Sunday, July 30, 2017

IN steps-up ‘21st century schools’ implementation

LAOAG CITY—Public schools here are slowly adopting to change. Out with manila papers, old dilapidated books and in with computers, power point projectors and other state-of-the-art learning materials.

Newly-installed Ilocos Norte schools division superintendent Vilma Eda is embarking on massive reforms and transformation in the teaching-learning process, urging all schools to think global and pursue 21st century skills development for all school learners. 

As an initial step, Ms. Eda initiated the improvement of the physical make up of offices and benchmarking activities for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the continuing conduct of whole brain literacy self-mastery capability building for personnel of the Department of Education (DepEd).

The new DepEd Ilocos Norte head, who is an awardee of the “very innovative person” (VIP) said it is high time that old-time school innovate itself to the rapid changing technology in response to the needs of millennial learners.

To date, the local DepEd offers various trainings on ICT to teachers; while students have ready access to downloadable applications or learning materials courtesy of various government agencies such as the Department of Science of Technology including the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority to aid in model classroom instruction. (Leilanie G. Adriano)

Cinematheque Ilocos Norte loom

LAOAG CITY—To further promote Ilocos Norte’s cinematic landscape as a film destination, the Philippine Film Export Services Office (PFESO), under the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), is eyeing the establishment of a cinematheque, a media hub to bring in local films to residents here. 

According to Rogerio Bismonte Jr. of the Ilocos Norte government’s media incentives desk, PFESO representatives are on exploratory visit in the provinces’ various tourism sites here while looking for a possible site to establish a local film center.

There are at least five cinematheques in the Philippines, and the nearest to Laoag is in Baguio City.

Once established in the province, the PFESO said the cinematheque would make it easier for them to promote Ilocos Norte as a film tourism destination here and abroad. 

To do that, the PFESO has recommended the passing of an ordinance in the municipal, city or provincial level for the creation of a film commission to implement this purpose.

Mr. Bismonte said the proposed film commission may also to promote the preservation of the Ilocano culture through the film industry.

Over the years, Philippines cinematheque has played a vital role in the national cinema program of the FDCC. 

Designed as an alternative and accessible venue for classic and contemporary Filipino film, both mainstream and independent, cinematheque also serves as a venue for workshops and symposiums on directing, scriptwriting, editing, cinematography and all other aspects of filmmaking and to carry out film cultural exchange program with other countries.

Mandated by Executive Order (EO) No. 674 (series of 2007), PFESO’s creation under FDCP aims to promote the country as a viable location site and post-production service provider for international filmmakers. 

The office is being run by representatives from its partner agencies such as the Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of National Defense, Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Investments. (Leilanie G. Adriano)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

DSWD implements ‘Yakap Bayan’ program

With the implementation of the “Yakap Bayan” program, the Dept. of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) can now fully assist drug personalities who surrendered to the government.

DSWD Sec. Judy M. Taguiwalo explained during the recently held forum for those surrendered dubbed "Rehabinasyon" that Yakap Bayan is a rehabilitation and reintegration program for drug users and pushers who surrendered to the government which it will implement within the framework of the Department’s mandate as the head of the disaster response cluster of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

With DSWD as the lead, it implements Yakap Bayan in partnership with different government agencies. The program consisting of graduated interventions, primarily aim to create community leaders out of the former drug dependents.

Under the program, the persons concerned will undergo rehabilitation, empowerment and reintegration within the communities. The program will also train them to help assist their communities during disasters.

Gagawing daluyan ng programa ang mga dating lulong sa droga, upang sila ay makatulong sa pagpapalakas ng response ng mga komunidad sa disaster at bigyan sila ng sense of responsibility and belonging,” Ms. Taguiwalo said.

Yakap Bayan will also help in assisting them “turn their lives around and become productive members of society.”

Ito din ay paraan para mabura ang stigma dulot ng pagkalulong nila sa droga,” the secretary added.

The program’s first stage features rehabilitation for the first six months.

Ms. Taguiwalo further explained: “Bibigyan sila ng medical at social services kabilang ang detoxification at counseling. Unti-unti na din silang gagawa ng community service.”

