevated to the status of a minor basilica by Pope Francis.  
Even before it became a minor basilica, Manaoag Church had been a popular Visita Iglesia destination for people from all walks of life.
The blog site of Pangasinan Tour also recommends popular pilgrimage sites in the province where everyone can visit and spend their Holy Week.
One of these is the Sky Plaza of Natividad town, a park built on top of a hill beside the Caraballo Mountains in Barangay Batchelor East.
A chapel and a 287-step concrete stairway leads to a grotto of the Virgin Mary in the upper side of the hill, and a little higher behind it, to a 30-foot Holy Cross.
From the cross is a winding trail leading to the mountaintop, where a 40-foot statue of Christ the Redeemer, called “Ayat ni Apo Jesus” (God’s Love) stands.
Jesus Christ’s fiberglass statue, which was erected in June 2013, is 1,108 meters above sea level, overlooking the town.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Bani town especially during the Lenten Season is their version of Calvary Hill. The place has a 1,000-step “Via Crusis” that leads to a gigantic cross.

Police beefs up security measures for Lenten Season, summer vacation

LINGAYEN  The Pangasinan Provincial Police Office (PPPO) will implement an operation plan for the coming Lenten Season and summer vacation tagged "Ligtas SumVac" to ensure security and public safety.
Embedded image permalink
Distribution of Safety tips during Semana Santa and summer vacation at the
Dagupan City's police motorist assistance desk at
Barangay Arrelano of the City.

Police Senior Superintendent Reynaldo Biay, officer-in-charge of the Pangasinan police, assured the public of a peaceful observance of Holy Week and summer vacation with the PPPO’s anti-criminality campaign in placed.

Biay said that police presence will be intensified as criminal elements may take advantage of people converging in places such as churches, beaches, mall establishments and other tourist destinations for relaxation and recreation.

“We will ensure maximum presence through increased foot and mobile patrols and theestablishment of Police Assistance Desks/Centers in all points of convergence particularly in bus terminals, recreational areas including highways, main thoroughfares and crime prone areas,” he said. 

The Pangasinan Police will also continue its focus on manhunt operations against wanted persons, intelligence driven operations against criminal gangs and suspected threat groups, and service of warrants on loose firearms, he added.

Village chiefs to report in barangay assemblies

DAGUPAN CITY– Residents in every barangay can once again express their concerns and issues in the community in a public forum dubbed as ‘Barangay Assembly’ right in their villages.
Presidential Proclamation No. 260 mandates the holding  of a Barangay Assembly Day on the last Saturday of March and on the second Sunday of October every year.
In Pangasinan, the synchronized Barangay Assembly Day shall be conducted in  the 1,364 barangays of the province, said Provincial Director Reggie Colisao of the Department of Interior and Local Government.
“The barangay assembly is the perfect avenue and opportunity for the barangay officials to update their constituents  on their accomplishments last year and in the first quarter of this year and discuss their upcoming plans for the next quarter,” Colisao said.
Colisao said that  for this year, DILG aims to showcase one barangay per region but for Region I, all provinces shall showcase one barangay each.
For Pangasinan, the showcase village is Barangay Cabulalaan in the eastern town of Laoac.

DOLE to hold job fairs for new graduates in Pangasinan

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the Ilocos Region, in coordination with Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs), employers, academe and other agencies, has doubled the holding of job fairs to bring employment opportunities closer to job seekers.
DOLE-1 Regional Director Grace Ursua said job fairs bring together different employers and pre-employment services under one roof, making it faster and less expensive for jobseekers to do their job hunting.
She encouraged jobseekers to check the tentative schedule of job fairs and take advantage of landing in jobs in the most cost- efficient way.
 “Job fair schedules for March and April are already posted in the phil-jobnet, the official job portal, and the DOLE-1 website,” Ursua said.
In Pangasinan, job fairs for local and overseas employment are slated on March 19 (Bani); March 20 (San Carlos City); March 23 (PESO office in Bayambang); March 26 (Bolinao); March 27-28 (Metro Plaza Grounds in Dagupan City); and April 29 (Urbiztondo).
The conduct of job fairs and their announcement in advance have been the DOLE’s employment facilitation strategy to bring jobs closer to jobseekers, especially in the regions. (PIA-1, Pangasinan)

DOST pushes for bio garden-iron fortified rice combi to improve kids’ health

For a more effective school feeding program, BIG and fortified is the way to go, according to Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI).

