Linggo, Hunyo 26, 2016

“PMAyers” in the 17th Congress

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

LINGAYEN – The Lower House of the 17th Congress has five alumni of the elite Philippine Military Academy who would be legislating for the next three years, according to a retired general who is one of them.
Pangasinan’s 2nd District Congressman Leopoldo Bataoil, a last term solon, cited that aside from him, the other PMA graduates who came from the police and the military are Romeo Acop, Gary Alejano, Amado T. Espino, Jr. and Raul Tupas.

CAVALIERS - (1st Row, L-R) PMAyers Rep. Gary Alejano Class’ 95, Rep. Sam Pagdilao Class ‘79, Rep. Ashley Acedillo Class  ‘99, Senator Sonny Trillanes Class‘95, Rep. Boboy Tupas Class ‘94 / 2nd Row, L-R: Cavaliers Rep. Pol Bataoil  Class ‘76, Senator Greg Honasan  Class ‘71, Senator Ping Lacson Class ‘71, Rep. Amado Espino Class ‘72, Rep. Romy Acop  Class ‘70). Photo Credit: Congressman Gary Alejano.

“Magdalo Party-list has only one congressman in the 17th Congress,” the soft-spoken Bataoil, a former two-star general, said.
In the 16th Congress the Partly-list had Alejano and another PMAyer Francisco Ashley Acedillo.
Bataoil, Acop, Alejandro, Espino, and Tupas are members of PMA Classes of 1976, 1970, 1994, 1973, 199, respectively.
One of the “PMAyers”, Rep. Samuel Pagdilao, in the 16th Congress ran but failed in his senate bid in the last May 9 election, Bataoil cited.
Bataoil, who spent most of his police tours of duty in Mindanao, said that as of press time he has no preferred committee chairmanships.
But when pressed by Northern Watch what chairmanship his eyes moist, he cited Public Order and Safety, Defense, or Veterans Affairs.
He said he has yet to signify his intention of the top posts to the new leadership under incoming Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez of the House of Representatives.
He added that since Rep. Acop, a retired policeman and lawyer, is his senior at PMA, he would give way what the former wants for the chairmanship of any of these committees.
Last 2015, Bataoil, Acop, and Pagdilao led the hearings of the Committee on Public Order and Safety in different parts of the country for the Philippine National Police's Modernization Bill”.

Huwebes, Hunyo 23, 2016

3rd Debate's security blanket amid kill plot versus Duterte

 By Mortz C. Ortigoza

DAGUPAN CITY -  Unknown to others, the security blanket provided by the Philippine National Police in the last presidential debate here was exemplary amid the assassination rumors against then presidential front runner Rodrigo Duterte, Superintendent Christopher Abrahano, the security commander, said.
Government security forces prepare their riot gears at a
 university in Dagupan City for the third and final leg 
of the presidential debate last April 24.
Three layers of security
He cited that he prepared three layers of security with the more than 700 police and auxiliary forces at his disposal.
He expounded that it could discouraged any assassination attempt or untoward incidents that befall presidential candidates Duterte, Mar Roxas, Grace Poe, Jejomar Binay, and Merriam Santiago.
He said any attempt to harm Duterte would be suicidal on the part of the assassins.
Mahihirapan ka. Kasi ginawa namin three layers ang security. May inner circle, middle circle. Iyong inner naman andoon iyong ABS-CBN tapos iyong police personal body guards, iyong middle natin andoon na iyong two teams of counter snipers, iyong bomb squad, K-9 (It would be a tough barrier. We made three security layers. We have inner circle, middle circle. The inner circle was where the ABS-CBN’s security and the police bodyguards. The two teams of counter snipers, bomb squad, and K-9 were in the middle circle)” Abrahano, the incumbent chief of police here stressed.
The counter snipers and their spotters were at the roof tops of the venue’s University of Pangasinan, building that housed Cuatro Bar, Collegio de Dagupan, and Star Plaza Hotel.

