Archive for July 28, 2014

District I leaders declares support for Mark


By Yolanda Sotelo

Pangasinan politics heat up with the declaration of fifth district political leaders to support the gubernatorial bid of former fifth district Rep. Mark Cojuangco, the chair of Nationalist People’s Coalition in the province.

MARK C AND DISTRICT I LEADERS.  Former Pangasinan fifth district Rep. Mark Cojuangco and first district political leaders form the letter “C” with their hands after the leaders declared their support to Cojuangco on his gubernatorial bid. From left are Mayors Gwen Yamamoto (Bani), Carlitos Reyes (Mabini), Aldrin Cerdan (Anda), Jose Pajeta (Agno), Noli Celeste (Bolinao), Provincial Board Member Anthony Sison, Cojuangco, Arrthur Celeste (Alaminos City), Provincial Board Member Napoleon Fontelera, Noel Nacar (Dasol),  Infanta Vice Mayor Richard Martinez, and Alberto Guiang Jr. (Burgos). Unable to attend were first district Rep. Jesus Celeste and Sual Mayor Roberto Arcinue, but who are said to also support .

MARK C AND DISTRICT I LEADERS. Former Pangasinan fifth district Rep. Mark Cojuangco and first district political leaders form the letter “C” with their hands after the leaders declared their support to Cojuangco on his gubernatorial bid. From left are Mayors Gwen Yamamoto (Bani), Carlitos Reyes (Mabini), Aldrin Cerdan (Anda), Jose Pajeta (Agno), Noli Celeste (Bolinao), Provincial Board Member Anthony Sison, Cojuangco, Arrthur Celeste (Alaminos City), Provincial Board Member Napoleon Fontelera, Noel Nacar (Dasol), Infanta Vice Mayor Richard Martinez, and Alberto Guiang Jr. (Burgos). Unable to attend were first district Rep. Jesus Celeste and Sual Mayor Roberto Arcinue, but who are said to also support .


During a meeting at the NPC headquarters here on Friday, Alaminos City Mayor Arturo Celeste said the decision to support Cojuangco was reached after each leader was consulted, and after a series of meetings among them.
The first district political leaders openly supported Governor Amado Espino Jr., also an NPC member, for three terms. He is reported to be fielding his son Amado III for the seat he would vacate in 2016, but is yet to make an official statement.
“This is not a decision of only one person. This is a group decision,” Celeste said.
Celeste’s brother Jesus Celeste, the first district representative, was not around during the meeting but he also was supporting Cojuangco’s bid, he said.
Present were Mayors Gwen Yamamoto (Bani), Carlitos Reyes (Mabini), Aldrin Cerdan (Anda), Jose Pajeta (Agno), Noli Celeste (Bolinao), Alberto Guiang (Burgos) Noel Nacar (Dasol), Infanta Vice Mayor Richard Martinez. Sual Mayor Roberto Arcinue was not able to join the meeting but Celeste said he would also support Cojuangco.
Provincial Board Members Rene Anthony Sison and Napoleon Fontelera, who did not join the five other board members who resigned from the NPC party last May, were also present.
Celeste said it was not true that they have turned their back on Espino “but he is already on his last term and he has not declared who he was supporting for the governorship.”
But he said the decision to support Cojuangco is final and the leaders won’t leave NPC.
Nacar said the first district leaders work as team, and is solid behind Cojuangco.
“We met for several times and discussed the advantages and disadvantages of who we will support. We decided to support Cojuangco,” he said.
Cojuangcco, who declared his plan to run as governor last February, said he was “humbled” by the show of support from the first district leaders.
“I am touched by the message of Arthur (Celeste) and by association his brother Jesus and their support for my candidacy for governor. I am anxious to prove my leadership, to make sure they won’t be disappointed in their decision to support me,” he said.
“If the people of Pangasinan chose me to be their leader, it’s a personal challenge to be able to deliver on my promise to be a good governor,” Cojuangco said. (more…)

