Category Archives: Bulan Municipal

JAPANESE WW II AIRPORT REVIVED BY CANDIDATE

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

 BULAN, Sorsogon, Philippines (JGL) – In 1943, the Japanese Imperial Army started building an airport in a small sitio of Bulan, Sorsogon so their soldiers can easily escape if General MacArthur were to return with his Allied soldiers during World War II.

But because of the extraordinary grit and resiliency of the Filipino guerillas (militias), they were able advance the timetable of MacArthur’s return, which caught the Japanese by surprise.

As MacArthur was carpet-bombing Leyte from the nearby Leyte Gulf, the Japanese Forces abandoned the airport they were building in what is now believed to be sitio Oyango in Bulan that ends up in Ticao Pass, a part of the Luzon Strait that connects the Philippine Sea to the South China Sea (Philippine Western Sea) in the western Pacific Ocean.

inlandviewofrunway

(LOLO BOBBY M. Reyes (right) surveys the extend of the runway of the Bulan Airport, which he said he will complete if he were elected Sorsogon governor on Monday, May 9, during his visit to the area recently in Bulan, Sorsogon, Philippines. (JGL Photo by Joseph G. Lariosa)

Several Philippine presidents since Liberation had dreams of reviving the construction of the airport but an independent candidate for provincial governor LOLO Bobby M. Reyes would like to finally help the people of Bulan (Bulanenos) have their own airport if he is elected governor on Monday, May 9, 2016. Government officials who tried to build the airport just put the money for the airport in their pockets that’s why nothing had come out of the airport, Mr. Reyes said.

Mr. Reyes said he could make the Bulan Airport a reality if his patron, Sen. Grace Poe, is elected president on Monday.

Mr. Reyes, who celebrated his 70th birthday last May 1, said the completion of the Bulan International Airport (BIA) is going to be one of the flag-ship projects of his administration out of the ten priority projects to “reinvent” the Quality of Life in Sorsogon and its “Isles of the Future” and create 300,000 jobs.

 TAKING A PAGE FROM FRIVALDO

 Taking a page from Sorsogon’s longest-serving governor, the late Juan G. Frivaldo, who sported the name “Tata (elderly) Juan,” Mr. Reyes said his moniker “LOLO,” which means grandfather in Bikol, stands for “Law and Order, Less Government and Opportunities equally for all.”

As a long-time Balikbayan from Los Angeles, California, where he was a lifelong community activist, LOLO Bobby returned to his boyhood and high school-age home of Barangay Bibingcahan in what he now calls “Bacon-Sorsogon (Bac-Sor) City” with all the wisdom and perspectives he accumulated so that he could pay back his dues to his  province of birth.

Based on his writings from his travels on his own mabuhayradio.com and Facebook posts, LOLO Bobby now wants to put those ideas into practice if he luckily wins the majority vote of the 425,025 Sorsogon voters, who had an 83.71% voting turnout record in 2013.

Bobby decided to run for governor of Sorsogon when he started to urge Senator Poe to run for president, when nobody did, thru his Facebook posts, which generated tens of thousands of likes and followers and when nobody from the crop of candidates for governor in Sorsogon supported Ms. Poe. Bobby was introduced to Ms. Poe by his daughter, who was a classmate of Ms. Poe from grade one in Antipolo City to high school.

Because Bobby is not allowed to host a radio program a few weeks in the run-up of the elections, he asked some of his friends, including this reporter and Bubot Laguna, to sub for him in spreading his message over Catholic radio station (DZGN-FM, 102.3mHz)(11a.m. to 12 noon) hosted by Psalm Geraldino and PADABA (103.9 FM) (4 p.m.-6 p.m.) hosted by Bhem Emmanuel Desabayla.

 RUNWAY TURNED INTO PALAY PLATFORM

withfarmersIn his visit to Purok 7-B in Bulan Airport with this reporter, LOLO Bobby told the people, who turned the 10-lane runaway of the airport into palay drying platform, that with the grace of God if he were elected Sorsogon governor, he foresees the airport to be his flag-ship project that could generate hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs.)

“I will make sure that you will earn a minimum of P1,000 (US$22.22) a day in contrast to Manila where P450 (US$10.00) a day is the minimum daily wage,” Bobby told one of farmers who were drying his palay over the ten-lane runway.

terminal_edited-1

(ASIDE FROM THIS Terminal building, only the 10-lane runaway is the only visible task that was constructed from an alleged release of P15-M (US$333,333) to construct the airport in 2007. (JGL Photo by Joseph G. Lariosa)

When asked why he is making Bulan Airport his main project, Bobby said, “I am the son of Cristina Mercado, who hails from Bulan. And I am the only candidate out of the eight candidates for governor, who hails from Bulan.”

It was reported by the Bulan Observer that sometime in 2007, there was funding for the airport in the amount of P15-M (US$333,333) for the parcellary survey, to complete the runway upgrading and right-of-way acquisition that was supposed to be completed by 2008. It did not mention if the terminal building that is the only visible building in the airport was part of the funding.

outwardviewofrunway

(HIS EXPANSIVE runway that was started by Japanese Imperial Forces was being rebuilt by every administration after World War II but has yet to be completed. LOLO Bobby M. Reyes, a son of a native of Bulan, Sorsogon in the Philippines, wants to finish this Bulan International Airport if he is elected Sorsogon governor on Monday, May 9. The runway ends in Ticao Pass, a part of the Luzon Strait that connects the Philippine Sea to the South China Sea (Philippine Western Sea) in the western Pacific Ocean. (JGL Photo by Joseph G. Lariosa)

Aside from the airport and the other priority projects he wants to pursue, Mr. Reyes said he wants to introduce economic development in Sorsogon because it is one of the 20 poorest provinces in the Philippines. “It’s about time somebody has to do positive things for the province and of course I want zero corruption. I would handle peace and order under a law and order program that will stop corruption and stop crimes from rising, especially drug epidemic.”

He said his projects have been posted on his Facebook page and website, mabuhayradio.com.

Although nobody is bankrolling his campaign, LOLO Bobby likes his chances to be elected governor as he has been rated fourth among the eight gubernatorial candidates by a Sorsogon radio station.

lookingathimself

(BECAUSE HE has no money to pay for his own billboard, Independent candidate LOLO Bobby M. Reyes is very pleased to see and thankful that the office of Sorsogon City Mayor  Sally A. Lee and the Sorsogon City Tourism Office have included his name and photo in the billboard of six of eight Sorsogon gubernatorial candidates. LOLO Bobby said that the “catch” of the ad is actually a backhanded endorsement of one of the candidates, Eric Dioneda (PDP-Laban), whose educational attainment was portrayed as a college undergraduate first-year midwifery education. Mayor Lee’s son, Bobet Lee Rodrigueza (Liberal Party), is portrayed as a holder of a BSBA-Management degree while LOLO Bobby Reyes is a college graduate in AB Journalism. (JGL Photo by Joseph G. Lariosa)

Mr. Reyes said on or before July 1, 2016, the first day of office when he takes over the “Sorsogon Interactive New Government (SING),” he will launch simultaneously 10 or more crash-programmed projects designed to raise dramatically the “Quality of Life (QoL)” of the people of Sorsogon that will lead to eliminate unemployment and underemployment.

 “PROJECT 2021”

 He said ten separate task forces, with at least 100 trained staffers each, will be organized and fielded to implement the projects that will translate into hundreds of thousands of new well-paying and permanent jobs.

All local-government units (LGU’s) will be asked to provide more manpower and support to the task forces.

The priority projects will be classified into short-, medium-, and long-term goals that shall be the vehicles needed to accomplish the so-called “PROJECT 2021.” “They will be treated like items in a conveyor belt of an assembly line, so that a long-term project can become a short-term goal if the circumstances and needed resources are present,” Bobby said.

