Archive for January, 2012


Dragon and lion dancers add colors in the celebration of the Chinese New Year celebration in Dagupan City last January 23.CESAR RAMIREZ

January 29, 2012 at 10:30 pm Leave a comment

Comelec settles election dispute thru ‘draw-lot’

DAGUPAN CITY– The political battle is over in Barangay Salisay this city, as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) proclaimed Andrew Carvajal as the new barangay chairman through a draw-lot held at the Department of Education (DepEd) Training Center.

The draw-lot was done to finally determine the chairman of the barangay after a series of protests and counter-protests failed to resolve the issue between Andrew Carvajal and his political opponent Conrad Muyalde.

Muyalde won the October 2010 elections by a single vote which compelled Carvajal to file a protest. In a recount, Carvajal prevailed by two votes which provoked Muyalde to appeal to the Comelec Second Division in Manila. Here, their votes were counted equal. Thus to settle the dispute, Comelec has to rely on chance to choose the chair of the barangay.

Based on Section 240 of the Omnibus Election Code, draw lots is conducted in case of a tie of two or more electoral candidates garnering the same or equal highest number of votes. The candidate which will be proclaimed as winner is said to be favored by luck.

Before the actual draw lot, the board of canvassers headed by Jimmy Cancino summoned the two parties to sign the peace covenant. It is a pledge that they will humbly accept the result whether it is favorable or unfavorable to them and that they will not commit any wrongdoings against each other, the board of canvassers, and the election committee.

The board of canvassers prepared two pieces of paper with numbers one and two written on them validated by Atty. Remarque Ravanzo, the City Elections Officer. Whoever picks the paper inscribed with a number one will be declared as the winner, Cancino explained.

The two candidates simultaneously opened the rolled papers they picked and fate sided with Carvajal.

Carvajal vowed to lay down good plans for the barangay. To jump in, Ravanzo said “Carvajal has the biggest test to set the roadmap towards reconciliation. Since the people have been divisive, it is his task to reconcile the residents for the betterment of Barangay Salisay.”

The Department of Interior and Local Government, Philippine National Police, Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, city officials, educators and the media were present to witness the event.

The city government continues to exhaust all possibilities to provide immediate service to Dagupeños as part of national government’s good governance policies. (ANL/AMM-PIA 1 Pangasinan)

January 29, 2012 at 10:22 pm Leave a comment

‘Kambog ed Kapokokan’ bolsters Binmaley’s rich culture

By April M. Montes

A fishing tournament the “Binmaley way” deemed as the ‘Kambog ed Kapokokan’ is up as one of the most anticipated event in this year’s Sigay Festival.

In Pangasinan language, the word ‘kambog’ means the act of catching fish in a drained pond termed as ‘pokok’ by locals. The ‘kambogan’ is usually done in various places in the town due to the fact that there exist a number of fishponds here. Thus, it best explains why Binmaley is known for its aquaculture industry urging it to launch the said fest which is now in its second year.

In this year’s celebration, the committee came up with the idea to include the said activity in their list. According to Edgar Ocampo, market supervisor and in-charge of the said affair, the ‘Kambog ed Kapokokan’ perfectly depicts the rich custom of the Binmaleyans and promotes the indigenous endeavor the town holds.

The requirements and the mechanics for a smooth flow of the ‘kambogan’ slated on January 29 are already prepared. It will be held at 7:00 a.m.on the pond situated near the Bangsal Lechon and Seafood Restaurant in Nansangaan. It is open to all bona fide residents of Binmaley ages 16 years old and above. So contestants must secure residency from their barangay captains. Only two residents from each barangay are permitted to participate in the said competition.

The game will be facilitated by the Disaster Emergency Rescue Team (DERT) and would run in this manner, marine products such as crabs and milkfish will be released in a drained pond. Crabs vary in sizes: 5 big, 10 medium, and 20 small. Each size has a corresponding cash prize. The big ones are worth P500 each, medium for P250, and small for P150. Along with these crabs are 20 milkfishes which are priced at P100 per piece. The crabs and milkfish will be marked by the committee to assure that these were really the products discharged by the facilitators.