Miyerkules, Hunyo 22, 2016

How this cop kills the bad guys

 By Mortz C. Ortigoza

I dropped by at the office of a top cop whose area is dreaded by drug pushers.  .
This officer, a down-to-earth person, has a propensity to order his men to execute countless drug pushers without even asking the media to cover the corpses that sprawled in different areas of the local government unit (LGU) since almost three years ago when he assumed office.
Another victim of extra judicial killing in the Philippines.
As a result, drug pushing there was an all-time low, as horrified pushers absconded, compared to the records of his predecessors and the neighboring towns who had to grapple with the proliferation of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride known in street lingo as shabu.
When did you learn to kill the bad guys? Who were your idols in “salvaging (slang for extra-judicial killing”) drug pushers?” I posed to him.
He said he learned it when he was assigned at the anti-kidnapping group of the national police when they apprehended notorious kidnappers that his superiors and colleagues easily executed them.
“We kill them there without fanfare. The media did not know about it. We kill them “para sa bayan” (It means, killing them to reduce their ranks not for media publication but for deterrence),” he told me.
“For example, we nabbed a member of the X Group. We interrogated and even tortured the member to squeal who were his companion. We asked him to call through the mobile phone one of them for a meeting in a particular place. When his colleague arrived, we arrested him. We did the same interrogation and torture so he would invite another companion and do the same to the second, third and up to the tenth member”.

Biyernes, Hunyo 17, 2016

China allows Filipinos to fish at Scarborough Shoal - Fisherman

Liberty to fish started before May 9 election

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

INFANTA, Pangasinan – “Before the May 9 election the Chinese nonchalantly allowed us to fish near Scarborough Shoal,” said recently by Gilbert Baoya, a dark skinned and huge fifty years old boat captain to foreign and local media men who visited Barangay Cato here.
OFF TO THE CHINESE SEIZED SCARBOROUGH. The crew of the craft, with its canoes on both of its floaters, prepare for the 18 hours trip to the Philippines and Chinese disputed Scarborough Shoal. Fishermen in Barangay Cato in Infanta, Pangasinan said that since May 1 the Chinese Coast Guard nonchalantly allowed them to fish at the Shoal. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
According to Baoya he and his crew of 11 fishermen had already sailed thrice last month to the Shoal with their five tons capable fishing outrigger Rubina.
The locals, who are mostly Visayan from Surigao and Bohol called the Shoal as “Karburo”.
“We spent five days there before we returned home”.
He said as a captain he was paid by the businessman who owned the four hundred thousand pesos worth boat eight thousand pesos per trip.
Village council member Joey Legaspi said that each of the crew earns around three thousand pesos per trip.
He cited that the fishermen could have an average three trips in a month.
As Legaspi was being interviewed, Baoya had been preparing the Rubina for its 18 hours trip to the reef by stocking the boat with blocks of ice, delivered by a truck from the ice plant, and tightened its ropes that  connect with the two canoes above the two floaters.
The Chinese were hapless to block these canoes as they sailed to shallow waters near the shoal,” said by a fisherman in Sta Cruz, Zambales when the media men and the group of Dagupan City Mayor Belen T. Fernandez visited him.
Because of the ban since 2012 by the Chinese against fishermen in the Philippines, marine creatures become abundant there.
One haul of a boat  with two- ton of fish can peg one hundred forty thousand pesos. Filipino and Vietnamese fishermen caught there yellow fin tuna, talakitok, mulmol, loro, bakalaw, a lot of fish there, they were fat,” Legaspi said.
He cited that in one trip to the reef the capitalist’s cost of production including the diesel and salaries of the crew reached between sixty to seventy thousand pesos.
Baoya said that in one of the trips there were 30 fishing vessels from Sta. Cruz and Masinloc in Zambales and here that sailed to the disputed Shoal almost 200 kilometers from here.
“In January to April we were still harassed by the Chinese Coast Guard,” he cited.
He disclosed that the two Coast Guard ships watched closely the coral atoll while a small Chinese craft patrol the 9 to 13 meters deep lagoon inside.
“Go away, go away!”  Baoya recalled the shout to them in haphazard English by armed Chinese in a motorized rubber boat.
He said one of the men in the rubber boat brandished an assault rifle to scare them off.