Among the “PROJECT 2021” that will take Sorsogon from 20th to the 21st century (2016-2021) are introducing to the province a Health Maintenance Organization that will provide “Patients’ Rights and Responsibilities” (https://www.facebook.com/groups/216368558400241); education reforms, including retraining of teachers, increasing their salaries, lowering teacher-student ratio, school-provided meals to elementary students and acquisition of modern equipment (https://www.facebook.com/groups/390671054351428/); inspection and retrofitting of concrete buildings in the province, including churches, followed by school-based earthquake-and-other-disaster-preparation classes and training and fielding of trained volunteer fire-and-disaster brigades;

Organization or re-organization of tree-farming co-ops in all the province’s 541 barangays (barrios) and crash program of planting cacao, coffee and cash crops and their shade trees, including an extensive cultivation of bamboo, so as to double the income of participating families in five to ten years, thereby wiping out poverty;  organization and reorganization of fishing co-ops in all the coastal barrios of the province, including the massive cleaning (every weekend) of Sorsogon Bay, the province’s 50 rivers and numerous springs, brooks and other bodies of water and reforestation of their watershed areas. (http://www.mabuhayradio.com/ecology-and-the-environment/the-save-our-sorsogon-sos-bay-initiative);

withwidowofairportproponent

(LOLO BOBBY M. Reyes (extreme left) paid a courtesy call on Flor Solis (second from left), widow of the late Sorsogon Rep. Jose Solis (whose photo is hanging above) of the second district of Sorsogon, who lobbied for the construction of the Bulan Airport, in the house of Mrs. Solis and her daughter-in-law, Joanne Solis, who is running for provincial board member for the second district of Sorsogon, Bubot Laguna and journalist, Joseph G. Lariosa. (JGL Photo)

The fresh water of Sorsogon’s 50 rivers and other springs, brooks and streams can be harnessed and exported to different parched countries as today clean potable water is more expensive than crude oil or even gasoline. Launching of food-production centers with grain-storage silos, solar-powered refrigerated warehouse and other equipment; Concreting of the runways, aprons parking spaces of the Bulan and Bacon airports, the construction of control towers, with electronic-and-electrical facilities and fuel depots. (https://www.facebook.com/notes/bobby-m-reyes/how-to-complete-the-bulan-airport-as-revised/10202484307966425); the “New Uber-like Parcel Service and Postal House” (www.nupsph.com); solving the growing squatter problem; massive tourism development program; launching of a law-and-order campaign with a “reinvented” Sorsogon Provincial Sheriff’s Office and fielding of one law-enforcement officer (LEO) with training of five employees that will compose a security force of 5,000 to safeguard millions  of domestic and foreign tourists.
And many other projects that include development of stock market, title insurance industry, workmen’s compensation industry, crop-insurance and/or health-insurance industry, broadband industry, call centers, water parks, solid waste, waste-water (for the Bac-Man geothermal plant) and sewage treatment plants and other environmental friendly energy projects. (
jglariosa@hotmail.com)

Videoclip:  https://youtu.be/oUize3Zp4g4

Joseph G. Lariosa
Correspondent
Journal GlobaLinks
5401 West Lawrence Ave.

Suite 30110
Chicago, IL 60630
Tel. 312.772.5454
Telefax 312.428.5714
E-Mail address: Jgl@jgli.net
Website: jgli.net
Facebook: Joseph G. Lariosa
Twitter: @jogalar
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Filed under Bulan Airport, Bulan Developments, Bulan Municipal, Bulan Observer and Fil-Am Friends, Politics, The Matnog Environmental Advocates Organization (MEAO), Views and Concern

Congratulations Mayor Marnellie Ballesteros!!!

Bulan Observer congratulates the newly-elected mayor of Bulan Marnellie Ballesteros!

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With her, we hope for a brighter Bulan!

I also  send my warmest greetings to my former classmates Rommel Gonzales and Chito Hao.

Keep up the good work- and our spirit!

jun asuncion

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Official tally: Bulan, Sorsogon

       
.      
.      
. MAYOR – BULAN   Total Votes
. BALLESTEROS, MARNELLIE LIBERAL PARTY 17,760
. DE CASTRO, DONDON UNITED NATIONALIST ALLIANCE 13,618
. GUYALA, NONONG PWERSA NG MASANG PILIPINO 7,090
.      
.      
. VICE-MAYOR – BULAN    
. GOCOYO, RONALDO LIBERAL PARTY 13,031
. GOGOLA, MANUEL JR. INDEPENDENT 4,860
. GURAN, TESSIE UNITED NATIONALIST ALLIANCE 17,562
. ONG, DANILO PWERSA NG MASANG PILIPINO 484
.      
. MEMBER SANGGUNIANG BAYAN  
.      
. ALCANTARA, NOLI LIBERAL PARTY 6,879
. BONCAN, ANTONIO LIBERAL PARTY 7,536
. BURIAS, EDGAR PWERSA NG MASANG PILIPINO 4,093
. BURIAS, ELMER UNITED NATIONALIST ALLIANCE 12,110
. COX, ROSE PWERSA NG MASANG PILIPINO 11,965
. DELMONTE, CHITO UNITED NATIONALIST ALLIANCE 15,856
. GALLEGO, ALBERTO INDEPENDENT 1,660
. GERONGA, GUTO UNITED NATIONALIST ALLIANCE 13,422
. GIGANTONE, RONNIE UNITED NATIONALIST ALLIANCE 16,378
. GOGOLA, BOY LIBERAL PARTY 8,798
. GOGOLIN, RODOLFO PWERSA NG MASANG PILIPINO 1,289
. GONZALES, ENTE PWERSA NG MASANG PILIPINO 1,511
. GONZALES, ROMMEL LIBERAL PARTY 8,380
. GORDOLA, ROMEO LIBERAL PARTY 11,012
. GOTLADERA, CRIS LIBERAL PARTY 13,809
. GOÑA, AGNES PWERSA NG MASANG PILIPINO 1,527
. GUELAS, ALER UNITED NATIONALIST ALLIANCE 15,239
. GUETA, PANDING LIBERAL PARTY 5,791
. GUTAY, IRISH PWERSA NG MASANG PILIPINO 1,233
. HAO, CHITO UNITED NATIONALIST ALLIANCE 15,459
. LETADA, JASON PWERSA NG MASANG PILIPINO 3,581
. MONFORTE, NEIL PWERSA NG MASANG PILIPINO 1,386
. QUE, ROBERTO JR. INDEPENDENT 8,524
. SOLIS, JOANNE UNITED NATIONALIST ALLIANCE 9,316
. VALERIANO, RECTO LIBERAL PARTY 14,472
. ZUÑIGA, EKEL UNITED NATIONALIST ALLIANCE 10,967

 

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Filed under Bulan Developments, Bulan Municipal, Politics, Town Agenda

Inaugural Message delivered by Helen C. De Castro

PIO- Bulan

July 2, 2010 at 6:54 am The following is the Inaugural Message delivered by Helen C. De Castro, Re-elected Mayor of Bulan, on the occasion of her Oath taking on June 30, 2010. We shall be posting pictures and other materials of interest at the Bulan website before the end of July 2010.(LGU Bulan PIO)

—————————————————————–

Mayor Helen C. De Castro

Bulan, Sorsogon

Inauguration and Oath-taking Ceremony

of Newly- elected Municipal Officials

June 30, 2010/ 4:30 PM

Bulan Freedom Park

INAUGURAL MESSAGE 2010

The Honorable MTC Judge Emmerson Carpio;

Mga bag-o na Miembros san Sangguniang Bayan, sa Pamumuno ni

Vice-Mayor Marnellie B. Robles;

Mga Kapwa Trabahador sa Gobierno, mga Serbidor Publiko;

Mga Bisita;

Sa Entero na mga Kabungto Ko, Mga Pinapadaba na mga Bulaneno:

I. INTRODUCTION:

Dios marhay na banggui tabi sa iyo entero!

Pasalamatan ko mun-a tabi an saato Honorable na MTC Judge Emmerson G. Carpio sa pag-onra niya sa ato niyan na magpasumpa sa amo mga Opisyales. Kaogmahan ko man i-congratulate si Vice-Mayor Marnellie, nan an mga bag-o na Konsehales san Sangguniang Bayan ng Bulan. Congratulations man tabi, nan best wishes sa iyo mga Pamilya, nan an iyo mga kaurupod.

Niyan na adlaw, segun sa mando san ato Konstitusyon, sa entero na gobierno local sa bilog na Pilipinas, kasabay san ato bag-o na mga opiyales nasyonal, may seremonya sin pagsumpa o inagurasyon para sa mga bag-o na elihido na opisyales. Nan didi sa Bungto ta, yaa man kita niyan, nagpapartisipar sa seremonyas na ini, manungod sa destino san padaba ta na bungto, sa paagi namo na hinatagan niyo pagtiwala san nakaagi na eleksiyon. Ini an panahon o tiempo sin paglaom, pagtubod, nan pagpasalamat. As we witness local history unfold before us, and as we aspire to move toward a better destiny, we consider this moment as a moment of hope, faith and gratitude.

II. PAGPASALAMAT:

An una na kamaw-otan ko, nan nato, an pasalamatan an Mahal na Kagurangnan Dios, kay nangyari nan natapos ini na makasaysayan na Eleksiyon 2010 na matoninong nan matrangkilo. Natubod ako na an Mahal na Diyos man gihapon an may gabay sa ato entero. Ini dahilan na kadaghanan sa ato na mga Pilipino, nato na mga Bulanenyo, nangaradyi nan nagmaw-ot sin mayad na ehersisyo political. Sayo ini na karakter nan ugali sin mga taga-Bulan na dapat nato ika-orgulyo nan ikaogma. Ini na nangyari sayo man na regalo sa ato san Mahal na Kagurangnan.

