Archive for February 14, 2016

Ombudsman affirms criminal charges vs Espino, et al


February 14, 2016 at 7:03 pm Leave a comment

MAGANES: Cojuangco and Espino’s SOPA

Last February 10, Governor Amado T. Espino Jr. delivered his State of the Province Address (SOPA) at the Capitol grounds in Lingayen town, which was referred to as his “valedictory address” since he will bow as Pangasinan’s governor on June 30, 2016, being on his last term. SOPAs usually contain the accomplishments of a governor during his administration particularly on the various programs and projects and their effects on the lives of the constituents.
According to those who attended Espino’s SOPA, the atmosphere at the Capitol was gloomy- words of Espino were full of emotions as he was saying “goodbyes” to the more or less 5,000 provincial employees. It was a far cry from the previous SOPAs where majority of municipal mayors and officials including congressmen, attended. A media colleague who was there intimated to me that Espino was not as he was before- happy and bubbly, as he might be missing his former allies who were supportive of him during the quest for the governorship.
Of the 44 municipal mayors and three city mayors, only nine attended. No congressman of the six districts was visible. Attendees were mostly provincial employees, school administrators and village officials who were earlier invited to attend the event. Does the scarcity of attendees show that Espino’s popularity has waned as compared to his early years as governor when  his SOPAs were well attended by government officials from the province?
Notwithstanding that he will be pitted against Espino’s son for the gubernatorial post on May 9, 2016, gubernatorial aspirant Mark O. Cojuangco ” stubbornly” attended the SOPA. I described it as a “stubborn move” from him because last year when he attended the SOPA, media men close to the Espinos feasted on his action claiming him to be a “gate crasher” and eliciting attention from the media and the Pangasinenses.
But Cojuangco has reasons of attending the SOPA. He said ever since Espino became governor, he was following the development of Pangasinan. He attended the last three SOPAs to know where to start should he will be elected by the Pangasinenses in May 2016. He did not attempt to steal the limelight from Espino during those occasions but media men followed him to get his reactions and statements.
It will be recalled that Cojuangco declared his gubernatorial aspiration on February 10, 2014 right after the SOPA of Governor Espino. It was on that occasion that Espino’s camp started to lambast him, and five members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan belonging to the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) bolted from the said party. Governor Espino, his sons and brother followed suit. Since then, the once solid alliance of Cojuangco-Espino cracked. The political ties were severed and they subsequently became political foes. The sweet relationship of Cojuangcos and Espinos became so “sour” to the taste of both camps- all because of politics.
Going back to the last SOPA of Espino, Cojuangco was seen with his running mate Calasiao Mayor Mark Roy Macanlalay and NPC allies Malasiqui Mayor Armando Domantay Sr. and Tayug Mayor Tyrone Agabas. My mole at the Capitol said  they did not occupy the front seats reserved for local officials but sat among the other guests at the back rows.  After the SOPA, Cojuangco slipped out from the scene (he never attempted to go near Espino) to escape the prying eyes of the media men close to Espino. But then, media men followed him and  he gave briefly his reactions and comments about the SOPA.
Cojuangco said he heard nothing new as the contents of the SOPA were a rehash of what was said two years ago. The programs, according to him, were presented in their macro forms and he was waiting for “specifics” that are more or less beneficial to the Pangasinenses. He scored Espino for rehabilitating provincial roads that are not within the standards of width, and just asphalting  the roads instead of cementing them. He said these practices are very costly as yearly, the asphalts have to be replaced. (Is is because he has an asphalt batching plant?)
 Should he become a governor, would he resort to availing loans for the province of Pangasinan? Cojuangco said it will depend on the necessity after looking into the financial capability of the province and the type of projects to be implemented. He said if the intention of getting loans is to “make up” for neglected services to the people, then loans are necessary.


February 14, 2016 at 6:57 pm Leave a comment

  Chiz not afraid of Ilocano vote

DAGUPAN CITY – Who’s afraid of the Ilocano vote?

grace chizGRACE AND CHIZ. Presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe of the Team Galing at Puso answers queries from the media of Pangasinan during a press conference held at the Star Plaza Hotel in Dagupan City last February 10. With her is vice presidential candidate Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero.


Not  Vice Presidential candidate Francis Escudero, who said he was not afraid of the so-called solid north vote, and that he sees residents of the different regions as Filipinos.
Escudero was with his running mate Senator Grace Poe in a political sortie in Pangasinan, while his rival Senator Bongbong Marcos was in another town, on February 12.
“Alam niyo, kung ang tingin man niya sa mga taga-Pangasinan o Region 1, Ilocano. Ang tingin ko po sa bawat kaharap– Ilocano, Waray, Ilonggo, Cebuano o Bicolano man, ang tingin ko po sa inyong lahat puro mga Pilipino,” Escudero said.
He explained that this was the reason why Poe and him run as independent and not under any political party.
“Gusto po naming pagsilbihan ng pantay lahat. Kababayan man namin o hindi, kapartido man namin o hindi, binoto man kami o hindi, gusto namin pantay na pagtrato at pantay na pag-serbisyo,” he said.
This is because poverty  dahil ang kahirapan naman po at ang kalamidad, ang El Niño at La Niña wala naman pong pinipiling bayan o probinsya, wala pong pinipiling kasarian o edad, wala rin pong pinipiling kulay o partido. ‘Yan po ang aking pananaw at ‘yan ang isusulong at dadalhin ko saan man ako magpunta,” he said.
He narrated the incident when he went to Ilocos Norte and he was asked why he went there.
“They told me, ‘Ba’t ka pa nagpunta rito? Alam mo naman na taga-dito ‘yung kalaban mo.’ I answered back,  ‘Pilipinas pa rin naman ‘to at Pilipino tayong lahat.”
The Ilocanos also told him most of them are Marcos loyalists.
“I said, ‘Ang tatay ko lang siguro ‘yung pinakamatinding Marcos loyalist na nakilala ko.’Talo pa siguro sila. Mula nang umalis si Marcos hanggang nilibing ang tatay ko, suot pa rin niya ‘yung kanyang red, white and blue sa balikat. So kung ‘yun man ang pananaw nila, parang mga tatay na lamang at nanay sila,” he said


February 14, 2016 at 6:53 pm Leave a comment

Manay Gina, Mayor Belen’s solutions vs. flooding

By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – If the provincial government is still groping in the dark on how to solve the perennial flooding, this independent component city had formulated a solution.
According to this city’s mayor Belen T. Fernandez, Fourth District Congresswoman Gina de Venecia has asked  the national government for a P100 million allocation to build dikes on the banks of Barangays Lasip Chico, Malued, Lasip Grande, Pantal, and Lucao.
She said the dike in Lucao will bode well for the safety of  joggers against being bumped by vehicles along the highway.
Fernandez cited other measures to avoid flood like the construction of bigger highway for buses and  installation of pumping stations, just like what other countries, do to mitigate flood.
Through the initiative of Rep. de Venecia, the Department of Public Works & Highway through District Engineer Rodolfo Dion has elevated the highways and expanded the drainage systems in Arellano, AB Fernandez, and Barangay Tapuac.
Critics of Fernandez mayor said in case the  overdue Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) is passed, flood water would submerge the city.


February 14, 2016 at 4:49 pm Leave a comment

ORTIGOZA: Why Grace Poe regains No. 1 slot

I had an animated conversation recently with a private contractor of a mayor. He told me that when he gambled at the Casino at Clark in Pampanga he saw three town mayors. He said the two mayors, who moonlighted as contractors, too, told him to join them on their table because they lost already P700,000..
“Nasaan si Mayor X (one of the mayors that benefited on illegal gambling Jueteng)?” I asked the private contractor.
“Nasa private room sa itaas kasama iyong kabit niya na bata, nagpapalipas ng malas,” he answered.
He told me on that night, Mayor X gambled and lost P2 million in that casino.
I told friends last week at social media that presidential bet Grace Poe could recover after rival Jojo Binay eclipsed her led in the two surveys in December last year.
Today, the Pulse Asia’s Pulso ng Bayan Pre-Electoral Survey conducted from January 24 to 28 with 1,800 respondents revealed that 33 percent of the respondents would vote for Poe.
Vice President Jejomar Binay who got 23 percent,  Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte  who both garnered 20 percent shared the third spot.
Here were my arguments last week at my blog and my prescience:
“Watching the evening news, the foundling issue sympathetically raised by Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno had been played again not only by TV 5 but by the two other major TV stations ABS and GMA-7. Poe also has a TV ad that talks about her father, famous actor Fernando Poe, Jr., being harassed by court cases but at the end was upheld by the Supreme Court as Filipino citizen. “Parang pelikula iyon, bugbog muna si Fernando pero sa huli siya rin ang mananalo,” a man quipped at the ads. Then, Comelec included Grace’s name at the official ballot for the presidential race in May 9. The foundling issue argued by well meaning people, effective TV advertisement, and inclusion of Grace at the Comelec’s ballot would be the factors she could catapult herself to No.1.


February 14, 2016 at 4:37 pm Leave a comment

Amb ALC Holdings scores victory on  Mc Adore row

DAGUPAN CITY – The buyer of the Mc Adore building scored its first victory at the 10th Division of the Court of Appeals (CA) which ruled that the complainant failed to prove that public funds were illegally disbursed or used for unlawful purposes.
The CA said the case should not be called as a “taxpayer suit” as the allegation of the complainant as well as the documentary evidence included did not qualify as such.
It added that what was involved in this controversy was a contractual obligation between a government entity exercising its propriety right to sell its assets and a private corporation which bought the same.
Leo Angeles sued for annulment of sale, reconveyance and damages on October 22, 2014 after former City Mayor Benjamin S. Lim sold the seven-storey Mc Adore International Palace and theatre building including its equipment and machinery for P119 million to AmbALC Holdings and Management Corporation, Inc.
The Makati City based corporation won in a public bidding on January 7, 2013..
Angeles complained on July 7, 2014 at the Branch 42 of the Regional Trial Court here that the bidding process of the properties was defective as notice of auction sale was not published and the payment was grossly inadequate on the part of the government.
Mayor Belen Fernandez, not a party to the case, said the sale was grossly disadvantageous to the government, saying the building cost from P250 to P300 million.
 AmbALC argued that private respondent Angeles was not the real party in interest and did not have a locus standi or legal standing thus his suit could not prosper.
 On October 3 of the same year, Angeles countered that he could sue because the contract was a public property. He argued in that he could do this as taxpayer and a concerned resident of this city.


February 14, 2016 at 4:34 pm Leave a comment


DAGUPAN CITY – A total of 178 bags of blood was collected from donors during  the 1st Mobile Blood Donation and Blood Typing activities under the program “Blood mo Type ko Free ito” (BTF) project held  at the Atrium of the CSI the City Mall on February 9.

This was bared by Rhyza Ventenilla, Dagupan City Blood Coordinating Council (DCBCC) focal person, who also reported that 34 persons were blood typed and 26 Persons With Disabilities or PWDs were assessed as potential beneficiaries of wheelchairs and walking devices.

The BTF project chaired by Mayor Belen T. Fernandez was launched on September 22, 2015 with the primary purpose of ensuring every Dagupeños the free access to adequate and continuous reservoir of blood supply in accredited blood banks through the holding of regular Mobile Blood Donation and Blood Typing activities. (more…)

February 14, 2016 at 4:15 pm Leave a comment


DAGUPAN CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has honored the city of Dagupan anew  as the Most Institutionalized City Advisory Council of 4Ps in Region 1 during an awards  ceremony  at Hotel Ariana in Bauang, La Union on February 12.

The award was in recognition of the city’s efforts and partnership with the DSWD in the implementation of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program by conducting regular meetings and monitoring the beneficiaries of the program.

“It’s an honor to receive this award in recognition of our rmarkable contribution in promoting good results along the agency’s strategic goals in the implementation of the 4Ps program,” said Mayor Belen T. Fernandez when she received the award for the city, along with   Social Welfare and Development Officer-in-Charge Leah Aquino, from DSWD Undersecretary Florita Villar.  

Dagupan was earlier conferred an award recognizing the city’s notable performance as having the  Most Institutionalized Conduct of City Advisory Council meetings among all cities in the region during the 4Ps Implementation Review for 2015 at the Crown Legacy Hotel in Baguio City on December 14.

This award was handed by DSWD Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo.

The city was given the new award for conducting monthly meetings on 4Ps and that out of the 12 meetings the city conducted in 2015; nine of these were presided over by Mayor Fernandez. (more…)

February 14, 2016 at 4:11 pm Leave a comment


DAGUPAN CITY – In celebration of the National Arts Month, the City Government of Dagupan and the Dagupan City National High School Special Program in the Arts (DCNHS-SPA) conducted a one-day workshop for school children dubbed as Arte’ ed Dagupan on February 12 at the city museum.

In cooperation with the Department of Education, the school children underwent shadow puppetry workshop under the auspices of Mayor Belen T. Fernandez with Widmark F. Balmores of DCNHS as project initiator, head and proponent.

The students who participated in the workshop were from the Sabangan Elementary School, North Central Elementary School, Juan L. Siapno Elementary School, Bolosan Elementary School, Caranglaan Elementary School, Pugaro Integrated School and DCNHS.

At the opening of the workshop, the theater arts, creative writing, visual arts and media arts students of DCNHS performed its national entry which won second place in a national competition entitled “Kalikasan…Tunay na Yaman” – this Manik-Aninong Dulaan is a shadow puppetry performance based on a story of a family in search of a better life at the cost of environmental destruction.

The celebration also featured the paintings of SPA students in visual arts entitled “Itanduro…Balon Dagupan” and “Madonna and Child.”

“Itanduro! Balon Dagupan” is a painting collection of scenic places of the city created by the visual arts students conceived on their perspective and world view on the beauty of Dagupan. (more…)

February 14, 2016 at 4:07 pm Leave a comment

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