Archive for September, 2017

Dagupan SP approves transfer of city hall

DAGUPAN CITY –In one fell swoop, the Sangguniang Panglungsod approved resolutions transferring the  city hall to a fishpond  property of the Mayor Belen Fernandez’  brother, reclassifying the property from agricultural to institutional use, and accepting a donation from the Fernandez-family owned company for the road right of way.

The 1.2 hectare property of Kerwin and Mary Ann Fernandez in Pantal-Lucap is a part of the couple’s bigger lot,  around which are lots owned by the mayor, her family and the CSI group of companies which the family also owns.  

Last Monday, the SP approved a resolution accepting a donation from the CSI for the road right-of-way from the De Venecia highway cutting across Fernandez family’s landholdings going the new city hall, which the SP calls a government center.The resolution was approved without passing through three readings rule, without committee hearings and public consultations.

On deck is a draft resolution granting Fernandez the “full powers and authority to secure an omnibus term loan facility with a reputable banking institution for the purposes of contructing a new government center along the Pantal-Lucao growth area,  and purchasing the equipment, furniture and facilities necessary for its operation.”

All the resolutions were certified as “urgent” by the mayor in her letters to the SP.

Councilor Vice Mayor Brian Lim, who is against the transfer of the city hall, said transferring it to a property of the mayor’s brother smacked of corruption as it was meant to benefit the mayor and her family.

“She negotiated for the transfer of the city hall to her own company. It’s like she looked at the mirror and negotiated with herself,” he said.

Lim added that he discovered that the mayor’s family owned vast landholdings surrounding the donated lot.

“We know the prices of fishponds (are low). If the city hall is built there, naturally, the prices of their properties would skyrocket, benefitting her family. So this is an act of corruption,” he said.

He also raised alarm over the plan to acquire more than a billion pesos to develop the so-called government center as the city does not have the capacity to build the center using its own budget.

In the draft ordinance which Fernandez asked the SP to pass on Wednesday, she said the project “require(s) such amount from the city government that is not readily available.”

The draft ordinance is silent on the total amount that the city government would borrow from the bank.

Lim likewise raised the propriety for acquiring a loan which would be paid for by the residents through increased taxes, while the Fernandez’ family members are “sitting pretty because they already earned billions through increased valuation of their properties around the new city hall.”

Councilor Jose Netu Tamayo said it the valuation increase would benefit not only the mayor and her family, but other landowners around the area.

Lim said the SP’s decision to acquiesce to the mayor’s demands did not mean the resolutions are already final.

“We have what we call the referendum, a process by which the residents would vote if they are in favor of the plant to transfer the city hall or not.  Residents can petition the Commission on Elections to conduct the referendum,” he said.


September 25, 2017 at 5:20 pm Leave a comment

 Dasol school gets help from police 

By Yolanda Sotelo

DASOL – For one day in September, policemen from  the Region I and Pangasinan  turned into barbers, teachers, lecturers and book donors  to schoolchildren.

The peculiar event happened  in a farflung village in this western Pangasinan town, where a school  sitting on top of a hill is where some 120 students learn writing, reading and arithmetic.

Members of the Ilocos Regional Police Safety Battalion (RPSB) travelled at dawn from their base in San Fernando City and reached the Tambac Elementary School at around eight in the morning, just as the students have entered their classrooms.

But it was not an ordinary day for the school, as the policemen and women, in their casual uniform of light blue shirts and dark blue shorts, have lined up different activities for the school kids.

Immediately, the policemen buckled down to work, tackling jobs that were far different for what they were trained for which is to combat with state enemies.

PO1 Dan Almoite brought out his ärmament” – scissors, razors, combs, a bottle of alcohol and of water, and a container of talcum powder.

