30 May 2010


AFTER ALL/ Facebook: Losers' last refuge


I DON'T know that the ordinary folk out there, okay, ordinary Dagupenos, let's say, would have the time or the inclination to be doing Facebook or Twitter comments for newly-elected officials, giving their unsolicited advice this early even before the honorables-elect assume their offices. I mean it would be much more believable for the hoi poloi to be calling up radio stations to air their suggestions or comments or vocally airing their views in the streets or roadside sari-sari stores than go thru these new hi-tech innovations at communication just to give a piece of their mind.

That is why those so-called Facebook comments being quoted from the internet and aired over radio can be called the overextended handiwork of losing candidates' text brigades who cannot shake off their habit and the job they know best -- sowing discord and black propaganda in the guise of constructive advice..

While one may grant that those Facebook comments addressed to incoming Dagupan mayor Benjie S. Lim could be paid some attention to, they generally (if subtly) try to embody the very issues and propaganda stuff that the losing camp had raised against him in the campaign trail. An ordinary citizen, too caught up in earning a daily living, cannot possibly have the time to do Facebook and twitter as I said upfront. Only hi-tech vested interests can and do, the kind that misreperesents the majority of Dagupenos

Take for example the issue on vendors at the Malimgas aired by one poster appealing to BSL not to touch them so they "could earn a living." Any way one looks at it, that's pre-empting the mayor's prerogative to clean the city up and in a way, goading him to adopt status quo -- which as you and I know is the very reason for the dirty and untidy markets that the outgoing administration had been largely disliked and condemned for.during its watch at City Hall. Conversely it was one of the prime reasons they voted for Lim hoping to give the city a breath of cleaner air and fresher surroundings.

* * * *
It will just be a matter of time before allegiances are exchanged for political conveniences by politicians, especially the Lakas-Kampi variety. In Pangasinan, most of the elected congressmen with the exception of Kimi Cojuangco of the fifth district and Gina de Venecia who are NPC (Nationalist People's Coalition ran and won as Lakas-Kampi boys and girls. These are Boying Celeste, firstdistrict; Pol Bataoil, second; Rachel Arenas, third; and Marlyn Agabas, sixth.

It may be good for their principles to remain with the party, but certainly it will be bad, very bad, for their projects should they choose to stick to it. Something's got to give sometime. This choice may be particularly bitter for Ms.Arenas, the favorite traveling companion of Ms Gloria A in trips abroad, who now stands to be outside of the Aquino inner circle, as people's fortune go.As for the other three, being first-timers, they can switch parties anytime and feel less guilty about the somersault, not having had many favors asked and thus not many favors received from benevolent Malacanang, the wellspring of funds.

But trust women to be more creative at finding highways and byways to the center of power anytime. The big game in town now for those who do not belong is finding the gatekeeper(s) and trying to into his (their) good graces so that doors will swing open. That should be kid's play for Baby's baby who'd done it once before, leaving a broken-hearted Joe and a scorned Gina..

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Red tide-affected areas widen

AN official of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has confirmed that the towns of Bani, Anda and Bolinao in western Pangasinan are now contaminated by red tide.

DTr. Westly Rosario, chief of the BFAR’s National Integrated Fisheries Technology Development Center, urged the authorities of the three towns to do something to caution their citizens from harvesting their shellfish, like mussels and oysters, yet.

Quoting red tide bulletin issued by their main office, Rosario said that it appears that the areas affected by red tide in western Pangasinan had widened ever since the phenomenon was first noted before the election in Barangay Wawa, Bani.

Since it is difficult to detect that shellfishes contain the deadly red tide toxins, the best way to protect the health of the people is to prevent the harvesting of shellfish till the threat of red tide is over, Rosario said.

Rosario said the three local government units must strictly monitor the harvesting of shellfish in their respective areas to protect the people eating mussels and oysters that mostly come from western Pangasinan.

It is better that the three LGUs stop the harvesting of mussels and oysters at source rather than seizing and confiscating these while they are already on the way to the markets or are already being sold to the consumers, he added.

