Archive for congressman arrel olano

NEWS: Cong. Olano clarifies report tagging him third biggest spender in Congress

Posted in congressman arrel olano with tags on February 24, 2010 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

feb 15

Davao del Norte Congressman Arrel Olano (first district) clarified earlier published report tagging him as the third biggest spender in the House of Representatives saying that he did not misuse people’s money and that he just religiously complied with the new baseline form required by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to all lawmakers and all government employees in 2008.

In a press conference Saturday, he said that his P7.848-million expenses cited by the report published in the Philippine Star last February 5 was just within the bounds of expenditure allowed and proper to his office and to his chairmanship to the committee on rural development and his membership to the important oversight committee and other House committees.

He recalled that in early 2008 when the CSC introduced the new baseline form which included itemized listing of expenditures there were complaints relating to the detailed filling up of the form, but the congressman complied and “declared all” his reimbursable expenses including those he incurred in his participation to committees in pursuance to transparency sought by CSC.

He said that he did not know whether other House members did the same although he learned that the form was not really fully implemented that in the middle 2008 the CSC stopped requiring it from lawmakers.

“But in 2009 the (CSC) announced that the compliance to the form was not voluntary but compulsory, and I did not change my way of reporting on baseline expenses,” Cong. Olano said.

But he asked readers on the report including reporters to look at it again and compare his expenditure to other lawmakers mentioned in the report who made only scarce presence in Congress but incurred higher expenses.

He said that Negros Occidental Rep. Julio “Jules” Ledesma IV made only his presence in Congress when President Arroyo delivered her State of the Nation Address but he incurred P5.782-million expenses, while Abono Rep. Robert Estrella, who was cited by the report as the most frugal incurred PP5.703 -million expenses.

Also, Olano also said that his expenses were used for various purposes including maintenance and other operating expenses, research, travels, communication and fees for his two consultants.

He admitted that in all his congressional budget for these would amount to over P600,000 monthly, and “that is applicable to all 268 congressmen” besides the budget that went for the salaries of his staff and to projects funded by what is dubbed as pork barrel.

The report that in 2008 each lawmaker has allocations of P300,000 for “consultants”, P540,000 for research, P500,400 each for public affairs, P600,000 each for MOE (maintenance and other expenses), P1 million each for district staff allocation and P189,600 each for communication expenses.

On the way of graduating from this third term, Olano is running now for mayoralty in Tagum City under independent Lakas-Kampi-CMD. He is squaring off with reelectionist City Mayor Rey Chiong Uy, former Governor Gelacio “Yayong” Gementiza and ex-police investigator and businessman Cesar Cuntapay. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWS: Mayor CO says Cong. Olano “long Lakas inactive”, Yayong an alleged “tax evader”

Posted in cong. arrel olano, Former Davao del Norte Governor Gelacio “Yayong” Gementiza, mayor rey chiong uy with tags , , on January 24, 2010 by cha monforte

jan 5

By Cha Monforte

Reelectionist Tagum City Mayor Rey “CO” Uy has named names to two of his rivals for city mayorship: outgoing Congressman Arrel Olano to have been allegedly “long been inactive for many years” in the Lakas Party, and former Governor Gelacio “Yayong” Gementiza as alleged “one of the tax evaders” in the city.
“Dugay na siya nga wa nag-apil-apil sa Lakas (Olano has long been not participating in Lakas activities),” the mayor said to Cong. Olano, who is running for mayor as independent Lakas-Kampi-CMD candidate.

In the same apparent political potshot to Gementiza, Uy also turned the table to the former governor, accusing him as “one of the tax evaders in the city” in reply to the earlier charge that the mayor has been indiscriminately raising taxes during his two terms which has accordingly turned off  a lot of businessmen in the city.

Uy said the tax issue raised by Gementiza is a “black propaganda” against him.

He said though that “he is just religiously collecting taxes” for the greater welfare of the city constituents.

The mayor also expressed woe over the virtual absence of slate of Olano as he has only two candidates for city councilors, and the “weak and incomplete city slate” of independent candidate Gementiza, describing it as “signs of weakness” of both of the candidacies of his rivals.

He though failed to described the candidacy of retired police investigator and businessman Cesar Cuntapay, who is running independent without any candidate for city councilor.

Olano earlier said that he decided to run for city mayor in the last hour “to pre-empt” Uy from drafting a Lakas city slate with Congresman Anton Lagdameo’s approved Lakas nominations without Olano’s hand of it.