After six months, interventions for the reintegration phase will begin which will take around 18 months, with the former drug dependents undergoing skills training for livelihood as well as capacity building especially on disaster response.

As a whole, the Yakap Bayan program intends to help create a safe society for the new generation.

Tandaan natin na ang mga drug surrenderers ay mga ama, ina, anak, at kapatid din na miyembro ng pamilya at bahagi ng ating komunidad.  Sila ay mayroon ding kontribusyon sa pagpapaunlad ng ating bayan,” she added.

The Secretary also appealed for support to the Yakap Bayan program

Sana suportahan natin ang Yakap Bayan at patuloy pa itong i-kampanya para matulungan natin ang mga drug surrenderees na mabago at makapag-ambag sa lipunan.  Ito ang tema ng Duterte Administration—change is possible.  The war against drugs is not just a war to eliminate illegal drugs but also to assist the drug dependents change and turn a new leaf in their lives.” (DSWD)

Cops matches mayor-slay suspect’s DNA profile in gathered items

LAOAG CITY—A Special Investigation Task Group investigating the June 3 killing of Marcos mayor Arsenio Agustin is a step closer to identifying the suspect.

The Ilocos Norte police crime laboratory released its DNA examination result which showed that DNA samples extracted from a toothbrush matched those collected from cigarette butts, drinking water and energy drink bottles found at the crime scene.

The police stressed that whoever owned the toothbrush “probably had a hand in the killing”. The police, however, requested not to divulge the suspect’s identity.

A report from the police community relations office led by P/Chief Insp. Dexter Diovic Corpuz also states that at least 14 witnesses who saw the assassination had already filed their sworn statements. (Leilanie G. Adriano)

DSWD eyes ‘home for the aged’ in Region I

LAOAG CITY—A home care facility for the aged will soon rise in San Juan, La Union courtesy of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Office.

The facility’s initial construction phase budget of PHP12 million and will be located Sta. Rosa de Lima St. Ili Norte. It will cater to the needs of abandoned, ailing senior citizens and those neglected by relatives due to financial difficulties.

DSWD asst. regional director for administration Nora D. Dela Paz said the proposed home for the elderly in Region 1 is “a long-awaited dream now being turned into a reality with the help of the national government”.

After its completion, the regional office said they will prioritize abandoned, neglected, unattached, homeless and abused senior citizens.

Meanwhile, DSWSD Region I operations and programs division chief Benjamin Baldo disclosed that the lot was located and identified more than 20 years ago but it is only this year that the national government approved its funding.

In a statement, the San Juan local government unit represented by executive assistant Oscar Ganaden Jr. welcomed this development.

“We are very lucky in San Juan to have this project. We hope that we will be able to give the necessary care and respect to our grandfathers and grandmothers as they reach their twilight years,” he said.

“Filipino families are known to have close ties but due to changing culture, some families are becoming more nuclear”, said Ranilo Ipac, La Union provincial social welfare and development officer.

In a DSWD survey conducted three years ago, Mr. Ipac noted that found at least 700 senior citizens living by themselves in La Union alone. He said the same situation is also prevalent in parts of the Ilocos provinces and Pangasinan.

Under a memorandum of agreement, the La Union provincial social welfare and development office under DSWD Region 1’s technical supervision will manage the two-storey residential care facility for the aged.

For his part, DSWD Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes Castillo is hopeful other provinces in the region will also host their own facility soon. (Leilanie G. Adriano)

LC Comelec expects, brgy, SK polls to push through

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Laoag City—The elections officer in this city expects the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to push through this year.

Atty. Julius Balbas made the statement in view of rumors that a postponement of the said elections will happen again.

“As far as Comelec is concerned, matuloy ti election gapu ta addan appo iti calendar of activities a sursurotentayo ken awan met pay inbaba iti Kongreso or from the Office of the President a saan a matuloy ti election,” Mr. Balbas said.

He stressed that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is continuing with the preparations for the October 23, 2017 elections.

He said the Comelec calendar of activities, through Comelec Resolution No. 10177, has already came up with prohibition periods leading up to the elections.

In this city, Mr. Balbas said they have conducted applications for registration from November 7, 2016 to April 29, 2017.

He disclosed that their office registered at least 2,000 new registrants for both the barangay and SK elections.

Following the Comelec calendar, July 25, 2017 will mark the last posting day of computerized lists for barangay and SK voters. August 23-30, 2017 marks the constituting period for board of election tellers (BETs) and barangay board of canvassers (BBOC).

The calendar lists prohibitions from September 23-October 30, 2017: carrying of firearms and other deadly weapons; use of security personnel or bodyguards by candidates; coercing, threatening, intimidating or terrorizing any election official or employee in the performance of his election functions or duties; transfer of detail of officers and employees in the civil service including public school teachers; organizing or maintaining reaction forces, strike forces or similar forces; and suspension of any elective provincial, city, municipal or barangay officer.

Candidates may file their certificates of candidacies from September 23-30, 2017. September 30, 2017 also marks the last day for the issuance of notice of inspection and verification of the completeness of voters’ registration records (VRRS).

The campaign period for the coming elections is from October 13-21, 2017. During the said period, Comelec prohibits removing, destroying obliterating, defacing, tampering, or preventing distribution of lawful election propaganda.

Other prohibited acts also include: any donation or gift in cash or in kind; appointing or using special police officers, special confidential agents, or the like; using armored land, water, or air crafts; and police officers and provincial guards acting as bodyguards or public officials or candidates.

The same period will also become the schedule for barangay assemblies and candidates’ fora.

Comelec also bans the construction or maintenance of barangay-funded roads and bridges; appointment or hiring of new employees; creation of new position/s; promotion, giving salary increases, remuneration or privileges to concerned officials and employees. This ban begins on October 13 until October 22, 2017.

Comelec also restricts political campaigns on October 22, 2017—the day before the elections. On the same day, the liquor ban also takes effect.

The voting period on October 23, 2017 will be from 7 am to 3 pm.

The last day for filing the statements of contributions and expenditures (SOCE) is on November 22, 2017.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

2017 GLEDCO Summer Raffle Draw winners

Suzuki deals

P34M evacuation center rises in Paoay

PAOAY, Ilocos Norte—Residents in the flood-prone villages of this town may no longer need to seek refuge in public schools in times of typhoons and other calamities following the start of construction for a 2-storey evacuation center at Brgy. Callaguip here.

With the project pegged at Php3.4 million, the center sits on a 3,000-square meter public lot can house about 1,000 evacuees. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) funds the project while the local government here owns the lot.

In response to President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s order to avoid using public schools as evacuation centers during natural calamities so as not to disrupt classes, DPWH regional firector Ronnel Tan during his recent visit to Paoay on said the President tasked them to construct more evacuation facilities around the country.

The planned evacuation center will feature modern house amenities, including kitchen, restrooms, bedrooms, dining rooms and a social hall and a functional Civil Defense office.

Paoay mayor Jessie Galano said they are thankful to the national government and the DPWH for the project.

Mr. Galano said this is a unique project that will benefit most of the flood-prone barangays of San Roque, Nangalisan, Salbang, Cabangaran, and San Blas among others.

Officials expect to complete the project within a year. (Leilanie G. Adriano)

Monday, July 3, 2017

LMP-IN offers P100,00 reward for info on Marcos mayor’s slaying

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Dingras, Ilocos Norte—In a bid to hasten its resolution, the League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Ilocos Norte (LMP-IN) chapter is offering PHP100,000 as reward for any information that may solve Marcos mayor Arsenio Agustin’s killing.
To implement this, the group passed five resolutions.
In an emergency meeting held in this town, Dingras mayor Erdio Valenzuela chaired the meeting as he presented the resolutions.
One resolution condemned Mr. Agustin’s killing as “dastardly and barbaric”; the second resolution extended the league’s “deepest sympathy” to Mr. Agustin’s family; two resolutions requested Ilocos Norte police director P/Sr. Supt. Jose Melecio Nartates Jr. to from a special task force for the case and to beef up security for mayors in the province.
The last resolution called for the PHP100,000 cash reward for “vital information” that could help solve the case.
Mr. Valenzuela disclosed that PHP50,000 of the reward would come from the LMP chapter here. However, he clarified that this is dependent on whether the Commission on Audit (COA) will allow this. If disallowed, the Dingras mayor said the league’s members will contribute to come up with the amount.
The other PHP50,000, Mr. Valenzuela added, will come from LMP national president Maria Fe Villar Brondial. Ms. Brondial is the mayor of Socorro, Oriental Mindoro.
Daytoy ket iti pinangipakita mi iti liga ti inkam pannakipagrikna iti ipupusay iti maysa met a nasayaat a miyembro,” Mr. Valenzuela said.

