Archive for June, 2011

Abono distributes school supplies to pre-schoolers


SCHOOL SUPPLIES. Mrs. Julie Y. So (4th from left) and Jusly Y. So (5th from left), wife and daughter respectively of Abono Partylist Chair Rosendo O. So, pose with the pre-schoolers of Tombod Elementary School , Villasis, Pangasinan after the distribution of pre-school kits last June 16. With them are (l-r) School Teacher Samuel Loquinario, Master Teacher III Florencia Navarro, Abono Partylist leader Elizabeth Dela Cruz, Kagawad Roland B. Sibayan, Punong Barangay Mamerto Bulatao,Jr. and School Head Angel Mones. –VIR MAGANES


By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

VILLASIS- More than 150 day care and kindergarten pupils of Tombod Elementary School here received pre-school kits consisting of a bag, three notebooks, two pencils, one box crayon, and one ballpen from Abono Partylist last June 15.

The school supplies were requested by Kagawad Roland B. Sibayan and Punong Barangay Mamerto Bulatao, Jr.

“We are grateful to the assistance of the Abono Partylist through its Chair Rosendo So and his family for the continuous support to the needs of the barangay and the school. We thank also Mrs. Julie Y. So (wife of Rosendo So) and their daughter Juslyn for their prompt action in bringing the school supplies here,” Kagawad Sibayan said in his message before the group of mothers.

“The Abono Partylist has been consistently providing us the much needed support in developing our barangay, not only n agriculture but also for school improvement,” Punong Barangay Bulatao said.

Mrs So and daughter Juslyn led the distribution of the school supplies which they said are prime support to the educational needs of the pre-schoolers.

They were assisted by Elizabeth Dela Cruz, a leader of Abono Partylist, School Head Angel Mones, Master Teacher Florencia Navarro, Master Teacher Sally Gamboa, Kagawad Roland B. Sibayan and Punong Barangay Mamerto Bulatao, Jr.

“Dakkel ti pasalamat mi ti Abono Partylist daytoy nga inted da nga ayat kadakami. (We are thankful to the Abono Partylist for this gesture of love to us),” said Jocelyn Duran, 28, a mother of a day care pupil.

Mercy Merculio, 40, housewife and a mother of a day care pupil hoped the Abono Partylist will continuously give assistance to the people of Tombod.

“For us indigents, this program is very helpful to us parents and our children. The cost of school supplies is high these days,” said Marilyn Maganes, 35, a mother of a day care pupil.

Duran, Merculio and Maganes were among the more than 150 mothers who waited for the distribution of the pre-school kits.

School head Angel Mones also extended his gratitude to the So family and the Abono Partylist for their benevolent support to the cause of education not only in Tombod but in other towns and barangays in the province.

Aside from the provision of school supplies and scholarship program for the indigent pupils, Abono Partylist is a prime mover of agricultural development particularly in increasing palay and corn production. It spearheads also the granting of farm support to farmers like irrigation facilities and farm-to-market roads.

MECO Chair Perez supports ‘Loterya ng Bayan”

By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

URDANETA CITY- I am always supportive of legal activities.

This was said by Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) Chair Amadeo R. Perez Jr. when asked on his position on operations of “Loterya ng Bayan” in the province.

“This Loterya ng Bayan is the initiative of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and therefore it is legal. I hope it will end all other illegal gambling in the country,” Perez said.

“Since I was a Mayor and Congressman, I am always an advocate of legal activity. That is why when I was in Congress I pushed for the legalization of ‘jueteng’,” he said.

He further said that with the “loterya ng bayan”, the local government units will be assured of their share in its operations which could be used for developmental projects and social services.

“There will be more people who will be benefited like those loterya workers who will have decent work and income. They could also avail insurance from the Social Security System (SSS) and health benefits from Philhealth,” he added.

On the jai alai issue, Perez said that he was not aware of it since he is busy with his work at MECO. “I could not give comment on the jai alai.”