Olano charged that when Lagdameo did not invite him when Tagum leaders took oath as new Lakas members when ex-Ms. Universe Margie Moran-Floirendo declared her gubernatorial bid late November right in his own District 1 at Tagum City, and when the congressman was eased out in the drafting of official Lakas slate in the city, “they made a mockery to the Lakas party that I’ve long been a member of”.

Uy, in an interview, however said he would not take any chances in the coming polls given his rivals. “Di gihapon ta magkumpyansa”.

Gementiza earlier apprised that with the running of Olano who is said to be “close to the Church and Iglesia”, Uy could be wrested of a big chunk of votes.

Meanwhile, Compostela Valley Governor Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy, in separate interview, said that he is confident of the ultimate winning of his younger brother CO, saying that he is already past of his most difficult electoral battle in 2004 when “it was against all odds” favoring the defeated mayoral administration bet Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr.

“That time CO won despite that Baby had already all- there was RDR, the PNP, the military, and others,” the governor recalled. (Cha Monforte/ Rural Urban News)

NEWS: AGR’s resignation from Lakas-Kampi “a smart move”- Yayong

Posted in Anthony del Rosario (AGR), congressman arrel olano, gelacio "yayong" gementiza, governor rodolfo del rosario, Vice Governor Victorio "Baby" Suaybaguio Jr with tags , , , , on August 30, 2009 by cha monforte

Davao del Norte politics

aug 27

Still politically coy Gelacio “Yayong” Gementiza, former Davao del Norte governor, has his own reading on the recent decision of confirmed congressional hopeful Anthony del Rosario (AGR) in resigning from the merged Lakas-Kampi party which his father governor chairs in the province.

“It’s a smart move and the real purpose is really to leave the administration’s congressional standard bearer vacant, while he would end up being supported by two parties- of the administration and opposition,” said Gementiza, who earlier wanted Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr to duel with AGR in the congressional arena.

In an interview yesterday at his sprawling residence at Apokon, Tagum City, Gementiza, who was himself included by Tagum’s political pundits as congressional potential in the province’s District 1, said that the young Del Rosario’s running as independent could benefit him as provincial boardmembers in the district reported to be comebacking to reclaim their mayoral seats “have now AGR” to troop to under his leadership while the incumbent mayors would remain to be with the side of Governor Rodolfo del Rosario under the administration party.

The District 1’s congressional post to be vacated by last-termer Congressman Arrel Olano had then become a much sought-after post of fellow leading Lakas-Kampi partymates after AGR admitted that he had stage 3 lymphoma cancer early this year until two weeks ago when in a media forum he announced that he was already completely healed of it after undergoing series of chemotherapy treatments within a seven-month period.

In that media forum, he announced his resignation to go independent as “neither administration nor opposition” in confirming his bid of running for Congress, and for him to freely choose a presidential candidate whom personally liked.

“Now he (AGR) can freely pick the strongest opposition candidate,” Gementiza added.

He said that it is unthinkable that the father governor would pit someone against his own son in the congressional race, referring to the post of Lakas-Kampi’s congressional standard-bearer in the district.

But the the former governor also said: “or Dolfo may bolt the administration party” as “in the first place” he has already “no Tadeco to protect”.

Gementiza continued to be coy on his political plan in the coming 2010 elections.

“Mahibal-an ra nato na sa Nobyembre kung pwede pa ba o dili, kay kung dili mag-concentrate lang ko sa akong negosyo (We’ll know that by November, if it’s still good for me to run or not, but if it’s not, then I’ll concentrate myself on my business,”he said.

Meanwhile, in yesterday’s birthday celebration of Vice Gov. Suaybaguio, in an interview, he wished for further unity and good governance in the province under the leadership of Gov. Del Rosario.

“I have been in the mainstream politics and I have not been jumping from one political party to another, and I wish that would end all speculations” in obvious expression of his continued unity with the governor following previous reports that his relationship with the governor underwent an episode of getting soured sometime.

The governor feted Suaybaguio with a splendid birthday celebration at the Tahanan governor’s residence inside the Capitol complex at Mankilam with provincial officials, AGR, mayors including Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy, boardmembers, city councilors, friends and members of the media present.

At lunchtime, when Suaybaguio arrived at Tahanan he was greeted with a Happy Birthday song, and when he posed with the governor, acoustic singers rendered the song “Together Again”.

But a ranking provincial official, who asked not to be named, quickly opined on the song: “That’s wrong, the two had never parted ways. It’s just that their reported parting was misread, since the intention was really to boost Baby’s political foundation. He’s now so popular to the people in the province and their tandem is so formidable” (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News).

