Archive for May, 2014

Balolong faces another administrative case


By Mortz C. Ortigoza

LINGAYEN –For the third time, Urbiztondo Mayor Ernesto Balolong faces another preventive suspension case from the same complainant who charged him with administrative cases in years 2012 and 2013.
The case was filed by Loida Cancino who said in her complaint filed with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) that Balolong failed to remit from the months of July to December 2013 and January to February 2014 the contributions to the PhilHealth of the personnel of the Urbiztondo local government.
“Available records show that in the period of July to December 2013 and January to February 2014 deduction for PhilHealth contributions were made for the payrolls of the officials and employees of the local government unit of Urbiztondo in the total amount of P299, 950 that the municipal failed to remit to the PhilHealth,” Cancino said in the complaint dated May 15, 2014.
She said she filed the case as a taxpayer and PhilHealth member.
The case was filed three days after Malacalang stayed the SP’s preventive suspension it issued against Balolong.
Cancino narrated in her complaint that even her contribution to PhilHealth was undermined as the mayor, as mandated by law, failed to pay the contribution.
The complainant showed the failure of the mayor to remit in a disbursement voucher she used as Annex “A” of her complaint.
Cancino, a former treasurer here who earned the ire of the mayor, stressed that deliberate failure of the respondent in not causing the remittance to the social health insurance the contribution deducted from the salaries of the complainant and other officials and employees of the Municipality of Urbiztondo, the benefit to which they may be entitled under the National Health Insurance Act, were suspended to their damage and prejudice.
“That considering the gravity of the offense, the probability of the respondent influencing the witness and the safety and integrity of the records and other evidences, the herein complainant hereby prays that the respondent be placed under preventive suspension pursuant to law,” she said. (more…)

May 25, 2014 at 10:49 am Leave a comment

Dagupan ‘Death Squad’ fails to kill notorious criminal


By Mortz C. Ortigoza

DAGUPAN CITY – Is there a death squad in this city that kills notorious criminals who sell illegal drugs or rob innocent defenseless people?

NOTORIOUS ROBBER. Rewel S. Bugayong Alias "Kamote" is a notorious po- lice character in Dagupan City. He is sus- pected to be responsible for a series of mug- ging and house looting in the city.

NOTORIOUS ROBBER. Rewel S. Bugayong
Alias “Kamote” is a notorious po-
lice character in Dagupan City. He is sus-
pected to be responsible for a series of mug-
ging and house looting in the city.


A resident of Barangay Amado Tapuac here believes there was a vigilante group that roams around after Rewel S. Bugayong alias “Kamote” was shot recently during a wake in the village by an unidentifed assailant.
Bugayong, a notorious robber whose mugging and house looting activities gave headaches to village officials and police for years, was confined at the intensive care unit of the Region I Medical Center, with a bullet ensconced at his jaw after alleged members of a death squad attempted to kill him on the night of May 20.
The same resident said he suspected that the hit man was part of a group that was behind the series of extra judicial killings of illegal drug pushers and robbers whose hog tied bodies pumped with bullets or with stab wounds were dumped like garbage along the national highways here.
The source said one of the two assassins surreptitiously went behind Bugayong and shot him three times but only one of the bullets hit him on the nape and penetrated his jaw.
Superintendent Christopher Abrahano said the victim sustained one gunshot wound on his head and was rushed immediately to R1MC in Arellano Street.
“Unidentified suspect ran away to still unknown direction. Victim is still in critical condition. Motive of the incident is still unknown,” he said.
Abrahano said records in his office showed that Bugayong was charged with robbery on February 20 this year.
According to the same resident a placard was left by the hit man near the crime scene with a bold statement that people should not emulate his malfeasances.
“Kamote was playing a card game tong-it with friends. He was seated in a place where he saw all people who entered the area near the wake that was located in a vacant lot. We did not know that the two assassins who sported a baseball cap were already seated in the chairs nearby,” he said in Filipino.
When asked if a vigilante group was responsible for the frustrated murder of Kamote, Abrahano vigorously denied it.
“I will not allow anybody in the city to put the law in their own hands,” he said. (more…)

