Posts filed under ‘News’


© 2018 Willie Lomibao Images

COULD IT BE MAGIC. These 20 pretty and talented girls pose before members of the press during the press presentation on April
11 at the MCO Events Center, during which the Darling of the Press was selected. The magic moment will be on May 12 at the
Calasiao Sports Complex when Miss Magic will be crowned. Miss Magic, a beauty pageant sponsored by the Magic Group


April 19, 2018 at 11:54 pm Leave a comment

Cooking, serving ‘lugaw’ is vote buying- Comelec

By Yolanda Sotelo

DAGUPAN CITY – Cooking and serving porridge on the eve of election day, ferrying voters, and wearing color-coded shirts by the candidates on election day, are all violations of election laws, an election officer said.

Marino Salas, Pangasinan provincial election supervisor, said serving soup, arrozcaldo and porridge (lugaw) on the night before election day, is a form of vote-buying, and is punishable by law, as vote buying does not only involve money but indirect means.

On the eve of election day, cauldrons full of porridges and other soups are seen along the roads in most villages in Pangasinan.  The cooking is done right in the open where residents discuss the hottest issue of the day – elections and the candidates.

Cooking and eating is done until wee hours before election day, and those who want to partake of the hot meal can help themselves.

Rice, chicken and pasta are of course, “donated” by the candidates for barangay and Sanguniang Kabataan posts, and the “cooks” and “servers” are their supporters.

“It makes for happy moments as we share the soup or arrozcaldo. It calms our nerves and staves off  jitters as we face election day,” a supporter of candidate for barangay chairman, said.

The practice however, while innocent-looking, is a form of vote-buying, Salas said, “comparable to directly giving money and promising accommodations by the candidates should they win.

Also a form of vote-buying is the “libreng sakay ”or ferrying of voters from their residence to the voting centers.

This is especially true if the vehicles used are barangay service vehicles, with the officials using them in the guise of public service.

Salas said the Commission on Elections has asked the police not to allow the barangay officials to “lend” the barangay service vehicles to the candidates.

But even the use of private vehicles is prohibited, he said.

Then there’s the use of color-coded shirts, or shirts that candidates use to identify them and their team during the campaign period.

Salas said the candidates usually adopt a color for their shirts and print them with their names as a “campaign material.”

“Using the shirts of same color which identifies them, even if not printed with their names, is still a form of campaigning is not allowed during the election day. For instance, a team used pink shirts with their names during the campaign period. They are not allowed to use pink shirts on election day,” he explained.

Salas said as of present, no barangay or town has been listed under election watchlist  areas (EWA),  but the Comelec expects that conflict would arise in many barangays because the “playground” of candidates is small.

The police and army reported “zero” barangay under EWA, he said, “but I cautioned them, once the filing of certificates of candidacy is over, the political climate would change because only then would the candidates will be known.”

“Let us remember that in barangay elections, the areas where the candidates will campaign is small, and most of the time, they are relatives or neighbors so the atmosphere heats up because they always see each other in their place,” Salas said.

Another reason is the barangay elections is held after many years and will precede the national elections which will be held next year.

“Barangay elections are usually held after national elections, but now the situation is reversed. But we asked the barangay candidates not to be partisan,” he said.


April 19, 2018 at 11:49 pm Leave a comment

Battle royal for race in Dagupan’s biggest barangay

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

 DAGUPAN CITY – Expect a battle royal in this most populated village here after majority of the Barangay Council’s members and a very influential person endorsed their bet that will challenge the formidable long reigning incumbent Bonuan Gueset Punong Barangay Ricardo C. Mejia.

bumanlag mejia

ONE-ON-ONE – Barangay Bunoan Gueset’s bets for the May 14 Village Chief’s poll. (From left) Nelson Bumanglag and  Ricardo Mejia.

 The source, who asked for anonymity, said he was part of the meeting of the mentioned personalities when they met last Tuesday to map out the candidacy for the village chief of Nelson Bumanglag.

Bumanglag is the brother- in- law of this city’s mayor Belen T. Fernandez.

Those in the closed door meeting at the house of Bumanglag  were Barangay Bonuan Gueset’s Council Members Ramil Soy and David Raquindin, Fred Ramos,  former Council Member Albert Gregorio, and others.