Huwebes, Hunyo 16, 2016

Pusher gives P30K monthly to cop

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

I asked a chief of police of a burgeoning first class town how much the lowly policeman, a P01 or Police Officer-1, receives monthly.
“Mga P19,000,” he retorted.
Philippines Security Force
I told him about powerful Mexican drug cartels Tijuana, Los Zetas (whose founding members were Mexican Special Forces trained at Fort Benning in USA) and Sinaloa bribing with huge amount of monies high government and police officials in Mexico.
“Is it possible that a big time drug pusher asked the P01 or those higher in ranks with him to turn the other cheek whenever they see drug pushers, under the watch of this big time seller, hawking  the illegal commodity in the street by giving them P50,000 each a month?,” I posed.

Miyerkules, Hunyo 15, 2016

How dirty monies exchanged hands at the B.I.R

                              REPRINTED FROM TODAY IN MANILA 

                             Article by a disgusted Tax Examiner

The issue I am raising is bigger than PDAF. It’s about the corruption in the BIR. Indeed, corruption through PDAF is just the tip of the iceberg. I would like to share how corruption works at the BIR. I want everybody to understand and feel its gravity to our life. This is bigger than PDAF because the accumulated amount is enormous. Continuous pain is worst than short time severe pain.

Voluntary payments, withholding taxes, and investigation of taxpayers—these are the ways of collecting taxes by the BIR. An example of voluntary payment is the filing of an annual income tax return. This is the one we rush to pay every April 15. Withholding tax on compensation—deducted by the employers from the employees together with the pag-ibig, sss, and other deductions monthly—is an example of a withholding tax. The case of Manny Pacquiao is an example of audit of taxpayer.
Corruption transpires during the investigation of businesses by the revenue officers. Examiners, supervisors (assessment section), assistant RDO, Revenue District Officers (RDO), Directors, and some commissioners—these are the specific revenue officers involved to the scheme. No examiners, supervisors, RDOs, & Directors can claim that he was never been involved in this scheme. Is there any policeman who has never touched a gun? Is there any fisherman who has never tasted the fresh or sea water? Every year the BIR conducts tax examinations to most business establishments. Initially, the BIR issues letter of investigation.
Letter of Authority (L.A.), Tax Verification Notice (T.V.N.), and Letter Notice (L.N.)—these are the letter of investigations issued by the BIR, although the L.N. is not actually used for thorough investigation. The LA is used for regular audit. The TVN is used when LA is inappropriate. This includes closure of small businesses. Another used of TVN is when transferring the ownership of real property by inheritance.
The LN is used for some circumstances. When the BIR found a discrepancy between the information submitted by a taxpayer and the information gathered by the BIR from another taxpayer outside the formal audit, an LN is issued. This happens usually between a distributor and a whole seller. Both of them submit information to the BIR. Considering their relationship, the former being the buyer and the latter being the seller, the information are compared based on the records submitted to the BIR. Any discrepancy will lead to the issuance of LN. As a consequence, the taxpayer can pay the tax if he agrees; otherwise, he can explain why such discrepancy occurred.
The main source of corruption is the LA because this is the normal way of authorizing the audit. In the eyes of the revenue officers, LA means money. With LA, revenue officers are like stockholders of every corporation. In some case, when a revenue officer received a LA, he is already borrowing money for casino because he is sure that on or before 120 days he has money, specifically from that LA.

Martes, Hunyo 14, 2016

The House Speaker and I on Ali

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

 If Larry Henares and Tony Abaya molded my political and economic thinking during my younger days, former Five-Time Speaker Joe de Venecia’s rabble rousing spiels intrigues me no end since I want to emulate it.
If evangelicals applause and stomp their feet every time a Jimmy Swaggart- like- preachers emphasized a point in a
 sermon, JDV’s gift of gab – he sprinkled with his wide knowledge of international politics – electrify the ho-polloi as they reciprocate it with their incessant round of applause .
I was mesmerized by JDV’s verbal spiel, I could listen to him for hours unlike the minutes I could afford to our boring Baptist pastor nearby.
Geez, its sheer entertainment!
“Eleksiyon angapoy eleksiyon, yog -yog angapoy yog-yog, delap angapoy delap wadya ak para silbi-an kayo! (Election or no election, earthquake or no earthquake, flood or no flood, I am here ready to serve all of you my constituents,” is one of his “ding-dong” verbal magic that captivates and endears him to the crowd.
The other one is an analogy of his distinct two liners where the second sentence he punctuated emphatically that turned the masses, even those at the boondocks of his congressional district, erupt:
“I will be giving 90 diesel powered water pumps now! I will be giving 900 diesel powered water pumps next time!!!”
If the world in the 20th Century have witnessed the declamation prowess’s of Adolf Hitler at the Reich-stag and Winston Churchill “ Never Surrender “ at the House of Commons, the 21st Century has its Joe de Venecia who not only enthralled the Filipinos at the podium of the August Chamber when he was five-time speaker, but wowed those wide-eyed foreign dignitaries (who are members of either the International Conference of (All) Asian Political Parties he co founded and co-chairs , or the Centrist Asia Pacific Democrats International where he is the president) of his exceptional verbal talent.