When told that his son Mayor Bobom Perez is doing well in his city administration, the older Perez said that he is happy for his son and for the people of Urdaneta City .

“I have not mistaken at all in endorsing him as the next mayor of the city. I know that Bobom could do it and even surpass my accomplishments as the mayor of this premier city,” he said.

He said that he is receiving encouraging remarks about the accomplishments of Mayor Bobom and as a father all he could do is to advise him but not to interfere with his administration.

Perez lauded the city government for the various physical transformation of the city like the cleanliness program, the development of the sidewalk system and the construction of city land mark at the public market.

June 27, 2011 at 7:31 am Leave a comment

VILLASIS WATER DISTRICT : Suspended employee files raps versus management, board members


By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

VILLASIS- A Villasis Water District employee who was suspended due to alleged unremitted collections, filed an administrative case with the Ombudsman for Northern Luzon against the management and two members of the Board of Directors.

Charged for grave misconduct are General Manager Lydio S. Raguindin, Division Manager C Ma. Conchita R. Cabading, Cashier C Jesus O. Chan, Board Member Ma. Lolita L. Sison and Board Member Cynthia R. Dela Cruz.

The case was filed by Billing and Collection Officer Reinaflor M. Sales who was slapped by the water district, with 90-day preventive suspension starting May 9 and administrative case for dishonesty, gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct.

In his complaint filed last May 25, she said “ my immediate superiors at the Villasis Water District…took advantage of their higher position for their own financial gain which resulted (in) my damage and prejudice.”

The filing of the case stemmed from the findings of the Commission on Audit (COA) of an unremitted collections f P909,455.88 from January 2010 to February 2011.

The amount, Sales said, was part of the cash advances of her superiors which “would run to hundreds of thousand pesos until recent audits uncovered such practice.”

“The cash advances were taken from the collections against my will and better judgment since they were my superiors. I really had no choice but to give in to their whims and caprices when they demanded cash advances,” Sales further stated.

However, a total of P428,828.30 has already been returned “discreetly” allegedly by the Board Members, management and employees with cash advances leaving a balance of P480,627.58.

A press statement read by Sales’ husband Hamilton, with the help of legal counsel Trixie Angeles, said the uncovering of the cash shortages of the Water District started in January 2011 when former Mayor Nonato S. Abrenica as the financial consultant discovered inconsistencies in the Water District’s financial statements .

“There was a big gap of discrepancy in the collections over that of the cash deposits,” it said.

“Dahil dito, nagrequest ang Municipal Mayor (Mayor Dita G. Abrenica) ng Emergency Audit sa COA.Noong nagkaroon ng exit conference ang Commission on Audit…natuklasan na maraming anomalya sa water district, gaya ng tampering of bacteriological test at unremitted collections at marami pa…at dito din nagsimula ang operasyon nina Divison Manager Cabading, ni Manager Raguindin at ang dalawang Board of Directors na sina Ma. Lolita Sison at Mrs. Cynthia R. Dela Cruz na ibunton kay Reina ang katiwalian ng kanyang mga superior, ” the statement said.

The press statement said after Sales expose, the management concocted a case agaist her. “Hugas kamay na silang lahat. Malinaw na si Reina ang gusto nilang sumalo ng katiwalian nila, at magbayad ng mga kinurakot nila”.

But the Board of Directors headed by Joseph L. Limos, repudiated Sales’ statements, saying that the findings of the Commission on Audit (COA) directly pointed her as the liable employee in its Notice of Charge No. 11-002-101 (10) dated April 14, 2011.

Lawyer Robert Ocampo, audit team leader, told Sales in a letter dated May 4, 2011, to restitute the remaining shortage of P480,627.58, since “ you restituted in several dates the amount of P428,828.30.”

Ocampo told Sales that her “reason of granting or giving cash advances to some employees, officials and members of the board of directors …has no legal basis”.

Board Members Sison and. Dela Cruz denied that they have cash advances. Both said that the total cash advance of employees amounted only to P44,000 which have been paid out of the employees’ provident funds.

