Biyernes, Disyembre 8, 2017

Bad, Good News sa Ekonomiya ng Pinas

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

Ang Pilipinas at Indonesia na daw ngayon ang may pinaka maraming mahihirap sa ASEAN 10 ayon sa United Nation Development Program (UNDP) na sinulat sa Philippine Star.
Ang ASEAN 10 ay kinabibilangan ng Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, and Laos.
Mantakin ninyo ba naman sa declaration ng UNDP pati si Laos na matagal ng panahon na laos sa kahirapan tinalo at nila-os na niya now si Pinas sa dami ng mahihirap, anak ng bakang dalaga!
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Glaring Poverty in the Philippines. Photo Credit: RC
Ang dahilan kung bakit dumami ang mahirap sa bansa natin ay dahil lumubo ang population natin sa 103.3 million noong 2016 (World Bank), iyon ang sumaling kaagad sa isip ko noong binabasa ko ang news article.
Parang rabbit kasi ang Pinoy pag nanganganak! Tapos kung sino pa ang pobre iyon pa iyong madaming anak. Sobrang fertile naman ni tatay at ni nanay – rabbit nga!

Pero noong kino-compute ko ang figures ng population ng mga selected na bansa sa ASEAN 10 mukhang mali ang computation ng UNDP na mas maraming mahirap sa Pilipinas kung ikumpara natin ang Per Capita Income versus sa Laos.

Linggo, Disyembre 3, 2017


Air Force Combat Pilot Captain Monessa Catuncan, whose parents were originally from Pasay City and Olongapo City, was featured by the Asian Journal for her remarkable achievements as an F-16 fighter pilot that brought pride and honor to both the U.S. and the Philippines.

The brainy and beauteous Catuncan is the youngest daughter of Filipino immigrants Mr. & Mrs. Ramon Catuncan, now of Mesquite, Texas.

Even in her early years in school, Monessa excelled in academics, graduating valedictorian in a class of 693 in Mesquite High School in Texas in 2000.

She later passed the rigid entrance examinations given by the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs also that year and graduated as one of the top student-pilots in her class in 2004. Photo and Text Credit:

UH-OH, THE LADY IS A SCOUT RANGER, PMYER AND A DAUGHTER OF A HERO - FOOT SOLDIER'S ACCOUNT: "Lt. Jing Forrosuelo, anak ng Medal of Valor awardee namin sa Ranger na si late Sgt. Claudio Forrosuelo. Walong taong gulang pa lang si Jing ng mamatay sa opening salvo ng all-out war sa Mindanao nung 2000. Leading team ang kanyang Papa sa unang salpukan ng MILF versus Rangers sa Maguindanao. Naipit sila sa harap at ang kanilang buong battalion ay kailangang mag reposition para mas maayos ang laban.

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Lieutenant Jing Forrosuelo (PMA Class 2014)
Photo and Text Credit: Philippine Army Scout Rangers
Malalagasan lang kasi sila ng madami kung di maka reposition ang unit. Nag volunteer si late Sgt. Claudio Forrosuelo na mag paiwan ang buong team niya para lang maka maneuver ang tropa nila. Alam niyang mamamatay ang buong team niya sa dami ng kalaban. Pero nag desisyon sila na magpaiwan para mabuhay lang mga kasama nila. Nag hold- the-line sina late Forrosuelo hanggang maubusan ng bala at ma over run sila ng kalaban. Namatay silang pito na magkakasama pero nailigtas nila ang mga kasama nila. Sa bilib ni Jing kay Papa niya, sumunod siya sa yapak niya. Nag graduate siya sa PMA Class 2014 at mas matindi pa, sumali sa First Scout Ranger Regiment, ang unit ng Papa niya. Happy birthday ulit Jing!"

Sabado, Disyembre 2, 2017

Unlike Filipinos, Vietnamese don’t shoot Pinoy Fishermen

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

When the Presidential Management Staff told us media men that President Rodrigo Duterte would visit Sual, Pangasinan at 3 pm today to send off the five Vietnamese sea poachers arrested last September (the other two were shot to death by the cocky men of our Philippine Navy), I told Ruel Camba, newspaper editor and broadcaster, we leave Dagupan City at 10:30 am so we could hobnob with his PR client Sual Mayor Roberto “Bing” Arcinue.

When we arrived at the mayor’s cozy office inside the swanky multi-million pesos huge town hall (the first class coastal town has P311 million annual appropriation funds this year, thanks to the coal power plant that pays P100 million taxes annually), Vietnamese Ambassador to the Philippines Ly Quoc Tuan and his Military Attaché’, that I assumed a colonel despite a three-star on his shoulder board insignias, were exchanging pleasantries with the hizzoner.
Author pressed flesh with Vietnamese Ambassador to the Philippines Ly Quoc Tuan during the visit  Wednesday of President Rodrigo Duterte in Sual, Pangasinan.

