Archive for May, 2011


Thousands of Pangasinenses join the Energizer Night Race last May 21 in Dagupan City. The Dagupan City leg is part of the nationwide tour of the Energizer Night Race. Part of the proceeds will be donated to hearing-impaired children in this city through the GMA Kapuso Foundation,Inc.CESAR RAMIREZ

May 30, 2011 at 8:39 am Leave a comment

Espino-Navarro: Mistah vs. Mistah

Poor Bani, Pangasinan Mayor Marcelo Navarro. His multi-million-peso projects from sources abroad, national and local levels could not take-off because of political schisms exacted by his anti-progress dissenting majority-member municipal council whom he said have sworn loyalty and heed order from Congressman Jesus “Boying” Celeste (1st District, Pangasinan) and Governor Amado T. Espino – a classmate at the Philippine Military Academy.

By earning the ire of the people I mentioned, everything stops revolving in this second class town known for its pristine beaches and underground caves.

But Navarro, a former police general, did not take the stunts of those tyrannical majorities in the august body sitting down.

Just like the counter-attack by the US Marines in the bloody November 2004 “Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq, Navarro initiated a Recall Petition where 25% of the town’s registered voters would sign a petition and submit it to the local Commission on Election against the Vice Mayor and his willing conspirators at the Sangguniang Bayan, which stalls whatever pro-progress programs, for a special election for the Bani people decide if these negligent abusive dads deserve another term.

“I leave to the people of Bani the fate of these officials, “he told us media men in a press conference called by the Patrima media group.

“Why not sue them criminally with non-feasance (failure to perform an act) so your people would know their inaction,” I posed.

“I will not because court case drags for a while, unlike recall,” he told me.

“They (councilors) are not doing anything. Somebody is dictating to them,” he continued.

Because of this dissent his municipality was denied with P20 million in housing project that needs local counterpart fund. He deplored that probable employment and other multiplier effects for his people were prejudiced.

He said they snagged the P6 billion bio-fuel project that should be financed through a Private-Public-Partnership (PPP), P8.5 worth power plant, and others.


But one of my colleagues was too insistent. She pursued Navarro, a lanky mestizo skinned soft-spoken person one could mistake as an evangelist, how the rift with the governor start.

He said it started in the campaign period of the 2010 poll when he sought re-election for his mayoralty post (Navarro’s father and his brother used to be a hizzoner of Bani).

He confided to Espino that he would shift to Liberal Party from his Lakas-Kampi where he and the governor were party mates.

He said Espino welcomed his intention and told him “Magtawagan na lang tayo.”

He invited the governor that he joined him too with the LP (the party of then presidential candidate Presidential bet Benigno Aquino III).

But Espino told him to go alone as he (Espino) has a commitment with the then dominant Lakas-Kampi where then President Gloria M. Arroyo was the party chair.


After two weeks in the campaign period, to his surprise, ten of his policemen were relieved by the police provincial director.

“I was taken aback because I would be vulnerable although these policemen were assigned at the police station I called the PD (Provincial Director Colonel Percieval Barba) who told me he could not do anything. What I did is to go to (Camp) Crame and told the chief PNP about my predicament.”

The 10 cops were returned. But after a day they were relieved again. Navarro said he called the police regional director in La Union who returned the ten. But after two days they were relieved again.

“Pumunta ako sa itaas ng ikatlong beses. Doon siya (governor) nainis,” he said. He told us this resulted for the final returned of the police in a roller coaster power play between him and his PMA classmate of Class 1971.


He said vote buying in his town ran up to P3000 for a family.

Supporters of a rival and enemies told the people there to vote for a certain governor, a certain congressman, and his mayoralty rival. He continued that voters there told the vote – buyer that they would not vote for his patrons if they were obliged not to vote for Navarro. The vote buyer obliged to the condition of the voters who were mostly pro-Navarro.

He said he has no ill-feeling towards Espino. They were not only bunkmates and company mates (Delta Company according to former General Rey Velasco who told me when he was still the mayor of Sta. Barbara “that I used to summon them because they were my lower class”) but fellow Pangasinenses who speak Ilocano at the PMA.

“We were liked brothers at the Academy. When we were plebes we went to our house in Baguio City every Saturday and would go back to the academy together. He was my boxing sparring partner. He just loved to box with me because I’m tall and he is small.”

“Baka ni knocked-out niyo siya thus that ill-feeling he has with you,” my being a wanna-be boxing anal list, er, analyst made me posed that query to him.

“No, we were just sparring partner. I loved him,” he retorted to me.


But it seems his mistah does not love him.

After the conclusion of the poll where he won as a second termer mayor and Espino as second termer governor, he found himself and the governor as god father to a wedding in the town of Binmaley. He went to the governor who was in a huddle with somebody from Bani. He offered his hand to his former bunk mate and sparring mate.

He said Espino pretended he did not see him.

His constituent in Bani thought the governor did not recognize the former general.

“Guv, siya po si Mayor Navarro, mayor po namin sa Bani.”

Navarro said Espino was still nonchalant.

He said he decided to leave to avoid further embarrassment to him and his unwary constituent.

Thus he said when fellow Liberal Party and Philippine president Benigno Aquino III wanted to have his first presidential visit in Pangasinan by inaugurating a housing project in Bani, Navarro resolved not to invite Espino.

“I was afraid that what he did to me in Binmaley, he will repeat again in my hometown. I was afraid to be humiliated in front of my people. I was afraid that our Alma Mater PMA would be humiliated, too”.

The exclusion of Espino in that presidential visit in Bani created another issue in his second visit recently in Rosales town. In the column of Brando Cortez titled “Our province needs a better leader – Navarro” that see print recently in this paper.

Brando quoted Navarro “Sa observation ko ngayon at sa mga naririnig ko, naaawa ako kay Gov dahil para siyang bakal na nagiging marupok dahil sa sariling kalawang. Sana matuto siyang maglabas ng kanyang sama ng loob at magpatawad para gumaan ang kanyang kalooban.”

“Nagkatotoo sa Rosales ang kinatatakutan ko, nang hindi ko siya inimbita noong pumunta si Presidente Noynoy dito sa Bani,” sabi ni Mayor Navarro. “Hindi naman niya kinailangan sabihin sa Rosales na siya ang tunay na governor sa harap ni Presidente at sa buong Pilipinas”.

Media men who were there told me that “I-am -the- real- governor” remark of Espino was a dig also at former Governor Victor Agbayani, an LP, who was seen in tow every time Aquino visited Pangasinan. Espino defeated the former long reigning governor by half-a-million votes.

“Mistah, tama na! Ibaba mo na (the bitterness in your heart),”, Navarro told Espino in front of the camera of a national TV in that press conference.

“I loved him that’s why I don’t have any anger with him,” he stressed.

He said he extends his hand of reconciliation to him.

News hen Minnie Caburnay quipped after Navarro narrated his political odyssey with his mistah.

“L.Q (Lovers’ Quarrel) lang iyan mayor between the two of you!”

(You can read my selected intriguing but thought-provoking columns at You can send comments too at

May 30, 2011 at 8:38 am Leave a comment

Robinsons to open in December in Calasiao

by Mortz C. Ortigoza

CALASIAO- The mayor of this burgeoning first-class town said that giant mall Robinsons will open shop this coming December.

Mayor Mark Roy Macanlalay said a representative of Robinsons Land Corporation, the mother unit of the mammoth mall, said that stalls there are almost completed.

“Kumpleto na daw iyong stalls at iyon ang gusto nilang ihanda para sa mga taga-Pangasinan itong pag-sapit ng pasko sa December,” he stressed.

He also said that the representative of Robinsons talked with the owner of Dagupena Restaurant on the ongoing construction of the retail store that caused some cracks on the concrete parts of the famous restaurant.

The mayor said that even the nearby newly opened Don Armando’s Restaurant suffered the same predicament.

“Na-experienced din nila iyon. Pero, ganoon talaga part ng pagpapatayo ng building”.

Meanwhile, Macanlalay said that the 40% share of this town from the increased of the Real Property Tax that was passed by the Provincial Board would be used to the operation and maintenance of public schools, construction and repair of school buildings, facilities and equipment, educational research, purchase of books and periodicals, and sports development as determined and approved by the local school board.

“Ang plano natin doon sa pagdagdag ng pag-ta-as ng collection natin, dadagdagan natin ang honorarium ng ating contractual employees sa school. We are only giving the P1,500. Dinagdagan ko, ginawa ko siyang mas malaki.Sabi ko siguro by next year, ganoon din the number of beneficiaries sa ating scholarship program dito sa municipio na meron tayong scholars, who are receiving P5000 every semester.”

He continued that he mulls to increase the number of his 200 scholars in college.

He said he presently appropriates P2 million for the 200 scholars who availed annually a P10 thousand a year subsidy.

“Wala silang failing grade, or Incomplete subject,” he declared as a condition for this town’s scholarship.

He said each scholar could take any courses anywhere as long as he/she maintains a passing grade.

He said d the proceeds from the beauty popularity contest “Miss Calasiao” and the P500 thousand donations from the Senor Tesoro Association would be used to buttress the P10 million beautification of this town’s plaza.

He said the eye-catching clean plaza complements the new P60 million municipal halls dubbed as one of the best municipal halls in Pangasinan.

“This would be one of the best plazas in the province,” Macanlalay quipped in Tagalog

May 30, 2011 at 8:22 am 2 comments

May 30, 2011 at 8:16 am Leave a comment


Board Member Von Mark Mendoza defends the RPT increases during the regular Meet the Press forum of the Pangasinan Tri-Media Association(PATRIMA) at the Jollibee Lucao branch in Dagupan City last May 17. Also in photo is Mr.Ruben Morante, president of the Alaminos City-based Pangasinan Accountancy and Science School(PASS) College.CESAR RAMIREZ

May 27, 2011 at 9:38 pm Leave a comment

SM City Rosales terminal opens on June 1

By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

ROSALES- The SM City Rosales Terminal, which is on “dry run” since May 16, will officially open on June 1.

This was disclosed by Rosales Councilor Enrique “Dickyo” Cosue Jr., chair of the committee on transportation.

Hesaid all transport groups plying the area should renew their accreditation at the Sangguniang Bayan.

“This is to have a fresh start for the transport groups and to get rid of the ‘colorums’,” Cosue said.

He said those who already have permits must still accomplish forms for their accreditation.

“We have been monitoring the implementation of the transport system of the terminal together with the management of the SM City Rosales. So far everything seems to be in order,” Cosue further said.

The SM City Rosales Central Transport Terminal is the first public transportation system to be managed by the SM Supermalls. It sprawls on a 7,000 square meter-lot across SM City Rosales.

It will be recalled that last April, SM Prime Holdings, Hausland Development Corporation and the Municipality of Rosales entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) in which the present Carmen-Rosales Central Transport Terminal (CRCTT) will be operated on by SM City Rosales and the municipal government of Rosales.

The new terminal is set to house provincial and mini buses, jeepneys and tricycles for the easy access to commuters heading for other towns, cities and provinces. It will have ample parking spaces, food kiosks, business stores and restrooms for the convenience of the commuting public.

After 25 years, its operations will be reverted back to the management of Hausland Development Corporation.

May 27, 2011 at 9:30 pm Leave a comment

Staggered RPT payments -a temporary balm

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Pangasinan in its session last May 16, acted swiftly for the staggered implementation of the province’s new real property tax as espoused by Governor Amado T. Espino Jr. That act however, will not in any way change the perception that its imposition is excessive and not timely.

Provincial Ordinance No. 146-2010 has been amended for gradual implementation- 50% in 2011, 75% in 2012 and 100% or full implementation in 2013. That was at least the consensus of the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan based on the sponsorship of third termer 2nd District Board Member Von Mark Mendoza.

Is the staggered payment the answer to the questions raised by those critics of the new provincial real property tax (RPT)? No. The issues raised lately were the excessive increase in the percentage like 300% for agricultural lands and 500% for commercial areas. The staggered payment or collection scheme will not in any way change the increases but rather a “ temporary action” to soothe the wounds inflicted on the taxpaying public.

What made me wonder was that the amendment to the Ordinance appeared to have been offshoot of a resolution of the Federation of Liga ng mga Barangays in Pangasinan – a group of village heads who were supposed to be consulted when the previous Ordinance (PO No. 146-2010) was still conceived and impregnated by the provincial assessor and members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

But hey, wasn’t the President of the said Liga a signatory to that Ordinance in December 10, 2010? And the President and an ex-officio member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan is no other that the brother of Governor Espino – Amadeo T. Espino. Did he ever consult his colleagues in the Liga in 2010? Why is it that with the mushrooming of unabated criticisms on the new RPT, the Liga is now seemingly on the rescue to the Governor? Why only now?

Obviously, the Liga is being used as a shield to at least simmer down the issue of the RPT. No, not the municipal treasurers and the municipal assessors because most of them are against the new imposition of the RPT, only they could not openly voice out their oppositions. Many of them intimated to me that the processes and procedures for the legislation of the new RPT were not followed, and was railroaded and approved in a short period of time.

The staggered imposition of payments of the new RPT, to me, will not change the reality that the procedures based on the Joint Resolution/Circular of the DILG and DoF dated October 20, 2010 were not followed. It is very clear in that resolution the steps to be undertaken on new RPT. These include the coordination of the provincial assessor with the municipal assessors to come out with real market values of properties- both land and its structures, the conduct of consultation with the taxpaying public and the monitoring of its enactment and implementation by the regional directors of DILG and Dof – and yet these were not followed to the hilt.

Look, where are the new tax declarations at the municipal levels which are supposed to be the basis for the order of payments? Nowhere. Instead, if a taxpayer will go to the municipal assessors, they will consult the revised fair market values of properties based on the “assigned” increase of percentage by the provincial assessor. Are those the real fair market values? No. Because no actual land and structure inspection was ever conducted by the municipal assessors.

Well, to make things palatable to the taxpaying public, the SP issued also an Ordinance condoning all delinquent tax payments until December 31, 2011. This means that taxes including interests and penalties not paid in the previous years will be totally condoned. Those are the properties under the jurisdiction of the provincial government of Pangasinan.

With the passing of the amendments to Provincial Ordinance 146-2010, are we now expecting that the issues on RPT will die down? Are the critics satiated on the staggered payments and/or collection schemes? I don’t think so? The issues raised were not yet answered which is the excessive increase of RPT, no public consultation and the abrupt imposition of the new RPT.

Governor Espino, in various media forums, said that what the provincial government did was only to comply with the law- the Local Government Code of 1991 and the Joint Resolution/Circular of the DILG and DoF. Fine. Were the procedures followed?

And speaking of law/ordinance compliance, I think the provincial government is not keen on complying with some of them. When Espino assumed his governorship in 2007 and until these days, that portion of the Capitol grounds (in front the Capitol) is always being referred to as Capitol Park in his many press releases and even programs. The truth is, that portion has been named Aguedo F. Agbayani Park through a Provincial Ordinance, that is why the statue of the “Grand Old Man of Pangasinan” was conspicuously erected at its center. But why it’s not being refereed to as such for public knowledge and information is a big question mark. Your guess is as good as mine.

What can you say Board Members Angel Baniqued and Alfie Bince?

(for comments email me at

May 27, 2011 at 9:28 pm Leave a comment

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