On the tampering of bacteriological test, Cabading admitted she did it once in 2008 in her desire “ to save the water district” from embarrassment when tests showed the water was “positive” of bacteria.

The Board of Directors advised her to file her early retirement in order not to give more damage to the water district.

It will be recalled that on May 24, 2011 at the height of the controversy in the Water District, Mayor Abrenica directed the members of the Board of Directors to file their courtesy resignation out of “delicadeza”.

June 27, 2011 at 7:18 am Leave a comment

Beautifying office at the parents’ expense



If you were a parent, would you shell out P500 as a contribution just to beautify the office of a District Supervisor, notably the tiling of the floor of her office?

This is the predicament of a resident of Bacag Village of Villasis. In his letter to this writer, he questioned the action of District Supervisor Maria Sibolboro of Villasis District II who allegedly asked parents to contribute P500 each for the tiles of her office.

“As a parent, P500 is a big amount. It could be used for the expenses of our children,” the letter-writer said.

I am also surprised with this kind of a complaint from parents. The top officials of the Department of Education (Depd) have been telling the parents of lesser expenses with regards to the education of their children. They said that education is free and that incidental expenses are not compulsory. But why do we have the kind of Dr. Maria Sibolboro who is presumed not sensitive to the plight of parents. Why is there a need to have her office tiled? To show that she has a beautiful office at the expense of the parents? I could not comprehend the reason of her actions such that I was told that she has also asked 5th District Board Member Danny Uy to donate tiles for the said office.

Maybe her reason would be it’s the action of the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) and that she is not coercing them to contribute. Well and good. But wisdom so dictates that knowing the financial predicament of parents these days, such luxury of having tiles in her office could be shelved for the future. Besides, this Sibolboro is already nearing her retirement age.

But no! This Sibolboro is a reborn goddess Diana whose eyes for beauty is forever. Madam, does tiling the floor of your office will enhance the intelligence of your pupils? Will it give you better performance as a school administrator? If so, how much percentage in the evaluation process is given to a “supervisor’s beautiful room” to make your ranking high in the DepEd division?

That same letter complaint told me that the contribution as of date has already reached P14,000. My,oh my. If that amount will only be used to buy vitamins for the pupils, I think their physical and mental health will be more enhanced. They will have better performance in school and excel more in their curricular activities.

I visited the site of Sibolboro’s office. It is a new extension of her office. It will be more spacious to speak of. Do you know how much that office costs? That extension office costs P338,883 with materials alone amounting to P248,000. And here’s the hitch. The construction cost came from the coffers of the municipal government of Villasis and the Local School Board fund.

Well, the municipal government is out of the question here. Since the construction of the extension office was requested by Dr. Sibolboro, it was granted. The issue is why let the parents continue the tiling? Those tiles could be dispensed with and without them, the extension office could still look beautiful and presentable. And by the way, how much is your personal contribution to the tiling of your room?

Dr. Sibolboro, where’s your wisdom? Being the top official of Villasis District II, you should be the one to ask other principals to live simply. It’s not the office building that is important in public service. It is the person sitting there, whether that person has the heart for the poor people and the love to serve.

If I were you Dr. Sibolboro, I will return all those contributions to the parents and look for other means to beautify my room. That is if you have still the “ delicadeza” not to spend the hard earned money of the parents there in Bacag. Believe me Dr. Sibolboro, more complaints will be coming out in the open against you.

There are other unprintable allegations against Dr. Sibolboro in that letter-complaint. To make this column fair, Dr. Sibolboro is invited to air her side.

*******

What is happening to my Bayan kong Villasis? That Sibolboro issue is dwarfed by the controversy hounding the Villasis Water District. Lately, there is already a throwing of allegations between the Board of directors, management and the suspended employee Reinaflor M. Sales.

