Archive for June, 2014
LINGAYEN– The Nationalist People’s Coalition expelled from the party the newly seated mayor of Urbiztondo town and his mother three weeks after the assassination of Mayor Ernesto Balolong Jr.
In separate letters to Mayor Martin Raul Sison and his mother Marilyn, NPC Provincial Chair Mark Cojuangco said the “very public sentiments” of Provincial Board Member Raul Sison (Martin’s father and Marilyn’s husband) towards the NPC and him (Cojuangco) “would cause you to be in an impossibly awkward situation as regards the party.”
“This circumstance thus warrants your separation from the NPC brotherhood. It is with deep regret that I inform you of the Party’s decision to cause your expulsion from the party effective upon receipt of this notification,” Cojuangco said in letters dated June 24, 2014.
Martin Raul, the vice mayor of Urbiztondo, took over the mayoralty seat on June 9. His mother ran but lost to Balolong in the 2013 mayoralty race.
The Sisons were NPC party members but the elder Sison and four other provincial board members resigned on June 1, citing the looming political confrontation between Governor Amado Espino Jr., also an NPC member, and Cojuangco. (more…)
LINGAYEN – Calling the situation in Urbiztondo town and other parts of Pangasinan as “still brewing,” Pangasinan Second District Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil said the suspension of the permit to carry firearms outside residence (PTCFOR) in Pangasinan was “not a guarantee” to prevent killings in the province.
“The suspension of the PTCFOR is not a guarantee because the criminal elements can take advantage of the vulnerability of the legitimate firearms holders. It is good for media hype. Somehow, it can help prevent occurrence of crime if the real suspects are the ones intercepted,” Bataoil, a former police general, said in a statement.
Mayor Ernesto Balolong Jr. of Urbiztondo (which belongs to the second congressional district) was killed in broad daylight on June 7, prompting Police General Director Alan Purisima to suspend the PTCFOR in the province.
Bataoil said even without suspending the PTCFOR,” the authorities should not lower their vigilance, because the situation in Urbiztondo and other parts of Pangasinan is still brewing and the worst might still occur / happen.”
“The challenge lies now on the part of the (police) to ensure the safety and security of those legitimate firearms holders who will abide by the suspension of PTCFOR against possible threats,” he said.
Bataoil said the recent and past incidents required drastic and continuing action like high police visibility, checkpoints and choke points, raids and searches, augmentation by regional and provincial mobile groups to the local police, updating threat assessments and order of battle (OB) or watch list (WL).
“All these are part of the tried and tested three tiered defense system against high profile crimes such as assassination, terrorism, kidnapping, robbery in band and others,” he said.
He said the first part of the system is Intelligence Operations which requires sustained effort to foresee what can happen after a careful situation analysis, identifying who could be the next victim and who could be the possible suspects and their cohorts (OB or WL updating), where, when and how.
“It includes proactive interventions like raids, searches, filing of cases, and other legal measures to neutralize the threat,” he said.
The second part is target hardening which requires intensification of security of possible targets of assassination, ambush, (more…)
In 1994, the Senate debated vigorously whether Philippines will join the World Trade Organization (WTO). One of the issues debated on was the inclusion of agriculture that was at that time outside the global trade. Farmer organizations, including local producers, were adamant against the Philippines joining the WTO because they knew the country was not prepared to compete with countries where government heavily subsidized agricultural production.
That was the time of Fidel Valdez Ramos’ presidency. While the Senate debated on the pros and cons on joining WTO particularly the inclusion of agricultural products, eventually Philippines became a member nation of WTO. The Ramos administration came out with aggressive estimates of the benefits in joining WTO, which include: increase in agricultural export earnings annually by at least P3.4 billion; increase of gross value-added in agriculture annually by at least P 60 billion and creation of 500,000 jobs annually.
WTO was formally established on January 1, 1995 , which was created by the Uruguay Round negotiations from 1986 to 1994. The WTO website says, “At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations. These documents provide the legal ground rules for international commerce. They are essentially contracts, binding governments to keep their trade policies within agreed limits. Although negotiated and signed by governments, the goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business, while allowing governments to meet social and environmental objectives.” At present, WTO has 160 countries as members, including the Philippines.
Nineteen years after the country’s membership, the expected benefits drawn by the Ramos administration have not been met. Also, the goal of WTO to help producers of goods like the farmers has not been realized. Instead, our local farmers are wallowing in frustration. Many of them could not survive due to the proliferation of smuggled agricultural products, over importation of products like rice, onions, vegetables and lately garlic. The traders dictate the prices of the agricultural commodities, thus local farmers could not compete globally. (more…)
When former 5th District Rep. Mark O. Cojuangco formally announced his plan to run for the governor in 2016 local elections, many political pundits and kibitzers raised their eyebrows saying that he’s not a true blooded Pangasinense. Many of them said he’s just an alien in Pangasinan, his family just put up a business- the Northern Cement Plant in Labayug village in Sison town. They say Pangasinan is only for Pangasinenses.
Personally, I don’t believe that Cojuangco is not a Pangasinense. He is a real Pangasinense having established his residence in Pangasinan, paid religiously his taxes in Pangasinan, served the 5th District as Congressman for three terms, is a registered voter in his town and most of all he is a Filipino who decided to live with the Pangasinenses.
If the argument is that a Pangasinense should be born here in the province, or if born elsewhere must have parents (or one of them) who are natives of Pangasinan, then Cojuangco is not a Pangasinense. However, if a person has adopted the province as his own abode, lives comfortably here and serves the interests of the people, then Cojuangco is a true Pangasinense. The Philippine Constitution guarantees every Filipino the ” liberty of abode”. Ergo, every Filipino has the right to choose where he wants to reside and make a living or carve a name in that place.
But Mark is a son of Pangasinan by affinity. His wife Kimi, now the 5th district representative, traces her roots from the Gonzales family of Dagupan City- her grandfather being a Gonzales. With that reality, Mark is a Pangasinense, and he has all the right or opportunity to serve the Pangasinenses having been enmeshed in their customs, traditions and cultures.
But then granting that Mark is not a Pangasinense but decided to reside in the province, will that deter him to serve the province? There are great politicians in Pangasinan who were not born in the province, but served the people with honesty and integrity. The late former Lingayen Mayor Jonas Castaneda is one leader who was not a true blooded Pangasinense. He was a Pangasinense by affinity, but then he’s considered as a good leader in that town. There are many non-Pangasinense leaders who served well the interests of the Pangasinenses be it in politics, academe or any profession. (more…)
By Yolanda Sotelo
SAN FERNANDO CITY – Five kilometers away from the shore and every five kilometers in the Lingayen Gulf and the West Philippine Sea, one can find payaos (fish aggregating devices) deployed by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
The BFAR has established 47 units of payao in the sea space which make it easier and less expensive of the Ilocos Region fishermen to harvest fish.
The BFAR planned to establish 101 units of payao starting from Infanta in Pangasinan to north most part of the Ilocos Norte, agency Regional Director Nestor Domenden said.
In addition, 15 units would be established at the Panatag Shoal.
Payao makes it easier for the fishermen to look for fish in the vast sea, Domenden said. (more…)