Ikaduwa, ini man an oportunidad na ipahayag ko, sa ngaran man san ako Pamilya, an Pagpasalamat sa iyo entero, lalo na sa mga nagsuporta sa ako, nan sa amo mga Kaurupod sa Partido san Lakas Kampi CMD, dahilan sa pambihira na tiwala na inhatag niyo sa amo. Personalmente, dako-dako na kumpiansa an inhatag niyo sa ako na iboto gihapon bilang Mayor sa bungto ta sa pangtolo nan ultimo ko na turno. Kadaghan san dapat namo pasalamatan, batog sa mga nag-aasikaso sa Party Headquarters , abot sa mga lideres political, sa mga posters boys, pati sa mga volunteers sa barangay, hanggang sa ultimo na botante na, naasikaso man namo o dire, nagpahudam san kanira suporta sa amo.

III. AN NAKAAGI NA KAMPANYA NAN ELEKSIYON:

Dire ko inhuna, nan talagang napangaratan ako, sa pambihira na resulta san ato eleksiyon local. Grabe ka-overwhelming an pagboto niyo sa ako. Nan ini an primero sa kasaysayan san Bulan na an Mayor hinatagan niyo sin pinakadako na mayoriya. San 2004, 16,500 an boto na hinatag niyo; san 2007, 17,400 na boto. Pero niyan na 2010, mas dako-dako na boto an inpaimod niyo sa paagi sin 23,300 na boto. Nan maski pa ngane biriyoon an boto san duwa ko na kalaban sa politika, naglalamang pa gihapon ako sa kanira sin sobra diyes mil na boto. Nan dire lang tabi yuon, binotohan pa niyo an pito sa mga kapartido ko na mga Konsehales, mayoriya na ini sa Sangguniang Bayan. Natubod ako na ini na pagdesisyon niyo niyan sayo na apirmasyon o pagkumporme sa amo pag-administrar san ato bungto.

Dire ko maiwasan sa okasyon na ini, na magpahayag sa iyo na ini na nag-agi na Kampanya nan Eleksiyon, sa pamate ko, mao na an pinaka-emosyonal na Eleksiyon para sa amo. Masasabi ko na mao ini an pinaka-emosyonal, nan nagdara sa amo sin grabe na kamunduan sa dahilan na nakahampang namo an sayo na grupo sin mga kandidato na wara na sin hinimo sa tribuna o entablado kundi isabotahe, pakaraoton nan raw-ayon an pangaran san Pamilya De Castro sa hampang san Publiko sa Bulan. Alagad, tinios mi yuon, pinasensiya, pinatawad, nan dire kami nagbaba sa level nan klase san kanira pamumulitika nan pangampanya. Mas naghurandig nan nagtiwala kami sa pagiging matured san mga taga-Bulan. Mas nagtubod kami sa konsensiyoso na pagtimbang san mga taga-Bulan, nan sa pagdesisyon niyo para sa ato puturo. Personal namo na kaogmahan na dire kamo nadara san klase san kanira pangampanya, alagad lalo niyo pinaimod tabi na habo kirita sini na mga paagi sin politika.

Sa parte po namo na Pamilya De Castro, ini po na pagboto niyo sa ako na makumplehan ko an saako ikatolo na turno, sayo na pagpaimod tabi pambihira na paghatag po niyo na mga taga-Bulan sin pagtiwala nan pagpadaba sa amo. Kun iisipon baga, batog pa kan Guiming nan hasta niyan na turno, onom na na turno na dire niyo kami sinalidahan, nan bihirahonon an irog sini na mga situasyon politika sa ato komunidad. Alagad gusto mi tabi ipaisi sa iyo na dahilan sini na kumpiansa niyo, lalo tabi kami nagpapakumbaba sa iyo. Permi nakatanom sa puso nan isip namo na ini na tiwala inpahudam lang niyo sa amo. Nan aram namo na wara sin bagay na permanente sa kinab-an, lalo na an pagpugol sin autoridad nan poder. Naglilipas nan naglalaos an mga lideres. Importantehon didi na pilosopiya an tungkol sa integridad sin serbisyo publiko.

Sa mga dire nakasabay sa ako dahil sa manlaen-laen na rasones, personal man o politika, inpapaabot ko sa iyo na huyuon tabi an ungod ko na pagrespeto sa derecho nan desisyon niyo. Padagos ako na mahinguha, bilang mayor nan magurang san bungto ta para sa kaayadan san entero. Dire tabi ako Mayor san mga nagsuporta lang sa ako, kundi Mayor tabi ako san entero na taga-Bulan, nan responsibildad ko an kaayadan san entero na taga-Bulan. Padagos ako na mahimo sin paagi, na awt pa man, magkasarabay nan magkasarayo kirita. Kirita-kita na mga taga-Bulan an dalan sa pag-unhan o pag-roro ta; wara iba kundi kirita–kita an madaramayan.

An saiyo tiwala, suporta nan pagsakripisyo sosolian namo sin tunay na pagserbisyo segun san mandando san amo posisyon sa abot san amo makakaya.

IV. PILOSOPIYA POLITIKAL SAN ADMINISTRASYON DE CASTRO:

Sa Administrasyon san De Castro naging pilosopiya political na namo na an ananuman na desisyon, pagmanehar, pag-unhan o pagbabag-o san Komunidad, an dapat na sentro an Tawo, kita na mga Bulaneno. Pagtubod san amo Administrasyon na an kada ciudadano ta may dignidad na dapat irespeto, ipromoter nan paunhanon. Ini sa paagi sin Empowerment o an derecho na makapartisipar sa pagbilog sin mga desisyon para sa bungto ta. Mangyayari yoon sa paagi sin sayo na responsable na paggogobierno. We as leaders, are called to that Social Responsibility and a Concientisized Leadership that shall inspire our people to action and actualize and concretize the potentials of our people and our community.

Sa solod sin dowa na turno o seis anyos na ako an saiyo Mayor, naghinguha an saamo liderato na makaambag nan makadanun sa pagpundar, pagtindog nan pagpatalubo sini na bungto ta. Inaako namo na dire man kami an dahilan kun nano kay progresibo nan mayad an bungto ta. Kamu na mga ciudadano an dahilan kun nano kay progresibo nan mayad an bungto ta. Kami na mga lideres kasangkapan lang na mahatagan direksiyon yoon na progreso nan kaayadan. Magiging arogante kami kun sabihon namo na kami na mga lideres an nagdara sin progreso sa Bulan. Dire tabi. Kamo tabi an dahilan san pagprogreso ta. We leaders are just stewards of the community. This is a fundamental political philosophy that should make us leaders serve with humility.

Sa solod sini na primerong duwa ko na turno, naghinguha an saiyo lingkod, kaupod an Sangguniang Bayan, na makalatag sin mga programa nan mga proyekto na makadanun sa pag-unhan san komunidad ta. Pinulsuhan nato an mga pangangaipo san ato mga ciudadano, both real and perceived, maski ngane baga daghanun an mga limitasyon ta, lalo na sa budget, pondo o rekursos pinansiyal. Pero dire man lang pinansiya an kaipuhan para sa sayo na komunidad, kundi an mayad nan matoninong na pag-urupod-upod nan an pagmantenir sin mas masarig nan matibay na social fabric san mga Bulaneno.

Over the last six years, despite our limitations, our Local Government Unit tried to be as creative and as resourceful in order to meet the needs of our constituents.

V. MGA PLANO SAN GOBIERNO LOKAL, 2010-2013:

Sa aga, Hulyo 1, mabatog na naman an panibag-o na turno san amo Administrasyon. Panibag-o ini na agyat sa amo na mga elihido na lideres, alagad padagos kita na ingigiyahan san bisyon nan misyon nato na makamantenir sin sayo na trangkilo, matoninong nan nagkakasarayo na komunidad, nagbabantay nan nagpopromoter san dignidad san ato mga konstituentes, nagpoprotehir san ato kapalibutan, habang insususog nato an sayo na sustainable development nan progreso san bungto ta, basi mapakay-ad ta an kamutangan san ato mga ciudadano.

An masunod na tolo kataon importante para sa ako sa dahilan na gusto ko man makabilin sin sayo na legasiya sa komunidad ta — legasiya sin tultol, mayad nan de-integridad na serbisyo publiko. Kun anano an naimud niyo na kahigusan nan seryoso na trabaho sini na nakaagi na duwa na turno, mas lalo pa namo inpapangako na maiimudan niyo kami sin mas masigasig, mas maagap na pag-asikaso. Dire tabi mabag-o an klase sin panerbihan namo sa iyo, nan dire mabag-o an klase sin paki-upod namo saiyo.

Onra nan kaogmahan ko, na ilatag niyan sa iyo, an mga plano nan programa san ato Gobierno Lokal sa maabot na tolo kataon, sa paagi san ako Opisina nan Administrasyon.

UNA – Ipapadagos nato an HELEN PROGRAM — Health, Edukasyon, Livelihood o Pagbuhay, Environment nan Nutrisyon. Sa solod sin onom kataon, ini na lima na basic services programs an naging giya ko sa pag-administrar san Bulan. Lalo nato ini i-improve o pakay-adon. Kun ananuman an naging mga kakulangan hihipnuan ta basi lalo maging episyente an delivery ta sin basic services; Sa lado san Edukasyon, naging mainit ini na isyu san nakaagi na Eleksiyon. An ato mga educational programs lalo nato i-institutionalize, pero realistic, segun sa kakayahan ta sa pondo o budget local. Nagpa- preparar na ako sin sayo na komprehensibo na Educational Assistance Program para sa mga poor but deserving Bulaneno College Students basi maka-ayuda sa kanira pag-escuela.