July 28, 2014 at 8:48 am Leave a comment

NIA official deplores Dagupan’s ‘No Helmet Law’


By Mortz C. Ortigoza

DAGUPAN CITY – A regional manager of a government agency deplored the passage into law the “No-Helmet Policy” in the central business district aimed at preventing motorcycle riding in tandem (MRT) from committing crimes.
“Paano naman kung nabangga ng truck o jeep o ibang sasakyan pagkatapos na-hospital o namatay kasi walang helmet, sino ang mananagot? Ang city government o konseho kaya?,” said John Celeste of the National Irrigation Administration-Region 11 .
Celeste was reacting to this paper’s column last week, titled “Idiotic No-Helmet Law in Dagupan City.”
City acting Mayor Maybelyn Fernandez signed into law last July 21 Ordinance No.2013-2014. Its principal author Councilor Jose Netu Tamayo said it would be implemented on late of August or early of September this year.
Salient feature of it says: “Mandated to remove the same at authorized checkpoints by law enforcement agencies; provided that motor vehicle riders with speed limit below 15 kph are likewise exempt from wearing helmets at the Central Business District, including but not limited to Caranglaan, Mayombo, M.H. del Pilar, Arellano, A.B Fernandez, Gulig, Malued, and such other areas hereafter identified as economically viable for growth”.
The Ordinance said the fine shall be payable to the City Treasurer’s Office within three days or seventy hours from the date of the issuance of the Citation Ticket. Moreover, it said upon payment of the required fine, the driver’s license shall be released immediately. However, if after three days, no penalty payment was tendered, the corresponding case for violation of the City Ordinance shall be filed in the Municipal Trial Court for appropriate trial.
The ordinance metes the following fines of P200 for first offense, P300 for the second offense, P500 and imprisonment for the third offense and subsequent offenses receive various flak from the media and the motorists as it violated the national Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 10054) .
Land Transportation Office –Region 1 Director Teofilo F. Guadiz warned motorcycle riders in his various interviews in radio and television networks his personnel will flag and fine motorists and their riders on the very first day of the ordinance’s implementation.
He said any person caught not wearing the standard protective motorcycle helmet in violation of this Act shall be punished with a fine of P1,500 for the first offense; P3,000 for the second offense; P5,000 for the third offense; and P10,000 plus confiscation of the driver’s license for the fourth and succeeding offenses. (more…)

July 28, 2014 at 8:38 am Leave a comment

ENTANGLED PAWIKAN


Rigor Demoral(left), a personnel of the provincial disaster risk reduction management council’s(PDRRMC’s) water search and rescue(Wasar), and a man lift this sea turtle found entangled at a fishing net last July 21 at the beach in barangay Libsong East in Lingayen. Fishermen immediately called the attention of the authorities regarding the said sea turtle and was released back to the sea.CESAR RAMIREZ

Rigor Demoral(left), a personnel of the provincial disaster risk reduction management council’s(PDRRMC’s) water search and rescue(Wasar), and a man lift this sea turtle found entangled at a fishing net last July 21 at the beach in barangay Libsong East in Lingayen. Fishermen immediately called the attention of the authorities regarding the said sea turtle and was released back to the sea.CESAR RAMIREZ