When Kuya Bing called me and Ruel to join the Vietnamese dignitaries in their lunch with sinigang na malaga, egado, pork giniling, adobo, and others I told His Excellency Tuan that I was a lover of the Vietnamese history.
"My idol is General Vo Nguyen Giap, he defeated the French in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and the Americans in March 1973,” I cited.
I told Ruel that French Colonel Christian de Castries, commander of the mountainous Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam, put six satellite fortresses he allegedly named from his seven mistresses Huguette, Claudine, Dominique, Anne-Marie, Beatrice, Gabrielle, and Isabelle.
The defeat of the French that was concluded in those trench battles reminiscent of World War 1 humiliated France and ended her colonization of that Indochina country that saw the intervention of the superpower United States that dragged the war till early of 1970s.
Giap, a former journalist, was the military leader in Vietnam for more than 30 years and is regarded as one of the greatest military strategists ever. According to He: 1) led the Viet Minh in the critical stages of war against France; 2) was the strategist behind Dien Bien Phu; 3) helped create the Ho Chi Minh trail; 4) built up the North Vietnamese army; 5) lead the North Vietnamese forces Viet Cong in the war against the United States; and 6) masterminded the Tet Offensive that became the last straw of the U.S involvement in that sorry but proud country.
Son of a gun, Vietnam should be proud as it overtook last year the Philippines in snaring billions of U.S dollars in hosting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the ASEAN 10 where the Philippines was even named by World Bank to have the most poor people compared to Cambodia and Laos - not the real la-os in the vernacular but the real country near Vietnam.
After President Duterte,  Ly Quoc Tuan, and government officials sent off to their sea vessel the five poachers who would be sailing from Sual to Vietnam for several days, I saw 15 minutes later the Ambassador standing alone at one of the corners of the wharf waiting probably for his official limousine.
Your Excellency can you still remember me?” I went to the envoy by using an address that befits his president he represented in this rambunctious country.
“Yah, the guy who loved General Giap!” his eyes lightened up.
After I posed my first two questions to him I saw behind my shoulders national and local television and newspaper reporters and cameramen gathered where one of them Yolly Fuertes of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and this paper threw questions too to Ambassador Ly.
The posers revolved on the Vietnamese boat numbered PY 96173 TS that was caught illegally fishing at the Philippine exclusive economic zone 34 nautical miles off Cape Bolinao in Pangasinan Province from 8:30 pm on September 22 to 1:00 am the following day.
As Philippine Navy vessel's PS19 pursued the six Vietnamese ships that were caught inflagrante delicto using powerful lights to draw fish, one of them tried to obstruct and attack the huge BRP Miguel Malvar.
The crew of PS19 opened fire on the men at PY 96173 TS when they intended to ram the front of the government vessel.
Two Vietnamese fishermen were killed from the volley of fires from the Filipinos while several others were arrested following the incident
Despite the investigation being done by both countries' foreign affairs offices, I asked the ambassador if his country will file a criminal case against the naval men.
Before the eyes of the Filipinos what the Filipino crew had done could either be murder or homicide because of the excessive force they used against your compatriots?” I posed.
“I tell you, this is a relation very very good relation between the two good countries,” he retorted.
He said even Filipino fishermen caught by the Vietnamese authority were not shot at in their territorial sea.
“No, we don’t do the same. We have a lot of Filipino fishermen you know we asked the Embassy of the Philippines in Vietnam to come and to pick and return them home so we have done…” he said.
When I asked him if their navy or coast guard instead shoot those pesky Chinese poachers that violated their territorial sea, this he retorted:
“No, no! We don’t use force”.
Gee whiz, the envoy whose gutsy countrymen who would die by thousands just to kill and defeat the Americans in the Historic Battles of Khe Sanh and Hamburger Hill was telling Mortz Baby that they don’t shoot Filipinos even these Flips shot to death their fellow Vietnamese and that 65-year-old Taiwan fisherman Hung Shih-cheng killed in 2013 by eight trigger happy and machine gun toting members of the Navy at the northern coast of the country near the Taiwan sea.
Before I left I gave him my second issue of our newspaper.
“You have column here?” he asked.
“Ya, at page 5 I talked about the Urban Warfare Battle of Marawi City and its counterpart in Vietnam the 1968 Battle of the City of Hue’ where 17 battalions of U.S Marines, U.S Army and Army Republic of Vietnam fought like hell versus the 10 battalions of Vietcong and the communist People’s Army of Vietnam(PAVN or NVA) who were holed in at the buildings there”.
Even the Yanks and South Vietnamese forces won the Hue’ Battle, the almost 700  Americans who died at the peripheries of Citadel of the City had psychological impacts to the American public in the U.S Mainland that help influenced Uncle Sam to end the insane war that country perpetrated during the Cold War.\