Mapatindog kita sin mas dako na Bulan Health Center nan Birthing Facility didi sa may Barangay Aquino, botnga san 509th Police Station nan Municipio. Isyu baga ini na Pawa Hospital ta, pero dire nato sadire yuon na pasilidad kaya limitado an pagdanun ta doon. Mas masayon na para sa ato an mga emergencies lalo pa na duwa na an Ambulancia ta.

IKADUWA — Lalo ta tabi pakusugon an Peace and Order nan Public Safety Programs. Nagdadako an Bulan, nagdadaghan an papolasyon, mas nagdadako an mga bisita ta sa bungto. Ini sa paagi sin mas mayad nan mas episyente na Traffic Management Program, kumprehensibo na Disaster Management Program, Anti-Illegal Drugs Advocacy, nan Women and Children’s Rights Advocacies;

IKATOLO — Hatagan ta sin mayor na atensiyon an pagpakusog san Ekonomiya ta sa Bulan, sa negosyo, sa pag-oma, pangisda; Hahatagan ta pansin an livelihood trainings ta; techno-vocational skills enhancement programs para sa mga out-of school youths, nan graduates nato; job placement activities kadanon an mga placement agencies. Plano ta na pakusugon nan ma-institutionalize an Coastal Resource Management Programs pareho sin pag-instolar mga artificial reefs sa ato kadagatan basi mag-daghan an isda ta; pakusugon lalo an Bantay-Dagat program; mapaadal kita sa Seaweeds Production kay may resources kita didi; Nan mabutang kita saro na Revolving Fund para sa kapakinabangan san mga paraoma nan mga paraisda. Ipupursige ta na an Investment Incentives activities para sa mga investor sa negosyo didi sa Bulan; Mabutang kita Bagsakan ng Bayan sa may Old Jeepney Terminal sa relanse, para sa mga produkto ta didi sa Bulan; lalo nato mamanteniron an mga Farm-to Market Roads nato — padagos na pag-abri, pagmantenir nan pag-improve suon na mga arterial roads para sa mga kabarangay ta; Nan mahanap kita paagi na maka source out kita mga proyekto pang-imprastraktura, hale kan Governor nan National Government na makadanon sa pagbuhay ta didi sa Bulan.

Dahil wara na kita masyado problema sa Bus Terminal sa Fabrica, popokusan ko naman niyan na didi sa Poblacion mahingayad, mapormal nan mapagayon an paradahan o Terminal san mga paraTraysikol nan Parapadyak, nan kaupod na didi an de-kalidad na Jeepney nan FX Vans Terminal. Sayo ini na sector sin pagbuhay na maw-ot nato na mapamutang man sin mayad.

IKAOPAT — Ipapadagos ta na an sayo na komprehensibo na Tourism, History and Culture Heritage Development Program. Ini na programa sa turismo, historya nan kultura an kalag (soul) sin sayo na komunidad. Pobre kuno an sayo na komunidad na wara labot o pakamangno o pag-intindi sa sadire na kaagi-agi, nan inutil kono an mga lideres na dire nagmamangno sa kasaysayan san kaniya komunidad na mao an sugpon nan giya/guide san presente nan puturo ta. An sabi sin sayo na German Philosopher, na ngaya, a community is only politically mature depending upon its own historical maturity. Mapokus kita sa sayo na comprehensibo na Poblacion Improvement Program kay basi kaaya-aya an ato Poblacion. An Pblacion baga an pinaka-bintana san ato bungto.

IKALIMA — Mahanap na kita, nan kun puwede, makapatindog na sin bag-o na Sementeryo o municipal memorial park, possible sa may Lahong o Beguin o Fabrica, harayo na sa sentro dahilan na may long-term focus ini.

Sa Lunes, Hulyo 5, hihimuon nato an Executive- Legislative meeting sa Inaugural Session san Sangguniang Bayan na inpapamunuan niyan ni Vice- Mayor Marnellie. Imbitado tabi nato an entero na Kapitanes san Bulan nan an mga Department Heads san Municipio kay basi mailatag nato an Executive nan Legislative Agenda para sa masunod na tolo kataon. Didi nakasalalay an magiging direksiyon san ato Gobierno Lokal. An saako Executive Agenda ipapahayag ko sa kanira sa Lunes.

Sa niyan, mas mapapadali na nato na maaraman an mga kaipuhan pangkomunidad nato dahilan sa naipamutang na nato an Community-Based Monitoring System o CBMS, nan an SLGR o State of Local Governance Report. Ini an reference points nato san mga development prospects nato para sa Bulan.

VI. PAGLAOM PARA SA BUNGTO TA:

Sa primerong duwa na turno, may had-it ako na basi kun ikumparar an amo administrasyon sa mga nakaagi na administrasyon, nan dire ko maabot an inlalaom sa sayo na lider. Alagad niyan, yuon na had-it nasalidahan sin mas hararom na kumpiansa, dahilan sa inpaimod nan inpahudam niyo na tiwala sa ako tabi. Niyan, mas inspirado nan mas may pokus nan direksiyon ako dahil sa iyo.

This Inauguration Event is a moment of challenge, and of hope, of faith, and of thanksgiving. As it is necessary, we shall move on to help better the Bulaneno Community, not in a laxed pace, but vigorous and strong, sure and undaunted.

Bilang Lider, aram ko tabi na nakaatang sa ako an magub-at na kargo sin sayo na magurang. Simbagon ko ini dire lang sa iyo kundi sa Mahal na Dios. Simbagon namo ini dire lang sa presente na henerasyon kundi parte man kami na responsable sa kaayadan san maabot na henerasyon nan puturo san bungto ta. An pagdesisyon ta niyan sayo na pagdesisyon sa puturo nan destino ta.

Ini tabi na pagdesisyon niyo na itiwala sa amo an pagrenda san gobierno local ta dire namo sasayangon. Hihirutan mi ini na tiwala, nan papakay-adon namo an pag-asikaso sa obligasyon na inpakargo niyo sa amo.

Pero, aayuon ko gihapon tabi an saiyo mahalagahon na paki-kooperar nan kolaborasyon sa ato Gobierno Lokal. Entero an mga plano nan hihimuon namo wara saysay kun dire tabi niyo kami danunan. Daghanun an gusto namo himuon, pero kaipuhan mi an danun niyo.

An sabi ni Presidente Abraham Lincoln san Amerika, na ngaya, “The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time…”. Ngaya, an kadianisan san puturo kay kada adlaw mo lang ini inlalakaw. Simplehon lang ini na kaisipan pero hararomon an kahulugan.

Precioso an kada adlaw kun ini hatagan mo sin puso nan kahulugan. Inpapangako ko sa iyo na hihimuon ko, bilang Mayor niyo, na an kada adlaw magiging adlaw sin serbisyo publiko na may integridad nan may pagmakulog. Padaba ta ini na bungto nan dire ta siya pababayaan.

Magdaranunan nan magkasarayo kita para sa kaayadan san bungto ta. Salamat, nan Dios Mabalos tabi sa iyo entero!    //

                                                                                          ——–end——-

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Filed under Bulan Municipal, Mayor Helen De Castro - LGU Bulan, PIO- Bulan, Politics

Mayor De Castro Wins By Landslide

by Tonyboy Gilana- PIO Bulan

 

Bulan Town has new Vice-mayor!

It’s a resounding mandate by the People of Bulan to allow Mayor Helen De Castro another term, her third and last, as she easily defeated perennial candidate Attorney Redentor Guyala. De Castro got 23,350 against Guyala’s 9,705. Boy Gogola of the Liberal Party got 3,305. De Castro won all 63 barangays and all 83 precincts of Bulan.

Meanwhile, Marnellie Ballesteros Robles got the nod of 11,490 voters as against the 7,291 votes on incumbent vice-mayor Manuel Gogola.

Seven of the 8 candidates of Mayor De Castro for the Municipal Council won, while only one from Guyala group made it. The following councilors, out of 25, were voted to sit in the municipal council: Ronaldo Gocoyo, Tessie Guran, Guillermo De Castro, Jr., Bernard Hao, Chito Delmonte, Ronnie Gigantone, Recto Valeriano, and Simmy Gerona. Only Valeriano comes from the local opposition party.

Meanwhile, Former Governor Raul R. Lee was once more voted to the gubernatorial office by trouncing incumbent Second District Congressman Joey Solis. Guiming De Castro of Bulan lost to Kruni Escudero in the vice-gubernatorial race.

The final count for the Second Congressional District is still being fought by Cardo Golpeo of Bulan and Gubat Mayor Ding Ramos.

In the First District, incumbent Congressman Sonny Escudero is on his way to complete a third term in Congress. He defeated former Casigutan Mayor Edwin Boboy Hamor.

