Archive for January, 2010

Castaneda lauds Abono


By Marcelo C. Ortigoza

LINGAYEN – The mayor of this capital town thanked the Abono Party List for the medical missions it conducted recently in different villages here.

Mayor Ernesto “Jonas” Castaneda said the municipal government appreciates the gesture of the party through its chairman Engineer Rosendo So.

He added that in the recent medical foray of Abono, Brgy. Malimpuec was chosen because it was the most practicable geographically to serve other western villages.

According to a village leader, the medical mission in Maluempec was attended by hundreds of grateful people.

Castaneda added that before Maluempec, Abono and the municipal government have been to Brgys. Naguelguel and Poblacion – two venues that were also used as bases to serve other villages.

The mayor said that aside from the staff of Abono, he lauded this town’s RHs 1 and 2, municipal doctors like Manny Bauzon, and Sandra Gonzales and their staff to make the project successful.

Dr. Gonzales said the medicines that were distributed to the marginalized folks here were Amoxicillin capsule, Paracetamol tablet, Cotrimoxazole syrup, Mefenamic acid tablet, Metronidazole susp.,Nifedipine tablet, Immuzinc drops, Immuzinc syrup, Ascorbic acid tablet and syrup, Pedialyte, Fucidin, and others

The mission included also dental services, according to Dr. Gonzales.

The mayor said it was So who called him up and told him about the intention of Abono to conduct the medical mission.

January 29, 2010 at 11:17 am 1 comment

Esperon hoping to overtake Agabas in surveys


By Mortz C. Ortigoza

ROSALES – Pangasinan 6th District congressional bet Hermogenes Esperon said this month, a prestigious Manila-based survey outfit that he commissioned last year would release its findings about his electoral stock.

Esperon, who will run against Vice Governor Marlyn Primicias-Agabas, declared that in March 2009 he enlisted a pollster whose findings he will use personally as guide for his political strategy.

When pressed to give some snapshots of the surveys, he said that the result on March 2009 showed Agabas led him by a 40 percent margin.

He explained the disparity was the result of his non-declaration on that month that he wanted to run for congress.

“Itong September (2009) 20 percent ang edge ni Marlyn. Nakalahati ako kaagad. So we will know kung by January (2010) iyong next na result.

He said his survey was done scientifically because of the number of samples, and the use of random sampling.

In that survey, the minimum samples in a town were 200 respondents unlike the 23 for his opponent.

“Sino niloloko nila doon sa paid survey (that saw print on some local newspapers),” he said.

He stressed however that the best survey is the vote of the people after the May 10, 2010 poll.

Esperon was reacting about the allegedly “spurious” survey perpetrated by the camp of his political rival Agabas – a veteran politician in the district and a lawyer.

He smilingly downplayed the results that showed opponent leading him by a wide margin of 93 percent if election would be held on October 12 to November 8, 2009.

“Maganda ang survey kung makikita mo kung paano ka mag-perform. And so kung gagamitin mo iyan pang psychological operation ay mag-iiba na iyan. Ibig sabihin mas malamang ay hindi na iyan ang totoong survey. In other words ang gamit noon ay to convey na leading nga siya kahit na hindi,’ he said.

He questioned the authenticity of the survey’s outfit because some media men could not find the person responsible for it and its address at Munoz, Nueva Ecija.

The survey, done by Philippine Research & Information Service Publishing, Inc., was recently mocked by the supporters of the former military chief of staff because of the miniscule samples that did not equally represent many of the ten towns of the district.

“Ngayon lang ako nakakita ng survey na parang pang grade school,” he stressed.

January 29, 2010 at 11:16 am 8 comments

merican soldiers reminisces days in Dagupan


by Yolanda Sotelo

DAGUPAN CITY –As Pangasinan commemorates the 65th Lingayen Gulf Landings on January 9, an American soldier in the United States finds comfort in faded photographs, yellowed letters, memories and a knife.

These mementos remind PFC Harry Bennett of the days he spent as a truck driver during the World War II in this city.

But these are not enough for him to be granted a Bronze Star Medal for his war exploits, especially on the day he killed a Japanese to protect his fellow American soldiers during an encounter at the Dagupan railroad station.

(A Bronze Star Medal, according to Wikipedia, is a United States Armed Forces individual military decoration that may be awarded for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service.)

His son Mark is trying to find witnesses that might corroborate Dad’s story since the US government won’t take their word as evidence and there were no records in US Army files.

“Dad always had warm feelings for the people and country of the Philippines . Here at home his long time personal physician was a Filipino. He found friendship in a friendly people during unfriendly times in your country and it must have comforted him so far from home. The 1945 rail yard at Dagupan reminded him of home as well since his hometown was a railroad town,” Mark said in an email to the Inquirer.

Bennett, now 87, a truck driver of the US 130th Infantry 33rd Division detached to Company B of the 108th Combat Engineers that served in the Philippines during the war, was in combat at the railroad yard in Dagupan and killed a Japanese soldier on March 21, 1945, according to Mark.

Mark said he was gathering “proofs” of his father’s wartime service and especially of the action that day to enable him to acquire a Bronze Star Medal.

“Our government, not wanting to diminish the honor of the Bronze Star, is reluctant to award them without documentation or witnesses. I believe Dad acted as a hero that day and should be honored. The US government insists on witnesses but it is unrealistic since Dad was assigned to drive soldiers he did not know that day and (he) doesn’t remember anyone’s names. Also, Dad is 87. (Is) anyone that was there that day even alive?” Mark said.

The soldier’s son narrated that his father was asked by a lieutenant (whose name his dad did not know) to take him and a group of soldiers to the town of Dagupan to “look around.”

“When they got to the railroad yard, they ran into a ‘Jap or two’ (Dad’s words as he wrote them to my Mom later in a letter). (During) the encounter, Dad grabbed his rifle from the truck and dashed ahead of the other soldiers, putting him in the crossfire. He said he didn’t know why he responded that way except ‘I had to put a stop to it,’” Mark said, quoting his father.

The lieutenant ordered the US soldiers to stop shooting or they might hit Bennett.

“When the shooting stopped, the Japanese started to run and Dad shot a few times. He saw the Japanese soldier reach for his stomach and said ‘I got him, he went down’. When (American) soldiers went up to the fallen enemy he was still moving. The lieutenant started to search him and Dad said, ‘wait he is reaching for something under his shirt.’” Mark continued.

The Lieutenant asked his men who of them “got” the soldier and when Bennett answered “I guess I did,” he asked what thing on the fallen enemy he wanted to have.

Bennett said, “ how ‘bout that knife?” and it was given to him Benett also asked to have a prayer bead of the Japanese soldier.

Mark said his father gave him the knife when he was a “youngster.” He later learned that it was the kind used by Japanese soldiers in ceremonial suicide so as to not dishonor their ancestors with surrender.

He added that he believed his father’s action prevented any of the US soldiers that day from being killed or wounded.

Unfortunately, the lieutenant did not report the event and Dad was not interviewed by his superiors about it.

“I have original letters from Dad to my Mother and the knife taken from the Japanese soldier. I believe these to be historical artifacts to back up Dad’s story.” Mark said. He added that his father only told him about his wartime service last year and wanted to help honor him by asking the US government to give him the Bronze Star Medal.

But the fading photographs, letters of his father to his mother, the memories and the knife are not enough as evidence to back up his claim.

January 29, 2010 at 11:15 am 1 comment

Perspectives : Cojuangco, So chide aggie officials in a meeting


By Mortz C. Ortigoza

A resident of the 1st Congressional District told us in a huddle that former GMA-7 TV reporter and the district’s congressional bet Maki Pulido will lose significantly to veteran politician and rival former Bolinao Mayor Boying Celeste in this year’s poll.

“She could not speak Ilocano, and even Bolinao!” he emphatically told us.

A political operator, who was with us, disagreed.

He said one of the questions that were asked on the commissioned survey of congressional wannabe Art Lomibao (chief of the Land Transportation Office who backed-out before he could file his candidacy) if voters in the 4th District vote for his rival Gina de Venecia — even if the latter could not speak the local tongue Pangasinan.

The overwhelming answers were a resounding yes.

“Kaya kalimutan na natin iyong kandidato na hindi makapagsalita ng Pangasinan o Ilocano. Si (Victor) Agbayani when he first ran as governor, he could not speak the vernacular. Si (3rd District Rep) Rachel Arenas and si (Mayor) Ferdie Calimlim, both of them did not speak the local tongue. But look they still won in the election!” he exclaimed.

And I interjected; Congressman Mark and Kimi Cojuangco could not speak Ilocano too but still won the electoral contest against their opponents handily.

** *

In the recent meeting cum press conference called by Abono Party List (APL) chairman Rosendo So, two high ranking public officials of the Department of Agriculture did not see the chiding-thing coming before the local TV and national media men.

DA Regional Director Cipriano Santiago and Central Office Director Rudy Guieb were told by the APL chairman about the failure of the DA to refund P12, 000 per hectare of their farm lots that were devastated by the recent typhoons Cosme and Pepeng. He did not mince words to show his dissatisfaction over DA Secretary Arthur Yap’s promise to cover 20,000 hectares in Pangasinan but only 10 hectares.

Cojuangco( 5th District, Pangasinan) sternly told the two sorry aggie officials that he is not satisfied with what their boss Yap has been doing in the province.

He said the big portion of the P12 billion rehabilitation fund and other funds should go to the bigger Pangasinan and not to the smaller Tarlac – that was the lucky recipient of the government aide in the past because presidentiable and former National Disaster Coordinating Council Gilbert Teodoro, his cousin, hails there.

“Unfair ang P10 hectares. Napinsala ang mga farmers namin, tumatawad pa kayo. Manhid sila ( Yap and those officials at the DA). I’ll join Abono (Party) top make ingay!”

But what made the tension-filled consultation cum press-conference unforgettable was when a remorseful Guieb, in his last statement before the meeting adjourned, told Cojuangco that what the good solon wants was a sort of a crop insurance to the farmers.

“Don’t put words in my mouth. You’re not serving the (unintelligible). We are not happy with your boss ( Yap ) in my District. Paikot-ikot na ginagawa ninyo sa amin.

After the meeting held at the second storey of Chowking in Rosales, I teasingly told Engineer So: “Sir, ayaw ko na mag director sa gobierno, papagalitan ka lang pala ng kongresman sa maraming tao. Magko-kongresman na lang ako!”

The Abono top honcho, who is the non-pareil kingmaker of Pangasinan politics, just gave me his distinctive and infectious guffaw.

***

Caveat emptor! (Buyers beware!) This should be a precaution by boxing experts to patrons of boxing matches – like the Pacquiao- Joshou Clottey – that Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum sell to the gullible paying public.

Somebody told me Arum said Clottey is a world class and an exciting boxer. I disagree.

World class? Probably yes. Exciting? Son of a gun, no!

How could this bum be an exciting pugilist when what he had done in the second half of his Miguel Cotto fight was to run and be tentative. His blunder cost him to lose the war against the already gassed-out Cotto.

In case all the rafters at the 50, 000-setter Cowboys Stadium in Dallas , Texas can be filled-up, it would not surprised me. The psyche-up phenomenon there could be the result of the vulnerability of the spectators that would buy whoever Pacquaio wants to fight- including the electric post that somebody has attached a pair of gloves.

Thanks to the salesmanship of the “snake-merchant” in Arum.

Arum won, the paying public lost in this low quality match-up.

Cotto and Clottey tussle do not make Pacquiao the greatest

The Clottey fight (like the Cotto’s tussle) could not make Manny the greatest boxer despite Arum’s pronouncement after the Cotto fight that the Filipino is the greatest boxer he ever saw including Muhammad Ali, Marvin Hagler, and Sugar Ray Leonard.

Pacquiao’s opponents were sissies if compared to what Sugar Ray Leonard and Muhammed Ali had.

Who did Manny get? Ricky Hatton, Oscar de la Hoya, and Cotto? Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior, all these chaps were washed-up when they fought Manny.

Hatton was damaged by Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Dela Hoya was already cracking when he struggled against Felix Sturm in that controversial fight in June 5, 2004. He lost to Pacquaio not only because he was over the hill, but he lost to an enemy called weight losses.

A friend quipped “That’s not the Oscar that treats us with jaw-dropping fights against Julio Cesar Chavez, Ike Quartey, Fernando Vargas, and Shane Mosley. That was a zombie fighting Pacquiao”

Cotto was the guy we saw on TV that was repeatedly beaten to pulp by Antonio Margarito in the second half of their July 26, 2008 fight.

I’ve been telling Philippine TV and radio before that Manny should not be fighting Cotto because that was not the quality fight people should be watching. I said he should fight Mosley – the real deal in the Welterweight Division.

That was a match that was a mismatch — as what the score cards showed us.

And again here’s Bobfather Arum giving us this trash. He said the guy is the best opponent for Manny. For Christ sake, I though he says for “money sake”.

He won the first half when he fought the damaged Cotto. But blew it out when he transformed himself to Forrest Gump by running from one post to another.

All the “marquee” fighters Pacquiao fought still do not make him the greatest.

His victory against elite boxers like Antonio Barrera (first match), and Juan Manuel Marquez were not enough to send him to the hippocampus of boxing spectators.

They were no Tommy Hearn, Roberto Duran, Hagler, and George Foreman.

Who were these guys?

By George, they were one of the most dangerous human beings that strutted the world before Osama Bin Laden, Al Queda , and Jemaah Islamiya mess the global tranquility.

All of these pugilists have common denominator: They knocked-out most of their quality opponents before the end of third round.

They were no trike driver Edwin Valero, they were juggernauts.

But Hearn was annihilated by Sugar Ray Leonard in a see-saw war that people thought was a replay of Iwo Jima .

Duran gave it up to on that famous “No Mas (I gave up) when he thought Leonard was riding in a Ferrari with a machine gun on his hand that peppered him mercilessly with bullets.

Hagler lost to Leonard in that “Hambuger Hill” battle that until now boxing fanatics did not stop to argue.

But playing and replaying that fight on a DVD -that was bought by a friend in the burgeoning pirated DVD stores in the Philippines –convinced me Ray won it.

Foreman was a guy even Jim Croce’s bad-bad Leroy Brown detest to cross path with.

He was the guy who after hitting the favorite Joe Frazier –whom he knocked down already five times in that second round encounter — with a right uppercut to the chin, Frazier’s feet jerked-up half-a-foot from the canvas before he landed to the canvass.

“Really, is that true,” asked by former Philippine House Speaker and rabble-rouser Congressman Jose de Venecia whom I narrated the story.

“Yes sir, Mr. Speaker, just opened YouTube.Com (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yn6KIwnQd2c&feature=related) for you to see one of the greatest treats the hurt business gave us.

John Consulta of GMA-7 TV, who was with us, was seemingly amazed of what the Foreman-Frazier brouhaha brought.

George was a guy that everybody knew would bitch-slapped the greatest fighter Muhammad Ali in the “Ramble in the Jungle” in Zaire .

But it was the other way around. Ali treated the world with a Mona Lisa- liked master piece called Rope-a-Dope that made Foreman looked like a drunk hoar after he staggered, twirled, and land big time his back at the dais at 8th round from Ali’s left hook that flipped up Foreman’s head before Ali gave him the coup d’ grace’s hard straight right to the face.

Thus for me, unless Pacquaio agrees to submit to the Olympic style drug testing with Floyd Mayweather, Jr., or fights the dangerous Shane Mosley instead of the useless Clottey then we can go under the Acacia tree and debate whether Pacquaio can be called the greatest after he defeated Mayweather, or Mosley (were the opponents these guys have beaten at the level of the opponents that Ali and Leonard have beaten ?), or whether Mayweather and Mosley be the greatest after defeating or knocking-out Pacquaio – whose prowess could probably be much higher than Duran, Hearn, Foreman, and even The Incredible Hulk?

(Send comments to totomortz@yahoo.com)

January 22, 2010 at 8:38 am Leave a comment

SY FILES: Are the women the weaker sex?


By Susan Yadao

Aminado akong weaker sex ang babae kung physical strength ang pag-uusapan, pero sa ibang aspeto, aba! eh mahabang talakayin ito.

Sa mga Pinoy ang babae ang humahawak ng wallet at ng bank account ng mag-asawa. Babae rin ang namamahala at nagba-budget sa lahat ng gastusin sa bahay at lahat ng pangangailangan ng pamilya. Siya rin kadalasan ang bahala kung ilan ang itatabi para makapag-ipon at kung nagkukulang naman siya pa rin ang nagtatakip at nagreremedyo ng pampuno.

Swerte ng babae kung hindi nahihirapan sa pagbabudget dahil sobra sobra ang hawak nitong salapi samantalang malas naman kung palaging kulang at kakarampot ang budget dahil nakaatang sa kanya ang galing at husay kung paano niya ito pagkakasyahin.

Maraming magagandang kwento tungkol sa mga kababaihang naiahon nila sa kahirapan ang kanilang pamilya. Mga kababaihang likas na madiskarte at masipag o kaya’y ‘no choice’ lang talaga dahil walang maaasahang iba.

Mapapansin din na mas tiwala ang gobyerno at mga pribadong sector na tulungan ang grupo ng mga kababaihan pagdating sa mga livelihood programs, anti-poverty interventions, health programs at kung anu-ano pa. Mas tiyak daw na may patutunguhan at lalago ang proyekto kung babae ang mamahala dito.

Are women really weaker sex? Hmm. . . think again.

**********

It’s been told several times, behind the success of a man is a woman. (Behind the success of a woman is herself – ed)

It’s been told also, behind the success of Former Speaker Joe de Venecia is Manay Gina de Venecia.

Si Manay Gina ang nasa likod ng matagumpay na karera ni JDV sa pulitika. Kasama lagi ni JDV si Manay sa pagharap at pakikisalamuha sa kanilang mga political leaders.

Sa panahong si Manay Gina ang presidente ng congressional spouses foundation, hindi nito sinayang ang pagkakataon para makagawa ng mga makabuluhang proyekto katulad ng haven for women ( para sa mga babaeng naabuso at inaapi), haven for children (para sa mga batang inabandona ng magulang) INA foundation (para sa mga inang naulila sa anak) at haven for the elders (para sa mga senyur citizens).

May personal touch si Manay Gina sa lahat ng kanyang mga proyekto. Lalo na sa mga myembro ng INA foundation. Na-touched talaga ako isang araw ng mag-text siya para humingi ng larawan ni Zharlene nung siya’y baby at latest picture niya. Nais daw niyang akong bigyan ng isang silver necklace kung saan may pendant na pwedeng paglagyan ng picture ni yen bilang isang baby at bilang isang adult. Na kung suot ko na ito ay para ko na rin siyang laging kasama. Paano pa niya naiisip ang mga bagay na iyon sa dami ng kanyang ginagawa?

S i Manay Gina rin ang utak sa mga stratehiya sa pangangampanya para kay JDV kung bakit siya ang nagwawagi at panlulumo naman para sa talunang kalaban.

Now it’s Manay Gina’s turn. . Ang babaeng nasa likod ng tagumpay ni JDV ang ngayo’y mismong ihaharap at isasabak sa kongreso.

It’s being told also, that behind the success of Benjie Lim’s Magic Group of Companies is Manang Celia.

Si Manang Celia ang general manager at executive finance manager ng kumpanya na ngayo’y may napakaraming sangay hindi lamang dito sa Pangasinan kundi maging sa La Union at Ilocos Norte.

Tahimik lamang at subsob sa trabaho si Manang Celia. Hindi siya madalas na nakikita ngunit matunog ang kanyang pangalan sa mundo ng negosyo.

Isa ako sa mga suppliers ng Magic Group of Cos. sa loob ng halos walong taon. kami ang gumagawa ng kanilang mga streamers lalo na nung hindi pa uso ang mga tarps, printing ng tshirts at iba pang indoor at outdoor signs.

Hindi ko nakaharap kailanman si manang dahil may kanya-kanyang mga managers na nakatoka sa bawa’t departamento. Pero madalas kong marinig ang kanyang pangalan. “hinihintay lang ang aprubal ni manang”, “ pipirmahan pa po ni manang ang tseke”, “gusto ni manang ganito o ganoon”, “ Okey na raw kay manang” at manang dito at manang doon.

Habang abalang abala si BSL sa pulitika, hands-on at nakatutok naman si manang sa kanilang negosyo.

Now, it’s Manang Celia’s turn, ang babae sa likod ng tagumpay ng mga negosyo ni BSL ang siya mismong ihaharap at isasabak para sa kongreso.

Paano pamamahalaan ng isang Manay Gina at isang Manang Celia ang sarili nilang mga laban? Dalawang babae sa likod ng dalawang matagumpay na lalake. Manay versus Manang! Abangan!

January 22, 2010 at 8:32 am Leave a comment

Cojuangco torn between two presidential cousins


By Mortz C. Ortigoza

.

“They are both my cousins!” Cojuango (5th District, Pangasinan) answered when asked who of the two leading presidentiables he will be supporting.

Cojuangco, the son of former Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco, the founder of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) hesitated at first when asked to whom his heart belongs between his two cousins – Senator Noynoy Aquino and former Defense chief Gibo Teodoro.

He explained that he and his family are neutral in the presidential contest.

He said that he and the NPC have done already their duty to the country by endorsing a presidential bet in Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero – who backed out after a poor showing in the survey.

“Unfortunately our political fortune is not with us in the (presidential) election,” he stressed.

He said however the party is 100 percent behind the candidacy of vice presidential bet Loren Legarda because of her viability.

Cojuangco is the first cousin of Teodoro as his father Danding, the chairman of the mammoth San Miguel Corporation, is the older brother of Gibo’s mother Mercedes.

Noynoy is the second cousin of Mark where Aquino’s mother Corazon, the late former Philippine president, is the first cousin of Danding.

Although the families of Mark and Benigno Jr. are political enemies in the provincial and national politics, Teodoro has differences too with his uncle Danding when he bolted the NPC and joined the Lakas-Kampi CMD which showed him that he could be its presidential contender.

The Cojuangcos, Teodoros, and Aquinos come from the province of Tarlac .

January 21, 2010 at 9:36 am Leave a comment

EDITORIAL


Shotgun shut up

All the issues about the possession and use of the shotguns issued to punong barangays in Pangasinan will now be put to rest temporarily.

The provincial government is recalling all shotguns for safekeeping at the police stations.

This means around 1,300 less firearms in the hands of people who are not professional gun handlers.

We only have the holding of the 2010 elections to thank for in the recall of the shotguns.

A lot of respected personalities were against the issuance of shotguns but they were not successful in having tem recalled.

It only took the gun ban to successfully recall the shotguns.

While the shotguns are in safekeeping, the authorities can take the opportunity to reassess the merits and demerits of the issuance of shotguns to punong barangays.

We still believe that the police are under armed.

The police needs the shotguns more than the punong barangays.

When shotguns are no longer in the hands of punong barangays:

No son of a punong barangay will get hold of the shot gun and shoot at his enemies.

No punong barangay will storm a justice hall and point his shotgun at a prosecutor.

No punong barangay will indiscriminately fire his shotgun.

No punong barangay will be tempted to express his power through the barrel of a shotgun.

January 21, 2010 at 9:34 am 2 comments

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