May 25, 2014 at 10:16 am Leave a comment

BTF DELIVERS HER FIRST SOCA


DAGUPAN CITY – Stand by me and together let us claim our future boldly and wisely!
This was the call of Mayor Belen T. Fernandez to the 185,000 Dagupenos through the more than 6,000 people who listened to her first State of the City Address (SOCA) at the CSI Stadia on May 22.MBTF SOCA
She asked the Dagupan people to rally behind her in making Dagupan a Smart City by 2016 and a Premier City of the North by 2019.
Fernandez opened her SOCA by congratulating certain sectors of the city for making 2013 a successful year that is worth remembering where she particularly mentioned the Dagupan People’s Council under hermano mayor lawyer Liberato “Ope” C. Reyna Jr. for a well-attended city fiesta that will long linger in the memory of Pawil Dagupeños; for bringing back the spirit of civic service and pride of place; for reminding old-timers of the city of their birth; and for inspiring the new generation of Dagupeños to proudly claim this city of their dreams.
Fernandez thanked the Lord Almighty for having spared the city from the wrath of Typhoon Yolanda and promised to continue to include those who have been affected in her daily prayers for their fast recovery.
“I wish to inform you, my compassionate fellow Dagupeños that our city contributed the amount of P500,000 for the victims. The little that we could spare while we ourselves were in the midst of a local financial crisis during my first 100 days in office,” she disclosed.
FINANCIAL STATUS OF THE CITY
Fernandez reported that when she assumed office, the city’s financial status was not as stable as it is today after she implemented vigorous revenue-generating campaign without increasing taxes, combined with her robust expenditure cutting.
“Records show that the budgetary appropriation at the beginning of January, 2013 already indicated a deficit of P37.1 million which continued until June. When I took office in July, this budgetary deficit was reduced to P11.130 million,” she said.
By the close of 2013, the city’s consolidated cash position including the Trust Fund and the School and Educational Fund stands at P282.2 million, which is more than the previous year of 2012 by P106.9 million or 163 percent more.
However, still weighed-down by previous years, with 2012 expenses charged against the 2013 budget, Fernandez managed to end with P3.882 million by December of 2013, which is smaller than the October surplus, but better than a deficit.
“It should be noted that those budgetary deficits running for nine months ate up a portion of the P119 million proceeds from the sale of the MC Adore property. But because of the financial reforms I instituted in my administration starting in July, we were able to return the portion eaten up,” she explained.
Fernandez cited revenue increases of 10 percent and over in business tax, tax on delivery trucks and vans, fines and penalties, fishery rental fees, registration fees and income from markets which recorded an overall consolidated total operating income of P597.6 million as of yearend compared to that of the previous year at P559.3 million only.
“If you recall, during my first 100 days, collections from market operations registered a whopping 300 percent increase. This is because of the reforms I personally instituted covering all market collections,” Fernandez said.
For the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013 under the previous administration, the city registered a budget surplus as follows: from a budget deficit of P37.1 million in January 2013, the present administration registered a budget surplus of P49.6 million or an increase of P86.6 million or 233 percent for the same month.
From a budget deficit of P3 million in February 2013, the city registered a budget surplus of P81.3 million or an increase of P84.4 million or 277 percent for the same month this year; and from a budget deficit of P22.2 percent in March 2013, the city again registered a budget surplus of P80.8 million or an increase of P103 million or 465 percent for the same month this 2014.
“For the entire first quarter of 2014, this administration registered an average increase in budget surplus amounting to P274 million or 442 percent over the same quarter in 2013,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez added that the hasty sale of MC Adore Hotel was designed to cover the budgetary deficit of the city under the previous administration.
“Clearly obvious now was the fact that the 2012 obligations – electricity and water bills foremost and dubious payroll expenses, which remain unpaid – would have consumed the entire P119 million proceeds from the sale of MC Adore had they charged to the 2013 budget. Then Dagupan would not only have a budgetary deficit but default on its obligations,” Fernandez explained.
REDUCTION OF EXPENSES
Side by side by her drive to increase revenues, Fernandez also undertook ‘radical surgery’ to reduce the expenses of the city.
Overtime night pay decreased by P2.17 million or 53 percent over the same period; consultancy decreased by P3.9 million or 52 percent due to an already exhausted budget balance at the end of May 2013; other professional services decreased by P14.7 million or 35 percent; local traveling expenses decreased by P293,000 or 16 percent, foreign traveling expenses decreased by P1.87 million or 75 percent.
Training expenses decreased by P799,100 or 26 percent; office supplies by P1.7 million or 33 percent; animal and zoological supplies expenses by P73,000 or 100 percent; medical, dental and laboratory expenses by P735,000 or 58 percent.
Gasoline decreased by P535,900 or nine percent. The decreased would have been P3.8 million or 52 percent if not with the adjustment made by the city to include the more than P1 million expenses incurred by the previous administration.
Water expenses from July to December, 2013 actually decreased and not increased by P497,146.71 or 24.7 percent against the same period if not with adjustment made to include the P1,358,077 million incurred by the previous administration which was charged against the July to December 2013 period.
Electricity posted an increase of 107 percent or P14,699,296.45 to include payments covering May to June amounting to P9,395,026.18.
Adjusting for this carry over, the net increase incurred for the comparative period is actually 38.5 percent, while the previous administration incurred an increase of 62.5 percent and not 27 percent.
Donations decreased materially by P19.4 million or 93 percent compared to the same period in 2012 when Fernandez discontinued the granting of financial assistance to various NGOs. The bulk of donation expenses were given directly to indigents and CSWD-related activities for poverty alleviation and community care.
Thus, it was possible by last year’s end to reward the Team Balon Dagupan with a bunos over and above the 13th month pay.
SOCIAL SERVICES (more…)

