Proclamation of ‘non-candidate’ hit
By Gina Dizon and Monico Changlasen
BONTOC, Mountain Province – This province’s politics continues to heat up as more groups joined the fray assailing and opposing the proclamation of Kathy Jyll Mayaen-Luis as provincial governor.
Groups filed a case with the Ombudsman’s Office against the provincial board of canvassers and called for transfer of provincial Election supervisor and PBC chairman ElenitaTabangin-Capuyan for proclaiming Mayaen-Luis as provincial governor.
Lawyer Mayaen-Luis, daughter of former Gov. Leonard Mayaen filed as substitute candidate for her father when the latter died two months ago.
The Commission on Elections en banc disapproved her application but the provincial board of canvassers declared her as governor.
Incumbent Vice Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan, who now sits as provincial governor earlier filed a petition questioning the act of the PBC in proclaiming Mayaen-Luis.
The Comelec has yet to issue an official statement on the proclamation of Mayaen-Luis as provincial governor even as legal quarters said the electoral body could rule on the matter being a constitutional body.
Tabangin-Capuyan, who is Comelec provincial chief said the issue could reach the Supreme Court.
This time, a group of college students assailed the PBC for proclaiming Mayaen-Luis saying she was a “non-candidate.”
In a press statement, leaders of the Montanosa Youth Forum for Credible Elections said the BOC members erred in proclaiming Mayaen-Luis as winner in the gubernatorial contest in the province.
Another urgent petition asked Comelec chief commissioner Andres Bautista to replace Tabangin-Capuyan due her “attitude that emanates incompetence in public service.”
The petition signed by nearly 100 individuals said that Tabangin-Capuyan issued a statement to the media stating that a deceased independent candidate can be substituted by a family member provided that the family member should have similar surname.
Tabangin-Capuyan accepted the candidacy of Mayaen-Luis. The Comelec however issued a resolution saying that a candidate not belonging to political party cannot be substituted citing Section 77 of the Omnibus Election Code and Comelec resolution 9984 as amended by resolution 9989 which provides that substitution is not allowed for an independent candidate.
And despite Comelec ruling which reached the PBC, Tabangin-Capuyan who headed the PBC proclaimed Mayaen-Luis as winning substitute-candidatefor governor May 10.
In a quo warranto case which reached Comelec, petitioner Bauko resident Thom Tawagen called on Comelec to cite Capuyan for direct contempt for defying rulings relative to the above.
Tawagen also said Mayaen-Luis lacks residency in the province to qualify her candidacy. She was born and raised in Baguio and established her law office in the city. Why the PBC still accepted the candidacy of Mayaen-Luiswas questioned.
The filing of said quo warranto with writ for preliminary injunction prevents Mayaen-Luis from assuming office after June 30, 2016 when the term of deceased for Gov. Mayaen ends.
This, as an administrative and graft complaint against the PBC were filed at the Ombudsman’s Office against PBC members for alleged violations of the law on norms of conduct of public officials and employees and the anti-graft and corrupt practices Act.
In a 5-page complaint, Salvador Liked stated Tabangin-Capuyan accepted the certificate of candidacy of Mayaen-Luis for her deceased father despite Section 77 of the Omnibus Election Code and Comelec Resolution 9984 as amended by Resolution 9989 which provides that substitution is not allowed for an independent candidate.
And despite Comelec ruling denying the candidacy of Mayaen-Luis as substitute of her deceased father, the PBC proceeded to proclaim her a winning candidate for governor of Mountain Province night of May 10
Liked, a resident of Bauko, Mountain Province also said Tabangin-Capuyan abstained in the voting of whether or not to proceed with the proclamation of Mayaen-Luis but signed the certificate of canvass and proclamation.
And by doing so Liked stated that the PBOC knowingly granted benefit and favor of a person neither qualified nor legally entitled to the privilege.
Complainant averred that “due to the resistant and illegal acts of the PBOC who are all highly learned constitute a gross disregard of the highest order or morality in the civil service” punishable under RA 6713.
Liked added “concerted acts of the PBC must not be tolerated in trying to position into the government a disqualified candidate resulted in chaos and the division of the people of Mountain Province.”
Organized positions against the acceptance of Tabangin-Capuyan on the candidacy of Mayaen-Luis and her proclamation as governor drew including Makabayan-Mountain Province.
Other individuals raised their protest against the PBOC though legal actions that reached Comelec aside from the Office of the Ombudsman.
Also, a petition signed by nearly 100 signatorees called for the transfer of Tabangin-Capuyan.
Although Tabangin-Capuyan said she was outvoted by other two members into making the proclamation, she affixed her signature to the documented answer and made no dissenting opinion.
In their answer, the PBC members cited the Diasen case which was resolved by the Supreme Court in her favor because of the more than 30,000 number of votes against her closest rival.
Along this line, the PBC argued that the more than 60 thousand votes obtained by Mayaen signified their approval of the substitution.
Leaders of the youth group MYFCE did not agree.