Another “peacekeeping person” brought out similar tools- Roger Migano,the team leader of the CAFGU assigned in a station just behind the school. (more…)

September 25, 2017 at 5:18 pm Leave a comment

QC Director lauds Pangasinan BIR Exec

By Mortz C. Ortigoza
QUEZON CITY – “She’s a performer,” quipped by the director of the second biggest tax regional office in the country to a chief executive of the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Eastern Pangasinan that has been excelling in tax collection’s every month.
Director Marina de Guzman cited that Revenue District Office (RDO) – 6 Chief Maria Isabel Barcia-Utit is efficient and assiduous as seen on the Weekly Weekender.

de guzman utit

TAX HONCHOS. Quezon City Regional Director Marina de Guzman and Revenue District Office – 6 Chief Maria Isabel Barcia – Utit

“Mahusay siya kasi trained na iyan sa akin sa Tuguegarao kasama ko siya sa Tuguegarao. Tapos magkasama kami dito. Actually iyon ang program that we put in place during my time they are just reaping,” she stressed.
Utit was under then Region 2 Director De Guzman when the former was the RDO Chief of Nueva Vizcaya’s province.
She was also the superior of Utit when then Region 1 BIR Director De Guzman covered Eastern Pangasinan.
She said that the Eastern Pangasinan’s honcho can be a shoo-in the post of assistant regional director.
“Oo, she is qualified CPA-Lawyer by profession”.

De Guzman cited that the burgeouning economy of Urdaneta City is one of the reasons why RDO-6 leads in the tax collection in the six RDOs in the Ilocos Region.

“RD De Guzman and RD Dizon are both dedicated to the service and are themselves real performers. They settle for nothing less than excellent so their subordinates have no choice but to be performers as well,” Utit reacted when told about the praises to her of De Guzman.


September 25, 2017 at 5:13 pm Leave a comment

ORTIGOZA:   This politico incites the ignorant

The debates on the transfer and construction of the new Dagupan City Hall became “nagkakainitan na” or acrimonious as the days passed by.
What aggravate the situation were for people like Vice Mayor Brian Lim telling half of the story or concocting or exaggerating another story that inflame the emotions of a large number of gullible, stupid, and ignorant people in the City.
Here were some of his salient declarations on his more than an hour interview at DWIZ – an FM radio station owned by the Cabangons, another nemesis of City Mayor Belen Fernandez.
Why the then administrations of then Mayors Cipriano Manaois, Libring Reyna, and Al Fernandez did not relocate to their family owned land the transfer of the new city (unlike what Mayor Belen was doing)?
MY ANSWER: Traffic congestion, the danger imposed by the rickety worn out wood made government edifice, and flooding did not pose so much inconveniences and dangers before as what they posed today. Beside, there was no Kerwin Fernandez before who has the benevolence today to donate 1. 2 hectares of land worth P400 million as situs for the new City Hall.
That’s a lot of saving for the Dagupan City’s government if she can be spared to borrow from bank just to buy a land.

When Lim was asked about the legal opinions of City Lawyer Vicky Cabrera and the legal luminaries of the Department of Interior & Local Government and the Commission on Audit that the donation and the transfer of the deteriorating government building was not illegal, Lim cited the following:
“The opinion of Cabrera was nothing. The decisions of the COA and DILG can be bought (opinion nasalew).
So, for me, whose opinion is credible?
 As far as I know, Lim was not able to cite any jurisprudence or legal opinion from an entity to back up his charges of corruption against Fernandez.
He only said that opinion should be from the court calling it “judicial opinion”.
Nakita ko may illegal, siguradong may illegal,” he said.
MY ANSWER: It’s Brian’s opinion versus those lawyers from the government. Many observers like me could pin point that there was no anomaly on the donation, the transfer, and the properties of the family of the mayor surrounding the location of the proposed edifice that Lim said would benefit on the presence of a government building.
Here’s my column on “My Debate with a De Venecia on the City Hall’s Brouhahas”:
“I told the quite skeptical Dagupan City former Councilor Alex that the mayor said in 2013 that she divested her interest at the corporation thus she is relieved to any anti-corruption case.
“Besides, her signature of the ordinance (for the acceptance of the donation) will be ministerial as she can even refuse to sign it and the ordinance became a law in ten days, you know that as a former dad, or she can even veto the ordinance and the bill still becomes a law after two-third members of the City Council override it,” I told Alex who was a two-term councilor of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (City Council). I explained that the “Voice of the People is the Voice of God” or “Vox Populi Vox Dei” was represented by the council members who empowered the mayor to accept the donation.
Since the issue of the relocation of the city hall is divisive, Alex, a law graduate, said that a referendum is necessary to get the sentiments of the people. I disagreed because it is only lengthy and it’s only an option but not compulsory for the Council as the law did not mandate it”.


September 25, 2017 at 4:55 pm Leave a comment

  Q & A: South Korea continues to give weapons to Ph – Envoy

 Political Columnist Mortz Ortigoza of Northern Watch Newspaper interviewed South Korea Ambassador Kim Jae Shin on the military aid to the Philippines  by the Korean government to fight her enemies, just like what the United States and Japan have been doing.

Ortigoza, a son of a Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (PEFTOK) veteran, inquired in the recent 18th Korean War Veterans Memorial Day at Fort Bonifacio to His Excellency if South Korea would still be as prosperous as today or be as impoverished as North Korea if the Philippines and the 15 nations did not come to her succor in the early 1950s after she was invaded by the Communist North Korea and patron China. Excerpts:

South korean ambassador

Northern Watch Correspondent Mortz Ortigoza interviews South Korea Ambassador Kim Jae Shin in Manila

Mortz C. Ortigoza (MCO): Filipino Korean veterans are decreasing in number. What can you say about their contributions in that war in the early 1950s that Communist North Korea and the Chinese nearly conquered your country?
Ambassador Kim Jae Shin (AMB): Yes we thank the contributions. In the second part as I said earlier the Korean country was happy as put in history the contribution not only (of) the Philippines but the other 15 countries (or a) total (of) 16 countries who sent troops to defend us for democracy. So we always appreciate.
MCO: Without the 16 countries from the United Nations (UN), do you think South Korea now is under the clutches of Communist North Korea?
AMB: No, no. I cannot say that. I think, I mean impossible…


September 25, 2017 at 4:53 pm Leave a comment

CORTEZ: Bakit hindi na kailangan ang Commission on Human Rights?

TULOY ANG KASO KAY PNOY.Tuloy ang laban ni PNoy sa kasong isasampa na sa Sandiganbayan ng Ombudsman. Malinaw daw po na nagkasala si PNoy.
Sabi ng Ombudsman na “clearly the Office found probable cause against President Aquino not simply for having assented to, or at the very least failed to prevent Purisima from committing a violation of Article 177 and Section 3(a) of R.A. No. 3019, but actually for having utilized the services of Purisima for Oplan Exodus while the latter was under preventive suspension, thus, President Aquino’s complicity and influence in the commission of said offenses.” 
Narito pa po ang sabi ng Ombudsman: “while a President of the Republic is certainly possessed with broad discretionary powers, the exercise thereof must not, however, be done in violation of a law or laws, much less when such exercise constitutes a crime.  Every public official and office is expected under the law to fully comply with it, without any form of circumvention, run-around, equivocation or pretense. Obedience to the rule of law forms the bedrock of our system of justice.  A government of laws, not of men, excludes the exercise of broad discretionary powers by those acting under its authority.” 
AFFIRMED NG OFFICE OF THE Ombudsman ang kaso laban kay PNoy sa isyu ng Oplan Exodus kung saan 44 na SAF officers ang napatay at ilang mga sibilyan ang nadamay.
The Ombudsman stated that “President Aquino’s act of utilizing the services of the preventively suspended [Alan] Purisima for Oplan Exodus prior to and during its implementation, despite an OIC PNP Chief having been already designated, caused Purisima to perform under pretense of official position, the acts pertaining to the PNP Chief without being lawfully entitled to do so, in violation of Article 177 of the RPC on Usurpation of Official Functions.”  It added that “President Aquino’s act of utilizing the services of Purisima for Oplan Exodus under the aforesaid circumstances constituted an act of persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform acts constituting a violation of the order of preventive suspension and a commission of usurpation of official functions in violation of Section 3(a) of R.A. No. 3019.”
Bakit kay suspended PNP Chief Purisima inatas ang Oplan Exodus kahit may designated OIC PNP Chief na?
Ang pag gamit ni PNoy kay suspended PNP Chief Purisima ay mali daw po dahil nga under preventive suspension yung tao.
Ang pag ganap naman ni suspenden PNP Chief Purisima sa Oplan Exodus ay ususrpation ng official function ng OIC PNP Chief.
Reckless imprudence, criminal negligence, usurpation of official functions, at graft ang hinaharap ni PNoy.