May 24, 2014 at 9:16 pm Leave a comment

ORTIGOZA: Manny Villar earns P1.5B in 3 months


mortz-nw-colored32

Kumita ng P1.5 Billion in 3 months
Kung ikaw ay isang pinakamababang public school teacher sa ‘Pinas, ikaw ay kumikita ng P19,000 basic pay a month. Kung ikaw naman ay private school teacher ikaw ay kumita kada buwan ng exploitative pay na P6,000 kung ikaw ay nagtuturo sa probinsiya o P10,000 kung ikaw ay nagtuturo sa siyudad gaya ng Maynila.
Kung ikaw naman ay media man na walang outlet gaya ng radio o newspaper, dahil sa kasipagan mo mag bulong ng tsismis sa mga patron mo, umikot at “pumitpit” sa mga pulitiko (congressman, mayor, miyembro ng provincial board o municipal council, chiefs of police, barangay captain, peryahan na may drop ball na illegal na pasugalan, at tupadahan sa mga barangay ikaw siguro ay kumikita ng P20,000 kada buwan kahit ikaw ay hao-shiao tulad ng ibang mga media men dito sa Pangasinan na parang kabute na naglipana na akay-akay pa ang mga asawa, kabit, at mga anak sa pag iikot para lang maka-raket.
Pero ano itong nabasa ko? Isang pamilya kasama ang kanilang controlling stockholders sa “Pinas ay kumita ng net P1.5 billion sa real estate business, at isang food corporation na kontrolado ng isang Filipino at stakeholders ay kumita ng P1.07 billion.
Si Manny Villar, dating senate president, ay nag sabi na kumita ang corporation niya na Vista Land & Lifescapes na kung saan siya ay chairman ay kumita ng P5.4 billion gross revenues or net income of P1.5 billion sa first quarter or first three months of this year.
In the same quarter last year Villar’s corporation ay kumita ng P1.3 billion sabi ng Philippine Star na hawak-hawak ko habang ako ay naghahanap ng toilet paper sa loob ng toilet room namin.
Ito pa ang sabi ng Philippine Star issue dated May 15: “Strong sales from both new and existing branches significantly boosted earnings of fast food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) in the first quarter.
“The country’s largest quick-service restaurant chain reported that its net income surged 20.5 percent to P1.07 billion from P895 million a year ago.”The profit growth was driven by strong same-store sales, both in the Philippines and abroad,” JFC said. Same store-sales growth refer to restaurants that were opened at least a year ago”.
Ang JFC ay pinamumunuan ni Tony Tan Caktiong as president.

Shooting incidents in Pangasinan
Every time there is a shooting incident or a high stake arrest in Pangasinan, the chiefs of police (COP) text immediately the spot reports oF the crime to Police Director Sr. Supt. Sterling Raymond Blanco. I saw this when Supt. Armando F. Muena, COP of Malasiqui,Pangasinan, informed him about the apprehension of Cesar S. Betonio, 31, a notorious hired killer from Abra, who was arrested by the police of Muena in the town at the morning of March 28.

“Parang shooting sa pelikula, nagkakapalitan muna ng putok bago nahuli si Betonio ng mga tao ni Muena,” Blanco told me inside the “Kubo”- a watering hole of officers of the provincial police office (PPO).
In the same “Kubo” recently I told the provincial director, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1989, that surprisingly for a month already I did not hear any shooting that waylaid lives in the province.
Blanco jocularly told me that we (me, Ruel Camba, the former Joseph Goebbels of former Governor Victor Agbayani) better not talk about the killing.
“Every time I open my mouth to the press about the tranquility of the peace and order in the province a shooting incident occurred as if the criminals are mocking the police,” he said.
He told me that we can not compare the shooting incidents in the past months under his watch with the same months last year when the PPO was reined by the “George Patton” of the PNP Colonel Marlou C. Chan (PMA Class ’85).
“Its incomparable kasi it was election period during Col. Chan’s stint,” he said.
As we were animated with our conversation for almost two hours, Lieutenant Colonel Marlon Canam, the de facto Deputy Provincial Director for Administration and Deputy Provincial Director for Operation (Lt. Col. Genaro Sapiera text me earlier he is applying for DRDA (No. 2 post in the PPO) after he graduated in his logistic schooling in the national headquarter) informed Blanco that a shooting has just ensued in Mangatarem town that resulted in a murder.
“I told you so,” Blanco told us.
“Anak ng bakang dalaga, from now on I should stop asking you about the figures of killings in the province since they are a jinx,” I amusingly told Blanco.