“The certificate of candidacy of Diasen as substitute for her late husband who died during the campaign period was accepted by the Comelec en banc while that of Kathy Jyll was denied.
“In other words, Diasen was a candidate while the young Mayaen had never been a candidate, they said, adding votes belonged solely to the late governor which could not be credited to anyone else,” they said in the statement.
The youth group also blasted the PBC for being selective in quoting parts of an existing Comelec resolution to justify their preconception. “They keep on quoting a part of Section 19 of Comelec Resolution 9984 stating that the substitute and the substituted should have the same surname but they never mentioned that same section of the resolution explicitly provides that only a candidate of a registered political party could be substituted and that no substitute shall be allowed for any independent candidate,” they said.
“Whether or not the minute resolution came late is immaterial. What is important is a copy of the document was received by the PBC on May 10 and that it is not the function of the PBC to inform or advice the people of the merits of the resolution. If Comelec acted late, it was because the COC was filed late – a calculated move to skirt possible action, legal or otherwise, from offices and parties concerned,” the group said in answer to the BOC’s claim that the minute resolution denying the candidacy of the young Mayaen came late giving no time for the electorates to be informed of it.
The press statement also scored the PBC for saying that the outright denial of the Comelec on the young Mayaen’s candidacy as unfair. “Their comment relative to the denial of Mayaen’s substitution underscores their bias. Only an interested party could come out with such observation. Are they lawyering for Mayaen?,” the statement asked.
By Daniel B. Codamon, PeterBalocnit and Larry Lopez
DESPITE elections barbs and glitches, provincial candidates of Ifugao and Kalinga are set to assume their posts by June 30.
In Ifugao, the proclamation of the winning provincial candidates was delayed because of technical problems in canvassing wherein some SD cards could not be opened but was later solved and counting of the election returns finished.
Proclaimed congressman May 11 was incumbent Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr. who will serve his last term as representative of the province while incumbent Vice Gov. Pedro Mayam-o won as governor unseating Gov. Denis Habawel.
Also proclaimed as vice governor was incumbent Board Member Jordan Gullitiw who is finishing his last term on June 30.
For District 1 Board Member are Robert Mangyao, Victor Bunnol Jr., Geronimo Bimohya and Robert Humiwat while for District 2 are Noli Maguiwe, Frederick Dulnuan Jr., Rufino Bongtiwon and Federico Juguiad Jr.
Except for Humiwat and Bongtiwon, other six winners are incumbent SP members.
Earlier last May 10, all the winning municipal candidates from the eleven municipalities of the province were proclaimed.
The winning candidates proclaimed include the mayor, vice mayor and Sangguniang Bayan members of the 11 towns.
Proclaimed mayors were Gaspar Chilagan Jr. of Aguinaldo, Glenn Prudenciano of Alfonso Lista, Armando Domilod of Asipulo, Jerry Dalipog of Banaue, Geraldo Luglug of Hingyon, Hilario Bumangabang of Hungduan, JoselitoGuyguyon of Kiangan, Omar Habawel of Lagawe, Mariano Buyagawan Jr. of Lamut, Ronnie Lumayna of Mayoyao and Marcelo Catalino of Tinoc.
All the winning municipal executives are incumbent mayors of their respective towns except in the municipality of Aguinaldo where Chilagan, the incumbent vice mayor, defeated incumbent mayor Clemente Talusig.
In Lagawe town, newly-elected local officials are Martin Habawel, Jr. as mayor and CeasarioCabbigat for vice-mayor. Members of the Sangguniang Bayan are VilmaAlcayna, ReynoldKimayong, TejanoBalinon, HomaLiwayan, Angel Taguiling, Gregorio Dangayo, Wilson Bumanghat and Davis Pulao.
Cabbigat and Habawel are the incumbent mayor and vice-mayor respectively. Alcayna, Kimayong, Balinon and Liwayan are also incumbent councilors while Bumanghat and Pulao are former councilors. Taguiling and Dangayo who are both barangay chairman are the only new comers.
Meanwhile, newly-elected officials of Kalinga were proclaimed by the provincial board of canvassers chaired by lawyer Ricardo Bulintao with Provincial Prosecutor BartolomeGamonnac and Schools Division Superintendent Carolyn Verano.
Proclaimed I were incumbent Vice Gov. Allen Jesse “Sonny” Mangaoang as congressman of the lone district of Kalinga; incumbent Gov. JocelC Baac as re-elected governor and James Edduba as vice governor.
Proclaimed District 1 board members were: Shirlynne Dasayon Alunday, Danzel Michael Langkit, Dave Odiem, and Emilio Kitongan.
For District 2 are Frederick Pangsiw, Lester Lee Tarnate, Eduardo Sarol and Rhustom Dagadag.
Mangaoang in his message said he will continue the unfinished job of outgoing Rep. Manuel Agyao. “Let’s set aside politics but instead work and get our acts together,” he said.
