Hanna batters Negros Occidental
THE SOUTHERN BEAT  - Rolly Espina () - October 2, 2007 - 12:00am

Typhoon Hanna swept through Negros Occidental Sunday and toppled trees and triggered brownouts that plunged areas in Bacolod City into darkness until yesterday morning.

Actually, it was not Hanna that battered Negros. It was only the southwest monsoon whose winds had been drawn into a swirling mini-storm by the typhoon that saw some 10,028 people escaping to higher grounds the floods that hit Isable, Ilog, Pontevedra, Hinigaran and Valladolid Saturday night.

Social Welfare Officer Liane Garcia said most of the affected families simply transferred to the homes of relatives in higher grounds while waiting for the flood water to subside.

It was good that the intermittent torrential rains that lasted until early yesterday morning lifted up by 8 a.m., that may enable the public schools to usher in the Masskara Festival that will last until the middle of this month.

For Bacolod, there was hope that the 28th Masskara rites opening the affair will be held tonight at the Masskara Village in Manokan Country.

Eli Tajanlangit, festival director, said the opening rites yesterday evening at Manokan Country was led by City Mayor Evelio Leonardia with Vice Mayor Thaddeus Sayson. Fireworks followed.

This will be followed by the San Miguel Beer Night at the Bacolod City Plaza at the Masskara Village Stage.

There are 32 barangays which have listed up for the festival. SM City where major events are being lined up also boasts as the biggest festival site.

The most impressive and creative addition to Masskara this year is the Electric Masskara and the Masskara strip from 5th to North Drive along Lacson Street.

There will be a buildup of activities until Charter Day on Oct. 19. But the open category street dancing competition is set on Oct. 21 at the SM City where tribal drum beating contest will follow.

But then, there was the prolonged blackout in Bacolod, Silay, and Talisay cities which started early yesterday morning. The reason, according to Roberto Montelibano, Ceneco president, was that the strong winds toppled down Transco posts at its 69 KV substation.

As of press time, the downed transmission wires have yet to be restored.

Still, that did not deter Bacolod’s feverish last-minute preparations for the almost month-long Masskara Festival.

Incidentally, five Valladolid fishermen were rescued by emergency workers from water death when their boats capsized along the coastal area off Valladolid.

The fishermen – Bonifacio Bello, 22; Herman Grande, 17; Joene Estamfa, 45; Ruben Tajado, 33; and Roger Jocsin – were on board two motorboats when they were overturned by the strong winds.

The five from Barangay Palaka of that town clung to bamboo poles of fisherpen after their vessels sang.

Aklan mayor, 13 others face graft raps

The Ombudsman-Visayas recently gave Libacao (Aklan) Mayor Charito Navarosa file his counter-affidavit and other evidences controversing the charge that he and the 13 others had having awarded the P40,501,826.01 contract for the River Control Revetment in Barangay Poblacion, of Libacao.

It was Ombudsman Director Edgar Canton who ordered the counter-affidavit to be submitted by Mayor Navarosa.

Complainant Rizalina Lil Guevarra-Dianco also asked the Ombudsman for the re-bidding of the project, immediate suspension of the respondents, and the implementation of the project.

The other respondents are Sangguniang Bayan member Jose Jerome Legaspi and four department heads – Civil Registrar Alex Dionela, Assessor Cynthia Zubiaga Villarente, Engineer Peter Orbista, and Planning and Development Coordinator Danete Zubiaga, Administrative Officer Lennie Zambroana, Statistical Aide Shirley Panim, Administrative Assistant Laertes Dala, Administrative Asst.. Raiel Zabala, and Reinnette Teodosio.

Dionela claimed that there were four project bidders – M.G. Salazar, Pecc, Phesco and Chaira Construction of Tarlac City. The first was from Bulacan, the other two from Quezon City.

Dionela was their chair of the Bids and Awards Committee of the project.

Dianco, the complainant, claimed that she was offered a P2-million bribe by a structural engineer, Gary Gaylan, during a meeting on Feb. 3, 2007, two weeks before submission of the bids.

She also later stressed that Navarosa had allegedly summoned her and demand for 50/50 profit share of the project as condition for the award of the multi-million peso project.

That’s another interesting probe that merits continuing perusal by mass media practitioners of Aklan.

As they point out, there are just too many stories of shenanigans and similar questionable actuations by both national and local government officials. And it is time that journalists now pay more attention to investigations of these alleged lies that they must be monitored to find out if there are bases for the charges against the respondents.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with