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Lunes, Nobyembre 13, 2017

Army Captain Honors for Exceptional Gallantry, Chivalry


A sergeant told his officer he wanted to save a civilian who was limping because of a gun shot on his leg. The wounded was helpless at the rubbles and wreckage of houses where enemies were hiding, too.
The captain not only granted the request but crawled with him to cover the gunny with fire (in case the bad guys shot at them) as he retrieved the one – leg capable man.
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An armed- to- the- teeth soldier in a war. Photo Credit: Daily Express
The officer was startled after he saw weak, helpless, thirsty, and famished children and women just waiting for miracle to pluck them out to the hellhole the terrorists brought them into.
As the wounded man was carefully hurried up by the sergeant to the military side, the captain wondered why he did not hear a shot of a gun fire against them.
Seeing an opportunity to the extra ordinary gestures of the enemies, he negotiated with them to free the other hostages after they told him they were thirsty and hungry too in a war that saw them running away  for weeks from the gung-ho soldiers backed up by modern military hardware not only provided by their government but with foreign powers.

What urban warfare I was implying here?
A.      Second Battle of Fallujah; B. Second Russian versus Chechen War; C. Battle of Huế  D: None of the Answers

Biyernes, Nobyembre 10, 2017

Father Poises to Throw the Grenades to the Enemies

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

The first time I saw my military father ready to die for the motherland or probably for my mother, I was in Grade 5 in M’lang, Cotabato Province.
He was then on a soldier’s pass when he brought me and my kindergarten brother Gabriel to a rickety worn out wood walled barbershop which, I still remember, was owned by the father of my playmates Stephen and Toto Felipe.The latter, a rugged boy, had fisticuffs with me, but that’s another story.
My father fatigue
My father Retired Air Force Lieutenant Marcelo Cruz Ortigoza, Sr.
Papa was probably the
 most pro- United States’ soldier. When we lived at the Philippine Military Academy, Baguio
 City in the early 1970s I saw him bought and crowed his U.S made fatigue uniform, duffel
bag, charol black shoes, and boots from stores in Quiapo selling Yanks made soldiers’

When we were seating at the worn-out barber couch elevated by small wood boxes to raise our heads, some peasant women running and shouting with their lungs out that the Black Shirts (precursor of the Moro National Liberation Front) were already at the periphery of the Peñaranda Hospital.
The hospital was more than a kilometer away from us.
Immediately my father told the frail looking barber Mr.Felipe to forego our military white style wall haircut (that I detested because I envied the mop haired Beatles) because he had to secure us and promised to return with his weapon and later with us whose side of the heads were already shaved just like those plebes at the Philippine Military Academy where I and my sibling were born.

Huwebes, Nobyembre 9, 2017

Is Our Country Going to the Dogs?

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

Reports say foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow declined middle of this year.
So with a diminishing FDI, is this rambunctious country where people especially the dirt poor, breed like rabbit, going to the dogs?
Arf, arf, arf, no!

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                                                             Overseas Foreign Workers

As long as we have overseas foreign workers (OFW) that grow by three to five percent a year and sent tens of billions of U.S dollars yearly (U.S $28 Billion or P1.4 Trillion last year) because of the incompetency of the political leadership to create employment atmosphere, we will have laborers and electricians that would be building these OFW houses and condominiums, we will have teachers and restaurant owners to serve the college children of these workmen, and we will have salesladies to serve big malls like SM and Robinsons where the OFWs and their family buy their fancy branded clothes and relished themselves with foods at those franchised restaurants there.

Espino Urges: Challenge the De Venecias, Arenases

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

Last Holiday, one of the political kibitzers and my regular blog reader in the province visited me at home and reacted to my previous column I'm Retired in Politics in 2019
HEAVYWEIGHT - Former Five-Time House Speaker Joe de Venecia (left) and Movie and Television Review and Classification Board Chairman Rachel Arenas. Photo Credit: Alchetron
where I opined that former Fifth District Representative Kimi Cojuangco would not seek reelection but her husband Former Congressman Mark challenges again Pangasinan Governor Amado I. Espino III in a very expensive 2019 election.

“My source told me Danding feeling bad about what happened to his son would bankroll his candidacy,”
 I quipped as I extended to him the plate full of Kinilaw na Tuna (Raw  Yellow Fin Tuna) marinated in vinegar and kalamansi with raw strips of radish, cucumber, onions, ginger, bell and native peppers, whatchamacallit I made, Davao City style, after he quaffed his negative 8 Celsius or  zero cold bottle of Red Horse.
I told him that even Cojuangco can still be defeated by the young Espino, it would be Pyrrhic victory.
“You know what Pyrrhic is?