The controversy heightened because Sales said she’s being singled out as the culprit of the unremitted collections amounting to more or less P909, 000. She’s now facing an administrative case because of alleged gross negligence and dishonesty. She said that the said amount were cash advances of the Board members notably Cynthia Dela Cruz, Lolita Sison, General Manager Lydio Raguindin, Cashier Jesus Chan and Division Manager Ma. Conchita Cabading. Because she’s now pointed out as the sole perpetrator of those missing funds, Sales filed a case against the five officials of the Water District to the Ombudsman for Northern Luzon .

In an interview with the members of the Board and the management, they denied their participation to those alleged unremitted collections and swore that they have not gotten at all cash advances. They claimed that all their cash advances have been settled and paid.

Personally, I commiserate with Reinaflor Sales. Maybe she was too trusting, like what the Board and management have been saying. Both are claiming that they trusted each other so much, thus the controversy. There is now a scenario of “ she said against mine” and “documents against statements.” I commiserate with her because she’s facing a group that is too big to surmount.

Honestly, what worked in my mind upon hearing both sides of the story was: Can Reinaflor do it alone considering the big amount of missing funds in the amount of P909,000? The P428,000 has already been restituted with Reinaflor saying that those persons involved in the cash advances returned them “discreetly.” But the Board shouted No! Receipts for restitution were that of Reinaflor. There’s still P480,000 to be restituted but who will do it is now a big question mark?

With this controversy in the Villasis Water District, many egos were already hurt. Many lives if not properly handled will be shattered – reputation and the future of getting more lucrative jobs. Friendly relationships will also be at stake since most of those involved were once “ good if not best of friends”.

I hope this storm in the Villasis Water District will soon come to pass. Hey, guys! Come up together and make a dialogue. Wake up from your senses that you are serving a vital public utility for the people of Villasis. You could weather the storm. Hopefully, soon.

(for comments email me at emperorvirgil@yahoo.com)

June 27, 2011 at 7:16 am Leave a comment

MECO Chair Perez supports ‘Loterya ng Bayan”


.

By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

URDANETA CITY- I am always supportive of legal activities.

This was said by Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) Chair Amadeo R. Perez Jr. when asked on his position on operations of “Loterya ng Bayan” in the province.

“This Loterya ng Bayan is the initiative of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and therefore it is legal. I hope it will end all other illegal gambling in the country,” Perez said.

“Since I was a Mayor and Congressman, I am always an advocate of legal activity. That is why when I was in Congress I pushed for the legalization of ‘jueteng’,” he said.

He further said that with the “loterya ng bayan”, the local government units will be assured of their share in its operations which could be used for developmental projects and social services.

“There will be more people who will be benefited like those loterya workers who will have decent work and income. They could also avail insurance from the Social Security System (SSS) and health benefits from Philhealth,” he added.

On the jai alai issue, Perez said that he was not aware of it since he is busy with his work at MECO. “I could not give comment on the jai alai.”

When told that his son Mayor Bobom Perez is doing well in his city administration, the older Perez said that he is happy for his son and for the people of Urdaneta City .

“I have not mistaken at all in endorsing him as the next mayor of the city. I know that Bobom could do it and even surpass my accomplishments as the mayor of this premier city,” he said.

He said that he is receiving encouraging remarks about the accomplishments of Mayor Bobom and as a father all he could do is to advise him but not to interfere with his administration.

Perez lauded the city government for the various physical transformation of the city like the cleanliness program, the development of the sidewalk system and the construction of city land mark at the public market.

June 27, 2011 at 7:08 am Leave a comment

Merreras plead ‘not guilty’ on attempted murder case


DAGUPAN CITY- “Not guilty”.

This was the plea entered by Binmaley Vice Mayor Pete Merrera and his brother Butch Merrera during the arraignment on the attempted murder case filed against them at the sala of Judge A. Florentino R. Dumlao Jr. of the Regional Trial Court Branch 42 here last June 7.

The case docketed as Criminal Case No. 2010-0640-D was finally under the Court’s jurisdiction after it has been dragged for almost 10 months.

