Lunes, Abril 23, 2018

The “Luck” brought by 18th of April for candidates

 By Mortz C. Ortigoza

MANGALDAN – Candidates for the May 14 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan  Elections (BSKE) all over the country brave the scorching summer sun and the inconveniences of a long queue just to file their Certificate of Candidacy (COC) at the offices of the Commission on Election because of the magic brought by April 18.
Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan Mayor Carlito Zaplan and Sual, Pangasinan Mayor Roberto Arcinue said that candidates in the 44 towns and four towns’ Pangasinan province observe this superstition since time immemorial.

LUCK - Candidates for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Election (BSKE) in Mangaldan, Pangasinan scramble inside the limited space of the Election Registrar of the Commission of Election in the Central Pangasinan’s town because of the supposed luck brought by 8 in April 18. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
Both chief executives said the Comelec offices in their towns were jam packed with scrambling zealots.
Punong Barangay (Barangay Chief) Alicia Velasquez of Pogo this town cited that the April 18 mad rushed at the Comelec was phenomenal in the entire country.

“Pataas e, saka itong araw na ito araw na pinakamatigas,” Dante Enriquez Cera, a seasoned radio commentator who vied for re-election for the Sangguniang Barangay (Village Legislative Body) of Banaoang of this burgeoning town, cited.
He said that the diagonal and curve lines of ocho or “8” in 18 goes up to the end point.
He cited that April 15 brings luck too to bets because the singko or “5” has an upper end tip point.
The filling of CoC started last April 14 and ended at 5 pm of April 21.
According to, 8 is the great Karmic equalizer, a force that just as easily creates as it destroys. When the 8 comes knocking, you can be assured that you will reap what you have sown. The 8 balances the material and immaterial worlds. At its best, it is as spiritual as it is materialistic.

Deo Lopez, a radio reporter, cited that “20” just like “18” gave lucks to candidates because of the circle around “0”.

Punong Barangay Velasquez said, like what Cera explained, that the last digit 8 has its diagonal and curve lines.
“This is different because of 18,” she said in Pangasinense.
She compared the sluggish influx of candidates last April 16 to the wild hurry of bets in April 18.
Velasquez brought her entire ticket of seven bets for the council while her opponent and his entire ticket had filled their candidacies in April 16.
When asked that they will lose because the “16” in April has no significane versus the “18” in April, Velasquez chuckled and differed.

“ Ha ha ha, depende sa kagustuhan ni Lord”.

The Lord she mentioned was the Powerful Lord Almighty’s King of the Universe who is worshipped by the Christian World and not the illegal number Jueteng Lords in 44 towns and 4 cities’ Pangasinan province who are worshipped by politicians because of their propensity to give huge financial supports to some bets for a chance to win the poll.
Comelec records in Pangasinan say that there were a total of 1,276 and 8, 991 candidates who filed their COCs for the village's top post and the Sangguniang Barangay (SB), respectively on April 18.
Meanwhile, there were 1,132 and 8, 188 bets that filled for the Punong Barangay and SB posts, respectively, for April 14 to 17.
For the SK, there were 651 and 2,426 candidates who filed their COCs for the youth body’s top post and council membership, respectively on the April 18 while 788 and 2,653 submitted their COCs for the SK Chairmanship and Council’s post, respectively, four days prior to  April 18.

Punong Barangay bet Salvador Visperas de Guzman of Amansabina cited what he read on the Lunario (Lunar Calendar) that “16” and “18” were the luckiest numbers in the six days filing of CoC’s period.

NARCS TEST - Bets for the Punong Barangay (Village Chief) and Sangguniang Barangay (Village Legislative Body) wait for the result of their drug test as they converged to the gymnasium of Lingayen, Pangasinan to be included in the test as the police warned those non-cooperative candidates that they would be monitored for any narcotics related activities. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA

“Para sa akin din maganda ang 16 kaso kabilugan ng buwan. Maganda rin kaso marami doon ang negatives na nandoon. 16 to 18 maganda. 20 not maganda”.
But there are non-believers on this superstition that became a practice of Filipinos since the Spanish colonization of the country centuries ago.