This is the first in the history of Bulan that a mayoralty candidate has won in all 63 barangays and in all precincts./

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Filed under Announcement, Bulan Municipal, Mayor Helen De Castro - LGU Bulan, News, PIO- Bulan, Politics

LGU-Bulan 2010 Budget At 118 Million Pesos

From PIO- LGU Bulan  Mr. Tonyboy Gilana

 

Bulan, Sorsogon, December 31, 2009:

The Sangguniang Bayan has passed Appropriation Ordinance No. 02, series of 2009, authorizing the Annual Budget of the Local Government Unit for Fiscal Year 2010 in the total amount of 118,197,163.00 pesos covering the various expenditures for the municipal government.

In her Budget Message, Mayor Helen De Castro emphasized the need to judiciously manage the finances of the Local Government Unit to properly address the growing needs of about a hundred thousand people in the municipality, through the various programs of her Administration especially in the areas of Health, Education, Livelihood, Environment and Nutrition/Social Services (HELEN Program).

Of this amount, P98,197,163.00 shall come from the Local Government share from the Internal Revenue Allotment, while an estimated P20,000,000.00 shall be from the local taxes and revenues to be generated by the economic enterprises facilities like the Public Market, the Terminal, the Community Park, the Muncipal Fishport and various other revenue-generating activities.

The bulk of the expenditures, amounting to P54,173,506.00 shall go to General Services accounts like personnel services. Social Services Sector gets a share of P15,989,236.41, with Health taking in P8,884,993.00.The Economic Services Sector expenditures are expected next year to be in the amount of P11,281,176.60.

For Other Services, which includes Statutory Obligations, the 20% Community Development Fund comes in the amount of P19,639,432.60. Five percent or P5,909,858.15 is reserved for the Calamity Fund. P63,000 has been allotted as Aid to Barangays. A Lumpsum Appropriations of P2,500,000.00 as Terminal Leave Pay is also intended this year for out-going elective and other appointive officials.

Debt-servicing stands at P8,640,000.00 to cover payments for loans made by the Local Government Unit, and these include the Bulan Integrated Terminal and the DOF Premiumed Loans for the public market.

More municipal roads are due for repair and rehabilitation this year on account of the floods that caused much destruction this year, and the LGU is making sure that the pool of equipment is properly maintained to ensure consistent operation.

The municipal government is still waiting for the full implementation of the budget pending final approval by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, which has the power to review and/or reject the municipal proposal. /

Addendum:

“The Municipal Budget last year 2009 was P103,873,243.00. In 2008, the Budget was P102,078,480.70. So there was a marked increase especially in the share the municipal government got from the national government through the IRA or Internal Revenue Allotment.”

Please take note that the Local Revenues/ Incomes (P20,000,000.00) are mostly estimates. This amount will be possible only if we can realize our collection targets, through our economic enterprises and revenue-generating activities like business licenses, local taxes, service facility charges, etc.

The purpose why we released this news is because it is necessary that we in the LGU of Bulan be  TRANSPARENT  in our fiscal responsibilities and duties to the people of Bulan.

                                                    ……end…..

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Filed under Bulan Municipal, Mayor Helen De Castro - LGU Bulan, News

Kidnapped ICRC Workers: Good News And Bad News

by: attybenji 

 

The good news is – Filipina hostage Mary Jane Lacaba was rescued and recovered alive from the kidnappers (April 2, 2009). Some reports alleged that she was handed-over formally by the captors to the negotiators, not rescued, upon payment of ransom!

The bad news is – the Swiss Andreas Notter and Italian Eugenio Vagni are still under captivity, sad to say, a day after freeing Lacaba, the kidnappers threatened to execute these two remaining captives. We do not know when? May awa ang diyos, huwag po naman sana!

With this new development, authorities are readying the evacuation of over 21,000 residents in 5 towns of Sulu for a possible worst case scenario or armed confrontation between security forces and the Abu Sayyaf bandits, as reported in various newspapers (April 3, 2009)

In retrospect: Filipina Mary Jean Lacaba, Swiss Andreas Notter and Italian Eugenio Vagni have been kidnapped and remained in the jungles of Sulu since January 15, 2009. They were abducted after a visit to a local prison where the Red Cross is funding a water project.

Recall that barely an hour before the ultimatum would lapse, Philippine Red Cross Chairman Senator Richard Gordon asked the Abu Sayyaf kidnappers for proof that the three Red Cross volunteer workers were alive as government troops and tanks moved closer amidst the threats to behead the captives. (April 1, 2009)

Senator Gordon’s messages to the captives, while uttering the words of comfort and inspiration, suddenly tears fell from his eyes, saying – “The whole family of Red Cross prays for you and I’m proud of the way you’ve comported yourself”. “I’m sorry I should be stronger than you because I’m not in the midst of the ordeal you are in now.”

And to the captors he pleaded, – “There was no glory in what the captors are doing. You are just pinning yourself down. These people are not your enemies. They were here to help the prisoners in the city jail by providing them with water and other needs”.

As the crisis deepens, the Catholic Church is urging Filipinos to pray for the release of the kidnapped ICRC workers.

The CBCP circulated copies of a pastoral letter in all catholic churches exhorting all Filipinos as brothers and sisters to reach out to both kidnappers and their hostages with prayers, saying that let it be a whole nation praying that all may experience true freedom and security. Likewise The CBCP is appealing to both kidnappers and the government to use every peaceful means to address thought peaceful process what ever is the root of this on going problem of kidnapping in Jolo, Sulu and the whole country.

We, as peace loving Filipinos, are sympathizing with the plight that the hostages are facing right now in the hinterlands of Sulu. They are facing the uncertainty of tomorrow, “nangangamba tayo na baka gagawin ng mga bandido ang kanilang banta”, God forbids!

– Just try to sympathize with their families, and imagine the sufferings, anguishes, mental torture, psychological-emotional pains, sleepless nights, mental shocks, fears and insecurities. As, anytime from now, the captives would be caught in the crossfire of the battle between the kidnappers and government forces once the latter commences its rescue operations. Also, anytime from now, they can be executed and beheaded by their captors.

From a distance, we can only offer our prayers for the lasting solution to this horrible situation in Sulu and for the release of the two other captives from the hands of the Abu Sayyaf bandits.

After freeing the Filipina, the fate of the hostages is still uncertain and unknown, and the fear of bloodshed is inevitable once the military begins its rescue operations in Sulu. Madaming inosenteng civilians ang madadamay sa bakbakang militar at mga bandidong grupo!

– Also, try to dramatize the situation, and imagine a scenario, or put yourself in the shoes of the families or relatives of one of the hostages, or of all the hostages, coupled with the shocking news update every now and then that the kidnappers are threatening to behead the hostages one by one. For sure, “hindi ka mapapakali, hindi ka makakain, maiihi ka, matatae ka, iikot ang tumbong mo at hindi ka makakatulog”, why? Because these group of kidnappers are known for their barbaric acts in the past. By all means, they have the capacity to exterminate the captives when their demands for ransom, or otherwise, are not heeded, and not taken seriously by the government negotiators, etc.

In fact, I was monitoring this incident for weeks now, and believe me guys while I was watching the news update on TV, a day before Lacaba was released, “naluha ako at naiyak”, because I could not help but to reminiscence the sad memories of the past, similar to the ordeal and nightmare that the hostages have gone thru for months in the mountains, and the tormented mind of the victims’ families as well, …… I cried, and tears fell from my eyes because some years ago my father, Ceferino was kidnapped by the NPAs, and my brother, Edilberto, was also victim of kidnapping years back in Nigeria.

In local parlance, malungkot ang alaala ng kahapon, kaya hindi ko mapigilan ang maiyak at maluha sa ganitong sitwasyun!

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RE; Kidnapping of my father, Ceferino!

Sometime in 1995, my father was kidnapped by the NPAs in San Ramon, Bulan. While my brother, a seaman-engineer, was held captive by the Nigerian rebels in Warri of 2007.

My father, a municipal councilor then, and was active in local politics in Bulan. All of the sudden, one gloomy afternoon, the NPAs had snatched my father in our house and was forcibly brought to the jungle of the unknown, and of place of no return, where most, if not all, of the civilians, who have been held hostage by the rebels were buried thereat after being strangulated, stabbed, or buried alive according the reports; my father used to describe the place as between the boundary of the towns of Juban and Magallanes overlooking the sea from a far. He was held in captivity for almost a week, blindfolded and his hands were tied, and could not sleep well due to the pestering sounds and bites of the mosquitoes, known carriers of malaria virus (hindi pa uso nuon ang sakit na dengue).

Fear of not seeing his husband anymore, my mother has already entertained a thought of committing suicide due to hopelessness, frustration and despair. No news, no update of the incident, or the whereabouts of my father is still unknown, no means of communication, no telephone, no text, no cellular phone to connect thru to the captors at that time. But, worst, the NPAs had advised my mother not to tell anybody about the incident, nor report the kidnapping to the authority, which my mother obligingly did.