As the facilitators declare the “GO” signal, all contestants will lunge on the pond and try their greatest effort to catch the marine products to win a prize. They are only given one hour to gather as much crabs and milkfish as they can. They are not allowed to use any fishing gear like ‘tabal’ (fish net) and ‘talakeb’ (called ‘salakab’ in Tagalog ), a cylindrical fishing device made of bamboo which is open on both ends – one end to trap the fish and the other end to get the trapped fish inside.

This is where the thrill touches down since contestants are compelled to use their bare hands in catching the marine products. This is considered as the “Binmaley way” of fish gathering as mentioned earlier. It sounds messy but indeed insinuates excitement and scores an amalgam of emotions on the part of the spectators. From a simple practice held in most barangays, it now incessantly reflect the rich culture of the town that Binmaleyans will treasure from today and for generations to come. (AMM/ PIA-Pangasinan)

January 29, 2012 at 10:20 pm Leave a comment

MAGANES: Is Coronas’ Impeachment for Real?

It seems that this early, we are already aware of the outcome of the impeachment trial of Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Renato Corona. I could sense a conviction before the Senate acting as an impeachment court which is presided over by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile. On its third day of trial, I was glued to the television set on ABS-CBN’s Studio 23 and did not miss any single question posed by the House panel prosecution, the defense team of Chief Justice Corona led by former Justice Serafin Cuevas and the senator-judges.

The Clerk of Court of the high tribunal was on the witness seat and has to produce the Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth of Justice Corona when he was still an associate justice of the Court until he became the chief magistrate. Lawyer Enriquita Vidal- the clerk of court, was adamant against submitting the SALNs of Justice Corona to the Senate-Court invoking that she has to seek first the permission f the Supreme Court’s Justices. The prosecution panel appeared to be helpless at the start. They could not persuade Vidal to submit the SALNs in her possession. But pronto! Senator Franklin Drilon acting as senator-prosecutor has ultimately persuaded Vidal to submit the SALNs of Justice Corona. Senator Joker Arroyo’s pleading that the Senate Court must give Vidal sufficient time to submit the required documents after the justices have already given her the approval.

Senator Arroyo’s voice was not heard when he invoked that the Senate could not afford to have a clash with the Supreme Court being a co-equal body. It was Senator Drilon’s voice that was given weight by the senate-judges cum part of the prosecution panel. I was dismayed to see the senator-judges acting like prosecutors. They are there to hear supposedly the impeachment complaint that is composed of eight articles of impeachment. If this will be the way the impeachment trial will be carried out in the next hearings which I supposed to be for six months, then Chief Justice Corona will not get the justice he is craving for before the eyes of the Filipino people.

The Senate Court’s saving grace is Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile. With his age, the way he handles the impeachment trial showed how wisdom has really grown in his persona. He was a picture of a real court justice with his Solomonic rulings for and against the pleadings of the defense team and the prosecution panel.

Many of the senator-judges just contented themselves with listening. They never spoke any word yet in the impeachment hearing. Maybe, they are still trying to weigh things, to discern the real sentiments of the people and examining their consciences whether or not to convict Corona or not. Hey! I missed Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago. Should she participated actively, I supposed the pace of the impeachment hearing in its four days was even more exciting .

On the defense team, Justice Serafin Cuevas is a personality to behold. He has all the legal wisdom on his sleeves, that, to the consternation of the house prosecution, he lectured them, as if they were in a law school, on the proper handling of evidences. Iloilo Rep. Neil Tupaz was perceived as a second-rate lawyer before the eyes of the public. His other team members could not really decipher what legal moves they are going to take to appear that they control the impeachment trial.

We are all aware that impeachment proceeding is a political exercise. The impeached person, if convicted, will not be incarcerated but will be meted the penalty of being ousted from the public office and perpetual disqualification to hold public position in any capacity. That is the irony of impeachment proceedings. The senator-judges will decide not based on jurisprudence but on their consciences and the most persuaded by their party affiliations and closeness to the president- and in Corona’s case President PNoy.