For his part, Baac who shall be serving his third term, called on those who lost to respect the will of the electorate. He also called on his colleagues to work together to deliver what they promised during the campaign and push the province towards progress.
Edduba, as incoming presiding officer of the Sanguniang Panlalawigan, assured his support to the executive branch saying the SP will never be an obstacle to good programs and projects.
In Tabuk City, Kalinga, incumbent City Mayor Ferdinand B. Tubban won by landslide polls to finish his third and final term together with tandem vice mayor Darwin C. Estranero.
AnnivestHangdaan, Tabuk City Election officer and chair of the board of canvassers, proclaimed Tubban and Estranero.
Also proclaimed were new set of city councilors: Lucretina S. Sarol, Zorayda Mia Wacnang, Chester Alunday, Dick Bal-o, Ermilinda P. Wandag, Glen Julius Amla, Antonio Bakilan, Martinez Vicente, Castor Cayaba and Arnold Tenedero.
Newly elected officials will take their oath on June 30 and assume their posts July 1 and hold office the next three years.
BANGUED, Abra – The Kakailian Salakniban Tay Amin a Nagtaudan (KASTAN), the local chapter of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance here urged presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte to dismantle private armed groups in the province.
Abra is reportedly one of the provinces known for the presence of private armed groups (PAGs) allegedly being maintained by some politicians.
“President Duterte should uphold his promise of genuine land reform and national industrialization so that the economic standing of the people will improve. Many people are forced to join private armed groups to feed their family,” said Villamor Pati, chairperson of Kastan.
Based on interviews from former members of private armed groups, their salary ranged from P3,000-6,000 monthly including food. Accommodation is also provided by politician-bosses.
During election period, it was a common knowledge in Abra that politicians used private armed group for their own interests.
Reports reaching Kastan said election-related violations such as vote buying were allegedly perpetrated by private armed groups.
“Joining PAGs has been the alternative livelihood for some Abrenians due to lack of economic opportunities in the province. Even if you own a small parcel of land, the absence of irrigation system in Abra makes it very hard for farmers to cultivate crops. And despite the dangers of being in a private armed group, many people still gamble their safety so that they can feed their family. We call on the incoming President Duterte to listen to our demands,” said Pati.
By Dexter A. See
BAGUIO CITY – The city government cleared for titling more than 1,000 residential free patent applications (RFPAs) in barangays of the city.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan said this was in consonance to the Free Patent Law.
He added issuance of clearance to the RFPAs is part of stringent process prescribed by law for qualified residents to be able to own their lands in compliance to the provisions of the law.
“We remain committed to the award of alienable and disposable lands to qualified applicants, provided that, they will be able to comply with the stringent requirements of the law,” Domogan said.
He said the local government will continue to give clearances to RFPAs filed with the city planning and development office so that the issuance of free patent titles to various lands in the different barangays will be fastracked.
However, Domogan stood firm to his earlier position that lands which are more than 200 square meters and are on the process of the issuance of titles through the Townsite Sales Application (TSA) shall not be subdivided just to comply with the provisions of the Free Patent Law.
Under the provisions of the Free Patent Law, alienable and disposable lands having an area of less than 200 square meters shall be awarded to qualified applicants through the free patent titles.
According to Domogan, enterprising land speculators should not try to circumvent the provisions of the Free Patent Law by subdividing lands that are more than 200 square meters just to comply with the prescribed limit because it is clear that the city government will not issue the appropriate clearance for the processing of the free patent titles of such lands as the same is in violation of the said law.
He said subdividing lands that are above the limit of the free patent law will definitely contribute in overcrowding in the different barangays of the city which does not conform with the comprehensive land use plan and zoning ordinance, thus, he wants that lands which were already subjected to TSAs should remain as such and should no longer be subdivided.
He said applicants for free patent titles should directly seek the advice of experts from the environment and natural resources department and the city planning and development office and through any other land speculators because they might be given the wrong advise that might compromise their being issued the free patent titles in the future.
Domogan said he was supportive of the implementation of the free patent law but does not support circumvention of the provisions of the law advance the interests of enterprising land speculators wanting to take advantage of the ambiguity of the law for the disposal of lands in the city that might complicate the current situation that the city is experiencing in terms of congestion.
By Jun Elias
AGOO, La Union – The Commission on Elections has dismissed the disqualification cases filed against Mayor Sandra Eriguel and her daughter Stefanie Ann over their citizenship for lack of jurisdiction.
Eriguel won as representative of the second district of La Union while Stefanie Ann was proclaimed as mayor of Agoo.
Pedro Lovino and Ricardo Aromin filed the petition, saying Eriguel is not a natural-born Filipino.
“The commission has no authority to resolve the issue on Eriguel’s status as a natural-born citizen,” read the ruling of the first division of the poll body chaired by Commissioner Christian Robert Lim.
Meanwhile, the Comelec second division junked the disqualification case filed against Stefanie Ann, saying the petitioner, a certain Reina Laroya, failed to show proof that she is not a resident of Agoo.