OPINION: The race for Xmas

Posted in congressman arrel olano, congressman way kurat zamora, panabo city council hall, panabo vice mayor james gamao with tags , , , on December 22, 2008 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte

dec 18

It’s not only the Panabo City Council which is in a hurry of wrapping up things before this mid December. The council steered by Vice Mayor James Gamao had made marathon sessions since Monday to beat a finish before yet the middle of the month.

Yesterday, it made its last for this year to compensate the no-session Mondays beginning today until the New Year. Just like the Congress that is in a hurry of settling the thorny issue on CARP extension, municipal and provincial sanggunians also want now to have their Christmas vacations.

This has been easily so with our government officials while ordinary government men have a hard time getting approval for official leaves during the Yuletide Season even while they have a lot of earned leave credits. The department heads, on the other hand, try to beat the elected officials to the draw by setting at the most early date the closing of books as far as the COA rules could allow. In turn, many well-meaning suppliers-those who won their bids fair and honest- will end up scratching their heads for not getting their checks before the New Year. Now there’s a long Christmas vacation waiting out there, compliments of GMA’s holiday economics. Surely, banks will be closed, and government checks have to wait for encashment by 2009 na.

OK, there’s this great race for Christmas. The kargadors in our palengkes and all those in the underground economy remain to be hopeful of earning good bucks before Christmas day. They are hopeful of the Season’s big consumer spending when OFW remittances are heavy and bulk of yearend savings are splurged. Oh, that Pinoy spending again. There’s still no crunch for our OFWs and their families back home, I observe. Bettors are also extra hopeful- of winning the Last 2 that has now proliferated in Davao del Norte and Comval. The estimate three years ago is that each day bettors delivered at least P3 million bet money in our two provinces. (Is this underestatement? I ask our authorities). That’s a cool P1.095 billion industry yearround since Last 2 has no holiday. Multiply it by 365 days.

OK, our farmers on the other hand are hopeful, too, over the yearend benevolence of their landlords not to take fully their shares and give gifts to them, although the landlord- and Lakas-Kampi-dominated Congress as of this writing is in the thick of of marathon discussions on whether to extend CARP or not. But I bet my usual, seldom P10-worth Last 2 bet: the Congress will end up giving not the pantawid sa gutom but a pantalya legislative measure that would be left hanging on the Yuletide’s air since like Davao del Norte District 1 Congressman Arrel Olano they want to have the Christmas vacation so they can resume their gift-giving of rice, noodles and sardines, the “electoral gifts” (I should kindly repeat the words of naughty and malicious pundits in our kantos, inggit lang mo).

Anyway, also in this season of oil price decreases, presidentiable Senator Mar Roxas is crying SOB to the Palace for wanting to effect more price rollback to the level of over P20 per liter for gasoline as the crude oil price in the world market is further nose-diving, so poor Juan dela Cruz in the Pilipins and the Tagumenyos -because of Mayor Uy’s novel flexi-fare ordinance- could have one biggest pinaskuhan in this Yuletide Season of 2008. (For online edition, visit my blog at:, for comments and reactions, text 09069104553, or e-mail:

NEWS: Olano says he doesn’t want to break the Lakas unity in Davnor

Posted in davao del norte tagum officials, davao del norte vice gov. baby suaybaguio with tags , , , , , on October 21, 2008 by cha monforte

He wants fair weather with local media

oct 17

Davao del Norte District 1 Congressman Arrel Olano appears to be wanting to talk with the local media in fair weather.

He said that he did not want intriguing questions posed to him by the local media that would lead him to say words that would threaten to break the Lakas unity in the province.

Asked yesterday on whether he would make true his earlier statement of running for city mayor or for governor as among his options, he appeared evasive saying that he should not be intrigued with questions that would break the Lakas party in the province since City Mayor Rey Uy and Governor Rodolfo del Rosario as well as him belong to the same party.

He did not also give comment on the Purok Ordinance that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. junked last Monday.

But asked in an ambush interview about his congressional bill about puroks pending at the Congress, he said that it is still a pending measure.
Asked further on what it is all about, he cut short, saying: “it is not comfortable for us to talk about it here” in obvious irritation to the posed question as a streak of sunlight hit the place of interview. After snapping that, he then immediately sped away riding on his government issued car with plate no. 8. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

OPINION: Nowhere to go

Posted in congressman arrel olano, davao del norte politics news, lakas-cdm davao del norte, senator chiz escudero davao, tagum internet cafe, tagum sex scandal new update with tags , , , , , on October 21, 2008 by cha monforte

oct 20


By Cha Monforte

Congressman Arrel Olano of Davao del Norte’s 1st District might have already chickened out from taking another political career path gauging his latest tough talk with the local media. I got him right after Senator Chiz Escudero ended his friendly banter last Friday at Mankilam’s Tahanan with Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario, Tagum City Mayor Rey Chiong Uy, him- Olano, Vice Mayor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio and several other officials.

