Archive for October, 2014

Ombudsman indicts Espino,villagers want concrete wall removed


BLACK SAND MINING

By Yolanda Sotelo

LINGAYEN – One of the complainants against local officials and businessmen engaged in the illegal black sand mining only wanted the beach be given back to the residents of the four villages.

“Just give us back our beach which is a source of livelihood for the residents who are engaged in fishing, and a source of firewood for cooking,” said Rolando Rea, 72, a resident of Estanza, one of the villages where the illegal black sand mining was done.

He said a three-kilometer long, six-foot high concrete wall was put up along the beach by the provincial government, disabling the residents from going to the beach of the four villages – Estanza, Sabangan, Malimpuec and Capandanan.

The wall was put up to keep prying eyes from noticing the illegal activities, he said

Rea, 72, said he regularly followed up the case at the Ombudsman, said even if he was the only complainant left and despite receiving death threats, he would continue to pursue the case.

The Ombudsman indicted Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino Jr., Provincial Administrator Rafael Baraan, Cynthia Camara and Lolita Bolayog of Alexandra Mining and Oil Ventures, Inc (Alexandra Mining).
The four are facing two counts of violations of anti-graft and corrupt practices act or Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019.
It was Aromas (Aro mo ako sambayanan), a group of village officials and residents, which filed the case on January 2013 for abuse of authority, neglect of duty, violation of the local government code, and graft and corruption charges
One of the vocal critics of the illegal black sand activities, Sabangan Councilman Vicente Oliquino, did not take calls from the Inquirer, nor sent text messages back. Rea said Oliquino, Aromas’ president, and other complainants, are now under Espino’s employ.
Rea said those involved in the black sand mining put up a six-foot, three-kilometer long concrete wall which blocked entry of residents to the beach.
“The concrete wall is still there, and fishermen and residents who collect drift woods to use as firewood, have to go around it to reach the beach. Some use stairs to climb up,” he said.
The Ombudsman also filed anti-graft cases against Pangasinan Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Officer Alvin Bigay, Alexandra Mining Directors Cesar Detera, Edwin Alcazar, Denise Ann Sia Kho Po, Annlyn Detera, Glenn Subia and Emiliano Buenavista and Michael Ramirez, Gina Alcazar and Avery Pujol of Xypher Builders, Inc.
In a joint resolution, the Environmental Ombudsman cited that Presidential Proclamation No. 1258 ( 1998) declared Lingayen Gulf as an environmentally critical area and expanded the scope of the protected area to cover the barangays of Sabangan, Estanza, Malimpuec and Capandanan, reserving a protected area of 184 hectares for eco-tourism and other sustainable development activities and projects.
Upon assumption as Governor in June 2007, Espino crafted the Site Development Plan that would turn the area into an eco-tourism complex, with the development of two 18-hole golf courses at par with international standards.
He then entered into a negotiated contract with Alexandra Mining with soil remediation activities conducted in Barangay Sabangan as pilot area. (more…)

October 27, 2014 at 3:01 am Leave a comment

Sinag asks DENR to donate felled trees to Bayambang school


By Yolanda Sotelo

DAGUPAN CITY—After pledging initial funds for the restoration of the Gabaldon Building of the Bayambang Central School, the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) requested the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Environment to donate the cut trees along the Manila North Road (MNR) to manufacture them into desks for the school.
“We are asking Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson and Environment Secretary Ramon Paje donate some of the tree trunks for the school, where the Gabaldon Building, including the furniture and desks, was burned in June 2013,” Sinag President Rosendo So, said.
The Sinag pledged an initial fund of P400,000 for the repair of the 12-classroom building, but So said third district Representative Rosemary Arenas would work for a P5 million fund to completely rehabilitate the building.
DENR Regional Executive Director Samuel Peñafiel said the tree trunks are usually donated to the local government units of the towns where the trees originated, and schools in those towns.
“But it is possible to donate the trunks in other towns if really needed, in consultation with the LGUs concerned,” he said through a telephone interview.
He added that it is not only the tree trunks cut from the MNR which can be used for the Bayambang Central School, but also the confiscated wood by the DENR.
“As long as the confiscated wood are not subject of court cases, or the cases have been resolved, we can donate them to the schools in need,” he said.
DPWH District Engineer Emmanuel Diaz said the tree trunks and branches of the trees cut along the MNR were deposited in depots in the towns which the MNR traversed. These are Rosales, Villasis, Urdaneta City, Binalonan, Pozorrubio and Sison.
So said manufacturing the trunks into desks would be of big help to the Bayambang Central School, the original campus of which was abandoned after a local court ordered the transferred of its operations to another site.
He said the rehabilitation of the Gabaldon could not be questioned by anyone “because we are only trying to help in reviving a historical building, and so that the children would have something to use when they go back to the old campus.”
“Besides, the 3.1 hectare campus, according to documents submitted to Congress, belongs to the state and that it is the (DepEd) which has the right to use the property because it has been using it for 100 years,” So said.
“Since the property does not belong to the local government of Bayambang, it has no right to swap it with a private property,” he added.