“The commission has no other recourse but to dismiss the petition for prematurity and lack of jurisdiction,” the ruling of the Comelec division chaired by Commissioner Al Parreño stated.
LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte — Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. welcomed the pronouncement of incoming President Rodrigo R. Duterte that he will allow the burial of the late former president Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani in Taguig City.
Earlier, Duterte said that the late President Marcos,a former soldier, deserved to be buried at the LNMB.
“I will allow Marcos’ burial in Libingan Ng MgaBayani, not because he was a hero but because he was a Filipino soldier,” Duterte said in a previous interview.
“We are deeply grateful to the statement of our incoming President Rodrigo Duterte favoring the burial of the late President Ferdinand Marcos at the LibinganngmgaBayani. It has always been our family’s position that it is our father’s right under the law to be buried there being a soldier and a former President of this country,” Marcos said.
“Our campaign has always been towards achieving unity to move the country forward. And it is this kind of pronouncement that we hope could end the decades of divisiveness that have been imposed upon us by our leaders, added Marcos.
Duterte claimed that denying Marcos a place at the LNMB has created division in the country.
“Iyang issue ni Marcos diyansaLibingan Ng MgaBayani has long created a division amongst our people. Almost all of the Ilokanos, naghihinakit talaga.Lahat. Halos lahat, mgaIlokano, galit kung bakit ganoon ang ginawa sa kanya (The issue of Marcos’ burial at the LibinganngmgaBayani has divided this country for a long time. The Ilocanos feel slighted and hurting because of manner the issue of the late former president’s burial was treated),” Duterte pointed out.
The late former president’s well-preserved remains in a glass-encased coffin lie in state at the Marcos Musuem and Mausoleum in Batac, Ilocos Norte.
By Manny Galvez
CABANATUAN CITY – Nueva Ecija Gov. Aurelio Umali will file an election protest against the newly elected congresswoman of the third district of the province, Rosanna Vergara.
Umali said Thursday he would file the case before the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, saying cheating and terrorism marred the elections in Nueva Ecija.
“I will avail myself of the legal remedies,” he said. I owe it to the people to report to them why I lost by 2,500 votes.”
Vergara is the wife of reelected Cabanatuan Mayor Julius Cesar Vergara.
She garnered 133,256 votes against Umali’s 130,677.
“She cannot deny that she resorted to vote buying. I can show the video,” Umali said.
By Gina Dizon
BONTOC, Mountain Province – Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr. filed a motion for reconsideration (MR) with the Provincial Election Supervisor asking the Provincial Board of Canvassers to reconsider their proclamation of Kathy JyllMayaen-Luis as the winning gubernatorial candidate.
Mayaen-Luis filed a petition for substitution on May 5 for Gov. Leonardo Mayaen who died of a heart attack on March 31.
Lacwasan in his moion averred that the BOC is an inferior body to the Commission on Elections en banc, and should have “obeyed, respected and took cognizance of the denial” of Mayaen-Luis’s petition for substitution, and that the “prudent action” by the BOC should be to direct Mayaen-Luis to contest the denial if she wishes to.
The motion also referred to Section 19 of Comelec Resolution 9984 which states “No substitution shall be allowed for any independent candidate,” and that the PES’s acceptance of Kathy Jyll’s Certificate of Candidacy (COC) and her subsequent proclamation despite the denial of her COC was in direct violation of this provision. As a lawyer, the PES should act with “honesty, integrity, probity, professionally, etc.”
Instead, the motion further averred, the “answer” of the Board of Canvassers to the petition for nomination of Mayaen-Luis clearly indicates that the BOC “acted as the respondent and at the same time judge of the petition.”
PES ElenitaTabangin- Capuyan earlier said that substitution is allowed despite clearly-stated Comelec resolutions saying the opposite.
Upon the death of the late Gov. Leonard G. Mayaen, Tabangin-Capuyan told the media substitution is possible.
Mayaen-Luis, daughter of the late governor, filed a Certificate of Candidacy attached to a Petition for Substitution on May 5, 2016, four days before the election on May 9.
The PES sent the petition to the Comelec national office by email, after which the Comelec en banc, held a special meeting on the subject on May 7.
The Comelec en banc denied the petition and the COC as recommended by the Comelec law department.
A resolution, an excerpt of the minutes of the special meeting was received by the Comelec regional office on May 8, and the Provincial Election Supervisor reportedly received a copy of the minute resolution in morning of May 10, 2016.
Even with the minute resolution, the BOC proclaimed Mayaen-Luis night of May 10.
The denial should have had the legal effect that Mayaen-Luis was nevera candidate, and therefore could not be proclaimed, an election lawyer said.
This, as theSupreme Court maybe the last recourse to settle the issue of whether the proclamation of Mayaen-Luis as governor is legal or not, legal quarters here said asking: Can the substitute for a candidate who ran unopposed as an independent and died before the elections be proclaimed?