The accused filed a petition for review of the case to the Department of Justice (DOJ) which was resolved last May 13, sustaining the findings of the Provincial Prosecutors office for a “full blown trial” due to the presence of a probable cause under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code.

Second, the arraignment was postponed by the legal counsel of the accused due to other cases he has to attend to. Third, during the scheduled arraignment last June 1, the accused failed to appear and the counsel has to ask the Court for another postponement.

Last June 7, there was again a deliberate attempt of the accused to defer the arraignment because their legal counsel Arsenio Merrera filed a “motion to inhibit” to the Supreme Court of the presiding judge due to alleged “ ignorance of law” on a case decided by Judge Dumlao last April 8.

Lawyer Merrera said without the decision of the Supreme Court on the motion for inhibition, his clients will not get justice and that the Court will be biased and impartial.

The copy of the “motion for inhibition” was received by the Court on June 6, a day before the scheduled arraignment.

“The ‘motion for inhibition’ has nothing to do with this case. It will not prevent this Court to go on with the arraignment,” Judge Dumlao ruled.

Judge Dumlao further said that the arraignment of the case could not be delayed anymore as it was already postponed three times.

Despite legal maneuverings of the Merreras, Judge Dumlao sustained his ruling for immediate arraignment.

The case stemmed from the alleged non-payment of entrance fees during a cockfight at the Abalos Cockpit Area in Mangaldan last July 31. The complainant, Armand Valenzuela, who was also the sponsor of the cockfight, was hit by the butt of the gun of Butch Merrera.

Merrera allegedly later fired the gun on Valenzuela’s face after he came to the rescue of gatekeeper Thelma Lasat.

The Provincial Prosecutor and the DOJ opined that the action of Butch Merrera was upon the order of his brother Vice Mayor Pete Merrera.

Lawyer Nelson Palaris, private prosecutor of the case said that with the arraignment of the accused the wheels of justice will now start to turn.

June 27, 2011 at 7:07 am Leave a comment


June 27, 2011 at 7:06 am Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: “Hope of Pangasinan” commits suicide


The celebration of Rizal Day reminds us his more popular quote saying that the youth is the hope of our Fatherland. In our beloved province, the youth is also the hope of Pangasinan.

It is therefore incumbent upon the provincial leadership to take care of the youth, the hope of Pangasinan.

But somewhere in the bustling town of Bayambang, a second year college child of a farmer committed suicide. The reason for her committing suicide is that the farmer’s family did not have the money to send her through college.

A few days after the young college student’s death, the mother unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide. The reason for committing suicide is that the combined effort of the mother and father as farmers was not enough to send their young lady to second year in college.

Now comes the provincial government asking permission to buy a painting of Princess Urduja worth P650,000.00 only.

We know and have seen a now priceless painting of Princess Urduja in the Provincial Capitol…as we ask: do we really need another Urduja painting?

Will another student, who does not have money for college enrolment, be stopped from committing suicide if anew painting of Pricess Urduja is placed in the Beautiful Provincial Capitol?

Will another farmer’s wife who does not have money to send her child through college be stopped from committing suicide if a new painting of Pricess Urduja is placed in the Beautiful Provincial Capitol?

At the farmer’s forum, the provincial government said that the increase in real property taxes was meant to increase the resources to return the same in the form of projects and services.

Now the farmers are told the Pangasinan needs to buy a painting of Princess Urduja.

The farmers will never understand how a painting of Princess Urduja in the Beautiful Provincial Capitol of Pangasinan will increase their harvest for the wet cropping season.

The young children of farmers will never understand how a painting of Princess Urduja in the Beautiful Provincial Capitol of Pangasinan will help them get through college.

The Provincial Government has P650,000.00 available to purchase a painting.

The Provincial government does not have money to spend for the youth of Pangasinan.

Princess Urduja represents beauty and bravery but will it prevent another hope of Pangasinan from committing suicide?

June 27, 2011 at 6:54 am Leave a comment

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