Despite said warning, some concerned citizens reported the said incident to the police, and minutes thereafter, the police proceeded to our house in San Ramon to confirm the reported kidnapping of my father, but my mother, for fear of reprisal from the captors opted to remain silent about it and when asked about the incident, she even diverted the interrogation made by the men in uniform saying that my father was in Manila for his regular medical check up, but the men in uniform did not believe her claim, because my mother at that time was uneasy and crying and tears were falling from her eyes uncontrolled by cotton handkerchief.

Luckily, prayers really paid off, because after week long of captivity my father was finally released unharmed somewhere in the mountainous barangay in Irosin.

The reason why he was kidnapped? According to them, my father is a spy for the military, and is having an illicit relationship with another woman. Oh my Gulay, this is a silly accusation? This is a blatant lie and not true. A fabricated and concocted charge purportedly made by his political rivals, who have personal grudge to grind against my father, “mga inggitero” in our barangay. But, this is politics anyway, a dirty politics I should say!

In consideration of his release, a board & lodging had been charged to my father’s account, he was asked to defray of the amount of P45-Thousand pesos, which we obligingly complied with (note: from the first demand of 100thousand pesos, natawaran hanggang umabot ng 45thousand nalang), on the condition that said amount would be treated not as a payment for ransom, but to be referred to as sort of a Donation to the KILUSAN, or as payment for the board & lodging of my father while under captivity. Silly, is it not?

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RE; Kidnapping of my brother, Edilberto!

My brother, Edilberto, a seaman-engineer, was kidnapped along with the other 23 Filipino crew while their ship was navigating along the Delta River in Warri, Nigeria.

They were held in captivity for 24 days in the jungle of the Warri by the rebels who called themselves, the Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta (or, “MEND”), the dreaded and most notorious group of rebels in Nigeria, engaged in piracy, kidnapping and extortion, whose leader opted to remain as a mysterious leader of the group, called “General”.

Within 24 days of captivity, we, the families, have suffered several days of sleepless nights, anxieties and mental shock, and like the ICRC Workers’ hostages, we’re also facing the same fate of uncertainty at that time. Because, the MEND rebels also threatened to execute one by one the Filipino hostages as reported in the CNN and BBC if the government of Nigeria and the ship owner would not heed to their demands. To resolve the problem, the Nigerian government has already called its men in uniform to prepare for the worst case scenario to rescue the captives at all costs, but luckily the purported plan did not push through, because the rebels threatened to use their hostages as human shields once the military pursues its plan.

We were then in constant contact with the representatives of the DFA, OWWA and the Hamonia Shipping Agency, the local manning agency, for more updates, these representatives would always advise us (families of the hostages) not to allow each one of us to be interviewed by media people in order not to jeopardize the on-going negotiations between the Nigerian government and the rebels, as well as the representative of the shipowner.

Amidst the advisory from the DFA and OWWA to shun away interviews by media people, feeling uneasy and worried of the situation, I then defied said warning, and taken the cudgel for all the families of the seamen-hostages by writing a letter of appeal to a local newspaper in Nigeria (the “Guardian”) via email. The contents of my letter was published in Nigeria and in also in various newspapers in Manila. Because of that incident, I was summoned by the DFA and that of Hamonia representatives in their office advising me to please avoid further making an appeal to the MEND rebels because in so doing I might be able to complicate or jeopardize the on-going negotiations. Their reason is “lalaki daw ang ulo ng mga rebelde at mas lalong magdedemand ng malaki dahil umaapela ang pamilya ng biktima for humanitarian considerations”.

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The Picture below, (courtesy of CNN) – where kidnappers displayed their high-powered guns to the Filipino crew hostages in the undisclosed place in Warri, Nigeria.

pix-of-hostages_1

Hereunder is my letter to the Guardian newspaper in Nigeria which was published thereat, viz:

Families’ Plea to Captors: Release Seamen in Nigeria
02/03/2007 | 10:48 AM
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Families of 24 Filipino seamen abducted in Nigeria last month appealed anew to the captors over the weekend to release their hostages.

In a letter published Friday in the Nigerian newspaper “The Guardian” (www.guardian.newsngr.com), Benjamin Gaspi of Manila sought a win-win solution to end the crisis.

“We, the families of the abducted Filipino seamen, are hereby appealing to the Nigerian militants for the immediate release of the seafarers from weeklong captivity … Once again, we appeal to the kidnappers to release the captives,” Gaspi said in his letter.

“We hope and pray that both the government and the militants should find a way to come up with a win-win solution to end the crisis. The families of these hostages in the Philippines are suffering from severe anxiety, stressful days, wounded feelings, moral shock, depression and sleepless nights,” he added.

Although Gaspi did not specify his relation to any of the abducted seamen, he indicated he was writing the letter on behalf of the families of the abducted seamen.

He said the crewmen should not have been abducted because they were “not interfering nor are they intervening in the internal and political affairs of Nigeria.”

“These seamen have nothing to pay because they have no money to pay the ransom (if any). If they really want money they can let go the crew, then take full custody of the vessel and its cargo, then the owner can now pay as well as all those people who have interest in the vessel and cargo,” he said.

Negotiations are still ongoing for the release of the 24 Filipino seafarers and crew of Baco Liner 2, a German owned-vessel held hostage by Nigerian militants last Jan. 19.

At least seven of the crewmembers were brought to a safe house while the others remained inside the ship under the control of the militants.

Gaspi also voiced concern that the hostages may contract malaria and diarrhea.

“We are very much worried and anxious because we do not even know the names of the seamen who were taken ashore and those who were held hostage inside the ship,” he said.

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 AT HINDI PA RIN PO AKO MAPAKALI, kaya sumulat ako sa Ambasador ng Pilipinas sa Abuja, Nigeria. Ito ang nilalaman ng follow-up letter ko kay Ambasador Umpa, thru email, viz:

February 1, 2007

HON. MASARANGA R. UMPA
Ambassador Plenipotentiary
Philippine Embassy in Abuja
Abuja, Nigeria

Dear Mr. Ambassador,

Warmest Greetings!

Sir, unless the those captives are released from nearly month long of captivity; anxiety, mental anguish, low morale, boredom, sleepless nights, despair and depressions will always be part of the day to day routine of the wives, families and relatives of the 24 abducted Filipino seafarers since they were held hostage last January 19, 2007 by the so called Nigerian Militants-MEND.

Considering Sir, that the DFA has imposed a news black-out on the progress of the negotiation and even told the families to cooperate with them by not entertaining interviews from the local media so as not to derail the negotiations, may we respectfully ask an update or breaking news directly from your good office on the progress or status of the negotiation between the rebels and the delta state government, including the chances of having them released as soon as possible.

We understand also that your good office is doing its best to fast track the release of the hostages. Just to calm down, pacify and appease the feeling anxieties among the families of the kidnapped seamen, please give us an update on this incident.

We hope also that you will not get angry at us for being so “MAKULIT” in asking an update from your office every now and then, after all, the lives of the Filipino people are at stake here.

Thank you so much sir for accommodating always my request.

Very truly yours,

BENJAMIN G. GASPI & FAMILY

——————————

Another picture, (courtesy of CNN) – where kidnappers performed their native dance and rituals carrying with them loaded high-powered guns, firing their guns down the soil and up in the air.

pix-of-hostages_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon receipt of my letter, the Honorable Ambassador Umpa readily replied to my query, as follows:

PASUGUAN NG PILIPINAS EMBASSY OF THE PHILIPPINES
ABUJA

01 February 2007

Mr. Benjamin G. Gaspi
benjiegaspi@yahoo.com
MIS- 43 -2007

Dear Mr. Gaspi:

The Philippine Embassy in Nigeria acknowledges receipt of your letter dated
01 February 2007.
We understand your concern for the welfare of your brother and the rest of the
Filipino seamen abducted in Warri. Rest assured that the Embassy is doing all
its best to work out the release of our Filipino brothers.
I have personally led a six-man Embassy team to make sure that negotiations
are fast-tracked and that the Filipinos are treated well and are in good
condition. Daily contacts with the chief government negotiator are maintained
since Embassy personnel and the Delta State Government officials involved
are staying in the same place.
As regards the conflicting reports, the Embassy assures you that we are
closely monitoring every phase of the negotiations and as such, has the
higher authority to verify and confirm what transpires in the course of the talks
to release the hostages, in close coordination with the chief government
negotiator and other Delta State officials.
Thus, more weight should be given to the Embassy reports than to the articles
written in Nigerian local papers. We reiterate that the 24 Filipinos are safe and
are in good condition. The German office of the ship’s owners, as well as the
representatives of the local manning agency here in Warri have denied being
contacted whatsoever by anyone regarding the critical situation of some of the”
hostages.
Further, the Embassy would also like to inform you that it is coordinating with
the German employers in the event of release of the 24 seamen.
Finally, we are hoping for the best and we are counting on your prayers and
the rest of the Filipino nation’s so that we could see light at the end of the
tunnel soon.