EderlinoTabilas, Commission on Elections-Cordillera Administrative Region director said “The proclamation of (Cathy Jill) Mayaen-Luis as substitute for her father for governor remains valid until annulled. The matter is now up to the full commission to decide considering there is no existing jurisprudence concerning the issue at hand. The poll body denied the motion in a resolution issued on May 7.
Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista earlier said a special election for governor would instead be held in the province after May 9.
Bautista said former Gov. Mayaen cannot be substituted as he has no political party to replace him in his bid for re-election.
Special elections for Mountain Province for the questioned governorship shall still be decided by Comelec.
In case there is a special election, expense shall be handled by the Province concerned and shall be reimbursed following the approval of a bill filed to this effect, Capuyan said.
The provincial board of canvassers said they proclaimed Mayaen because there was no aggrieved party.
The older Mayaen, whose name remained in the official ballots, got 60,684 votes.
With this situation, it would be the Supreme Court which may decide with finality whether the proclamation of Mayaen-Luis as provincial governor was legal or not, said Tabangin-Capuyan,
By Aldwin Quitasol
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Challenges and hopes coming from government officials of Benguet greet Dr. Feliciano G. Calora Jr. during his investiture Tuesday here as Benguet State University's sixth and centennial president.
La Trinidad Mayor Edna Tabanda said the municipality finds a new hope in Calora as he is a forester.
She noted that the university president pursued his baccalaureate, masters and finished his doctorate in forestry in the University of the Philippines of Los Baños (UPLB) Laguna.
She added that through his leadership, the local government and the university will strengthen cooperation in bringing academic and public service to the people.
Benguet Gov. Nestor Fongwan said he BSU academe contributed a lot to the province in becoming globally competitive.
He said BSU through the years worked with the provincial government in developing quality and competitive agricultural products with their academic researches and actual participation in production.
He added that BSU had actually been doing it since it was established.
"We hope that with Calora's leadership, the university will help a lot in improving the irrigation for the vegetable gardens," Fongwan said.
He added knowing the university president as a forester, the BSU can help a lot in the preserving and maintenance of the province's forests to ensure continuity of agricultural life cycle of the province and he Cordillera Region.
In his speech, Calora said in ensuring retention of the university's academic and service excellence, his administration will be guided by five-core values.
He said his four-year term will be run as student-centered, leader-centered, integrity, diversity, efficiency and service oriented one.
He said in addressing the environment especially forests, integration of science and technology is much needed.
He said through intensive research and consultation with communities, appropriate measures can be feasible.
Calora added to ensure productivity and competitiveness of farmers, communicating with them is essential.
He said that with academic and technical expertise and full support of the government, the farmers can topple any challenges and improve their lives for the better.
In 1916, the Mountain Province State Agricultural College (MSAC) was established and renamed later as BSU in 1986 as chartered university.
To ease monopoly of traders’ cartel
By Aldwin Quitasol
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet—Dept. of Agriculture Secr. Proceso J. Alcala urged Cordillera farmers to trade here at the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC) before the administration of President Benigno Aquino III ends.
According to Alcala, the situation of the farmers especially highland vegetable gardeners prompted the government through the DA to implement projects such as BAPTC.
"This facility desires to provide vegetables with a system and a legacy that can truly improve their economic state," he said.
He added it is an avenue for farmers and buyers to have better market access and direct link between farmers and consumers for more stable and affordable supply of consumers.
The DA in a press statement said there is low demand of vegetables among consumers due to high prices imposed by traders.
There is low buying price imposed by middlemen on vegetable farmers and the high interest rates of agricultural loans.
With his situation, he said there is need to trade at the BAPTC to address such concerns..
In "Highland Vegetables Investment Forum cum Trade Fair" with vegetable farmers and traders at the BAPTC here beside the popular Strawberry Farm, Alcala said government spent more than P500 million for construction of the BAPTC and had allotted millions of pesos for its operational expenses.
Alcala said the project was proposed in 2011 and approved in 2013.
Actual construction started in 2014 with the P655 million from the DA and partially completed April last year.
But since its soft launching on October 26, 2015, farmers and traders are still hesitant to transfer from the old vegetable trading post to the BAPTC.
They questioned management and its partial completion, road accessibility and lack of clear management.
They also questioned the mandatory trading fee per kilo of vegetables they will bring to BAPTC.
Alcala said they have only more than one month in office and one of the legacies the outgoing administration can leave is the BAPTC.
“Gusto kong maningil sai nyo," (I'd like to ask you for a payback), he told the farmers. He said the government invested millions of money to help the farmers in improving their lives.
By Manny Galvez
CABANATUAN CITY – The 2016 elections ushered in a new era for the province of Nueva Ecija with the election of its first female governor and four ladies as representatives in Congress.
“With a female governor and four congresswomen, Nueva Ecija has lost its Wild West-like image and machismo. Women politicians are fast making their way to public office,” board member Joseph Ortiz said.
Rep. Czarina Umali, a third-term lawmaker, won the gubernatorial post by over 215,000 votes, defeating former fourth district congressman Rodolfo Antonino.