Most LMP-IN members attended the meeting. Absent were the Nueva Era, Currimao, Dumalneg and Vintar mayors.

Batac City turns 10

Batac mayor Albert D. Chua leads the distribution of farm equipment and machineries including 40 shallow tube well units, 40 electric pump units, 160 pcs irrigation hose, 40 pcs threshers and 40 units of kuliglig (hand tractors) to all registered zanjera associations. The Batac government used their RA 7171 share to purchase them. The distribution was part of Batac’s 10th charter day celebration. (Doms dela Cruz)

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Batac City—“Siudad a Nalatak, Umili a Maragsak”.
This is this city’s theme as it celebrated its 10th charter anniversary on June 21-28, 2017.
First term Batac mayor Albert D. Chua thanked the “Almighty for giving another year with lots of blessings to the city and its residents.”
The charter celebration, which had become “Empanada Festival” shortly after its conversion into a city officially began on June 23, 2017.
Though the weather was “raining on Batac’s parade”, participants gamely went through with their presentation: “Parada Empanadadekada: The Fiesta Empanada Grand Parade and Street Dance Competition.”
At least 43 groups participated from the city’s barangays; non-government and government organizations; the private sector; elementary and secondary schools; and the city government.
Organizers clustered the city’s 43 barangays into 9 contingents for the street dance competition. Cluster 5 took the top prize with clusters 4 and 6 finishing in the top three in that order. Prizes for the top three winners were PHP15,000, PHP12, 000, and PHP10,000. Non-winners received PHP2,000.
Ang Kabuhayan Party-List Rep. Dennis Laoagan attended the festivities. He was congratulated Mr. Chua’s administration for “a well prepared stunning and gorgeous street dance competition despite of the bad weather condition”.
Due to inclement weather, the organizers postponed the empanada dance showdown from June 23 to June 25. As it finally pushed through at the Imelda Cultural Center outdoor stage, Ilocos Norte governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos attended the event. In her speech, she congratulated the city on its anniversary.
Using the same clusters, the Cluster 4 won the top PHP30,000 prize for the dance showdown. Clusters 9 and 6 finished second and third with PHP25,000 and PHP15,000 prizes. Non-winners received PHP8,000 each.
Mr. Chua thanked all the participants for this year’s festivities. He commended them further for performing despite the bad weather. He also said this celebration once again showed Batac’s people’s unity.
The weeklong celebration also included the Awis Trabaho: Charter Day Job Fair (June 21); Panangpabileg Mannalon: Distribution Farm Equipment and Machineries, and Kusikos: A Day in Batac (June 22); Panagyaman Iti Namarsua: Charter day Thanksgiving Mass (June 23); Empanada FiestaRAY, Panagbendisyon ken Panangrambak: Blessing and Inauguration of the HVMES Library and Rabii Iti Ragragsak: The City Charter Anniversary Ball (June 24); and Panangbendisyon ken Panangrambak: Blssing and Inauguration of the San Mateo Health Center (June 25).

Also conducted during the celebration were the Panangtadek Iti Pasdek: Camguidan Community Center; Magnuang Community Center and Quiom-Maipalig Elementary School groundbreaking; and Panangpabileg Barangay: Distribution of Barangay Patrol Tricycles (June 26 & 27); and Singgalut Ni Ayat 2017: Mass Wedding (June 28).