We appreciate your continued support and please feel free to communicate
with the Embassy any time and be up dated with any developments.
Thank you once again and best regards.

Very truly yours,

MASARANGGA A.R. UMPA
Ambassador

——————————

Also, picture below (courtesy of CNN), as told by my brother, sometimes kidnappers would point the barrels of their guns to the captives to intimidate them, and more significantly to catch the attention of the international community. (you see how worried they are in this picture).

pix-of-hostages_3At Last, after marathon negotiation with the kidnappers, the 24-Filipino crew, who were held hostage by the MEND militant rebels, were finally released upon paying of, allegedly more or less, 50M U.S. dollars as ransom.

Released Finally: as published in Manila Times, and other local newspapers and tabloid, viz:

Emotional Reunion for Released Seamen

Monday, February 19, 2007
REUNITED with her husband Roberto, chief engineer of the ship seized by rebels in Nigeria, Jocelyn Arcangel said she and her family would take a holiday before deciding on their future.
Roberto was among the 24 Filipino seamen recently released after being held captive at gunpoint for 24 days. They flew home Saturday to an emotional reunion with loved ones.
“We will have a very long family vacation after this incident and we’ll decide after whether he [Roberto] should leave again,” Jocelyn said.
“My sons don’t want him to leave anymore. It was very traumatic. We have not heard from them for a long time and there are fears that they were harmed,” she said.
Roberto said he just wanted to be with his family before declining to talk further with reporters.
Glenda Cagas said her husband, Herculano Cagas, the ship’s third engineer, would probably ship out again after resting in Manila, despite his traumatic ordeal.

“It is difficult, but we don’t have any other choice. We need the livelihood for the family,” Cagas said, noting that their two children aged six and four have yet to enter primary school.
“The hardest part for us was when we saw them on cable television being threatened with guns by their captors in masks,” she said.
Looking haggard after their ordeal but smiling and waving, the men were met by government officials and a throng of journalists after disembarking from a commercial flight at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“We are very happy. Thank you very much President [Gloria] Arroyo,” they said in unison to an explosion of camera flashes.
They were quickly taken to Malacañang and tearfully reunited with family and friends.
Gunmen seized the oil workers on January 20 from a Nigerian-flagged, German-owned cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria.

They were held captive under constant threat by masked gunmen in muddy swamps of the oil-rich Delta region, as Philippine and Nigerian negotiators worked for their release.
It is still unclear who was responsible for the seizure, although a high-profile militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, has fingered a rival outfit identified as Fndic.
The men declined to comment on negotiations that led to their freedom on February 13 for fear of jeopardizing the safety of two other Filipinos seized separately. Filipino diplomats are in Nigeria working to free them.
A Filipina woman was abducted on February 7 in Port Harcourt in Rivers State. Gunmen abducted the woman from the center of the city, at the heart of Nigeria’s oil industry.
A day earlier a Filipino employee of Netco Dietsmann-the Nigerian arm of a Monaco-based oil services company-was seized from a company car heading for the airport in Owerri, the capital of Imo State.
Nigeria is one of the biggest employers of Filipino workers in Africa, with some 3,900 Filipinos employed there at the end of 2006.
The Philippines is one of Asia’s biggest exporters of manpower, with an estimated eight million of its citizens working as maids, seafarers, oil rig workers and in other labor-intensive jobs.
President Arroyo has banned further deployments to Nigeria in the wake of the kidnappings.
On Sunday she instructed embassy officials assigned in conflict areas to ensure the safety of Filipinos in their areas.
Besides Arcangel and Cagas, the crewmembers of Baco Liner 2 are Ruben Roble, master; Elmer Nacionales, chief officer; Carlos Abellana, 2nd officer; Mauro Agacid, 3rd officer; Cirilo Nebit, 2nd engineer; Engr. Edilberto Gaspi, electro tech officer; Sukarno Landasan, Rogelio Garcia, Jonel Bernales, Manolo Isidro, Marlon Mendez, Ronaldo Corpuz, Joven Hidalgo, Jose Talde, Samson Mayo, Henry Sebastian, Jonie Saguid, Edgardo Ellera, Evelio Nacionales, Marcelino Caladman, Nelson Aquino and Herman Valez.

The President said the government would maintain close watch over the welfare of Filipino workers worldwide.
“We continue to pray with the same fervor for the remaining hostages in Nigeria in the hope that their situation will also come to a happy ending,” she said.
The President also thanked the officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs who were involved in the release of the Filipino seafarers.
“To those who work to ensure the safety of our Filipino men, thank you, particularly Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Estevan Conejos Jr. and Special Ambassador to the Middle East Roy Cimatu,” she said.
-AFP and Sam Mediavilla

——————————

The Picture below of jubilant Filipino crew upon their arrival at the NAIA, after being released from the 24 days of captivity. My brother, Edilberto, is at the center raising and waving his left-hand to the media people. He is the tallest among the crew.

freed-hostages4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PGMA Welcomes 24 Freed Seamen and their Families in Malacañang

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2007 | OFW

Twenty-four Filipino seamen, who were freed recently after almost a month of captivity by their Nigerian captors in the oil-rich Niger Delta in Nigeria, thanked President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last night for her immediate action to secure their release.

The seamen, who arrived at 6:40 p.m. at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) from Nigeria via Hong Kong, proceeded to Malacañang to personally extend their gratitude to the President.

The President, together with Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, hosted a sumptuous dinner for the 24 seamen along with their family members, relatives and friends at the Palace Heroes’ Hall.

During the emotional family reunions, the President went from table to table and had brief talk with the newly-arrived seamen and their family members.

“Maraming salamat po, Madame President, sa inyong mabilis na pagtugon sa aming panawagan na kami ay mapalaya agad,” said the seafarers as they echoed their gratefulness to the President.

“Welcome back to the Philippines. Praise God! Salamat sa inyong pag-sakripisyo. Have a nice reunion sa inyong mga pamilya,” the President told them.

The Chief Executive had earlier thanked Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo for “taking a direct hand” in the release of the Filipino seamen.

She also lauded all diplomats who were involved in the immediate release of the 24 seamen, particularly Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Esteban Conejos Jr. and special envoy to the Middle East Roy Cimatu.

“Salamat sa mga nagtrabaho nating diplomat para masiguro ang inyong kaligtasan, katulad ni Usec Conejos at Ambassador Cimatu. Araw-araw ay sinasabi ko na siguraduhin ang inyong kaligtasan at 24 oras silang
nagtrabaho. Praise God that everything had ended well,” she said.

The released Filipino crew members of Baco Liner 2 who called on the President at Malacañang were Ruben Roble, master; Elmer Nacionales, chief officer; Carlos Abellana, 2nd officer; Mauro Agacid, 3rd officer; Roberto Arcangerl, chief engineer; Cirilo Nebit, 2nd engineer; Herculano Cagas, 3rd engineer; Engr. Edilberto Gaspi, electro tech officer; Sukarno Landasan, Rogelio Garcia, Jonel Bernales, Manolo Isidro, Marlon Mendez, Ronaldo Corpuz, Joven Hidalgo, Jose Talde, Samson Mayo, Henry Sebastian, Jonie Saguid, Edgardo Ellera, Evelio Nacionales, Marcelino Caladman, Nelson Aquino, and Herman Valez.

They were abducted by Nigerian gunmen on Jan. 20 and freed unharmed last Feb. 13 without any ransom paid.

Meanwhile, Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio R. Bunye said President Arroyo is hopeful that the two remaining Filipino hostages in Nigeria would also be released soon by their captors.

“The government maintains a close watch over the welfare and well-being of our workers all over the world, and President Arroyo always takes a personal hand in critical events such as the last one,” Bunye said.

“Active diplomacy at a high level and the active presence of our diplomats on the ground will continue to be our strategy to keep our beleaguered workers from harm’s way and to bring them home,” he added.
– – – xxx

Actually, may isa pa akong kapatid na seaman na si Alberto, ay muntik na rin makidnap ng mga Somali pirates in 2007, buti nalang daw nai-locked nila lahat ang doors ng ship, kaya hindi nakapasok sa loob at umalis agad,,, the rest is history na.

SANA WALA NG SUSUNOD NA INSIDENTE NG KIDNAPPING NG MGA FILIPINO O BANYAGA SA MINDANAO O SAAN MANG SULOK NG PILIPINAS AT MATIGIL NA RIN ANG SUNUD-SUNOD NA PAGKIDNAP NG MGA PIRATANG SOMALIA SA MGA FILIPINO SEAMEN.

GOD BLESS US ALL. SHALOM!