The last time I publicly discussed Muhammad Ali was in June 5 when Bombo Radyo-Koronadal called me at my hotel room in Iloilo City.
HISTORICAL PHOTO ‘I shook up the world!!!’ Cassius Clay (later named Muhammad Ali)   repeatedly screamed after knocking out  world heavy weight champ and KO artist Sonny  Liston 52 years ago.
Here was my post at Face Book on that conversation: “I was in my hotel at dusk when an anchorman from Bombo called me to get my take on the death yesterday of "boxing's greatest" Muhammad Ali. With some humors I explained how the wife of Joe Luis and Ali's boxing rival Sonny Liston were bewildered about Ali's sanity when he kept shouting and bragging as he faced knock out puncher, ex- convict, and world champion Liston.  I told Bombo about Ali's "genius" fight like rope-a-dope against favorite pug George Foreman (he knocked out in two round most of his opponents) in the "Rumble of the Jungle" in Africa, his three fights with bitter rival Joe Frazier that was concluded in the death defying "Thrilla in Manila” by defeating the "Gorilla Frazier " who was told by his trainer before the start of the 15 round that the fight was off since he could no longer see anymore, and others.
When the anchorman asked me to compare Ali to Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. I told him in ilonggo the showboat and loquacious Mayweather could not be at the class of Ali. "Mayweather has the propensity to select his opponents and Manny Pacquiao has the propensity to quote Bible verses like Bersekulo Baso kapitolo E.S.Q whenever he meets the media.”

 One of my unforgettable thoughts about Ali was when I asked former Speaker Jose de Venecia if he liked Ali.
WANNABE. Wannabe boxing anal-list, er, analyst Mortz Ortigoza mimics Ali's
famous scream after knocking -out Sonny Liston with an effeminate Philippine aswang (witch)
Yes, I even watched him fight in the “Rumble in the Jungle” in Zaire ( now Congo, Africa),” the Speaker, in his Marlon Brando's God Father movie voice, although in a faster pace, told me with a tinged of excitement on that event in 1974.
 “Geez sir that was a classic match, Ali’s defining moment. Foreman punched probably stronger than (Mike) Tyson.  Have you seen Joe Frazier’s feet were lifted by a foot from the canvas when he (Foreman) hit him with an upper cut on the chin and brought him to dream land in the second round? Frazier was knocked down six times before that knocked out,” I emphatically narrated to the Speaker who relished it as they were punctuated by my punches – just like when I mimic to him earlier Winston Churchill’s “Never Surrender” speech after Germany’s Adolf Hitler trained his military juggernaut to Great Britain.

Huwebes, Hunyo 9, 2016

Why Dagupenos should envy Iloilo City

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

“Iloilo City has left Dagupan City by countless miles in progress,” I told last week my elementary classmate as I sipped my latte at Starbucks in Manduriao, Iloilo City by pointing the overlooking world class ten lanes complete with gardens and bicycle lanes' Benigno Aquino Avenue or commonly called the Diversion Road.
ILOILO CITY. Economically bursting  world class Benigno Aquino Avenue
 in Iloilo City. Look at the eight lanes highway, the two bicycle lanes and the