Ilocos Norte prov’l board declares Fariñas ‘persona non grata’

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—Eight Sangguniang Panlalawigan members declared on June 27, 2017 Rep. Rodolfo C. Fariñas (Ilocos Norte, 1st district) as “persona non-grata.”
Officially known Draft Provincial Resolution No. 2017-06-080, its first reading was on June 27, 2017. At least 10 board members sponsored the measure namely: Mariano Marcos II, Juan Conrado Respicio, Ramon Gaoat, Vicentito Lazo, Da Vinci Crisostomo, James Paul Nalupta, Donald Nicolas, Rogelio Balbag, Domingo Ambrocio Jr. and Paulino Baltazar. Senior board member Matthew Joseph M. Manotoc, son of Ilocos Norte governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos; and SP member Ria Christina Fariñas, daughter of the House majority floor leader, was both absent during the 45th regular session of the 10th Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
When it was time to deliberate on the proposed resolution on Tuesday afternoon, June 27, 2017 Mr. Crisostomo moved to defer it citing they still need to include other “important matters” to the resolution.
A few minutes later, when the board was about to finish its legislative agenda, Mr. Lazo walked to the lectern and presented the persona non grata resolution anew.
The resolution is primarily an offshoot of the current House investigation through Mr. Fariñas’ initiative.
In aid of legislation, the House Committee on Good Government is currently investigating the Ilocos Norte government for its alleged misuse of about Php66.4 million of its tobacco excise tax share on tobacco. During the on-going investigation, the House held in contempt and detained four Ilocos Norte department heads and two administrative officers of the Provincial Treasurer’s Office since May 29, 2017 up to this time.
The detained Ilocos Norte officials, through their lawyers, filed a petition for habeas corpus at the Court of Appeals, which the appellate court later granted. The House, however, has refused to honor the court’s order and thus continue to detain the six employees.
According to Mr. Lazo, “it is obvious that [Mr.] Fariñas has already arrived at a conclusion when he filed House Resolution 882, directing the house committee on good government to investigate the ‘highly irregular’ acquisition of vehicles purchased in cash advance by the provincial government without public bidding.
Ms. Marcos, however, defended that there was no irregularity in the transaction citing there was no adverse findings from the Commission on Audit in a press conference earlier at the Provincial Capitol.
It appears however that the original documents pertaining to the purchased of mini trucks and buses in 2012 were now missing at the COA office.
“All that we ask is for government authorities to uphold the rule of law. But it would seem that we have officials in our midst who do not have the high regard of the law,” Mr. Lazo said in his sponsorship speech citing a quote, “he who comes to court must come with clean hands.”

Counter allegation
When Mr. Farinas served as Ilocos Norte governor, Mr. Lazo said his then administration acquired a Crown Victoria v8 engine luxury vehicle worth Php1.65 million for his personal use but the payment came from the province’s tobacco excise tax share.
In 1996, Mr. Lazo, continued, the then Farinas administration purchased a brand new 4x4 Cherokee jeep worth more than Php500,000. The purchase, he scored, was through a “cash advance” of a certain Remigio Ancheta, a provincial treasury employee.
Mr. Lazo added that the Cherokee vehicle was delivered to Mr. Fariñas’ brother, former Laoag mayor Roger C. Fariñas. He went on to state that the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau confiscated the vehicle later for unpaid custom duties. He pointed out that up to now, the said vehicle purchase remains “unaccounted.”

Release order
“There’s an order of release, if Congress is not in agreement in the order of release, the remedy is to respect the order of release and bring the case in court,” Mr. Lazo stressed.
If the six Ilocos Norte officials later becomes “guilty” of any wrong doing, Mr. Lazo said they should answer in court.

Congressman replies
In a text statement, Mr. Fariñas who was out of the country when he was declared persona non grata in Ilocos Norte has threatened to file cases against the eight members of the provincial board who voted for the resolution on Tuesday afternoon.
“I will file cases against them for damages for the violation of my constitutional rights, as well as for violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act for causing me undue injury thru evident bad faith,” said Mr. Farinas.
As a Filipino citizen and also as the duly elected representative of Ilocos Norte’s first district and House Majority Floor Leader, Mr. Fariñas explained “No one, especially the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members, can declare me, or any other citizen of this country, a persona non grata. Not even convicted criminals are declared as such.”
He stressed persona non grata declaration “only applies in diplomatic relations or aliens.”