Justice Corona is crying out for justice! The public is crying out for truth! But what truth are we going ferret out when all we witnessed are virtual grandstanding by those people with political interests in the future.

We the public is expected to participate in this political exercise- the third impeachment case that prospers before us. The first was against then President Joseph Estrada, the second was against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez and the third against chief magistrate Renato Corona. This is a learning process to know and be aware if democracy really works in this country. This is a chance to see the real characters of our public officials whom we elected into office. This is the time for us to think and re-think about the future of this country.

But, it’s better said than done. Let’s just hope for the best of our country.

(For comments, email me at

January 29, 2012 at 10:17 pm Leave a comment

Villasis holds 7th “Talong Festival”

By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

VILLASIS- The famous purple-colored “talong” (eggplant) once again took the center stage as this town celebrates its fiesta from January 11 to 22.

The “Talong Festival” now on its 7th year took the limelight on the 10th day of celebration. It was attended by local folk and expatriates (balikbayans ) from the various countries of the world.

This year’s festival, like in the past years, featured the usual “pinakbet sa kawa”, 101 ways to cook talong in a cookfest and street dancing depicting the production of “ talong” were featured.

Abraham Lopez, a balikbayan nurse from New York ,USA was all agog as he witnessed this year’s parade of barangay in their long gowns bedecked with various vegetables – the main ingredient of an Ilocano viand, “pinakbet”.

“I have never imagined how creative our kababayans (town mates) are. I am impressed looking at green peppers as tiaras and even chopped squash as necklaces. This is indeed a sight to see and we expect more of this kind next festival in 2013,” he said.

The beauties from Barangays Zone I, Amamperez and Caramutan were proclaimed to have the best “veggie gowns” and personality projections- first place, second place and third place, respectively.

Nida Mira-Millano, a balikbayan from London, England took fancy on the “ pinakamahabang talong” (longest eggplant), “pinakamatabang talong” (stoutest eggplant) and “pinakamaliit na talong” (smallest eggplant).

“My husband and I looked forward to the celebration of Talong Festival annually. We see to it that we will have our vacation coinciding with the fiesta celebration in order not to miss the talong festival,” Millano said.

Lopez and Millano were two of those Villasinians living for years in other countries but have not missed the annual celebration of Talong Festival.

Mayor Libradita Go-Abrenica said that the “Talong Festival” has already been institutionalized as part of annual celebration of the town’s fiesta in honor of its Patron Saint Anthony Abbot.

“This was launched in 2006 by Mayor Nato (referring to her husband former Mayor Nonato Abrenica) and since then the pageantries of the festival has evolved into many activities. In 2006, we have the longest “talong” grill, in 2010 we have our collection of talong recipes which we launched in a coffee table book in 2011 and this year, we have the parade of barangay muses in their gowns with vegetables,”

Mayor Abrenica said that she owed the success of the celebration on the help of town mates living here and in overseas , the various private and government organizations in the town and in particular the reigning beauties- Her Majesty Queen Beatriz De Vera- Olivar, Her Royal Highness First Princess Cristina Manantan-Abenes and Her Royal Highness Second Princess Merlita Rayray-Magtaan.

She further said that she looked forward to a very meaningful celebration in 2013.

“It may not be as pompous as it is celebrated in previous years, but I assure our town mates that its pageantry will not wane,” Mayor Abrenica said.

She also thanked he Sangguniang Bayan members led by Vice Mayor Paz Sison-Rafanan- Councilors Nicholai Jan Q. Sison, Arvin B. Castro, Roderick Emmanuel R. Mina, Rolando Morden, Cheryl Bascos-Sembrano, Cheryl Zarasate-Tan, Rosario Lopez-Limos , Centenielo Ramon R. Costales, Jr. Liga ng Barangay President Romeo S. Abrenica and SK Federation President Jamille Susan Q. Sison., for their support in all phases of the fiesta celebration.