“Majority ng members ng mga kagawad kay Noel na!” the source quipped.

Those who supported Mejia are Kagawad Sonny “Banjo” Vidal Manuel, Ferdinand Soy, and Segundino “Durong” Ayson.

But former Barangay Chairman Angel Gumarang disputed the information given to this paper by the source.

After reading the article posted at the internet, he said only Manuel and Nan Soy will go for Mejia while Councilmen Ramil Soy, Ramos, Raguindin, Ayson, and Renato Castres will support Bumanlag.

He said Raguindin and Susette Pal who were rumored to challenge Mejia on May 14 poll have been prevailed over by the camp of Bumanlag to forego their plan.

Gumarang however said it would not be a one-on-one contest between Mejia and Bumanlag as he will be filling his candidacy for the chairmanship anytime of the day before the April 20 deadline.

The former barangay chairman, the adviser of Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs Martin Dino, tangled but lost to Mejia in a tightly contested race in 2010 and 2013 village elections.

In a latest development of this news, Gumarang told this paper he would no longer reclaim his post and would rather support Bumanglag.

Bonuan Gueset is the most populated barangay here with 13,000 voters that account for 13.6% of the city’s population.


April 19, 2018 at 11:43 pm Leave a comment

Heavy traffic looms when SM opens in May – Bobom

 By Mortz C. Ortigoza

URDANETA CITY – Commuters here will be met by heavy traffic on May 4 when the new SM City Urdaneta Central opens, according to Mayor Amadeo Gregorio E. Perez IV.

“That is expected,” he said.

The two-storey, 32,882 square meter SM edifice sprawled on a five-hectares lot along Manila North Road in Barangay Nancayasan, is just a stone throw away from another giant retail store CB Mall.

The other SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SMPH) building that hit a legal snag is the bigger SM City Urdaneta City. (more…)

April 19, 2018 at 11:41 pm Leave a comment

Kapitan’s work is never done 

By Yolanda Sotelo

DAGUPAN CITY – Its a 15 hours a day, everyday, work for Bonuan Gueset  Kapitan Ricardo Mejia, who stays at the barangay hall from 5:30 in the morning until 8:00 in the evening.

“That is every day, including Sundays and holidays, except when there are important occasions to attend,” Mejia said, the chairman of the city’s (and Pangasinan’s) biggest village in terms of voters.

Mejia has been serving as Kapitan for a total of 26 years (1989-2007 and 2010-present) and will seek reelection in May for his last term.

“Maybe it’s in the blood,” Mejia said on his decision to serve his barangay instead of pursuing the fishpond and the consignacion (fish wholesale) businesses that he started in his younger years. He is the third generation in the family that held the position –starting with his grandfather Ireneo and his father Natalio.

“It’s not all about power,” he said of being kapitan of the barangay which has the biggest budget in the city at P16 million annually. “You should be a leader and while you have to show toughness at times, this should be balanced with kindness.”

Despite the 24/7 work and the minimal allowance, Mejia said being a kapitan gives fulfillment “especially when I am able to solve marital problems,” and “when I am able to help drug users turn from their illegal activities.”

Barangay kapitans have their own little fiefdoms, said Melinda Boada, city officer of the Department of Interior and Local Government.

They head the three branches of government in their villages – executive, legislative and judiciary, and are thus “more powerful” than the mayor who only heads the executive branch, she said.

They also control the barangay budget which comes from their share of Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA), real property tax, payment of clearances and certificates, garbage collection fees and aid from the city government.

“But they cannot just dip their fingers into their coffers as they need vouchers to withdraw money and are audited by the Commission on Audit,” Boada said.

For their executive function, kapitans oversee the implementation of development programs which include social services, health and nutrition, waste management, day care and Sanguniang Kabataan programs and projects.  They also implement infrastructure projects which are financed from 20 percent of the barangay’s IRA share.

The barangays also pass their own ordinances and can collect fines from violators, such as not allowing pet owners to let their pets stray along the roads.

Mejia said mostly however, the barangay implements ordinances passed by the city council.

It is the judicial function that consumes a large amount of time of kapitans, being the head of the Lupong Tagapamayapa which holds court every Saturday. The cases include oral defamation, unsettled debts, alarm and scandal, physical injuries and marital conflicts.