“Wala, superstitious belief on the number, the belief!” Maryknoll Pangan Soriano, a Bachelor of Laws graduate, who ran for the chairmanship of Barangay Tebag here, declared.
When egged why she still filed with her ticket and not on the following day of April 19, she said most of her bets felt better to file simultaneously on the 18th.

De Guzman who understands the nuances of the Lunario and astrological signs, was skeptical however about his Wednesday or April 18 filling of his CoC despite comprehensively reading the Calendar. What concerned him was the dilemma he faces against the financial juggernaut of Ramon Mejia, the brother of Dr. Roland Mejia, the Director of the Region-1 Medical Center (R1MC), in Barangay Amansabina.
Director Mejia is dubbed as the Medical Czar in the humongous province and was rumored to aid the mayoralty candidate of this town in the May 9, 2016 election.
De Guzman also lamented the desertion of his two bets for the council to the camp of his rival.
“Nabili ang dalawang member ng slate ko”.
He said he would be enmeshed in a three-cornered fight for the Kapitan’s post in his village.

BROADCASTERS: Dagupan City radio based broadcasters Dante Enriquez Cera and Deo Lopez explained the importance of the Lucky 8 in April 18 why they have to shove and jostle with other candidates to beat the date in filling their Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for the elective post of the village legislative body. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA

Punong Barangay candidate Dante Paragas, a former aid of then Lingayen Mayor Jonas Castaneda, said he and his ticket motored for more than an hour at early dawn last Wednesday to the miraculous Our Lady of Manaoag Church in Manaoag town, Pangasinan for the real Lord’s blessing, went to the Comelec in the capital town’s Lingayen at 8:30 am on the same day and joined the sea of bets that wiggled in to submit their CoC to the officials there.
“We finally submitted our C.O.Cs at 6:30 pm. It was tough inserting ourselves, but we have to file it on the 18th of April,” he stressed.
With the Almighty’s blessing in Manaoag and the luck April 18 gave him and his ticket, he said his party is a force to reckon versus his two opponents who did not file on the 18th.

In the 2013 village poll, he lost and had a fall-out with then Mayor Castaneda because the latter supported the incumbent village chief and ignored him despite his being a faithful gofer to the mayor for countless of years by running errands and driving his Sports Utility Vehicle.

 (You can read my selected columns at and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at

Time to tease JV, Bam overtakes him in Senate's Polls

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

When I asked early this year reelectionist Senator Jayvee Ejercito, the son of a former President, about his take on the poor political poll’s stock of reelectionist Senator Bam Aquino on the December 2017 Social Weather Station’s senatorial preference, he retorted with a guffaw: “Iyon ang may malaking problema!”

 He referred to the poor performance of Aquino on the survey despite being in the Top 20 of the 12 senators needed to win so they can be in the August Chamber for the 2019 -2025's term of office.

 Image may contain: 15 people, people smiling

Ejercito and Aquino were numbers 11 and X ( did not give the rank), respectively, on that survey.

How a P5M funds transformed an SK Prexy into a BM

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

Now that the Sangguniang Kabataan (Youth) Election is included in the May 14 Barangay Sangguniang Kabataan Election (BSKE), does it mean that the poll should be insulated from the maneuvering of the moneyed politicians and the parents of these candidates who compete for the presidency and membership in the  Pederasyon ng  Sangguniang Kabataan or Council.
For the uninitiated, a winning SK President can become an ex-officio councilor of a town or a non-component city and becomes an ex-officio Board Member of the province.
Image result for vote buying philippines

The position as lawmaker commands the same respect, emoluments, and pork barrel distribution from the power- that- be in the province.
The parents and politicians zealously bankroll and see their bets win so they can either becomes a councilor or a board member and “flaunt” the “Honorable” title appended before their names.
Here’s how monies played a role for the victory of these bets:

Sabado, Marso 31, 2018

May 14 Brgy Election, Vote Buying Inevitable

 By Mortz C. Ortigoza

Without the Senate’s counterpart bill for the postponement of the village poll, the barangay and SK (Youth) election in May 14 this year is inevitable.
"Tapos na ang Senado, tapos na ang Kongreso. Wala na kami, e (inaudible). Tapos na iyong barangay election," Senator Cynthia Villar told me when I asked her last Friday about the absence of the counterpart bill from the Upper House and Congress already in recess and will be back into business a day before the poll.
Everybody will be happy as of April this year. Ingratiation and vote buying by the candidates for the village chiefs, the council members, and even the parents of the SK or Sangguniang Kabataan will be ubiquitous in every nook and cranny of the country.Image result for bARangay election vote buying
A first class town mayor told me that he will interfere by funding the candidacy of his village chiefs despite the monies given by his rivals to those barangay kapitans.