January 29, 2012 at 10:07 pm Leave a comment

Casiño visits Lingayen to check on allegedly illegal magnetite mining, calls on DENR to junk mining applications in Lingayen Gulf

Journalists interview Bayan Muna party-list Congressman Teddy Casiño on the way to a mountain of magnetite (black sand) being extracted for export from at least four barangays in Lingayen, Pangasinan.

Bayan Muna party-list Congressman Teddy Casiño with local residents and officials in front of a mountain of magnetite (black sand) in Lingayen, Pangasinan.

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – Having seen for himself the destructive foreshore and coastal mining operations in this town, Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño is calling on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to junk close to 160 applications for magnetite (black sand) mining in the Lingayen Gulf.

The progressive solon was in Lingayen for an ocular inspection of allegedly illegal magnetite mining operations in the area, including a ship carrying black sand that was grounded along the shore last week. He met with local officials and residents who are seeking help in opposing the entry of magnetite mining operations in this coastal town.

“I support the call of the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), the local government officials and the people of Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte provinces who are opposed to magnetite mining. Onshore and offshore mining for magnetite under the current policy regime will not redound to the local people and even the national government in terms of revenue and long-term utilization of this natural resource,” Casiño said.

Magnetite is an iron oxide and is used in the production of steel, in high-density concrete, in photocopier toner, and as high-temperature coating in some steam boilers.

“At least 15 magnetite mining applications are pending before the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in La Union province, 57 in Ilocos Sur, and 86 in Ilocos Norte. While there are no pending applications in Pangasinan, residents are not in favor of any magnetite mining project since it would destroy coastlines, diminish fish catch and will bring untold disasters when natural calamities strike,” Casiño said.

“We shall see how Congress can help local governments in resisting the influx of projects that will extract our finite resources that will only benefit foreign firms instead of the Filipino people. There is a major disconnect between eco-tourism projects and extraction of black sand in Pangasinan and other parts of the country. We shall file the appropriate measure in the House soonest,” Casiño said.

Casiño is a leading advocate and main author of House Bill 4315 – the Peoples Mining Bill – that aims to re-orient the mining industry by repealing the Mining Act of 1995 (RA 7942), respecting local governments and local communities who shall refuse mining projects in their areas, and putting in more stringent environment and social acceptability standards and penalties for mining projects for areas that shall be opened to mining. #

January 27, 2012 at 9:36 pm 1 comment

EDITORIAL : This land is mine

The Bayambang land issue is a history of who owns land or should it be “Who shall the land own?”

First, the land owned the people…like you are named Procopio of Bautista or Jose of Tarlac.

Meaning, Bautista owned Procopio or Procopio belonged to Bautista while Tarlac owned Jose or Jose belonged to Tarlac.

Next came titles to property through the Torrens Title System.

People began to own lands and institutions like the government, military and churches also began to own lands.

This land belongs to Procopio…This land belongs to Jose…This land belongs to the Republic of the Philippines…This land belongs to the Armed Forces of the Philippines…This land belongs to the Roman Catholic Church.

The people and institutions who were able to own property were the informed ones and the learned ones.

Those who were not aware of the new Titling System just went on with their lives and were of the consciousness that they belonged to the land.

These people did not know that the land they were living on were now properties of people they never knew had title to.

These people did not know that the land that they were raising their families were now properties of people they never knew had title to.

These people did not know that the land they were investing in were now properties of people they never knew had title to.

These people did not know that the land they were working their butts off were now properties of people they never knew had title to.

The Central Azucarera de Tarlac Realty of the Jose Cojuangco clan is said to have a claim over the property.

The Jose Cojaungco clan’s well known member is President Noynoy Aquino.

“Have you ever been ignored by the very government you helped put in power? I have,” said President Aquino in his Inaugural Speech delivered June 2010.

January 27, 2012 at 8:56 pm Leave a comment

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