October 27, 2014 at 2:57 am Leave a comment

Mayor Bona off to US; promotes town


By Mortz C. Ortigoza

MANGALDAN – The mayor of this burgeoning town availed for a three week leave after she was invited to speak before different organizations of this town in California, USA.

COOPERATIVE MONTH. Two days before she departed to the US, Mangaldan Mayor Bonafe de Vera –  Parayno (5th from left) graces the 2014 Cooperative Month Celebration. Guest of honor was Pangasinan Governor Amado T. Espino who was represented by the district’s Board Member Liberato Villegas (4th from right).MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA

COOPERATIVE MONTH. Two days before she departed to the US, Mangaldan Mayor Bonafe de Vera – Parayno (5th from left) graces the 2014 Cooperative Month Celebration. Guest of honor was Pangasinan Governor Amado T. Espino who was represented by the district’s Board Member Liberato Villegas (4th from right).MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA


Mayor Bonafe de Vera-Parayno said one of these organizations is the Mangaldan International Association.
“They are inviting us, siempre gusto din nilang marinig ang SOMA (State of Municipality Address), so mag so-SOMA ako doon sa kanila,” she said.

De Vera-Parayno left to the U.S last October 18 and will return on November 3 . She has been succeeded in her post in a temporary capacity by Vice Mayor Manuel Casupang. (more…)

October 27, 2014 at 2:38 am Leave a comment

DPWH paves Dagupan City’s ‘Abortion Road’


DESPITE ABSENCE OF FUNDS

By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY– “What abortion road?” asked the new chief of the Pangasinan’s 2nd Engineering Office of the Department of Publics Works & Highway when asked if the construction of the rough and tumble Tambak-Tebeng Road here was already started.
District Engineer Rodolfo Dion said despite the absence of the P11 Million Special Allotment and Release Order (SARO) allocation from the Department of Agriculture, he saw to it that three days after occupying his post in Lingayen early this month, the road was paved by his office’s road grader. He said his personnel will cover soon the potholes and put asphalt on some parts of the two- km road.
The controversial road here was dubbed by the media as the worst road for pregnant women.
“If you want to fix a badly conditioned road, you don’t need a SARO to expedite the project,” he said.
He stressed that he immediately used his office funds and asked some friends in the construction business to pool some P40,000 for diesel of the grader, gravel, asphalt, and snacks to smoothen the road.
He said the road is not totally badly-shaped.
“There were some portions that we paved,” he said.
When told he has beaten his two predecessors in solving the discomfort given by the perennial “hell road” to motorists, Dion, whose last assignment was DE in Ilocos Sur, downplayed the compliment.
“I was just doing my job,” he said.
The concreting of the Tambak-Tebeng Road needs more than P40 million for the entire two-km road.
Former DE Yolanda Tangco earlier told this paper the P11 million funds for the construction of the Tambac-Tebeng road came from a realignment of the DA in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija.
“But this road was included in the list of projects to be funded by the DA. They are going to release P11 million but it is not enough,” she said.
Tangco said without SARO her office could not bid out the construction of the road that traverses two villages here.
She cited that concreting of one kilometre of road costs the government P20 million, including establishment of slope protection against flood.
She said without slope protection, concreting of a one kilometre road line will be between P16 million to P20 million. (more…)

October 27, 2014 at 2:04 am Leave a comment

CORTEZ: Ober da bakod


brando-maso
SOVEREIGNTY AND OBER DA BAKOD. Kung ang isang ordinaryong Juan Dela Cruz na pumunta sa Germany ay umakyat sa bakod ng isang German Military Camp. Ano kaya ang mangyayari sa kanya?

Kapag nag-ober da bakod ka bas a isang kampo ng militar ay Ikukulong ka?… or mababaril ka?… ano pa kaya ang maaaring mangyari sa iyo?

Walang magagawa si sundalong Juan Dela Cruz. Walang magagawa ang gobyernong Pilipinas sa ober da bakod stunt ng isang German. Ngek!

Pero dito sa Pilipinas, kapag ang isang German ay umakyat sa bakod ng isang Camp Aguinaldo, na kampo ng Armed Forces of the Philippines, at pinagtulakan ang Pilipinong sundalo, ano ang ginawa ng military establishment? Wala lang!

Nag-sorry na po ang German na ito. Pati iyong Pilipina na kasama niya na mag-trespassing. (more…)

October 27, 2014 at 1:57 am Leave a comment

Cojuangco, Macanlalay laud So’s humanitarian work


By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

VILLASIS- “You are lucky here that you have the Abono Partylist through its Chairman Rosendo So that the scholarship program is brought here, along with scholarship program of 5th District Rep. Kimi Cojuangco. It appears that you have two congressmen working together for your welfare. I am a witness of how the Abono Partylist is working for the welfare of all towns in Pangasinan and in the whole country.”

This was said by former 5th District Rep. Mark O. Cojuangco before a group of parents, pupils and students who are recipients of the educational assistance, which was distributed by the staff of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) at the Public Auditorium here last October 24.

There were 200 recipients of ” Tulong sa Mag-aaral” who came from indigent families in the 21 barangays of this town. Pupils in the elementary grades received P1,000 each, students in high schools received P2,000 each and in colleges, students received P3,000 each.

Cojuangco said that Abono Partylist has been helping all the towns of 5th District but this town is getting special treatment.

” Maybe, Sendo is doing this because of his love to me that he wants me to succeed in my aspirations to run as governor in 2016 elections. I know that you will not forget me for I have also made projects in this town particularly on agriculture and infrastructure like the drainages so that you will not experience flooding in the future,” Cojuangco said. (more…)

October 27, 2014 at 1:27 am Leave a comment

Red tide alert still up in Alaminos City


The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources imposed the ban on gathering,marketing and consuming shellfish from Alaminosafter the latest laboratory test showed the paralytic shellfish poison (red tide) has not dissipated yet.
BFAR Ilocos Regional Director Nestor Domenden said the BFAR issued the red tide alert on September 24.
“Two consecutive tests showed that the red tide was gone. But the third test conducted showed the poison was back,” Domenden said.
The BFAR lifts the ban on shellfish if three consecutive tests for red tide turn negative,” he said.
The bulletin advised against harvesting, marketing and eating of all types of shellfish and alamang (small shrimps) gathered at the city waters are not safe for human consumption.
But squid, shrimp and crabs are safe to eat as long as these are fresh and washed thoroughly, and their internal organs and intestines are removed before cooking.

October 27, 2014 at 1:18 am Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: Sinag is one-year old


On October 15, 2013, the Samahang Industriya ng Agricultura was born. Sinag, which means “ray of light” in English, hoped to organize the stakeholders in agricultural industry as one voice to fight for their rights and the plight of farmers and fishermen all over the country.northernwatch 10-19-14

The Fertilizer Industry Association of the Philippines (FIAP) acted as a convener group. Other stakeholders joined the call for unity, like those engaged in production of egg, hog and swine, rice, fishermen, farmers, poultry, etc.

Abono Partylist and Agap Partylist also joined the group, with Abono Chair Rosendo O. So elected as the president.

Its birth was right on time. It was at the height of smuggling of meat products into the country. Legally imported pork meat were under declared as “offal” when these are “good meat”, thus depriving the government coffers of billions of pesos in revenues in the form of tariffs. The Hog Raisers Association of the Philippines was then fiercely fighting smuggling activities in the country.

The Swine Development Council was earlier organized to look into the problems of the swine industry focusing on the entry of meat importation including the smuggled meat products. The situation slowly killed the backyard hog industry which affected many livelihoods in the country.

But problems in the agricultural industry were not confined to meat products. Rice and vegetables smuggling was also rampant.

Sinag, as a group, totally embraced the agricultural industry and kept on fighting against smugglers and the over importation of agricultural products to protect the local farmers.

Under Sinag’s watchful eyes, the Goliath of rice smuggling, “David Tan,” was identified. His smuggling activities cost the country at least P7 billion in foregone duties every year.

In May this year, Sinag lauded the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) to junk the petition filed by traders for the release of 300,000 bags of alleged smuggled rice earlier seized by the Bureau of Customs.

The decision of the SC also paved the way for the speedy resolution of the five cases filed against erring RTC judges in cahoots with smugglers. Sinag filed a total of five administrative cases against four erring RTC judges for ordering the release of smuggled rice seized by the Bureau of Customs (BoC) without the required import permits.
(more…)

October 27, 2014 at 1:16 am Leave a comment

MAGANES: Bayambang’s land swap deal, legal or illegal?


vir maganes
While Principal Danilo Lopez of Bayambang Central School is facing a complaint from the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) and teachers before the Office of Ombudsman due to alleged corruption activities, the transfer of the school from its original location in Zone II to Bical village is also being questioned.

Last October 1, the complaint against Lopez was filed at the Office of the Ombudsman in Carmay, Rosales. And last October 7, PTA officers held a rally in front of the old site of the school demanding for the return of the school to its original site. In that rally, PTA President Filipina Alcantara exposed the conspiracy between Mayor Ricardo Camacho and the high officials of the Department of Education in Region-1 in abandoning the Bayambang Central School in violation of the DepEd Service Manual.