BBM advises Imee not to attend probe
Meanwhile, Ms. Marcos on a press conference on June 23, 2017 said her brother, former Sen. and losing vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr., advised her not to attend the House inquiry into the province’s PHP66.45-million tobacco fund expenditures.
“I really want to attend. I want to explain myself in Congress but others said I should not. Bongbong told me I could also be detained,” Ms. Marcos explained at her first news conference after the House detained the Ilocos Norte officials.
Imee said the House committee concerned rebuffed her mother, former First Lady and now Rep. Imelda Marcos (Ilocos Norte, 2nd district) when she requested for the release of the six employees.
Insisting that the purchase of vehicles serving tobacco farming communities was “above board”, Ms. Marcos said different provincial leaders, among them were Rudys Caesar Fariñas, who served as ex-officio member of the Ilocos Norte provincial board, and Mary Michelle Louise “Mikee” Fariñas, Laoag Association of Barangay Councils current president, also requested the vehicles.
Rudys is Mr. Fariñas’ son, while Mary Michelle Louise is his grandchild, being the daughter of Laoag Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas and his nephew, Laoag Vice Mayor Michael Fariñas.
Ms. Marcos declared that there was no overpricing in the vehicles’ purchase and they underwent proper bidding procedures prior to their purchase.
“It was a special fund. [The purchases] underwent pre-audit and post-audit by the Commission on Audit. There was no audit observation memo [after the transaction]. There [were] no adverse findings in the annual report of COA, unlike other provinces,” she remarked.
Asked about the vehicles’ non-registration, Ms. Marcos said the new vehicles served as “agricultural equipment like tractors”. But she promised to register them should the Land Transportation Office (LTO) require the provincial government.
“Dirty politics”, Imee said, has used Congress to target “a small province like Ilocos Norte and its employees.”
Describing Congress as a “bully”, she said in Filipino: “We will not allow it. We will seek justice using the legal and right procedure and will not submit to the bullying by Congress.”

Probe missing LC funds
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan also again urged the Ombudsman to prove the missing PHP85 million Laoag City government funds.
Ten SP members approved a resolution urging Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales “to motu propio conduct an investigation and if warranted, [file] the appropriate criminal or administrative charges against the persons or government officials responsible for the loss of taxpayers’ money.”
It was a reiteration of an August 6, 2016, letter to the Office of the Ombudsman that requested an investigation into the theft.
Laoag treasurer Elena Asuncion reportedly fled to the United States after officials had uncovered the missing funds.
Mrs. Asuncion’s last sighting in the city was during last year’s Independence Day celebration.
Though both the Commission on Audit (COA) and the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) have both investigated the issue, neither has released a report.
SP member Vicentito “Toto” M. Lazo said the province found itself embroiled in another money scandal without any resolution to the Laoag City issue. He was referring to the House of Representatives’ investigation of the alleged misuse of tobacco funds by the provincial government.
“It’s ironic that while we celebrated Independence Day [last week], four Provincial Capitol department heads and two cashiers were detained at the House of Representatives despite a release order from the Court of Appeals,” Mr. Lazo stressed.
Rep. Rodolfo C. Fariñas (Ilocos Norte, 1st district), initiated the probe.
“There is a need to reiterate to the Office of the Ombudsman [our request for a probe] in order for the wheels of justice to finally turn,” Mr. Lazo added.
He said the government should assure Laoag taxpayers that no whitewashing had taken place to determine how the money disappeared.
According to Mr. Lazo, the resolution supplements the findings of the National Bureau of Investigation, which recommended plunder charges against Mrs. Asuncion, and administrative sanctions against the city government’s auditors, accountant, and the cashier division for their failure to detect fake time deposit and savings accounts that Asuncion allegedly opened to hide the funds.
Initial results of the investigation traced the theft back to 2007 during the administration of former Laoag mayor Michael Fariñas.

The Laoag City government local finance committee, however, only detected the irregularity last year.

Fiesta Empanada 2017