September 25, 2017 at 4:44 pm Leave a comment

Sual welcomes another power plant

 SUAL, Pangasinan – Residents here welcome the entry of another coal-fired power plant as it would mean hundreds of job opportunities and millions of pesos in additional annual revenues for the municipality.
Mayor Roberto Arcinue cited the previous public  hearings the municipal government held to take the pulse of the public over the proposed plan to put up another power plant in addition to the existing 1,200-megawatt Sual Coal-Fired Power Plant in barangay Pangascasan.

coal power plant

Illustration of a modern coal power plant.

Arcinue said at least six consultation meetings, attended by fishermen, school teachers and officials, barangay leaders and residents, womenfolk, Sangguniang Bayan members, cooperatives, and local and national government employees, were conducted to discuss the establishment of a second power plant. The mayor said: “Nobody expressed opposition to the plant.”

Aside from providing hundreds of jobs and millions in extra revenues, a second power plant would ensure stable power supply that is conducive to economic progress and sustainable growth, he added.
“With stable and cheaper  electricity we will be able to invite more investors to put up projects and business ventures in Sual and anywhere else in Pangasinan that would mean more jobs and income for our people,” Mayor Arcinue stressed.
The mayor said he is currently holding talks with a multi-national company which expressed interest in putting up a state-of-the –art coal power plant in Sual that could produce 1,000 megawatts.
He said the proposed power plant project dovetails with his vision and that of the provincial government led by Gov. Amado Espino III to transform the municipality of Sual into an “Energy City.”
In November last year,  the Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed a resolution identifying the municipality of Sual as such, the energy hub of Pangasinan.
Endowed with a clean and deep blue sea and having been declared as a special economic zone, Sual has become an apple of the eye of several big-ticket investors ranging from power plant and petro-chemical operators to ship-repair and airport companies.

September 18, 2017 at 6:21 am Leave a comment

EDITORIAL:  Kailan titigil ang bangayan ng mga opisyal ng Dagupan City?

Lalo yatang sumisidhi ang bangayan ng mga opisyal ng Dagupan City sa grupo ni Mayor Belen T. Fernandez at Vice Mayor Brian Lim. Ito ay nag-ugat sa planong paglilipat ng City Hall sa pook ng Pantal-Lucao na kung saan dito rin itatayo ang ” government center”. Ang aksyong ito ng pamahalaan sa ilalim ni Mayor Fernandez ay naaayon sa bagong Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) at Zoning Ordinance na aprubado ng Regional Development Council (RDC) at Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).

Sa panig ng grupo ni Vice Mayor Lim, hindi raw dapat na ilipat ang City Hall dahil magiging malayo ito sa mga Dagupeño, tataas ng pamasahe at ang makikinabang diumano ay ang pamilya ni Mayor Fernandez na may mga ari-arian malapit sa plinaplanong “government center”. Ayon sa kanila, ito ay isang anyo ng kurapsyon dahil sa “conflict of interest.”

Dahil sa maugong na pagtuligsa sa CLUP, Zoning Ordinance at ang paglipat ng city hall, minarapat ng Committees on Land Utilization, and Laws, Ordinances and Judiciary ng Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) na pinamumunuan ni Councilor Joey Tamayo na magsagawa ng pandinig publiko (public hearing) para matuldukan na ang mga sigalot tungkol dito. Nanaig ang boses ng karamihang Dagupeño. Pinapayagan nila ang mga bagong plano ng pamahalaan ng Dagupan City, at ito ay nakapaloob sa ulat ng nasabing Committee. Dahil dito, inilabas na rin ng SP ang Ordinance No.0-608, na kumakatig sa paglilipat ng city hall at pagsasagawa ng “government center.”