Air Force One
Eyes strained by the lights of my laptop but could not sleep the other day, I snatched a book by Dan Rather with Mickey Herskowitz’s “The Camera Never Blinks Twice (The Further Adventures of A Television Journalist)” from my book shelves to spend the night to get a doze. To the younger generation who are preoccupied with Candy Crush Saga and Double Down Casino at the internet shops, Rather is the equivalent nowadays of US TV broadcasting icons like Bill O’Reilly of Fox News TV or the less superior Anderson Copper of CNN (Cable News Network, not Caloocan News Network).
“Parang si Noli de Castro or Mike Enriquez kung sa Pilipinas?,” butted my errand boy Procopio Matulis who could not get a sleep in his “dog house”.
“Noli de Castro, Mike Enriquez, sino iyon? Bakit mo sila ikino kompara kay Rather?” I stoically posed too at my jack fruit faced gofer.
I was laughing like crazy on my bed reading Chapter 12 (The Accidental Tourist) when Rather, because he chose to go with fellow “good” Newsday reporter Marty Schram in a “god-forsaken” county, er, village in Belgrade to drink a Yugoslavian native liqueur,a plum brandy whose name in Serbo-Croatian means in English“Paint Thinner” instead of attending a boring presidential ball hosted by Marshal Josip BrozTito (dubbed as communist bad-boy to Kremlin ) to the entourage of U.S President Richard Nixon, was left by the Air Force One in the Communist country.
As a result of the lethal kick of the “paint thinner” poor Dan Rather baby was left by Air Force One, arrested by the Yoguslav’s version of the KGB, jailed, released, and was whisked by a concerned native to a chartered British two propeller powered airplane for London, and the rest was an amusing history for a media man to share to media guys in and outside the U.S.
***
Here’s how Rather described Air Force One (a converted Boeing 747) for the benefit of journalist friends in the Philippines who are privy to hang like a bat inside a dilapidated and rusty town bound bus to cover the visit of a Filipino president:
“Two plane loads of press people usually traveled with Nixon, one plane was basically for the writers and the broadcasters, the other plane.” Hunter Thompson wrote about it in his book, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail. I can’t actually confirm that anyone smoked dope on those planes, or that any White House staffer was actually bound and gagged. But I can’t actually deny it, either”.
Rather discussed that travelling with the U.S president has big downside, but balanced, if not outweighed, by the upside. He said one who chooses to join the presidential trip can enjoy the illusion of being someone special. (more…)

May 24, 2014 at 8:53 pm Leave a comment

Arenas vague if she and sibling will run for mayor


By Mortz C. Ortigoza

SAN CARLOS CITY – Former Pangasinan congresswoman Rachel Arenas gave a vague answer to a query if she and her brother have moist eye for the mayoralty post of Calasiao and Malasiqui towns in the province in the 2016 polls.
During the Barangay Night recently when she was a guest of honor, she did answer directly if she was interested in the mayoralty contest in Calasiao.
“I am busy as governor of Red Cross, I am helping my mother (Representative Rosemarie “Baby” Arenas) in her work as congresswoman of the (3rd ) district,” she merely said.
Arenas was the predecessor of her mother as district representative.
She also refused to give a direct answer when asked if her brother Robert “Bing” Jimenez Arenas would be running in the 73 – village strong Malasiqui.
“He is busy helping the constituents of my mother in Malasiqui. He and my mother have a lot of projects to supervise for the people there,” she said.
A political leader from the district said in case the speculations happen that Robert would run for mayor, of Malasiqui, he would be clashing with Eric Brian Domantay, the incumbent village chief of Barangay Poblacion, as his father Armando would be “graduating” in 2016 when his three-term ends.
He expounded that in case the rumors materialized the former solon throwing her hat in Calasiao’s mayoralty derby, she would be colliding with either incumbent Mayor Mark Roy Macanlalay or his father Vice Mayor Roy in case the younger Macanlalay runs as the vice governor of former Pangasinan 5th District Congressman Mark Cojuangco who declared in February 10 his intention to run for the gubernatorial seat of Pangasinan in 2016. (more…)

May 24, 2014 at 8:47 pm Leave a comment


northernwatch cartoon 5-19-14

May 24, 2014 at 8:39 pm Leave a comment

CORTEZ: Wala talagang patubig pag summer


brando-maso
QUESTION: Successful daw ang naganap na Balikatan exercise ng America at Pilipinas. Habang nagaganap ang Balikatan exercises, paano naganap ang construction activities ng China sa Mabini Reef?