Rosario said it is possible that the red tide organism in Wawa, Bani might have spread to the adjacent municipal waters of Bolinao and Anda because of the hot weather condition prevailing.

Bolinao and Anda are where most of the mussels and oysters being sold in the markets of Dagupan City and other parts of Pangasinan are coming from.
Since the seeds of red tide are already in the coastal waters in western Pangasinan, the phenomenon is likely to occur in Bani, Bolinao and Anda every summer.
Rosario called on the people to take the BFAR red tide bulletins seriously and refrain from eating shellfish yet. (PNA)



PDEA agents seize P400,000 worth dried marijuana in La Union

CAMP DIEGO SILANG, San Fernando City, La Union -- Operatives from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Region 1 confiscated about 160 kilos of dried marijuana leaves worth P400,000 in separate anti-drug operations last Wednesday in Agoo and Balaoan, La Union.

PDEA officials said the operations also resulted in the arrest of two suspected drug pushers. They were identified as Antonio Obilas, 48, of Barangay Sta. Monica, Agoo, La Union; and Gabriel Pagespes, 37, of Sitio Maggao, Barangay Balew, Kibungan, Benguet.

Obilas was tagged as a drug pusher operating in Agoo town.
On the other hand, Pagespes was arrested in Balaoan while delivering dried marijuana leaves that came from Kibungan, Benguet.

Both suspects are now under the custody of PDEA Region 1 and will be charged for violation of Republice Act No. 9165. (PNA)

Cut precinct size by half --Ravanzo

Cut precinct size
by half – Ravanz
By Danny O. Sagun

THE ideal number of voters in an election precinct should be at least 500, the city election officer here raised Tuesday.
Lawyer Remarque Ravanzo said he would recommend reducing the size of precinct by at least half, from 1,000 voters to 500, to make future elections easier to manage. Particularly observed in the last May 10 elections were the long lines of people under the heat of the sun waiting for their turn to cast their votes as a result of the clustering of precincts.
Sa dami ng tao na naghahanap ng kanilang pangalan at presinto at interesado sa kaunaunahang automated elections, talagang magakakaroon ng pagkumpol-kumpol at mahahabang pila,” Ravanzo told the Pangtongtongan Tayo radio program of the Philippine Information Agency over Radyo ng Bayan-DZMQ last Tuesday.
A clustered precinct has at least 1,000 voters.
He said that people were also to blame for the problems that arose. He said they have been informed long before hand thru the media and barangay officials to check their names and precinct numbers with the Comelec but still on Election day, many were still looking around for their names. “it’s very disappointing,” he said,
He also noted that many disregarded the supposed “express lanes” for the elderly, persons with disabilities and those on duty that time like members of the media, the police and other law enforcement agencies.
“Gusto ng iba mauna agad at ayaw pagbigyan yong mga senior citizens,” (Some wanted to be ahead and would not give way to senior citizens), he noted wryly.
The election officer said that if not for of the 20 precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines that bogged down due to defective compact flash cards, results in the city would have been known that night of Monday or early morning of Tuesday.
“Di mahagilap din yong mga Smartmatic people, kung umasa lang kami sa kanila baka lalong natagalan yong bilangan sa Dagupan,” he said, citing similar in incidents in nearby towns where counting was delayed and took at least three to four days because the board of election inspectors relied too much on the technicians.
Ravanzo said he wished that future elections would be truly automated, from voting to counting to canvassing and transmission of results. The recent elections were indeed automated but only for the counting and transmission of votes.
Asked if the same equipment would be used in the coming barangay elections, he said he had no idea if the government would adopt automation. The PCOS machines were only rented from TM-Smartmatic but with an option to buy.
On the honoraria for those who served in the polls, he said that payrolls were already being prepared. Members of the BEI will get P4,300 while the support staff are entitled to P1,500.
Another recommendation is to hold elections during the cold months like December to spare the people from the summer heat. (PIA Pangasinan)

28 February 2006

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