Ang “government center” ay may kabuuang 25,000 metro kuadrado at may kaukulang badyet na P500 milyon, na uutangin ng pamahalaan ng Dagupan City. Ayon kay Mayor Fernandez, ito ay taliwas sa sinasabi ng kampo ni Vice Mayor Lim na aabot sa P1 bilyon, at ito ay dadaan pa sa pagsusuri ng Department of Finance (DoF) na kung may kakayahan at kapasidad ang lungsod na mangutang. (more…)

September 18, 2017 at 6:19 am Leave a comment

DEATH OF THREE IN SAN NICOLAS ‘Encounter’’not ‘massacre’ -police

By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

LINGAYEN- The Pangasinan Provincial Police Office (PPPO) here belied news reports circulating on social media and mainstream media  that the victims in San Nicolas during a reported encounter in San Nicolas last August 25, were civilians and not New People’s Army (NPA) guerillas. 

Police Chief Inspector Norman Florentino, Acting Chief of Provincial Community Relations Board and PPPO spokesperson, clarified in a telephone interview, that the encounter that killed Marcello Perico, 46, of Cauayan City, Isabela, Arturo Galvez, 60, of Ilagan, Isabela, and Crisologo Alambra, 60, of Lupao, Nueva Ecija was a legitimate and legal operation of the Pangasinan Public Safety Command (PPSC), based in Tayug town.

The body of another victim Thelma Albano, 67, common -law wife of Galvez was discovered only last August 30 in San Nicolas town.

“We have already presented the evidence regarding the matter in one of our press conferences. Now, if they are disputing our reports, they should file and bring complaints to a proper forum, not on social media or other media outlets. We will maintain our position that it was a clash with NPAs,” Florentino said.

The clarification was made by Florentino after news reports came out that the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-Pangasinan through its spokesperson Eco Dangla claimed that the incident was a “massacre” and that the victims are not NPA guerillas, but  “treasure hunters” and “senior citizens”.

Recall that PO2 Aries Tamondong of Regional Public Safety Batallion (RPSB) was killed in action during a clash with the communist rebels in San Nicolas last July 28.

September 18, 2017 at 6:15 am Leave a comment

MAGANES: Declaring drug-free municipalities and cities, a boon or bane?

 vir maganesPangasinan Provincial Police Office (PPPO) has targeted that by December 31 this year, all municipalities and cities in the province would have been declared drug free. At present, there are one city and five municipalities that have been declared as drug free- Agno, Dasol, Laoac, San Nicolas, Sto. Tomas, and Alaminos City, out of 44 municipalities and four cities in the province. This means that the leadership of Philippine National Police (PNP) in Pangasinan will work doubly hard to attain its goal.

Under the Operation Double Barrel Reloaded- OPlan Tokhang and OPlan High Value Targets (HVT) on war against illegal drugs, there are more or less 20,000 drug users and pushers in Pangasinan who already surrendered to police authorities. These surrenderers were turned over to municipal/city governments for them to conduct Community Rehabilitation Program/Moral Recovery Program through their designated chaplains. The PNP monitors the development of the surrenderers through home visitations and follow ups whether they are attending the required sessions of the said program.

In declaring a municipality or city as drug free, the Municipal/City Drug and Abuse Councils will pass a resolution to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) that will in turn affirm that the municipality or city could already be declared drug free. This will be a tedious process for this needs proper evaluation, validation, which will lead to an issuance of certification by the PDEA. However, what is the guarantee that the drug surrenderers in villages (barangays) have not returned to their old habits of using drugs? What is the guarantee also that the declared municipalities and cities as drug free are already devoid of drug users, pushers and HVTs? (more…)

September 18, 2017 at 6:13 am Leave a comment

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