They are asking Local Government and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and 3rd district Rep. Rosemary “Baby” Arenas to look into the legality of the swapping of the century-old elementary school campus with a privately-owned property.

It will be recalled that last June 2013, the school buildings of Gabaldon-type were razed by fire prompting the municipal government to decide to relocate the school to its present site in Bical, in a 2-hectare property owned by a certain William Chua of Mangaldan, owner of 168 Supermart in Urdaneta City and Dagupan City.

The new site is about 3 kilometers away from the original site of the school, which the parents and teachers claimed to be inconvenient for them. Chua claimed the building at the new site has a value of P152.8 million.

The municipal government executed a deed of exchange with Chua for the 3.1 hectare old site which is said to have a value of P465 million.

The swapping of the land has caught the attention of the PTA officials including teachers of the school. Is it legal to swap a prime public land with a private property with lesser land valuation? Why did the municipal government concede to such action? Has there been public consultation with the residents of Bayambang prior to the swapping? Was the Court’s temporary restraining order still in effect and why it has allowed the transfer of the school to its new site? Are there other personalities behind the transfer since the old site would be a site of a mall?

The Solicitor General has opined that it is only the Department of Education (DepEd) that could decide on matters relating to school buildings. However, the municipal government seemed to have gone beyond its mandate by allowing the school site to be swapped with a private property.

The municipal government has also failed to response to the clamor of the public not to transfer the school because the new site is not a convenient place for the pupils because of its far distance from the town’s center.

Chua’s titled property included a 60-classroom,two storey-building and a covered court . He was also supposed to give additional P30 million worth of unspecified projects to the school. But with the land value of the old site, is the swapping worth it?

What is unimaginable is the claim of the municipal government that the old site is a flood prone area and a host for mosquitoes carrying dengue virus. If a mall will be constructed, will flooding be contained? If that will be the case, the municipal government should have found solutions to stop the flooding in the area for the interest of the school children and the public. What a shallow reason!

The old school site is a part of a military reservation. The title dated May 25, 1912 was signed by Charles H. Smith, juez de tribunal del Registro de la Propiedad, Estados Unidos de America, Islas Filipinas.

And the municipal government has failed to acknowledge the historical importance of the place. Does DepEd intervene on the problems? Is it in cahoots with the municipal officials of Bayambang?

If the old school site will be restored, Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) has promised to donate P400,000 to restore the Gabaldon building in the old site.
(more…)

October 27, 2014 at 1:08 am Leave a comment

DAGUPAN POLICE TO DEPLOY 131 PERSONNEL ON ALL SAINTS’ DAY


DAGUPAN CITY – A total of 131 police personnel will be posted in several strategic areas and in seven cemeteries in Dagupan to ensure peaceful and orderly observance of All Souls’ Day and All Saints’ Day on November 1 and 2, respectively.

This was disclosed by Superintendent Christopher N. Abrahano, chief of police of Dagupan, as he bared massive preparation of the police aimed at ensuring the safety of the people visiting the tombs of their dead.

He said 20 police personnel will be deployed at the Eternal Garden, 13 at the Roman Catholic Cemetery, 10 at the Independent Municipal Cemetery, three at the New Chinese Cemetery, six each at the old Chinese Cemetery and Mt. Zion Memorial Park and eight at the Bonuan Public Cemetery.

“We will also put up a Police Assistance Hub for police assistance in each of the six strategic areas in the city especially along Mt. Zion Cemetery, Pantal-Dawel area, Decorp, Centrum Gasoline Station in Lucao, Caranglaan-Amigo and Bolosan,” said Abrahano.

Abrahano also pointed out that the other police personnel will also be tapped to secure designated parking areas near these seven cemeteries.

Abrahano reminded everyone not to carry firearms, bladed weapons, liquor and noisy sound systems inside the cemeteries and for motorists not to leave any valuable thing inside their cars that would attract thieves.

City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office head Ronaldo R. de Guzman also advised pregnant women, persons with disabilities and senior citizens to refrain from joining huge crowd going to the cemeteries as this could pose risk to them.

“We are also going to alert our lifeguards at the Tondaligan Beach for visitors who will be going to the beach after coming from the cemeteries so we can give them protection and assistance. We are likewise appealing to all barangay officials to keep watch on people who will be swimming in rivers to avoid drowning,” City Action Service Team Chief Carlito Ocampo said when he presided over a meeting on October 22 for the city’s ‘Oplan Kaluluwa 2014’ preparations. (more…)

October 27, 2014 at 12:44 am Leave a comment

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