BIG refers to bio-intensive garden which, when paired with iron fortified rice, helps improve the nutritional status of kids. This is actually what the joint study of DOST-FNRI, International Institute for Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) and Department of Education (DepEd) found out.

As the joint study consisting of a school-based feeding program that tapped bio-intensive garden (BIG) and used iron fortified rice resulted in a significant improvement in the nutritional status of the participants, DOST-FNRI now recommends the BI and fortified rice approach.

Bio-intensive gardening is an organic planting method that uses diversified cropping and deep bed preparation of plots.  Meanwhile, iron fortified rice, developed by experts of DOST-FNRI, is a blend of premixed iron-fortified rice grains with ordinary rice.

Participants of the joint study were more than 200 underweight and/or anemic children from three schools. Two schools served as intervention group and the third was thecontrol group which received the usual feeding program of DepEd.  All participating schools were located in Cavite.

Participants from Felipe Calderon Elementary School were served iron fortified rice (IFR group), while Gen. Aloño Memorial Elementary School students were served ordinary rice (OR group).  Both schools however used the same meal plans prepared by FNRI and used produce from their gardens in making their meals.


DAGUPAN CITY – Another batch of indigents received livelihood assistance from the city government under the Bottom-up Budgeting (BuB) Project on Monday during the flag raising ceremony at the city plaza in line with the continuing program of Mayor Belen T. Fernandez of helping them earn and have a decent living.

At least 67 young Dagupeños received P2,000 transportation allowance from the city government along with their starting kit from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) worth P6,000 each.

City Social Welfare and Development Officer Leah L. Aquino said that the livelihood and scholarship program are for the sons and daughters of indigent families in the city who were enrolled in commercial cooking, sewing and shielded metal art works. 

They will graduate on March 28 at the City Astrodome together with the students of Project B.E.L.E.N.

“The recipients will be monitored by the government on how well they are doing in their livelihood after their training. They will be signing an agreement with the city government that they cannot sell or dispose of their kits given to them solely for them to earn a living,” Aquino said.

Members of the Rural Improvement Clubs in the city also received from the city under the Grassroots Participatory Budgeting Program (GPBP) cooking kits worth P7,000 each for them to start producing smoked bangus without food coloring that  can last for about two months.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Notorious Shabu Queen Nabs in Calasiao

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

CALASIAO – An alleged notorious shabu queen here was collared recently by personnel of the Philippine National Police and Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency in a buy bust operation.
SHABU QUEEN.  Notorious illegal drug shabu queen 38 years old Daria Fatima Lim (extreme left), single, after she and three male companions were arrested in  a buy bust operation by the joint elements of Calasiao, Pangasinan police and the  Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency in Brgy. Buenlag of the town. Lim was rumored to be one of the notorious shabu dealers in the town. A month ago, PO1 Jerry D. Mabanglo, assigned at the Philippine National Police office in San Manuel, Pangasinan, was arrested inside the house of Lim in possession of the illegal drug's methamphetamine   hydrochloride or shabu and its paraphernalia after the  Provincial Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operation Task Group (PAIDSOTG) led by its chief Supt. Benjie Ariola raided it. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA

 Superintendent Joseph Rizaldy A. Dalope, chief of police here, said his intelligence unit led by SPO1 Paquito M.  Claveria and PO2  Diosdado DV Tucay, and a group from the PDEA in Region-1 conducted a buy bust operation in Barangay Buenlag here that resulted to the arrest of Daria Fatima Lim, 38 years old, and single.
The rumored illegal drug queen here was with Danilo Layno alias Danny, 58, married, laborer, Oliver Gabat, 34, married, and laborer, and Dennis Doria alias Glen, 31, single, and driver. Layno, Gabat, and Doria are residents of Brgys. Buenlag, San Miguel, Brgy. San Pedro, and San Carlos City, respectively.
Confiscated from the drug offenders, according to Dalope, were two heat sealed transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline granules believed to be “shabu” (methamphetamine   hydrochloride); one improvised water pipe, five pieces rolled aluminium foil, two pieces glass tube, four pieces plastic sachet containing white crystalline granules, and assorted plastic for repacking.
Together with the above confiscated pieces of evidence they were brought to the hospital for medico-legal examination and subsequently brought to the Provincial Crime Laboratory Office, Lingayen, Pangasinan for drug test and laboratory examination.
According to SPO1 Claveria --intelligence chief, Fatima was found to be positive with the presence of shabu.
“Qualitative examination conducted on the above stated specimen gave positive result to the test for the presence of methamphetamine..., ”said in the report by Police Chief Inspector Lady Ellen V. Maranon of the Regional Crime Laboratory Office in San Fernando City, La Union.
The PNP here was hot on the trail of Lim after PO1 Mabanglo was arrested here last February 20.
“Many people wondered why only (PO1 Jerry D.) Mabanglo and not Fatima who was arrested. It was an insinuation that some of our colleagues here were in cahoots with her so we made surveillance on her and arrested her,” a police officer, who asked anonymity, here said.
The shabu queen and her companion are now locked at the Bureau of Jail and Penology in Dagupan City.