2019 Polls will be costly in this place

 By Mortz C. Ortigoza

The 2019 local election will be costly for some candidates running for election and reelection in the 44 towns and three cities’ province of Pangasinan, a town mayor cited.
The mayor, who asked anonymity, said a gubernatorial aspirant needs about half-a-billion pesos just to buy votes to ingratiate from the voters and the mayors.
“Ilagay mo Five Million Pesos allocation sa 44 town mayors, that will be P220 million. How about the five million pesos for each of the 44 towns where the candidate will buy votes? That will be another P220 million. How much will be the total expenses? A staggering P440 million!” he cited.
Image result for  philippines pesos banks
A bag that contains millions of pesos used by a
 politician to buy votes in the Philippines.

He said the almost half – a-billion price tag will not be enough to effectively clinch the provincial diadem, he needs another hundreds of millions to have an edge in a poll where wherewithal counts as the silver bullet.

Biyernes, Marso 23, 2018

The General Who Saved Mindanao

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

Former Army General Fortunato Abat, a warrior of the Mindanao Campaign versus the Moro, died at 7 p.m of March 7, 2018 at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC).

“The Day We Nearly Lost Mindanao” was a book authored by then Army Commanding General Abat.

My father was assigned in Cotabato City during this conflict in the middle of the 1970s and he narrated to me how they called the Northrop F-5 combat jets from Mactan Air Base to drop napalm bombs against the Libyan government backed  Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) under the leadership of Nur Misuari, a former University of the Philippines' professor, to deter them in conquering Cotabato City.
WARRIORS - Army Commanding General Fortunato Abat accepts the surrender of a Muslim
rebel's commander  and his battle scarred warriors. 
Photo Credit: General Allan Luga
According to the March 1973 issue of the Far Eastern Economic Review, the first shipment of firearms, courtesy of Libya’s Strongman Muammar Qaddafi and Sulu born Sabah State Minister Tun Datu Haji Mustapha, landed in December 1972 at the town of Lebak in Cotabato province. Boats, each powered with three Volvo-Penta 170 engines, brought in Belgian made Cal 7.62 rifles, anti-personnel mines, grenades of the cylindrical unserrated type, plastic explosives, Cal 30 LMG, Browning carbines, Cal 30 Mis and several thousand rounds of ammunition to Cotabato and other landing sites regularly for the next fourteen months.

Pres. Digong should kill those corrupt NFA officials

Do you know that a poor Filipino nuclear family of seven, yes seven because the poor here ironically breed like rabbit, as based on my conversation with some destitutes, contend themselves with a kilo of rice that they mixed with patis (salted fish sauce) or bagoong (anchovies), HesusMariaHusef, to survive the daily grind?
Because of abject poverty many of them forget what viand is all about. Their grown up children could not even spell V-I-A-N-D because malnutrition sapped out their intellectual ability.
When then presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte stumped the provinces and cities, the great unwashed saw the light of hope at the other end of the tunnel when the firebrand candidate promised a P15 kilos of rice to the poor ( June 17, 2016).
When Duterte failed to make true his promise, the poor put their trust on the P27 a kilo of the staple courtesy of stocks from the government run National Food Authority.
But that price is still a pipe dream son of a gun! 
Despite the bumper harvest from the farmers and the available funds from the National Food Authority to buy a kilo of palay at P17, the P27 a kilo of rice in the market is still elusive, thanks but no thanks to the miscreants at the NFA who conspired with the wheeler dealing traders by mixing the cheap staple and sell it from P37 to P45 a kilo.
 The impoverished who trembled with starvation at corner could not comprehend what hit them.