July 28, 2014 at 8:34 am Leave a comment

Pangasinan court workers deplore threat on JDF


By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – Employees of the municipal trial courts (MTC) in this city lamented the plan of the allies of President Benigno Aquino III in the House of Representatives to abolish the Judicial Development Fund (JDF).
A Processor- 1 and a Clerk- 3, who asked for anonymity, said the measly salary of P15, 000 month from the Supreme Court would shrink to P13, 000 in case President Aquino is successful in rallying his allies that dominate the majority of the solons in Congress in repealing the JDF.
They said 80 percent of the payment of the JDF collected by the Office of the Clerk of Court from litigants on cases involving money went to the employees of the judiciary in the form of benefits that translate to P1,800 to P2,000 per employee. A certain percentage of the court fund is spent on the rehabilitation of court houses.
JDF benefits more than 30,000 employees in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, Court of Tax Appeals and the trial courts.
“Paano na ang mga pamilya namin niyan pag wala na ang JDF?” one of them posed.
He said the president should not center the brunt of his ire on them just because his P177 billion Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) was vigorously rejected by the high tribunal in a 13-0 votes.
“We are only here to make both ends meet . Huwag naman kaming maliliit ang pag-initan ni Presidente,” he deplored.
After the DAP was rejected last July 1, the president in a televised pronouncement July 14, expressed his disgust to the Supreme Court. He also hinted that he would do something with the high tribunal – a construed by the courts’ employees as a threat like impeachment of the magistrates.
Last July 17, employees of the different branches of the MTC and Regional Trial Court here wore black dress to protest Aquino’s threat to the judiciary and the plans of his allies that control the majority of the solons in Congress to revoke the JDF.
The same kind of protest happened too in San Carlos, City Pangasinan where judicial workers wore black shirts and black bands to mourn the threat by the executive and legislative department in the independence of the court.
The same employees in this city supported the call of Association of Court of Appeals Employees President Amiel de Vera to join the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage) in filing a case to stop the imposition of the tax imposed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue on the benefits the court employees get from JDF. (more…)

July 28, 2014 at 8:28 am Leave a comment

Rosario bewails past administration’s expenditures


By Mortz C. Ortigoza

BINMALEY – The mayor of this burgeoning town bemoaned his predecessor’s splurging of the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) at the expense of this town’s coffer.
In his State of the Municipality Address (SOMA) held recently at the town’s gymnasium, Mayor Simplicio Rosario cited how former Mayor Lorenzo Cerezo spent P3,153,375.18 from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 for fuel consumption and lubricant expenses compared to what he spent on the same goods by P2,739,799 in July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014.
“Nakatipid tayo ng malaking halaga na mahigit P413,575.93,” he told his constituents who attended his SOMA.
Rosario declared as mayor he would not use even a litter of fuel for his private car.
“Samantalahin ko po ang sasabihin ko sa inyo, habang ako ang mayor sa tatlong taon hindi ako papayag na isang private vehicle na hindi sasakyan ng government nagkakarga ng gasoline. Maski ako na mayor, maski si vice mayor (Pedro Merrera) at lahat ng municipal officials,” he stressed.
Rosario cited the same situation in the maintenance of the eight municipal vehicles.
He said the Cerezo Administration spent P727,988,02 from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 while his administration spent only P286,234 from July 1,2013 to June 2014.
“Nakatipid tayo ng P441,754,02, napakalaking tipid ang ating natitipid sa dating pag-gastos ng motor vehicles,” he said.
He cited that this town saved P8,819,980.60 on MOOE from July 2013 – June 2014 compared to the same period under Cerezo.
He cited the judicial use of the public funds by his administration was responsible for the savings.
The revenue of this town spikes by P1,703,705.43 this year compared to the collection of his predecessor in the same period last year.
Due to the aggressive and wise collection of business permits the goal of P5,032,532.56 for this year was nearly reached with the collections of P5,485,000 on the first six months of this year.

July 28, 2014 at 8:25 am Leave a comment

8 Pangasinense OFWs back from Libya


DAGUPAN CITY – At least eight overseas Filipino workers from Pangasinan in war-torn Libya are now in the comforts of their home, according to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.

Rhoda Nilda Lee, overseas workers welfare officer III in the Ilocos, said distressed OFWs from countries affected by political unrest undergo stress debriefing programs upon their return to the Philippines.

Lee said OWWA also provides them with re-integration package that will aid them in enhancing their skills for local employment or in mounting their own businesses.

“The government has set aside P2 billion for the re-integration program of (distressed and returning) OFWs to help them start their lives anew,” Lee said during the KBP Forum held at the Philippine Information Agency Office on Thursday.

She said OWWA assists OFWs starting from the pre-departure stage to ensure their safety and success until their return home. “We provide them with relevant information and assistance on where to go to in times of crisis in a foreign land,” she added.

Aside from the eight Pangasinense OFWs who came home from Libya, there were two more returnees from Ilocos Sur, another two from La Union and one from Ilocos Norte.

Lee said OWWA is also monitoring the condition of Filipinos in another country in turmoil which is Thailand. OWWA records show that a total of 452 OFWs working in Thailand are from Region I. Nineteen of them are from Ilocos Norte, 95 from Ilocos Sur , 112 from La Union and 226 are from Pangasinan. (PIA-1/Pangasinan)

July 28, 2014 at 8:21 am Leave a comment

TREE PLANTING


Pangasinan 2nd district Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil(in blue shirt and pants) joins officials from the Parole and Probation Administration-Department of Justice(PPA-DOJ) and from the provincial government in a tree planting at the side of baywalk at the Capitol Beachfront in Lingayen last July 25. The activity is part of the 38th PPA-DOJ anniversary and 21st Probation Week.CESAR RAMIREZ

Pangasinan 2nd district Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil(in blue shirt and pants) joins officials from the Parole and Probation Administration-Department of Justice(PPA-DOJ) and from the provincial government in a tree planting at the side of baywalk at the Capitol Beachfront in Lingayen last July 25. The activity is part of the 38th PPA-DOJ anniversary and 21st Probation Week.CESAR RAMIREZ

July 28, 2014 at 8:17 am Leave a comment

CORTEZ: Binay dynasty, the new Marcos dynasty


brando-maso
Iba na naman po ang tingin ng respetadong columnist ng PDI na si Neal Cruz sa impeachment kay Presidente Noynoy Aquino. Narito po ang column ni Manong Neal Cruz. Italicized ang opinion ko.

Ang sinasabi niya ay paano kung magtagumpay ang impeachment at matanggal si PNoy? Eh di si VP Binay ang magiging president.

The trouble with impeaching President Aquino is that Vice President Jojo Binay would become president. His wife, Elenita, would become first lady. What a prospect! It would be as if Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos were back in Malacañang.

Ayon kay Neal Cruz, parang nakabalik daw po si Ferdinand at Imelda Marcos sa Palasyo.
Si Jejomar ang magiging Ferdinand Marcos the President at si Elenita naman ang magiging Imelda the First Lady.

The last time we impeached a president (Joseph Estrada), he was succeeded by the then vice president (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo). And look what happened. The cure was worse than the disease. Would it be the same if P-Noy is impeached (and convicted) and Binay succeeds him?
With the Binays in Malacañang, we would be ruled by a new dynasty similar to the Marcos dynasty. Son Mayor Junjun would be the new Bongbong, daughter Congresswoman Abigail would be the new Imee, and daughter Senator Nancy would be the new Irene. With the exception of Nancy, all of them are facing graft charges.

Noong na-impeach si Presidente Erap Estrada, si vice president Gloria Arroyo ang naging presidente. Ang pangarap natin na mabago na ang takbo ng gobyerno ay naging bangungot. Akala natin na gamut si Presidente Gloria sa patuloy na pagtaas na presyo ng bilihin…hindi nangyari. Akala natin si Presidente Gloria ang magwawakas sa korapsyon…tumindi naman ang korapsyon.

Kung si Jejomar ang bagong Ferdinand at si Elenita ang bagong Imelda, si mayor Junjun Binay naman ang bagong Bongbong, si Rep. Abigail BInay ang bagong Imee at si Senator Nancy ang bagong Irene. Binay dynasty po iyan. Lahat sila, maliban kay senadora ay may hinaharap na mga kaso ng korapsyon sa mga korte.

Ang latest naman po ay kinasuhan ng plunder ang mga Binay.nagpatayo po sila ng 11-storey parking building na ang halaga ay P1.56 bilyon!

Jojo and Junjun have just been charged with plunder in the Office of the Ombudsman for constructing an 11-story parking building beside the Makati City Hall which, at a cost of P1.56 billion, makes it the most costly parking building in the Philippines, and maybe even in Asia and the world. Jojo and Elenita are already being tried in court for graft cases committed during their terms as mayor of Makati. Abigail allegedly has links to the pork barrel scam of Janet Lim Napoles. Only Nancy is free of accusations. What a dynasty!

Jojo and Junjun have claimed that the new plunder charges were “politically motivated.” Junjun said the complaint was nothing new and that it was “fabricated.” The charges were filed by the Save Makati Movement, a group of Makati residents.

Pangkarinawang sagot na ang linyang ‘politically motivated’ daw po ang pagsasampa ng kaso. Dahil ang nagsampa ng kaso ay serial loser sa mga Binay tuwing elections.

Sabi naman ng nagsampa ng kaso…mas mabuti pa ang palaging talo sa eleksyon, ang masama at ang gumawa ng korapsyon habang nasa posisyon. Hindi daw po krimen ang matalo sa election. Ang korapsyon ay krimen.

According to the complainants, the city government should have paid only P7,691 per square meter for the parking building, but the project cost was jacked up to P48,889 per square meter when it was completed in 2013, for an overprice of almost 600 percent, or more than P1.255 billion. They also say that even the current prevailing cost of commercial buildings in Makati is only P25,000 per square meter.

Vice President Binay claimed that politics and the 2016 presidential election were behind the filing of the charges by his political foes, who, he hinted, were being backed by a “political rival.” But he refused to name the “rival.”

Mayor Junjun noted that the complaint was filed after the release of the results of a Pulse Asia survey showing that his father was the leading choice for president in the 2016 election. (Actually, the survey results showed a drop in the Vice President’s popularity rating, but it was still higher than those of his rivals.) Father and son did not say, however, why the building cost that much.

“Politically motivated” is the usual mantra of politicians when they are caught with their hand in the till and charges are filed against them. This latest case is no exception.

Eh ano ngayon kung politically motivated? Dahil ba politically motivated ay wala na silang kasalanan? Puede ba iyon? Na kapag humarap ka sa korte ay ang isasagot mo ay politically motivated lang po ang kasong plunder na isinampa sa akin kaya ako ay inosente.

Para mapawalang sala sila sagutin ang mga paratang. Paano umabot ng P1.56 bilyon ang parking building?

We have to admit it: The 2016 presidential election campaign has started.

SAGOT. Narito naman po ang sagot ni VP Binay: “They want me to think that the Palace is orchestrating the filing of this baseless complaint against me and my son to divert attention from the impeachment complaints filed against the President… Gusto nilang isipin ko na pakana ito para isalba si Pangulo at dahil dito ay magtampo ako at sumama ang loob sa ating Pangulo. Sa madaling salita, gusto nilang pag-awayin kami ng ating Pangulo.”

Nasaan ang sagot sa presyo ng parking building? Nasaan ang justification kung bakit umabot ng P1.56 bilyon ang parking building? Nasimulan po ang project nang mayor pa si VP ng Makati.

Pati si Senator Sonny Trillanes ay nabangit ang parking building habang tinatanong si Sec. Abad. (more…)

July 28, 2014 at 8:08 am Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: Refund overcharged electric bills