Public School Teacher is voted ‘Darling of the Press

Public School Teacher is voted ‘Darling of the Press.’  Maybelle Panurongan of Sta. Barbara charms her way to the heart of mediamen with her wit and intelligence to win the “Darling of the Press” plum during the 2015 Limgas na Pangasinan Press Presentation held at the Capitol Resort Hotel in Lingayen last March 23.  Panurongan , an English teacher in one of the province’s public schools, bested 24 other equally lovely candidates representing various towns in Pangasinan.  /MVSadim

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Pugaro to be developed as tourist destination

The city government of Dagupan has set up plans to develop the island barangay of Pugaro as a tourist destination.
This was disclosed by Mayor Belen Fernandez during the community consultation held in the barangay last March 19.
Fernandez said that Pugaro, known for its unspoiled beaches that will also afford anyone a chance to see the panoramic view of the Lingayen Gulf, has a great potential in attracting tourists, as well as investors.
The barangay is also one of the stopover points of the city's Island Tours.
And as part of its program to develop the site as a local destination, the LGU will coordinate with Fourth District Representative Gina de Venecia on projects that will be implemented to improve Pugaro's local infrastructures.
These include the cementing and elevation of roads and pathways in the barangay, clean up and rehabilitation of the coastline, and construction of a boardwalk along the beachfront.
Fernandez said this development thrust for Pugaro includes livelihood component that will benefit barangay residents.
Once the tourists come to Pugaro, it will have a positive impact on the community because it will boost small businesses, especially the fishing sector,” said Fernandez.

Tax collected not enough to fund gov’t expenses - BIR Exec

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

CALASIAO – A Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue said that the taxes collected by his agency and the Bureau of Custom are not enough to fund the various programs of the government.
Brass of the Bureau of Internal Revenue from the Central Office and the
Regional Office in Calasiao, Pangasinan gathered recently at the multi-
purpose gym of the tax agency to award deserving taxpayers.

Deputy Commissioner Nelson M. Aspe told businessmen here, during the recent tax campaign kicked off program’s dubbed “Angat pa ‘Pinas”, that the government has to sell sequestered assets from corrupt government officials, sell government buildings here and abroad, float government bonds and treasury bills to support its yearly expenses.
Aspe said that the BIR however had done a long stride in the last five years in terms of collection. He cited that five years ago the agency was targeting P750 billion tax collections compared to the P1.7 trillion it would be collecting this year.
He said the targets in that five years span were an average spike of 16% annually.
Because of the ballooning expenses of the government on infrastructure to pump prime the economy and its aggressive stance to invite local and foreign investors to provide jobs to its people, the Philippines was No.2 after Mainland China last year as the fastest growing economy.
The country and China have 6.1% and 7.4%, respectively, gross domestic product (GNP) last year. This year the country is poised to eclipse China as the fastest growing economy in the world.
Those who attended the kicked off program here was Aspe, Deputy Commissioner Celia C. King, Region -1 Regional Director Arnel SD. Guballa, Asst. Regional Dir. Eduardo L. Pagulayan, Revenue District Officer 4 Chief Renato Molina, RDO-4 Assistant Chief Charmaine C. dela Torre, RDO-6 Chief Nasrollah Conding, Assistant RDO-6 Chief Maria Bernadette Mangaoang, RDO-5 Chief Emir Abutzil other top brass and examiners of the four provinces strong BIR Region 1.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Index crimes in Dagupan dips in 1st quarter--PNP


DAGUPAN CITY, Mar 20 (PIA) – The Philippine National Police in Dagupan said index crimes in the first quarter of 2015 plunged compared to the same period last year. Non-index crimes, however, soared high.
Supt. Cris Abrahano (2nd from left), chief of police of Dagupan City

Index crimes include murder, homicide, robbery, theft and physical injury. Non-index crimes on the other hand, include the enforcement of programs on anti-illegal drugs and firearms use, among others.