Akala ko ba may isang presidentiable na nagsabi na ang Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement sa pagitan ng America at Pilipinas ay magiging deterent sa aggression ng China? Hahaha.

EL NINO RESPONSES. May bago pa ba sa mga pictures or videos na nagpakaita ng tuyot na lupa? Mga pictures at videos na nagsasabi na kulang ang patubig? Wala! Hindi na news iyan. Every year, may tag-tuyot at may tag-ulan. Iyan ang klima sa Pilipinas.

Every year as in taon taon na may tag-tuyot sa Pilipinas. Sabi ng kalikasan na ito ang panahon na kailangang magpahinga ng lupa. Ang mga bukid na napagbibigyan ng panahon na magpahinga ay nagiging mas mabunga sa susunod na harvest season.

Sana, hindi na magreklamo ang mga magsasaka na wala silang patubig sa panahon ng matinding taginit, dahil sa katigasan ng ulo nila.

Kung matigas ang ulo mo at gusto mong magtanim sa panahon na sinasabi ng kalikasan na magpahinga muna ang lupa, kailangan may pera ka para gumamit ng water pump.

Likas na sa Pangasinan na walang patubig ngayong summer 2014, ganyan din ang pangyayari last year. At ganyan pa din ang pangyayari noong 2012 at mga nauna pang panahon.

Until completely na matapos ang mga irrigation canals mula sa reregulating pond sa San Roque Dam, hindi pa makakaasa ang mag magsasaka ng tuloy-tuloy na patubig.

Yung parte ng Alcala, Santo Tomas, Bautista ay talagang at present ay kapos sa tubig ngayong dry season, ang nagagawa lang ng NIA ay nagba- brush dam na sa Agno river sa may Santa Maria at nakaka-irrigate lang tayo ng less than 3,000 hectares pero suppose to be kapag narehabilitate ito at medyo na-expand makakapagpatubig tayo ng 12,650 hectares. Ito ang sabi ni Engr. Reynaldo Mencias, project manager g NIA-ARIIP.

Ang brush dam ay temporary measure lang. Matagal nang proposal nila Engr. Mencias na gawing permanent dam structures para mas matagal at can withstand heavy rains and typhoons.
Pagdating naman ng tag-ulan, puro baha naman ang laman ng balita. Mya bago pa ba doon? News pa ba iyon?

Ang iba naman ay nagrecommend na magdasal dawn g Oratio Imperata! Hahaha. Ang alam natin ay dindasal lang ang oratio imperata sa panahon ng kalamidad. Hindi naman kalamidad ang panahon ng tagtuyot. Normal na pangayayari ito sa Pangasinan.

ANTI-CORRUPTION HOTLINE. Nagbukas na ng audit desk ang Department of Agriculture para sa mga grupo o individual gusting ipa-audit ang mga projects na hinihinala nilang may anomalya, confidential ang lahat na ito.

“Agri-byado Hotline” ang tawag sa desk na ito at puede mong idulog dito ang reklamo mo sa mga kaso ng malversation of funds at irregularities in the bidding process.

O haa, kayong may suspetsa ng anomalya sa DA, pagkakataon niyo na ito.

Requests for audit investigations can be made online via e-mail: http:/webmail.da.gov.ph (login: agribyado) or through the hotline numbers: (02) 921-6891 or 0905-571-5724 operational from Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm. All requests will be screened by DA-IAS. Eligible audit investigation requests will be forwarded to the DA Secretary for prioritization and issuance of order for the conduct of special audit.

An audit report shall be submitted to the Secretary and if warranted, shall undergo proper legal procedure.

Siyempre kung anonymous ang gagamitin mo, hindi ka makakatangap ng developments ng reklamo mo.

HINDI KO ALAM (Again). Hindi ba sinabi na niya iyan s senado noon? Sinabi pala ni Senador Chiz Escudero na ito ang nakalagay sa last part ng unsigned affidavit ni Janet Napoles, “high school graduate lang ako at hindi ko alam na masama pala magbigay ng komisyon. Ngayon ko lang nalaman na masama pala at bawal pala yun.” (more…)

May 24, 2014 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

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