Saturday, August 30, 2014

Bulacan marks Plaridel's 164th birthday, holds "Mastermind" conference

MALOLOS CITY—It’s a special non-working holiday in Bulacan today,
August 30, as the province mark the 164th birth of the great propagandist Gat Marcelo H. Del Pilar.

The celebrations will be held at the Marcelo H. Del Pilar National Shrine at Barangay San Nicolas in Bulakan town starting 7AM, and will be graced by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.

It will be followed by the first provincial conference on the life and contribution of the Del Pilar to the revolution and nation building called “Mastermind.”

The conference will be held at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center in this city starting 1PM, and is expected to draw more than 300 participants including educators lawyers, and students.

Governor Wilhelmino Alvarado said the declaration of special non-working holiday in the province is based on  Republic Act No. 7449 or “An Act Declaring August Thirty a Special Non Working Holiday in the Province of Bulacan,” to give way for honoring  the heroic deeds and sacrifices of the great Bulakenyo hero.

“Del Pilar’s heroic legacy should be rekindled in the hearts and minds of our younger generation and we should honor his patriotism for fighting for our freedom. We would like to encourage everyone, not only the Bulakenyos to join in honoring our great Bulakenyo hero,” Alvarado said.

As this developed, Alex Balagtas of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines said that Senator Alan Peter Cayetano has confirmed attendance on the celebrations.

He said that as guest speaker, the senator will speak on the theme, “Marcelo Del Pilar: Ama ng Bansa Gabay para sa Mabuting Pamamahala.”

The celebrations in Bulakan town will shift to this city after lunch where the first provincial conference on the life of Del Pilar who is popularly known as “Plaridel” will be held.

Researcher King Cortez of the Universidad de Manila (UDM) is expected to present documents gathered in his research which showed that Plaridel not only as the great propagandist, but as the brains of the revolution, thus the conference title, “Mastermind.”

Isagani Giron of the Bulacan Salinlahi Inc., and one of the convenors of the conference said that Cortez’s research will bring into the light new information about Plaridel which might change the way we see and look that the great propagandist.

As a local historical, Giron said that Cortez research will challenge earlier suppositions that Plaridel is only a propagandist who edited and managed La Solidaridad, the publication of the then propaganda movement.

“Mr. Cortez’s research is very exciting because it reveals the role of Plaridel not only ion the Propaganda movement but in the Katipunan,” he said.

Giron added that what makes Cortez’s research as game changer in the study of history is the fact that it is documents and based on books, some of which were published by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).

“We just need to keep an open mind in the study of history because new documents are being unearthed everyday, including those that has been given less significance in the past about Plaridel,” Giron said.

Plaridel was born on August 30, 1850 in Barangay San Nicolas (formerly Cupang) in Bulakan town.

He is the youngest of the 10 children of the wealthy family Don Julian del Pilar, a gobernadorcillo and Doña Blasa Gatmaitan.

Plaridel was the editor of the newspaper Diariong Tagalog which strongly criticized the way the Spaniards ran the government and treated the people.

He was also the editor of La Solidaridad newspaper, the mouthpiece of the propagandists working on reforms for the Filipinos. Del Pilar died of tuberculosis on July 4, 1896 in Barcelona, Spain. Dino Balabo

Friday, August 22, 2014

BulSU official statement on recent tragedy

Official Statement of Bulacan State University

Words cannot express the deep grief of the Bulacan State University over the tragedy that befell its freshmen BS Tourism students under the College of Home Economics who went on an experiential learning trip at Madlum River in Barangay Sibul, San Miguel, Bulacan.

The University has never experienced a kind of sadness and loss this deep and intense in its 110 years of existence. 

The entire academic community from the University President, Administrators, Faculty, Personnel and Students gnaw in agony in sympathy to the families of the Students.

In this horrible time, Bulacan State University is offering immediate assistance to the fullest to the bereaved families.

The University humbly offers its best efforts to express empathy to the families of:

Mikhail Alcantara                                 Michelle Ann Rose Bonzo
Helena Marie Marcelo                          Sean Rodney Alejo
Jeannette Rivera                                   Mary Magdaline Navarro
Maiko Eleva Bartolome

The University community appeals for sobriety and request the public for prayers of grace, hope and comfort for the grieving families.

In response to this event, a Crisis Committee was created to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the circumstances of the tragedy and will take decisive and appropriate measures on the basis of its findings.

As the university wait for the complete results of this undertaking, allow the university, the space and time to mourn and cry over the irreplaceable loss of its sons and daughters.

We will be issuing another official statement in the days to come.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Militants hail Palparan’s arrest, but warn vs. special treatment

MALOLOS CITY—Militant groups welcomed the arrest of former congressman and retired Army General Jovito Palparan in Manila yesterday but warned against his possible special treatment.

The arrest, lawyers said, automatically gives the court jurisdiction on Palparan and the charges filed against him. But as of press time, no commitment order has been issued by the Regional Trial Court Branch 14 here as they await until the retired general is presented physically by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

As this developed, Palparan is expected to be arraigned on August 18 when the trial for kidnapping of two University of the Philippines (UP) students resume. “Retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan is now within the reach of the law and hopefully, Lady Justice with the sword and the scales,” said Lawyer Edre Olalia of the National Union of People’s Lawyer (NUPL) yesterday.

Olalia also serves as counsel for the parents of Sherilyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno, two UP students abducted on the night of June 26, 2006 in Barangay San Miguel in Hagonoy town. According to Olalia, Palparan’s arrest is never too late for justice to catch up.

He said that on August 18, defense counsels for Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado and Staff Sargeant Edgardo Osorio will prepare to wrap their case, but the trial for Palparan will only begin.“What happens thereafter will come under close scrutiny, here and abroad.

Palparan must face the music and the full wrath of the furies for all the crimes credibly imputed to him - extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, arbitrary arrests and other gross human rights violations, all done without compunction and aggravated by his signature braggadocio,” Olalia said.
NBI photo release published by
Olalia also said that based on law, Palparan should be detained at the Bulacan Provincial Jail due to its proximity to the court. He said that no special treatment should be given to the retired general. In the past, the court issued the same ruling on Anotado and Osorio, but they were transferred to Fort Bonifacio when their lawyer argued for the safety of the accused military officers.

For his part, Father Rolando De Leon called for quick trial against the retired general in order to hold him accountable. A member of the militant organization in the province, Father De Leon received three M-16 bullets in early 2006 when Palparan was the commanding general of the dreaded 7th Infantry Division of the Army based in Nueva Ecija.

De Leon had just completed the Mass and his staff were counting the offering from collection baskets when they found the three M-16 bullets. Meanwhile, Lawyer Jesus Santos of Marilao town remained silent until press time yesterday.

This writer tried to contact Santos by calling and sending text message to his cellular phone in an attempt to confirm if he will represent the general. Known for his close personal and professional relations with former First Gentleman Miguel Arroyo, Santos tried to represent Palparan in court in 2012 but the court said they still have no jurisdiction on the general then.

Along with Anotado and Osorio who have been in military custody, Palparan has been accused of kidnapping and illegal detention on the two missing UP students. The other accused is Master Sargeant Rizal Hilario who is said to be the right hand man of Palparan who has been labeled by militant groups as “The Butcher.” Dino Balabo

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bulacan coast: Mangrove planting planned

HAGONOY, Bulacan—Hammered by devastating storm surges, the coastal area of this fishing town will soon get its need protection.

This came as the Provincial Government of Bulacan gear up for massive mangrove planting before the end of the year.

The said mangrove planting will follow the planned tree planting activities on the eastern part of the province.

Governor Wilhelmino Alvarado said plans have been laid for the massive tree and mangrove planting activities in the province.

He said that tree planting is set to be implemented this rainy season.

Target areas for tree planting includes watershed and river banks, especially the more than 50 kilometer stretch of the Angat River that drains to the Manila Bay.

He said that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources have already pledge more than 30,000 seedlings to be planted in the province as part of the implementation of the National Greening Program (NGP).

Additional seedling will be supplied by the provincial government and non-governmental organizations.

Alvarado noted that aside from different species of bamboos that will be planted alogn river banks, they will also plant fruit bearing trees.

For the coastal areas of Bulacan, they will also conduct massive mangrove planting to serve as barrier of coastal communities from devastating effects of storm surges.

As former mayor of this town, the governor specifically mentioned its coastal area which has been reclaimed by the sea in the last five years.

“Malaki na ang nasisirang mga palaisdaan sa Hagonoy dahil sa storm surge,” he said noting that it is one of the impacts of climate change.

Earlier, Mayor Raulito Manlapaz of this town vowed to rehabilitate over 1,000 hectares of fishpond on the coast of this town which were washed out.

Manlapaz’s move came after residents of the coastal villages of Pugad and Tibaguin here reiterated their call after the onslaught of typhoon Glenda.

The residents noted that about 60 houses in the two villages were totally damaged by storm surge spawned by typhoon Glenda.

They also stressed that six year ago, storm surges are unknown to them because at that time, dikes of the more that 200 hectares municipal fishpond fronting the Manila are still intact.

However, the said fishpond was abandoned by its operator and its dikes were washed out by waves in the years that followed.

Today, the coastal villages of Pugad and Tibaguin are usually bear the brunt of storm surges when there is typhoon.  Dino Balabo

Friday, August 1, 2014

INC set new world records

MALOLOS CITY—The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) se two new Guinness World records as it celebrated its centennial at the Ciudad De Victoria complex in Bocaue, Bulacanon July 27.

As this developed, northbound lane of the North Luzon Expressway was completely blocked on Sunday morning, while on the southbound lane where two counterflow lanes were opened vehicle speed is reduced to less than 20 kilometers per hour before noon time.

Task Force Sentenaryo head Francis Tolentino, the chair of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) estimated that at least 2-Million members of the religious organization participated in the centennial celebrations at the Ciudad de Victoria.

Millions other members of the INC across the country and more than 100 countries watched Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo’s homily via live streaming video.

According to Edwil Zabala, INC spokesperson, the Guinness Book of Book of Records handed two new awards to the religious organization.

This includes the world’s largest gospel choir, and the largest mixed indoor arena in the world.

Based on records, at least 4,774 members of the INC joined its centennial choir yesterday.

It eclipsed the previous record of 1,700 choir member held by the United States.

The INC said that a total of 10,000 members prepared to joined the choir, but some members did not make it on time due to heavy traffic in going to the Ciudad the Victoria.

Traffic along the NLEX started late Saturday afternoon which delayed northbound motorists.

Some bus passengers interviewed late Saturday night said that it took them two hours to reach Malolos City from Balintawak toll plaza in Quezon City.

Hundreds of thousands of people started to gather at the Ciudad de Victoria on Saturday afternoon, and endured the heavy downpour  early Saturday evening but were treated with a 25-minute fireworks display before midnight.

The traffic went from bad to worst until noon time on Sunday as the northbound lane of the NLEX from Marilao to Bocaue toll plaza was complete blocked.

This is due to buses and private vehicles parked along the NLEX’s northbound lane.  Some of the vehicles were towed earlier for illegal parking.

However, by morning, Tolentino implemented a contingency plan by opening a two-lane counterflow on the NLEX southbound lane.

Before 10 AM,  traffic flow on the counterflow lane was still good, but as more INC members depart from the Ciudad de Victoria, vehicle movements on the counterflow lane and the southbound lane was reduced to less than 20 kilometer per hour.

Tolentino said that traffic along the NLEX might last until Monday morning as INC members depart from the venue of the centennial celebrations.

As this developed, Bro. Eduardo Manalo hailed the INC’s phenomenal growth in the last 100 years.

In his homily, Manalo said that from 2009 to 2014, a total of 603 new INC churches were built, of which, 552 are in the Philippines, while the rest were built abroad.

The executive minster also said that 359 other churches went under renovation within the same period.  Dino Balabo

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

House built 60 years ago, gone in 2 minutes

House smashed by Glenda's storm surge.  DB

HAGONOY, Bulacan—Built 60 years ago, gone in two minutes.

This was how a resident of the coastal village of Pugad here described the fury of storm surge spawned by typhoon Glenda when it traversed the Manila Bay on July 16 en route to the West Philippine Sea.

In total, no less than 60 houses in the said villages were totally damaged as seven feet storm surge came rushing in.

Joey Gregorio, 44, of the said village narrated to PromdiNEWS how their house crumbled on the fury of storm surge.

“Wala kaming nagawa, dalawang minuto lang nawala na yung bahay,” he said noting that houses of his three older brothers built beside their ancestral house were also washed out.

Their ancestral house was built by his parents 60 years ago.

The said houses which used to stand side by side were all made of concrete hollow blocks.

Now, only piles of debris were left in place and the concrete comfort room of his brother’s house.
Remains of the Gregorio house.  DB

In the nearby village of Tibaguin, Yolanda Geronimo burst into tears as she recounted how her three year old house gave in to the fury of storm surge.

“Twenty minutes lang wala na yung bahay naming,” she said.

Geronimo said their house was constructed less than three years ago.

It was actually a replacement to their former house destroyed by similar storm surge at the height of the onslaught of typhoon Quiel in 2011.

“Dalawang sunod na po iyan mula noong Quiel,” she said as she tried to hold back the tears.

While lamenting the loss of their houses, both the Gregorios and the Geronimos where thankful that no one in their families and in their villages died during the typhoon.

But they also stressed that storm surges not hit their villages because municipal fishpond that used to protect them was damaged.

This was affirmed by Councilmen Gilbert Tamayo and Alfredo Lunes of Barangay Pugad.

They said that since the dikes of the over 200 hectare municipal fishpond beside the two villages were washed out six years ago, they are now fearing for their lives every time there is a typhoon.

“Natatawag po naming ang lahat ng Santo sa simbahan kapag bumabagyo na dahil walang humaharang sa alon mula sa dagat,” Tamayo said.

For his part, Mayor Raulito Manlapaz said they will start rehabilitating the municipal fishpond by December.

Manlapaz visited the two villages yesterday to distribute relief goods to residents.

His group’s arrival cam just when PromdiNEWS was about to leave Barangay Pugad.

According to Manlapaz, they are now preparing fund for the rehabilitation.

But he stressed that rehabilitation will be quicker if the provincial government will loan them its large dredging machine.

As a former fishpond operators, Manlapaz said that they will need all the assistance they can get to rehabilitate the 13-kiloment coastline of this town and protect its aquaculture industry along with the two coastal villages. Dino Balabo

PUGAD AFTER GLENDA.  There used to be houses here.  DB