Police Supt . Christopher Abrahano, Dagupan City police chief, reported on Thursday that index crimes from January to March registered at 25 or 38 percent lower from last year’s record of 40 crimes for the same period. Non-index crimes, however, rose to 53 from last year’s 38 registering a 37 percent increase.

Abrahano was quick to explain that the increase in non-index crimes does not mean policemen did not do their duties well.

“In police par lance, it (increase) is an indication of the very strong enforcement of the law by the police force,” Abrahano said during the first quarter meeting of the City Peace and Order Council held at the City Museum.

Friday, March 20, 2015

250 violators of Helmet Law arrested in Dagupan

“Apprehension, Fines Continue Against Violators”, says LTO's Director

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

DAGUPAN CITY – The director of the Land Transportation Office-Region-1 said that as of press time about 250 violators of the Motorcycle Helmet Acts of 2009 have been nabbed and fined here after the local government implemented an ordinance on the non-wearing of helmet.

 INSPECTION. Regional Director for Region-1 Teofilo Guadiz of the Land Transporation Office inspects lately the documents and franchises of buses at the                terminals for transport companies that ply from Dagupan City to San Fernando City,                La Union. Guadiz checks too the kabit rackets of operators where more than                         one buses used the same plate number that has franchised to ferry passengers.
            MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA

Lawyer Teofilo Guadiz said that most of the apprehended drivers were caught by his personnel violating Republic Act No. 10054 or Helmet Law in the downtown area here.
The national law mandates all motorcycle riders to wear standard protective motorcycle helmets while driving and providing penalties there.
“Iyan ang dahilan na ipakita namin na hindi namin ni-rerecognized iyong batas ng Dagupan City. Iyan po ay hindi ayon sa pambansang batas”.


NAT’L CONGRESS of ASIAN AGRI SCIENCES.  Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Z. Calimlim, Jr. (upper photo) welcomes the participants (lower photo) of the 2015 International Society for Southeast Asian Agricultural Sciences (ISSAAS) National Congress and General Meeting at the Pangasinan Training and Development Center in Lingayen last March 17.  The Vice Governor expressed elation over Pangasinan’s hosting of the national congress even as he said that “agriculture is not just agriculture, agriculture is connected to everything.”  /GDMoran

Thursday, March 19, 2015

GATE Hails New PMA Grad from P'sinan

Lingayen- - -“Dream big and never stop dreaming.” This was cited by Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. before this year’s graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and some members of the lower class who all hail from Pangasinan as they paid a courtesy call on him on March 18.
Members of PMA Class of 2015 pose for posterity with Pangasinan
Governor Amado T. Espino during their courtesy call recently at the Capitol
in Lingayen, Pangasinan. Espino, a member of PMA Class of
1972 was joined by PMAers like former Provincial Director Sonny
Verzosa (PMA '84) , Laoac Mayor Silverio Alarcio, Provincial
Police Director Rey Biay (PMA'86), and others in welcoming the new
alumni called Sinag Lahi.

The governor, who is a member of Class Masigasig in 1972, commended the Sinaglahi Class of 2015 as he rekindled precious memories in his time when the PMA was once dubbed, “Pangasinan Military Academy” owing to the fact that a great number in his batch and even the preceding years came from Pangasinan.

Gov. Espino pointed out that the PMA is the best institution in the country where everything was provided and discipline is best learned.
Furthermore, the provincial chief executive urged the latest batch of PMA graduates to stand firm and faithful even as he revealed that frustrations may come citing for example the Mamasapano tragedy where lives were sacrificed.
Citing his experience as a military man to include the ups and downs, Gov. Espino challenged the younger mistahs to give their best shot.

“Whatever your ranking inside the academy will no longer be important because your performance outside the institution is more valuable now,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ret. Col. Mariano “Sonny” Verzosa who belongs to Class ’84, congratulated the new batch of PMA graduates as well as the members of the lower class for giving honor to the province.

Verzosa urged all young Pangasinense mistahs to continue reaping accomplishments for the province and join hands with other institutions and the government to usher in genuine development for the province.

In return, Lt. Benjamin John P. Cantor, Sinaglahi Class 2015 rank 14 from Bugallon town, spoke on behalf of the group as he pledged to render quality service to the country.

Other class members who paid courtesy call on the governor are as follows: Jomel G. Banila of Dasol; Robert Royce De Guzman, Bayambang; Jeffrey Ladislao, Binmaley; Danjo Lagula, Natividad; Orlando Lictawa, San Quintin; Leonard Allan Gacayan, Binalonan; Keith John Pascua, Mangatarem; Giovanni Payomo, Sual; Jefferson Sacopla, Mangatarem; and Kelvin Verzosa, Labrador.

Joining the governor in welcoming the PMAers were PSSupt Reynaldo Biay, Laoac Mayor Silverio Alarcio, Col. Carlos Resurrecion, Major Ryan Celino and Col. Popoy Oro, who are all graduates of the PMA.


Brian Lim Prepares for the 2016 Mayoralty - Ally


I thought Dagupan City Mayor Belen Fernandez will run unopposed in the 2016 election as her Vice Mayor Brian Lim seems to content himself at his present post. But a close media ally of the veem told me to watch Brian launches big activities like the job fair at the family owned Metro Plaza on March 27 to 28 that will crow his name.
Dagupan City's Vice Mayor Brian Lim
 I was quite surprised with this observation because I told the same pal months ago that the abandonment of Lim on most of his father’s media supporters, his scarcity with the hoi-polloi, and his “absenteeism” with his official functions will cost him his reelection to the likes of Councillors Mabelyn Fernandez and Alfie Fernandez who just lurking at the sidelines.
Another political kibitzer told me that Brian moving heaven and earth months ago in the country to chalk up the national presidency of the Jaycee was not a downside as he limits his presence in the city but a chutzpah for winning the mayoralty.
“Can you just imagine the mileage, the raves and waves, he gets in case the Jaycees’ members all over the country made an exodus to the city for a national convention?” he posed.
Brian’s vice mayoralty ticket, my source, told me would be Councillor Alfie Fernandez incase Mayor Fernandez would not enlist him as bet for the veem.
Malamang si (Councilor) Maybelyn or bayaw (Councilor) Jigs Seen would be her vice mayoralty’s bet".
"Jigs Seen as vice mayor? Are Dagupenos ready for kin as tickets in the top two posts come 2016 polls?" I posed to my friend.
I told him that the Belen-Seen tandem seems to be next to impossible as getting my friend Jigs would  disenfranchised the Fernandezes in the Top 2 post. 
"The mayor would be courting a political disaster through a potent and bigger opposition in the coming election as the Fernandezes would surely defect to the camp of Lim," I said.
Dagupan City's Mayor Belen Fernandez

Would last term Pangasinan Governor Amado T. Espino run for the vice governorship of the province or run roughshod with 3rd District Congresswoman Baby Arenas?
A political pundit told me that it seems the governor silently hones himself for the vice governorship because in the powwows of son and namesake Board Member Pogi Espino the latter did not bring re-elective Vice Governor Ferdie Calimlim.

He said the presence of the older Espino is indispensable if he wants to buttress the political stocks of his son.
My source cited the mistake of former Governor Victor Agbayani when he left his wife Jamie Eloise to contest the No.1 post of the province to then gubernatorial bet Amado T. Espino in the 2007 election.
“Victor sandbagged and concentrated in the 2nd congressional district in winning the hearts and minds of the people there against Liberal Party’s stalwart former CIBAC Rep. Maria Blanca Kim Lokim and the popular Joe Bengzon. His hands were full and he left Jamie with Frank, his gofer, and then Lady Friday Malou Elduayan (the present provincial tourism chief) to fend for themselves ingratiating with the masses in the boondocks and prairies of the huge province”.
In that election, Espino chalked up 36,087 more votes (where Espino got 427,364 versus Agbayani’s 391,277) to clench the governorship of Pangasinan scorching the Agbayanis in every platform, dais, pulpit, you name it where he spoke about the notorious absenteeism of Victor whose propensity to report at the Capitol once a week for nine years scandalized many Pangasinenses.
But in the 2010 and 2013 gubernatorial derbies, Espino overran, just  like what a lorry does to a wayward drunk pedestrian, then congressman Victor Agbayani and exiting Alaminos City Mayor Nani Braganza with more or less half-a-million votes.
(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at totomortz@yahoo.com)