Umali succeeded where three other women gubernatorial aspirants before her failed, two of whom were former congresswomen.
No woman had served as governor of Nueva Ecija. The closest to have come to the capitol seat was Inday Melencio as vice governor.
Umali had the support of the sitting governor, a privilege not enjoyed by the three previous female gubernatorial aspirants.
The four women who won seats in Congress were EstrellitaSuansing for the first district; MicaelaViolago for the second; Rosanna Vergara, third, and Magnolia Antonino, fourth district.
Suansing and Antonino are reelectionists while Violago and Vergara are political newbies, aided by their husbands who are both incumbents.
Suansing won over comebacking Rep. Josie Manuel-Joson while Violago defeated her brother-in-law, JoselitoViolago.
Vergara stopped Gov. Aurelio Umali’s attempt to recover his seat in Congress while Antonino defeated a board member and a three-term mayor.
Ortiz said with women in power, Nueva Ecija, known for its history of political violence, is shedding its image as a macho country.
By Susan C. Aro
KIBUNGAN, Benguet -- Call it luck for a candidate who will seat as a councilor for the next three years in this municipality.
Onoda Aplat and Ben Palukpoc, garnered 1,921 votes each to tie for the eighth and last slot in the Sangguniang Bayan. But there is only one position to occupy.
Section 11, letter D-11 of the COMELEC Resolution 10083 or the General Instruction for the Board of Canvassers on the Consolidation/Canvass and transmission of votes stipulates drawing of lots to break the tie and determine the winner, according to Municipal Election Officer Ricardo Buenaventura.
Both contenders agreed to the scheme and vowed in the presence of members of the community through a gentleman’s agreement to accept whatever their fate would be such that the loser will concede if he loses. They also pledged not to file any motion for consideration before the Commission on Elections, he added.
The agreement was personally witnessed by incumbent and unopposed Vice Mayor Aureiana Sacpa, Buenaventura said.
In the ensuing draw, Aplat was the lucky one and Palukpoc had to give way.
With the SB line up now complete, all the municipal level winners were proclaimed May 10.
Proclaimed winner for mayoralty post was Cesar Molitas, and Sacpa as vice mayor. The eight councilors including Aplat are LabioNabe, Laurence Toking, Susan Atayoc, Marcos Olayo, Philmore Dayao, SaturninoTayag, and Joseph Cayad-an.
MABALACAT, Pampanga -- The city mayor reputed to be the longest serving in the country faces disqualification.
In a 12-page petition, Crisostomo Garbo asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to nullify the proclamation of Mabalacat, Pampanga Mayor Marino Morales, saying he had served for three terms.
Morales was proclaimed after garnering 40,174 votes against Garbo’s 17,710.
Garbo said Morales is “ineligible and constitutionally barred” from serving another term.
“Though he won by a landslide… he cannot override the constitutional requirements,” Garbo said.
Morales was elected mayor of Mabalacat in 1995. He was removed from office months before the 2007 elections, but regained his seat and served for three terms.
Garbo said Morales withdrew his certificate of candidacy in October and was replaced by his common-law-wife.
“Surprisingly, Morales substituted his uncle Wilfredo Feliciano as the official mayoralty bet of AksyonDemokratiko and will now serve his fourth consecutive term,” Garbo said.
By Liezle Basa Inigo
BAYAMBANG, Pangasinan — A regional trial court (RTC) has been asked to set aside the proclamation of the mayor-elect and vice-mayor-elect of this town amid a protest against the election results.
Outgoing Mayor Ricardo Camacho of this town, who ran unopposed in 2013 and gunned for the position of vice mayor; and his wife Zenaida, who campaigned for mayor, are contesting their respective losses in May 9’s elections.
Mayor Camacho (24,511 votes) lost his bid for vice mayor against Renato Sabangan (27,746 votes) by a marching of over 3,000; while his wife Zenaida (19,946 votes) lost her bid to replace her husband as mayor against Sabangan’s running mate, businessman Cezar Quiambao (31,946 votes) by a margin of over 12,000 votes.
Not convinced that they lost the election, the Camacho couple claimed that there were alleged irregularities and discrepancies in the electoral process and asked the San Carlos City RTC to have the ballot boxes opened for a manual count.
By Manny Galvez
CUYAPO, Nueva Ecija – The father of actor Daniel Padilla has regained his seat in the provincial board.
Rommel Padilla garnered 149,644 votes, the highest among the elected members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
Rommel was elected member of the provincial board in 2007. He ran but lost for vice governor in 2010.
His younger brother Robin ran but lost for vice governor in 1995.
Their elder brother, Casimiro “Roy” Padilla was former governor. He is serving a two-year sentence after he was found guilty of malversation of public property for failing to return a government-issued firearm in November 2012.
The Padilla brothers have their roots in Barangay Nagmisahan, Cuyapo town, where their mother Eva Cariño lives.