Long live Bulan Observer.

attybenji

                                                                                 ———–end———-

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The Bulan-te Connection

Or, The Missing P3million

When Bolante told the House agriculture Committee chaired by Palawan Rep. Mitra that of the 181 recipients (or “farmers”) he listed, only 22 did not avail themselves of  the P3-million to P5-million allocations he gave them, I was delighted to know that there are still 22 “farmers” in our country who are rich and honest and don’t need fluid fertilizers. I was hoping however that this time one of these 22 honest farmers comes from Bulan or Bicol region. But again this turned quite fast into frustration when I read the report of local newspaperman Roy Gersalia in his site Off The Beaten Path that ” Congressman Jose G. Solis said in a press con held Saturday that the P3 million he received were given by him to Bulan town mayor Helen de Castro. But the mayor, however, denied it and said that if such allegations were really true, she would be very happy if indeed the congressman gave her the P3 million intended for the farmers so that she can really help her constituents particularly those engaged in farming” (source : Roy Gersalia’s Off The Beaten Path under news)

A lie is the omission of truth and with such a national government that is founded upon lie, it is no wonder that there will be no shortage of it . A lie begets lie and so even Bolante’s lie has infected Bulan or the Bicol region as a whole. The fact is Congressman Solis accepted the P3 million- to my dismay. He is not one of those 22 who refused. Though I still do not buy Bolante’s revelation about these 22 who refused (a liar is still hard to believe even when he is probably telling the truth -Aesop-) Congressman Jose G. Solis’ case is clear. However, his assertion that he gave the P3million to the mayor of Bulan Helen De Castro could be another lie or maybe a truth. This time the burden of proof rests on Congressman Jose G. Solis. This would have been easy if Mayor Helen De Castro affirmed it right from the start- or if  he had a solid proof to prove his case. But as we know, solid proof attesting to the Truth is not an SOP in Arroyo’s administration. However, now that the mayor “denied” it, it still doesn’t make her a liar. To deny is a normal reaction of somebody accused of something she thinks she did not commit. The mayor could also be omitting the truth, but in this situation, it is a very weak argument.Therefore, granting our mayor her right to presumption of innocence (and the law does not require her to prove her innocence or produce any evidence at all), we should rather focus on Congressman Solis’ corruptible character (for he accepted the P3 million) and pressure him to prove in one way or another his allegation to the public. And though we have never seen yet Bolante’s complete list, with Congressman’s Solis affirmation that he received the P3 million, he already proved to us that he is on the list.

The public has the right to speculate when their public servants are again involved in such a mess. Let’s forget the real poor farmers, but why for example give the whole of this P3 million to Mayor Helen De Castro and not equally divide it to the other Sorsogon mayors? This act alone is already unfair (poor other mayors!). Is Mayor De Castro his padaba (favorite) or he is just using her as a scapegoat? Is this a politically- motivated scenario? …

To assert something without a proof is something that is unethical, or even if you know that there is no such thing anymore as ethics in our political system, you should still avoid giving out such an allegation in a press conference. Congressman  Jose G. Solis should put things in their proper places. We demand that he explains his case to the people of Bulan! But one thing is already clear to the public: If he couldn’t provide solid evidence to his allegation then his argument is not valid and that he is solely responsible for the missing P3million.

Again, this is the result of the logic of greed  among our public servants. Very unpleasant and primitive, indeed. Remember our poor and honest boy Gangga who taught us “Never To Own Anything That’s Not Ours”? Our poor farmers are proud that they did not receive such rotten fertilizers! Mabuhay ang ating mga mag-sasaka sa Bulan! (More power to the real farmers of Bulan!)

 

jun asuncion

Bulan Observer

 

Related News article::

 

MANILA, NOVEMBER 19, 2008 (STAR) By Jess Diaz –

Department of Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, Undersecretary Bernie Fondevilla and former undersecretary Jocelyn ‘Jocjoc’ Bolante take their oath during yesterday’s House hearing on the fertilizer fund scam. BOY SANTOS Former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn “Jocjoc” Bolante said a total of 159 members of the House of Representatives and local officials received their share of the P728-million fertilizer fund.
Bolante told the House agriculture committee chaired by Palawan Rep. Abraham Mitra that of the 181 fertilizer fund “proponents” he listed, only 22 did not avail themselves of the P3-million to P5-million allocations he gave them.
Bolante said he could not identify the 22 who did not get their allocations and the 159 who received funds or fertilizer.
He said the Commission on Audit (COA) should be able to identify the supposed recipients.
Bolante listed 105 congressmen, 52 governors, one vice governor and 23 town mayors as fertilizer fund proponents.
The list was part of his request for the release of P728 million in fertilizer funds. He sent the request to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Feb. 2, 2004, three months before the May presidential election.
The following day, Feb. 3, with uncharacteristic speed, the DBM released the funds Bolante requested. Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos signed the document releasing the money.
Several House members admitted receiving fertilizer and not cash from either the DA or Bolante. Others denied getting money or fertilizer.
In yesterday’s hearing, Majority Leader Arthur Defensor, who represents the third district of Iloilo, said he rejected the P5 million offered to him by a certain “Aytona.”
“I told her I was not interested and that she could talk to my mayors and see if they were interested in liquid fertilizer,” he said.
Defensor said he learned later that some of his mayors received liquid fertilizer.
Camarines Sur Rep. Felix Alfelor had the same story.
Alfelor said he told Bolante’s alleged agents to approach his mayors.
Parañaque Rep. Eduardo Zialcita, for his part, admitted receiving a fertilizer fund allocation, which he claimed was used to buy garbage shredders.
La Union Rep. Victor Ortega said he and his brother, Gov. Manuel Ortega, did not receive cash or fertilizer despite the fact that they were included in Bolante’s list of proponents.
For her part, Rep. Mitos Magsaysay of Zambales told the hearing that her father-in-law, former governor Vicente Magsaysay, was not able to get his supposed P5-million allocation.
However, House members who denied receiving cash or fertilizer in yesterday’s hearing did not ask Bolante why their names were in his list in the first place.
Former Lanao del Norte Rep. Alipio Badelles wrote the committee that he was in Bolante’s list but did not get his allotment.
Others who have denied receiving cash or fertilizer include Representatives Cynthia Villar of Las Piñas and Teodoro Locsin Jr. of Makati City, and former Quezon City representative Maite Defensor.
Quezon City Rep. Nanette Daza admitted availing herself of her P3-million allocation, which she said was used to buy garbage shredders for the Payatas dumpsite.
Speaker Prospero Nograles has admitted receiving fertilizer and not cash, and from the DA regional office in Davao, not from Bolante.
Bolante reiterated his testimony in the Senate that President Arroyo had no knowledge of the release and use of the P728 million.
He repeated his assertion that “there was no fertilizer scam” despite COA findings that there was “excessive overpricing” of the liquid fertilizer purchased by Bolante’s proponents.
In some areas, the overprice exceeded 1,200 percent, according to the COA report.
Auditors discovered that many of the lawmaker-proponents were involved in the use of their funds as evidenced by the memorandums of agreement between them and foundations they tasked to purchase liquid fertilizer.
They said House members in Bolante’s list received a total of P404 million.
In his testimony, Bolante also cleared Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap of involvement in the scam. Yap was undersecretary for operations in 2004.
Bolante said he never mentioned Yap’s name in the course of last Thursday’s Senate hearing on the fertilizer scam.
He said it was then Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano who identified Yap as DA undersecretary for operations for Luzon in 2004.
Bolante had told senators that he could not have known the anomalies in the use of fertilizer funds since he had resigned shortly after distributing the money.
He said the undersecretary for operations was the DA official who should have monitored the use of the funds.
Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel told Bolante that he is insulting Filipinos by insisting that the President was not aware of the release of hundreds of millions in fertilizer funds and in asserting that there was no scam.
“You are insulting the public with your ridiculous assertions,” she said.
Bolante replied by saying that he respects Hontiveros’ opinion.
“I will appreciate it if you can prove that what I’m saying is not true,” he said.
For his part, Nueva Vizcaya Rep. Carlos Padilla said his province received its share of P5 million in fertilizer money in 2004.
But what is mysterious is that no Nueva Vizcaya official is listed as a proponent in Bolante’s list, he said.
Padilla said it is possible that the amount his province received “came from sources other than the P728 million.”
Padilla reiterated his proposal for the Mitra committee to inquire into the total 2004 releases amounting to nearly P3 billion.
Meanwhile, Owen Bolante urged the Court of Appeals (CA) to allow his father to be placed under house arrest instead of the Senate’s custody pending decision on the habeas corpus petition before the appellate court.
AccordingtoNoel Malaya, Owen had also submitted a compliance certificate to the CA from his father’s doctor indicating his father was indeed confined at St. Luke’s Medical Center from Oct. 28 to Nov. 8.
The certificate also stated that the elder Bolante underwent medical examinations. The results were also submitted to the CA, Malaya said.
The younger Bolante filed a petition for habeas corpus on Nov. 5 questioning the custody of the Senate of his father.
Two days later, the CA ordered Senate sergeant-at-arms Jose Balajadia to reply to Bolante’s petition.
The CA also ordered Owen to secure a medical certificate from St. Luke’s to support allegations of ill health.
Bolante’s lawyer Dennis Añover explained the writ of habeas corpus is a legal remedy questioning the legal basis of Bolante’s detention by the Senate. -With Mike Frialde

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