Extortion Ring in the Media, Gov’t vs. Choppers’ Supplier


I suspected that those columnists and reporters of the national dailies in the Philippines who acrimoniously “exposed” and scathingly commented the supposed anomalies on the procurement of the refurbish 21 1967 to 1981 era’s combat helicopters’ UH-1seem to be part of a bigger extortion ring where these alleged conspirators took orders.
Some of the 21 German made Dornier UH-1D combat helicopters for
 the Philippine Air Force. 
News report said a certain Rhodora Alvarez, a brass at the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Manila, allegedly threatened and attempt to mulct a cut of 15% from the P 1.2 billion contracts the Philippine government entered with supplier Rice Aircraft Services Inc. and Eagle Copters (Rice for brevity).
Rice already reported to the media the extortion attempt.
In the following paragraphs I would be citing and answering many the accusations of my colleague in the media, who shot from the hips, without the benefit of clicking Google and reading in Wikipidia on what is the difference of a Bell UH-1H to a UH-1D. They, at the expense of responsible journalism, gun a blazing just condemned the government and Rice on the anomalous, disadvantageous, onerous, Whatchamacallit contract.
1) President Benigno Aquino III was duped into believing and even mentioning in his 2012 State of the Nation Address (SONA) (son of a gun, I was there!) that the 21 helicopters were UH-1H not UH-1D.
My Answer: Records will show that even the president mentioned” UH-1H” (not “UH-1” as media fora espoused) in his SONA what the earlier Invitation to Bid for the acquisition of the 21 refurbished choppers was about “UH-1” which we know could either be UH-1H or the same if not the superior variant’s UH-1D.
Here’s the difference:
UH-1H was built by Bell U.S based company in 1966 to 1970s were many of them saw action in the Vietnam War. UH-1D was built by Bell licensed German based company’s Dornier (that “D” was not “Darna” nor “Dornier” but Deutschland, another name of Germany) from 1967 to 1981. The West German company built 352 UH-1Ds between those periods. According to the helis.com in spite of their designation they were standard H models powered by the T53-L13 engine.
Both helicopters are based on the same 205 platform. It means both can use the same spare parts.
Readers, by the way, should not be confused with the older and smaller Bell UH-1D, which was based on the 204 platform and built from 1956.
The advantage of UH-1 in the project contract with Rice was the bidder could actually bid using other variants of the UH-1 series aside from the standard UH-1H being used by the Philippine Air Force. That is as long as the other variant quality is similar with the old PAF’s work horse UH-IH.

2)  UH-1D not Operational
Department of National Defense (DND) confirmed, as quoted by the media, that they were not operational upon delivery.
Only eight of a total 21 helicopters were accepted by the PAF as operational, while the rest are still being assembled, checked, tested, and will undergo acceptance later on. The DND already confirmed that they have given Rice and its partner Eagle Copter, under the pain of paying monthly liquidated damages (LD) under the ToR that runs to millions of pesos, up to April 15 to complete the turnover for the balance units. Fernando Manalo, DND Undersecretary for Finance, Munitions, Installations and Materiel, also said that the government could reneged the contract if Rice could not honour its promised to make the remaining 13 choppers air worthy come beyond April 15.
 UH-1D Super Delta upgraded version while undergoing flight testing at Clark
Air Base, Pampanga. The Fastfin system is visible from this angle.
3. 21 German made Choppers not reliable as Spare Parts are Obsolete and Scarce
My Answer: If we are going to follow these arguments, the much older UH-1Hs, still used by the air forces of the U.S, South America, South East Asia, and the Philippines, are already obsolete. But everybody knows how reliable the UH-1Hs as these countries have been using them with gusto and efficiency. If UH-1H can do the yeoman jobs of the military, how can the less old UH-1Ds superiorly made by the Germans?
Since the two UH-1 choppers are the same, their maintenance and spare parts are interchangeable.
 Although the German maker Dornier folded shop a long time ago, U.S Company Bell still manufacture parts and service support for the UH-1D

4) No protective parts like intake screen and other features that will allow them to fly under Philippine conditions.
As what MaxDefense’s Administrator the prolific military genius Max Montero said:
German Hueys operated in equally or more extreme environments like Somalia than the PAF’s Hueys. Making that stupid comment is like making fun of the Germans. Aside from that, this item has a replaceable accessory that can be easily acquired, and is interchangeable with PAF’s UH-1H Hueys”.

5) UH-1Ds are incompatible with night vision goggles and lacked crash-worthy and self-sealing fuel cells.
My Answer, er, Rice Aircraft Services Inc. Vice President and Philippine country manager Phil Kemp’s answer: