Archive for June 4, 2011


June 4, 2011 at 7:29 am Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: Years after the San Roque Dam Flood, where is justice?


We are not afraid of the floods caused by the rain. Flood prone areas have managed to live with floods caused by rain. But, we fear the floods caused by the big dam in San Roque, San Manuel. Napocor and San Roque Power Corporation have been trying to extricate themselves from culpability when the dam released tremendous amount of the water in October 2009. Let us remember those who died and those who suffered in 2009. Nobody has been held liable for the death and destruction caused by the flooding. Whatever happened to the Report of the Findings made by a group of experts commissioned by then Department of Energy Sec. Angelo Reyes on the culpability of Napocor and San Roque Power Corporation? People of Pangasinan were happy to see Gov. Espino on national television at the Senate hearing on the flooding as he threw his anger on the dam managers and called them liars. The provincial government was supposed to file a suit against the dam operators but nothing has been filed up to now. The new and modern flood forecasting facility in Rosales is useless if the dam managers prioritize water for power generation. The new and modern flood forecasting facility in Rosales will be very useful in flood prediction once the dam managers release another round of very high volume of water from the dam. Of course, anybody can surely predict flooding along the Agno River even without flood forecasting gadgets if the people are told that the Dam will release a huge volume of water like opening all it spillway gates for more than 10 hours. The dam released excessive water during typhoon Marce and caused massive flooding. The dam released excessive water during typhoon Pepeng and caused massive flooding. The rains are coming and the typhoons are coming and flooding will occur. Are we ready for the next excessive release of water from San Roque Dam? We can only struggle to survive the next dam caused flooding but the struggle to have justice for the victims of 2009 flooding should be led by the provincial government.

June 4, 2011 at 7:26 am Leave a comment

A Solon scornfully called “Solomon”



This member of the House of Representatives is called with disdain by mayors as “Solomonic”.

“Solomonic” is a play of word in the Philippines that portrays a greedy person.

Three of this solon’s mayors are grumbling how this lawmaker bypassed them in the implementation in their district of every project the lawmaker got from the P70 million annual pork barrel and millions of funds from other government departments like the Department of Public Works & Highway.

They said the solon has favorite contractors, and the lawmaker insists that the projects to be implemented should be the millions of pesos worth dredging of the river beds.

“Is it true that 40% of a P10 million dredging operation goes to the pocket of the congressman?” I posed.

One of the mayors told me that in the case of the solon it is the reversed.

It means P60% or P6 million goes to the pocket, and P4 million goes to the project that supposedly prevent floods that could endanger and damage the lives and properties of the solon’s constituents.

One of the mayors said the solon should be embarking on a slope protection project to prevent the denudation of the river banks.

But the solon is fixated to dredging.

“The congressman who preceded “Solomon” is generous and selfless. He gave us mayors some percentage of the SOP (Standard Operational Procedure from the overprice of the project) whenever he has project in our town,” confided by one of the mayors to me.

Two of the mayors are contractors but until now are still bewildered by the audacity of Solomon to make solo of the loot.

***

The same greediness issue is thrown to the solon’s favorite chief at the Department of Public Works & Highway. According to a contractor, the chief is so demanding to get the share of the piece of action intended to this anomalous government office

According to the contractor, the chief asks for the SOP even it is not yet due. The chief also demands for checks every time the contractor is short of cash. “Masyadong segurista sa share niya sa kickbacks,” somebody told me.

This chief has serious ailment. Most of the loots go for medication. Is that what we called Karma for being greedy?

***

Former PNP general and incumbent Bani Mayor Marcelo Navarro deplores the lethargic march to progress of his town.

He blames his anti-progress councilors

He said these dads control the Sangguniang Bayan (town council) and would not give him their imprimatur to submit to the Land Bank of the Philippines a loan of P70 million the past council has approved already.

The loan’s breakdown is P55 million for the market building, P10 million for the improvement of the municipal hall, and P5 million for the income-generating cemetery.

“You’re opposing probably because you were not given a bribe money that runs between P300 thousand to P500 thousand each from the P70 million loan?” I told the anti-Navarro councilors in a press conference called by the Patrima media group lately.

“In some parts of the province both the opposition and the pro-administration councilors showed unexplainable patriotism every time the mayor entered into a multi-million of pesos loan with government banks like Land Bank and Development Bank of the Philippines,” I continued.

One of Bani’s dads answered that Mayor Navarro dangled a P2 million “pork barrel” for all of them to divide and use for their respective projects.

“E, pang project lang iyan! Malayo kayo sa mga counter-part ninyo sa ibang bayan and ciudad. IyongP300 to P500 thousand pang personal pocket money na nila iyon,” I told them.

One of the dads I know uses the lobby money of P300 thousand to buy a Toyota Innova that he now brags to friends.

Susmariosep, who said being an elective official is a cursed?

***

I asked the folks from Bani if there is a schism between the executive and legislative branches on how much budget to approve.

“Like in Dagupan City, have you experienced that your 2011 municipal budget was vetoed by your mayor?

A young eloquent Councilor Gwen Yamamoto (Yes, Virginia, a Japanese sounding surname) who did almost all the talking there declared despite their chopping some of the line items they still approved the budget submitted by Mayor Navarro by giving him a P6 million budget that is bigger compared to his 2010 budget.

“Hmmm, a reason probably Mayor Navarro did not veto it by challenging the SB for a 2/3 or 7 – vote over ride.

Out of the 10 councilors, Navarro got five as allies in the august body.

Has it not occur to the mayor that he could still veto each of the line items that were amended by the opposition? This unless the line item in the preceding year was smaller compared to the ones approved by the dads.

Another pain in the neck of the mayor is Vice Mayor Filipina Rivera – a lawyer. Every time there is a tie in an ordinance or resolution there, Rivera comes to the succor of the opposition and breaks the tie in favor of her faction.

***

Neric Acosta should be hating big time Senator Migz Zubiri for his failed bid to get the top plum of the Department of Environment & Natural Resources this month.

Acosta did not make it because of the aggressive lobbies in the media by his enemies. One of them was Zubiri—a bitter political rival in Bukidnon .

Migz should be treating me a round of beer and finger-food na kambing because his crusade against Acosta has comes into fruition.

As you know, every time Migz comes in my humongous province Pangasinan he gave countless stiffed jabs of Larry Holmes on the impending cabinet appointment of failed Liberal Party senatorial candidate Acosta.

In that countless jabs and interjected by power punches, I wrote ‘em all in my column for all and sundry in the world to read.

If Migz would not tell insistent TV5 talk show host Richard Gordon who was that person groomed for the cabinet who has a pending case, he told us here for several times the name of that person

He decried Neric’s pending case at Sandiganbayan (court for criminally charged government officials).

He said former government officials like Acosta should not be appointed as secretary because it would embarrass President Aquino.

The term “embarrassed” I believed made Aquino to abandon Acosta for the post at DENR.

***

I could not understand Mareng Winnie Monsod when she wrote in her column at the Inquirer that “another good man has gone”

How can Acosta be a “good man”? According to Zubiri, he siphoned a portion of his yearly P70 million Priority Development Assistance Fund or infamously known as “Pork Barrel” to the cooperative ran by his mother. Migz said the mother of Acosta get the salaries of the workers of the cooperative, a private entity, from the “pork”.

Susmariosep, Monsod and Acosta should know that no public funds should be appropriated to private purposes as mandated by the constitution.

Otherwise, that public official faces an Anti-Graft & Corrupt Practices Act.

(You can read my selected intriguing but thought-provoking columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com. You can send comments too at totomortz@yahoo.com).

June 4, 2011 at 7:12 am Leave a comment


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