By Dexter A. See
BAGUIO CITY – The city government will reach out to Tuba municipal officials to find solutions to issues on revival of operation of the city-owned Asin mini-hydro power plants located in the nearby municipality.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan scheduled several meetings between city and Tuba officials previously but such meetings never pushed through because of conflicting schedules.
“We have to continue dialoguing with Tuba officials for us to be able to come out with possible win-win solutions to the current issues and concerns surrounding the revival of the operation of the Asin minihydro power plants. We have to listen to them and we will discuss the issues for us to be able to come out with solutions in the end,” Domogan said.
Earlier, the Tuba municipal council passed Resolution No. 34, series of 2016 supporting the opposition of the affected communities to the transfer of water permits from the Baguio Water District (BWD) to the City of Baguio and the intended revival of the operation of the Asin hydro power plants and urging the Department of Energy (DOE) not to issue any permit to the City of Baguio, or to any entity for the renewed operation of the Asin hydro power plants located within Tuba, and to cancel the minihydro operating contract granted to HEDCOR Inc. for the Asin power plants.
The city government bid out privatization of the Asin minihydro power plants and the same was awarded to Kaltimex Energy Philippines but the contract for the eventual operation of the power plants is still pending confirmation before the city council.
The local chief executive said he will continue to initiate dialogue between city and municipal officials so concerns being raised against the renewed operation of the city-owned power plants will be addressed to prevent future complications on the matters raised by Tuba officials once the power plants will start their operations after the confirmation of the contract.
The city-owned three Asin minihydro power plants are situated in barangays Tadiangan and Nangalisan in Tuba.
Hedcor assumed operation of Asin minihydro power plants by virtue of a reported sub-contract agreement between the Aboitiz-owned Davao Lights and the former.
In 1981, Davao Lights entered into an agreement with the Baguio Water District (BWD) to operate and maintain the Asin minihydro power plants but the same expired in 2006.
The city government then took over of the operation and maintenance of the Asin minihydro power plants but the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) ordered the local government to cease and desist from operating the power plants because it did not possess the required certificate of compliance from the regulatory body to operate the said power plants.
It was learned that the minihydro operating contract granted to Hedcor will expire on May 20, 2018.
By Mar T. Supnad
CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga — The Police Regional Office 3 leadership vowed Thursday to rid its ranks of “bad eggs,” following the admission of Philippine National Police Chief Ricardo Marquez that there are high-ranking police officials involved with illegal drugs syndicates.
Chief Supt. Rudy Lacadin, PRO3 director, said his first step towards booting out police-scalawags in his area of jurisdiction is to speed up the resolution of all criminal and administrative cases filed against his men.
“Pinaaapura ko na ngayo ng resolution ng cases ng mga may kaso ng pulis ditos a region para malinis ang aming hanay; gusto ko, patapos ito bago akong mag retire (I ordered the fast-tracking of the resolution of the criminal and administrative cases of policemen involved in various irregularities in the region so that we could clean our ranks; I want this done before I retire),” Lacadin said.
Lacadin, a known disciplinarian, said he is up to the challenge spelled out to the PNP organization by incoming president Rodrigo Duterte – that of ridding the police force of those involved in irregularities and drugs.
He said he also wants to rid the PRO3 of policemen who do not deserve to wear the police uniform because they use it in to protect drug lords or be in the payroll of drug syndicates.
BAUKO, Mountain Province – Officials here, alarmed by illegal logging activities, have mapped plans to stop destruction of forests of this town where most headwaters of three major systems in the region like the Chico River emanate
This, after a village official and four other persons were arrested for illegal cutting of pine trees in over six hectares of land here in Sitio Baan last week.
Barangay Balintaugan councilman Carlos Combisen, Ariel Bomogao, Jerry Padingil, Joel Padingil and William Daping were arrested in Barangay Balintaugan May 7.
At least five dump trucks were used to haul the illegally cut trees worth P500,000, Senior Supt. Cornelio Comila, Mountain Province police director, said Tuesday.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources said it took three days for government foresters and police operatives to finish hauling the fallen and sawn pine trees.
Following this, the 22 barangays captains of this municipality met with re-electionist Mayor Abraham B. Akilit and agreed on strict measures to stop illegal logging.
Bila barangay captain CalixtoGamlosen reminded his fellow barangay captains of their indigenous duty as stewards of land and resources.
He urged that the practice of “inayan” should be practiced in protecting he environment. Inayan is the indigenous principle of criticizing and prohibiting harmful deeds to common good and unity.
Akilit required barangay officials to craft programs on environment and watershed protection the soonest to avoid repetition of the same incident.
He also called attention and cooperation of BantayGubat and Environment personnel on implementation of Executive Order 23 (nationwide log ban) of President Aquino and for specific actions on illegal logging.
The barangay captains agreed on strict implementation of local laws like
wood should only be for housing purposes among locals of the barangays and strictly not for sale or commercial purposes.
Permission of the barangay captain should be sought for logging plans on housing purposes with the former validating and endorsing processes for permission to log.