“This is stressful because you have to hear and balance both sides. Sometimes it is the offenders who reports first, thinking the judgment would be in their favor. But we investigate and get neutral witnesses,” he said.

“We hear at least ten problems every Saturday, with each case heard on three consecutive Saturdays. If we are unable to solve the issue, we endorse them to the Pangkat Tagapagsundo which would mediate between the two parties,” Mejia said.

Kapitans are also tasked to solve issues between neighbors and even family members, which do not need to go to the Lupong Tagapamayapa. This is done on the day the complainants come to the barangay hall.

As a “judge,” Media said kapitans cannot always apply “books” or “laws” created by men. “Maraming pilosopo,” he rued, “thus we have use the Bible to counsel them.”

But for all the stress, workload and low pay (Mejia gets P24,000 allowance monthly, the highest in Dagupan), many persons still scramble for the position.

“Basically, it is still service that is main motive. At least that is the reason they tell me,” Boado said. “The position is difficult with the kapitans dipping into their pockets when budget runs out. They even use their honorarium when a poor constituent asks for medicine money and other needs. They are also in charge of meals for visitors and whenever the barangays have activities.”

The DILG holds series of conferences and trainings for newly elected kapitans – first of which is a briefing on the Local Government Code so they would know their responsibilities. Then trainings on capability building, planning and budgeting come next.

“They are cooperative and are excited to know their powers and functions. At first, they get overwhelmed by the bulk of work that awaits them but later, they enjoy and usually want to go into their third term,” Boada said.

“First termers” usually win “because perhaps the barangay residents want a change in leadership,” Boada said.

But how do they win the second and third terms?

“You have to show the community that you have no hidden agenda. Being a kapitan should not be a power trip, it’s a lot of hard work and you should get the residents’ cooperation or the community will be paralyzed,” Mejia said.


April 19, 2018 at 11:31 pm Leave a comment

MAGANES: Baiting the loyalty of village candidates in the Barangay and SK elections

By May 14, all barangays in the country will have their new set of officials including that of the Sangguniang Kabataan. The elections, which have been moved twice by the Congress, will push through amid the attempt of the House of Representatives to postpone it again. However, there was a deadlock on such attempt when the Senate House did not file a counterpart bill for its postponement.

vir maganes

We are now witnessing a new era of electoral reforms at the village levels. However, there are still many politicians who are using this electoral exercise as their tool to perpetuate themselves in power. While barangay officials are supposed to be non- partisan, there are politicians who are baiting their loyalties. We are now witnesses how local politicians- governors, representatives, mayors, vice mayors, etc. are consolidating their forces to come up with slates of barangay candidates to support, which to me is not a healthy attempt for reforms in the villages. Why not let the village candidates run individually in order for village people to elect candidates who they think will best serve them. (more…)

April 19, 2018 at 11:27 pm Leave a comment

EDITORIAL :  Ang mga pagbabago sa PNP  

 Malapit ng matapos ang pagpapalawig sa termino ni Police Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa sa Abril 30. May bago ng pamunuan ang Philippine National Police (PNP) sa katauhan ni General Oscar Albayalde na naging kaklase rin ni Dela Rosa sa Philippine Military Academy (PMA). Si Albayalde ay nangakong ipagpapatuloy niya ang mga reporma sa PNP lalo na ang pagpapatupad ng Operation Double Barrel Reloaded na nakapaloob dito ang Oplan Tokhang at Oplan High Value Target (HVT).

 Sa ilalim ng pamumuno ni Dela Rosa sa PNP, maraming pagbabago ang naisagawa bagamat hindi lingid sa atin ang mga tuligsa sa kanya tungkol sa “ extra judicial killings” na kaakibat sa pagpapatupad ng digmaan laban sa iligal na droga. Ang PNP sa ngayon ay mas malinis ang panunungkulan. Maraming “rogue at scalawag” na mga pulis na tinanggal sa serbisyo. Mas ligtas na ang bawat Filipino sa kanilang mga bahay at paglalakbay dahil ang mga pamunuan ng mga pulis sa mga lalawigan, siyudad at bayan ay aktibo sa pagpapatupad ng mapayapa at maayos na pamayanan. (more…)

April 19, 2018 at 11:18 pm Leave a comment

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