“It’s a victory that inflicts such a devastating toll on the victor that it is equivalent to defeat. One could be victorious but the heavy toll negates a true sense of achievement,“ he retorted.

“Ya, it was about  King Pyrrhus of Epirus  whose army was tragically damaged in defeating the Romans at the Battles of Heraclea and the Asculum hundreds of years ago,” according to the pambalot ng tinapa I accidentally read,”
 I said.
 Fifth District Representative Amado T. Espino, Jr.
Susmariosep, who was that U.S president who quipped after he won his Pyrrhic reelection? "Another victory like this and our money's gone!"

It would be Pyrrhic because unlike the limited wherewithal of Mark in the 2016 “battle”, this coming election would be financially very heavy because the Espinos would be spending too as Danding poured his monies for his son.
Danding Cojuangco is the Chairman of the largest food and beverage corporation in the Philippines San Miguel Corporation.

            WIN-WIN SOLUTION

My friend told me he got not only a formula but a “Solomonic” Solution to avoid this “Down-in-the Trenches” War where both families reconciled and relished just like the old days when they regularly broke breads.
“They talk with each other. Espino would tell Mark, he can run unopposed in the Fifth District and becomes a congressman again with a turf to boot in that Eastern Part while Pogi (the present governor) retains the governorship,” he cited.
He added that both families saved their billions of pesos that they would be spending for the election hungry, vulnerable, and susceptible to you-know-what electorates of the land of Andres Malong and Juan dela Cruz Palaris.
 “Where would (5th District) Congressman (Amado, Jr) Espino run for office? Urdaneta City, Bayambang, or even Alaminos City is too small for his stature comes the day of reckoning in 2019?,” I posed.
He said the solon can make a rampage just like what he did to Kimi Cojuangco by “bludgeoning” her in that mind numbing 133,381 votes  versus Kimi’s 92,943 in the last election in the “vaunted” turf of the Cojuangcos in Eastern Pangasinan.
“He can either run in the Third (Congressional) District or Fourth District”.
I told him that it is an easy win if he runs in the Third versus former Congresswoman Rachel Arenas or her Mother Rosemarie “Baby” Arenas because the Arenases, according to TV Host Jesse Perez, are not real Pangasinenses but Makati City residents.
“And Espine (the endearment for the solon) is dyed-in-wool Pangasinense who naturally speak the vernacular,” I said.
“No, Espino can easily beat any of the de Venecias like former Speaker Joe, former Congresswoman Manay Gina, or incumbent Congressman Toff,” he disagreed.

I told him that San Fabian Mayor Danny Agbayani was egged by Congressman Espino to challenge the perennial hegemony of the De Venecias in the four towns one city’s Central Pangasinan District but Danny declined profusely.
“I could not fight the De Venecias because they are, like you, my parents,” the undisputed two terms Mayor of the coastal town told his other patron Espino.
When I asked my guest last holiday if aside from Espino, who are the viable candidates to make a decent fight with the de Venecias, he told me it is either Celia Lim (wife of Dagupan City Mayor Benjie Lim) or her son Brian – the latter the present vice mayor of Dagupan City.
But it would be Espino that would be a shoo-in in case he runs for the 4th District,” he cited.
“It would not be an easy task, the de Venecias have hundreds of millions of pesos to spend in a “take-no-prisoner” war and the district that has been their citadel for decades,” I argued.
“Their fortress is only Dagupan City, almost all the mayors in the four towns and the voters there are pro-Espinos and you can just look at the 2016 election. What more now that the Espinos are perceived as political invincible and everything they touch, just like the Phrygian King Midas, turned into gold,” he cited how opponents in the gubernatorial races of the almost 3 million populated province like spouses Victor and Jamie Agbayani, Hernani Braganza, and Marcos Cojuangco crumbled like deck of cards against the Espinos’ political juggernaut.
He then concluded by citing how astute was Congressman Espino in flushing out the Cojuangcos by even pirating some of the pro-Cojuangco mayors there in that 2016 congressional race.
“Kung may tataas pa sa Doctorate Degree sa political adroitness, ano si Amado Espino, Jr” he posed to me.
“Quintessential Politician,” I replied.
“Petmalu Lodi (slang of Idol Malupit)! Pero ano iyong Quintessential, sir?” Galman, my unlettered errand boy who was silently imbibing his beer, posed.
“P*nyeta, wag ka maki alam sa usapan ng matatalino. Ito pera galing sa mga Americano bumili ka pa ng Red Horse sa 7-11 at Quintessential - sabihin mo iyong pampulutan na nilalagay sa Kilaw na Tuna ng Davao City," I barked at him.

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