Cultural needs for death, weddings and emergency situations are recognized and allowed with restrictions and;
Others: observance of the tree planting ordinance, creation and institutionalization of anti-illegal logging teams, crafting and implementation of no forest fire policies,
crafting with assistance of DENR of a forest management plan and incorporation of the traditional watershed management practices.
“The mountain and the trees give water, water gives life to our plants and animals which make water is life, by guarding the forests including lives within it is guarding life,” Akili said. “We owe to our children to protect the forest for their future”.
Bauko is 17,819.04 hectares in land area. Some 3,307.28 hectares are forested areas while 6,074.63 hectares are gracing and pasture sites. Bauko hosts the eastern Kalawitan Mountain, Mount Am-o, Timmakudo Mountain, Nentingli, Mount Sesekan, Mount Data National Park and other smaller mountains that support the Agno, Chico and Abit rivers. -- With a report from ArseniaAddon
By Roger Sacyaten
BONTOC, Mountain Province – The only state college here, vying to become a university is facing challenges, particularly in its plan to purchase required land as part of requirements imposed by the government.
To be accredited and ready to become a university, the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC) needs to have in its ownership a 3-hectare lot contiguous to its main campus, among other requirements.
For this purpose, an allocation has been accordingly provided for under the 2016 budget of the school.
The school management called for submission of offers to sell the needed land from the public for consideration.
A voluntary offer to sell was made to college management by one Francis Pel-ey, owner of a 3-hectare land at Sitio Faliling above the town towards Barangay Maligcong.
That was the basis of the college in conducting consultations as part of the process of acquisition, according to Rogelio Balcita, Jr., vice president for administration and finance of the college.
The same area was earlier offered to the municipal government years ago for waste disposal facility but the offer was spurned due to oppositions from some quarters.
During the much publicized public consultation conducted May 14 at the college auditorium, participants endorsed the plan of the college to buy the land after VP Balcita said the intention to buy a 3-hectare land for the college was in compliance to the requirement of Commission on Higher Education that noted the lack of space for the local school institution.
However, such endorsement was marred by a question on the claim of ownership of the land subject of acquisition.
“We are not opposing the plan of the school to acquire the land but we question the ownership of the land,” said Anacleto Tangilag who claimed the one who offered to sell was not the only owner of the land.
Balcita, who presided over the consultation, clarified that the college started the process of acquisition based on documents in their possession that pointed to Pel-ey as the owner.
He said the process, assessments including assurance of no legal impediments will be done in next consultations.
Pel-ey urged Tangilag to present whoever is claiming to own the land, in part or in whole, or a member of the claimed ‘tumayan’.
He reiterated that he is the owner.
After much discussion that at times turned with heated arguments for the parties in interests, it was agreed upon that a consultation will be conducted within the week with all the members of the clan, if any, claiming to be owners of the land.
Tangilag, who also initially referred other areas for the college to buy, committed to contact the people in interest to attend the consultation which should have been done before Thursday.
However, as of Thursday, no notice of consultation was issued.
It was learned that the only offer made to the college was that of Pel-ey while the school management is still inviting the public to submit other offer/s, if there be any, to be considered.
“Time is running out for the college to comply with the requirements. We would like to facilitate the completion of the requirements”, said Balcita.
Meanwhile, Balcita informed the participants that a team from the college had earlier conducted an ocular inspection on the site in the presence of the seller and some members of the community.
A technical plan will be prepared for the development of the area for submission to Rep. Maximo Dalog and higher authorities for funding consideration.
Building structures and the access road which is about one kilometer will be constructed on site as part of the plan.
By Freddie G. Lazaro
PAOAY, Ilocos Norte -- Five life-sized statues of the main characters of the remake of classic Filipino film “Temptation Island” were formally unveiled at the golden sand dunes of Barangay Suba, here, last night of May 7.
Gov. Imee Marcos and actress Rufa Mae Quinto, one of the cast members of the movie-remake, graced the event, which became one of the highlights of 2016 “Himala sa Buhangin! Festival” which drew 6,000 spectators.
With the 1980 original version directed by Joey Gosiengfiao and the 2011 remake directed by Chris Martinez both filmed at the massive expanse of the Paoay Sand Dunes, the Temptation Island is one of the most critically-acclaimed films in the country for merging social commentary with a distinct brand of wit and humor and escapist entertainment despite its limited filming budget.
Marcos said the installation of the statues of the main cast of the film was realized for this year’s festival to pay tribute to this rare Philippine cinematic masterpiece filmed at the Paoay sand dunes.
After the successful unveiling of the sculptures of Flavio and Elsa, the iconic roles played by Fernando Poe Jr. from the series ‘Ang Panday’ and Nora Aunor in the 1982 film ‘Himala’ respectively, the Temptation Island cast now adds to the allure of the tourist destination.
“The Temptation Island movie is a film dramatizing the life of more than a woman as it also harmonizes with the fun and outgoing attitude of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community; and here in Ilocos Norte we are strongly supporting the LGBT community,” Marcos said.