Just like the vision in Dagupan, three growth centers have been carved-out in Iloilo that became a linchpin for her economic mega growth that experts compared her now to Cebu and Manila.
Iloilo had done these economic leaps for the past several years while the anti-progress vice mayor and councilors in Dagupan procrastinate since 2014 to approve the revised Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) (the old CLUP was created, susmariosep, in 1978),” I told Mayor Belen Fernandez and Councilors Netu Tamayo, Jigs Seen, Alvin Coquiao, and Marcelino Fernandez, the last two kept nodding their heads in agreement, in a press conference called by the Mayor last Wednesday after the CLUP was approved by the City Council.
Its approval however was tainted by acrimonious debate, disparaging accusation,  and illegal adjournment by Vice Mayor Brian Lim and his three councilors’ allies.
I told them that Iloilo has new triangular economic hubs in Kapideco (Ayala Project) Estates, SM Properties, and the Megaworld Iloilo Business Park.
These billions of pesos investments draw thousands of Ilonggos as call center agents and other workers in the malls, townhouses, restaurants, hotels other companies there.
The call centers, according to Wikipidea, source-out their employees from the countless universities and colleges there.
DAGUPAN CITY. The almost business empty four lanes'
Jose de Venecia Highway Extension.

Workers in Dagupan City and the huge almost three million populated Pangasinan province have to find jobs in the congested Imperial Manila because leaders in Pangasinan, except Mayor Fernandez, could not decide how to provide employment for them.
I told the mayor that to enlighten our officials and people in the city about our being a “pariah” is to send somebody to Iloilo City to document and video it and show to her family owned widely subscribe cable TV the chutzpah made by leaders there for us to follow if not envy it.
“Para magising at maingit tayo sa katotohanan na because of parochial thinking naiwanan na tayo ng ibang siyudad,” I stressed.
Here are some excerpts from Wikipedia about the ballyhooed Iloilo City’s economic "miracle" :
“Underground provisions for public utilities such as electricity, water, telephone lines had been provided, thus finally removing the spaghetti wires along the stretch of Diversion Road. The project included additional three pedestrian overpasses, a footbridge across Dungon Creek, jogging and biking lanes, and a beautiful landscape”

Huwebes, Hunyo 2, 2016

Projects, cut reasons why congressmen turncoat

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

ILOILO CITY - Many reelected mayors in the concluded May 9 election lost their bid.
“The loss was a huge slapped on the face of these politicians,” an incumbent mayor, who served his first class town for more than 20 years, told me.
JUMP SHIP. New members take their oath under the PDP-Laban led by their Secretary-General representative Pantaleon Alvarez during a short ceremony at a hotel in Makati City on Thursday, June 2, 2016. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler
JUMP SHIP. Congressmen from various political parties took their oath of allegiance to presumptive 17th Congress House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and his and President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte’s PDP-Laban Party. PHOTO CREDIT: Rappler
He cited that a sitting mayor in a first class town receives more than a million pesos a month of payola from illegal number game jueteng and other forms of gambling, millions of pesos S.O.P (euphemism of 20 percent or more cut) from government projects and supplies sold by the contractors to the municipal government, while his opponent spends to defeat him in the election by using his personal monies.
Recent news reports said that outgoing House Speaker Sonny Belmonte was disappointed about the mass defection of the members of the once vaunted Liberal Party.  Just weeks after the May 9 poll, these solons swear allegiance to the Partido Demokrito Pilipino- Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) of president-elect Rody Duterte.
Many of them fought tooth, gum, and nail for the presidential victory of Mar Roxas who helped them get projects from the Palace.
Now they unabashedly sing hosannas to Duterte forgetting that weeks ago they were flirting with Roxas as if he was the best "thing" that happened in their lives.
Was this bad taste in the mouth?  
Yes, if you have halitosis or bad breath, but congressmen chart their reelection by interceding thru his or her connection with Malacanang on the number of multi-million pesos projects and the millions of pesos the national government can give to his or her district.
In each of that projects he or she can pocket through the 20 percent or more S.O.P  like those farm-to-market roads  by the Departments of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform or concrete road pavement or elevation pavement of highway done by the Department of Public Works & Highway.
Thanks to the moro-moro played by their favorite private contractors who rigged the bidding to overprice it so they can stash away a big chunk of public monies. (Read here my previous article how government officials rob the coffer, by clicking How contractor profits from gov't project).