EDITORIAL

Why is the management of Pangasinan III Electric Cooperative (Panelco III) taking so long to implement the refund of money it over collected on December 2013 and January 2014?northernwatch 7-27-14 (1)
Consumer-members of the said electric cooperative are already asking Panelco III for the immediate refund of their hard earned money. The Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PMEC) has already re-computed the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM), which has been the basis of the total amount to be refunded and yet as of now the request of consumer-members fell into the deaf ears of Panelco III management.
On May this year, PEMC transferred to Panelco III a partial amount of P25 million and in the first week of July another P31 million was transferred. A total of P56 million has been transferred.
During the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s hearing last May 5, Panelco III OIC General Manager Allan Casem promised that the refund of the overcharged bills will be reflected in the June and July billing of the consumer-members. He said the consumer-members can expect around 40-50% slash in their June electric bills and 30-40% in their July bills. However, Panelco III seems to be delaying the refund without giving any reason to the consumer-members.
Why the delay of refund when the money is already in its custody? Is this not a blatant disregard of the welfare of the consumer-members who are the owners of the electric cooperative?
Panelco III has 150,000 consumer-members in the 18 municipalities of eastern Pangasinan including Urdaneta City.
Is Panelco III waiting for the time when the consumer-members will bombard them again with complaints? The management, which include the members of the Board of Directors and the employees, should be aware that they owe their positions from the consumer-members. They are there to protect the interest and welfare of the consumer-members.
Panelco III implemented in December 2013 and continued up to January 2014 the power rate hike amounting to Php 5.63 per kilowatt hour (KWH) or from Php 9.80 per KWH to Php 15.40 per KWH.
That was considered as the second highest power rate increase in the country.
According to 6th District Board Member Ranjit Ramos Shahani on the said increase, “Panelco III is patently negligent and the rate increase was the result of its wrong and bad commercial decision and the consequential electricity rate hike caused by its negligence must not be passed on to the consumers.”
Does Panelco III have to wait for another case to be filed against it for reneging on its promise to refund the over charged bills? (more…)

July 28, 2014 at 7:48 am Leave a comment

MAGANES: ‘No one is above the law’


vir
In a democratic society, the rule of law is supreme in order not to create disorder, chaos and anarchy. We are in a society where laws, not rules of men, govern the citizenry.
Lately, PNoy blatantly defied the order of the Supreme Court when it declared unconstitutional some parts of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). He could not accept the fact that the magistrates voted 13 against (with one abstaining) against DAP, despite appointing four of them. Maybe, PNoy was expecting that his appointed magistrates will work for him even to the extent of disregarding the Constitution because of the “debt of gratitude.”
PNoy must be aware that the magistrates are all lawyers and legal luminaries in their own rights. The magistrates are not economists or engineers. They are there to defend the Constitution and interpret laws if they are within the ambit of Constitution- that same Constitution he has promised to defend and protect when he took his oath as President of the Philippine Republic on June 30,2010.
By not yielding to the wisdom of the Supreme Court, PNoy is at the losing end. He is giving the signal that we too, can defy the orders of the courts particularly if we are invoking of what we believe in. PNoy believed that the DAP was important to stimulate the economy. With the grand design of his Budget Secretary Abad, DAP was born. All unspent budget of government agencies in the middle of the year in 2011 were pooled together and by the stroke of pen, it is already the Office of the President that will spend the money for projects and programs it wanted to implement.
Before he became the President, PNoy was a member of the House of Representatives, thence the House of Senate. As a senator, he was a critic of then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and had questioned how the government’s budget was spent. He was aware on the role of Congress when it comes to budget and likewise aware of the role of the Supreme Court as the interpreter of laws. He’s also aware that the three branches of the government are co-equal- executive that is headed by the President, judiciary that is headed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Congress with two chambers headed by the Senate President ( House of Senate) and House Speaker (House of Representatives). In short, PNoy knows fully well that these branches of government provide “checks and balances” in government operations.
Why then does PNoy seem to disregard the Supreme Court ruling on DAP, even citing an administrative code as the basis of the implementation of the DAP? While he has lawyers around him to provide legal advice, PNoy is not a lawyer. He’s an economist who likely concentrates on economic policies and institute reforms if needed.
But the Supreme Court has spoken. The declaration of savings in the middle of the year, pooled in one fund only controlled by the President and the cross-border transfer of funds, are unconstitutional. The General Appropriations Act (GAA) is a law enacted each year that contains the budget for the operations of the government. It is being prepared by the Office of the President, then transmitted to both the House of Senate and House of Representatives for deliberations. Before its passage as a law, the GAA has to be examined by the Congress that is why there are hearings involving the agencies that propose the budget. Once satisfied, GAA will be passed and approved by the President. (more…)

July 28, 2014 at 7:45 am Leave a comment

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