The info man of Sen. Chiz told me while covering their table talk that the good opposition senator was on a side trip in the province just to meet with provincial officials who are his friends and possibly know problems and suggestions from his constituents in this part of the country. (He was the guest speaker of the Philippine Judges Association conference in Davao City in the evening) . Naturally, being an elected senator of the Republic the governor, city mayor and Cong.Olano had to meet and accommodate Sen, Chiz regardless that he is one great oppositionist. Maybe Cong. Anton of the 2nd District was not home yet last Friday, that is if the hatchet has already been buried between RDR and the Floirendos. Had that been the case, the Lakas-Kampi family in the province would have been complete in meeting the youthful Chiz, a presidential timber.

Sino ba kaya sa kanila ang tunay na oposisyon? Si Manny Villar? Si Mar Roxas? Si Ping Lacson? Si Erap? Sen. Chiz threw a puzzle to his listening pack of provincial and city officials. Each one of today’s presidential timbers, sans him and Sen. Loren, were unmasked of their flip-flopping records in terms of legislations pursued and positions to Pres. GMA’s policies and actuations. Sen. Chiz would seem to say that all of these presidential wannabes in the opposition picked up both carrots and sticks in dealing with GMA, and hence imply that all of them were not true-blue oppositionists. I wouldn’t enumerate here such flop-flops for lack of space.

They were all listening perhaps dumbfounded to the usual razzle-dazzle of Tagalog enunciation of the senator on the matter except quite visibly Cong. Olano who was so busy in his cellphone- texting. Had it not been a friendly banter, he could have been called as out of protocol before a talking senator. Maybe those were urgent messages. I wouldn’t imply that the congressman wasn’t interested to the topic of Sen. Chiz. He has nowhere to go except the opposition.

If Cong. Olano meant it true, during an ambush interview made by some local mediamen, that he didn’t want to be intrigued by the question posed of whether his earlier plan of running for city mayor or governor and others when the present reelectionists are all his partymates, then he is indeed nowhere to go. He said that “the mayor is with Lakas, the governor is with Lakas and I am with Lakas” “Don’t intrigued me with that question,” Olano threw a pique on us.

If we voluntarily take a ride over Gov. RDR’s hint that there seems to be no Floirendo running against him for his reelection, then all’s well is bound to end well with Lakas in Davnor. With the principle of the equity of incumbent, Olano couldn’t be the administration’s standard–bearer for mayorship, governorship, and even to vice governorship and vice mayorship that rightly belong to reelectionist Suaybaguio and Allan Rellon, respectively. He has no incumbent son or daughter to bargain for the open post that he’s finishing to serve, unlike Comval District 1 Cong. Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora, who has his daughter Boardmember Maricar Zamora-Apsay long gunning for the post in stiff competition with Vice Gov. Ramil Gentugaya (don’t disturb, just married).

But sadly, what remains to Olano for an easy admin crack is a lowly boardmember’s seat, for remaining up to this day to be porkless unlike their Comval counterparts. Such is a real contrast to a congressman’s position that has lots of pork barrel funds that a white paper of Speaker Nograles wanted so much to be demystified of its negative and irregular connotations. But he has lots of top posts for a picking at his pleasure and luxury. Only that he’ll have to jump ship to the opposition where Sen. Chiz truly belongs.

BLOGBUZZ: I felt the academe’s free spirit again. That was last Tuesday when I gave journalism crash course for the UMTC English Guild. Thanks for the invitation to the Rural Urban News, my outfit, for Felimonne Em-em Monteros, the guild’s prexy, Ma’am Armela Gertos, the amiable adviser…. Kodus to NBI Tagum for pinpointing the establishment where the known UM Tagum sex scandal occurred- the Aroma Café and Computer along Sobrecarey St.. Ironically, the suspect establishment is owned by Edgardo Silagan, the president of ICAT- Internet Café Association of Tagum City. The NBI agents armed with warrant seized Thursday 23 computer units from the alleged culprit establishment. Now justice for Baby and her family is near. (Tomorrow: Olano’s fret on purok. For online edition, visit my blog at:, email: