Cojuangco scores SOPA: rehash, unrealistic

February 15, 2016 at 10:02 am Leave a comment


By Mortz C. Ortigoza
LINGAYEN – Former Pangasinan 5th District Congressman Mark Cojuangco called Governor Amado T. Espino  Jr. state of the province’s address (SOPA) last Wednesday, as rehash of the Governor’s two last SOPAs.
Mar Cojuangco SOPAIMPRESSION. Pangasinan gubernatorial candidate Mark Cojuangco tells reporters at the Capitol ground last Wednesday his impression on the State of the Province Address (SOPA) of Governor Amado T. Espino Jr. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA

The Governor read the SOPA before members of the provincial board, mayors, other elective and non -elective officials, and his constituents who gathered at the Capitol ground.
Cojuangco, who is running against Espino’s son and namesake who is now on his last term,scored Espino’s shortcomings in his nine years as chief executive of Pangasinan.
The former three-term congressman of the 5th District of Pangasinan cited the lack of roads in the province and the suspicious transaction that shrouded them.
“Umutang ang probinsiya (at) siya ng napakalaki at hindi naman tayo nagkakaroon ng bagong kalsada. Ang pagkalapad ng ibang kalsada natin wala pa sa tamang sukat. Marami tinangal na kalsada hangang semento na inaaspaltuhan pa. (He borrowed huge amount but we could not see new roads. The width of the roads did not follow government’s standard. Concrete roads were removed and replaced with asphalt, was he tried to make impression?)” said Cojuangco who is known to be a stickler for details on road construction when he was congressman.
A high official of the National Irrigation Administration told Northern Watch before that Cojuangco was the only congressman during his time and in Region 1 who declined to get S.O.P, euphemism for the 20%  cut,  from contractors.
 Cojuangco’s arrival at the SOPA surprised many spectators despite his being a regular attendee of the yearly event after Espino became governor in 2007. He was joined later  by  his vice gubernatorial tandem Calasiao Mayor Roy Macanlalay.
He said Espino mentioned about numbers and lengths of irrigation canals constructed under his administration but he rebutted the  data because those projects were funded by the national government.
“Ang alam ko ang gumastos sa malaki sa irigasyon ay ang ating gobiyerno nasyonal (What I know the one that fund the construction of irrigation canals is the national government)”
The national government through the Agno River Irrigation System Extension Project (ARISEP) of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) is expected to irrigate 12,894 hectares of farm lands in several towns in the 5th and 6th Districts.
Since 2014, Pangasinan has 102,628 hectares of irrigated farm lands.
He said while the provincial government borrowed almost a billion of pesos from the government bank,  flooding in many towns and cities in the mammoth province have not been solved.

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“May pagkukulang pa rin sa pagbabaha sa (inaudible) ang ating (government), napakaraming utang , dapat nabigyan ng malaking pansin and pagbanaha (The provincial government has shortcomings on the unabated flooding, it should give attention to flooding)”.
Customarily, the SOPA is attended by the mayors of the 44 towns and three cities’ province. But after Espino and loyalists bolted out from the Nationalist People’s Coalition,of which Cojuangco was the provincial chairman, only a handful of mayors attended the event.
The last SOPA saw allies San Fabian Mayor Constante Agbayani, Bugallon Mayor Jumel Anthony Espino, Urbiztondo Mayor Raul Martin Sison, Bayambang Mayor Ricardo Camacho, Bautista Mayor Deo Espino, Malasiqui Mayor Armando Domantay, Mangatarem Teddy Cruz, and others forming a queue to shake hand with the governor.
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Entry filed under: News.

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