Local chapter Mayors league prexy Mayor Erdio Valenzuela of Dingras, Ilocos Norte aired deep concern of security for fellow chief executives following the recent assassination of the mayors in Batangas and Nueva Ecija.

To have police security aides, as he wished, may be a deterrent. However, not a sure-fire guarantee to spare them from assassin’s bullet?

Speaking of past killings of mayors in the country, Ilocos Norte was no exception. At least five local chief executives in Ilocos Norte were slain during their incumbency.

Here’s a flashback.

The late Marcos town mayor Arsenio Agustin died from the hand of a gun-for-fire civilian sniper. His police escort traded shots with the assailant.

Earlier, Marcos town mayor Rogelio Pambid was killed by a cold-blooded assailant while he was alighting from a car in front of his daughter’s store.

Bacarra youthful town mayor Philip Velasco was gunned down in public view despite tight police security during farmers night activities at the plaza. Responding lawmen killed the assassin who tried to flee from the crime scene.

In Vintar town, the late mayor Eleuterio Mabanag, surrounded by security men, was waylaid while jogging one early morning in the outskirt of the town. He and one of his bodyguards got killed in that ambush. His back up security aides repelled the deadly attack.
Coming from a resort’s gun club night affair, Currimao town mayor Wilbur Go perished in an ambuscade on his way home aboard his car. His companion survived the shooting.
Early this July, the Laoag-based Monday-to-Friday ABS-CBN TV patrol Ilocos newscast program was totally scrapped in the boob tube. It is replaced by TV patrol north Luzon aired in Tagalog. It claimed it has wide coverage like Baguio-Benguet, Isabela, and Ilocos. But, this early, we noticed fewer patronage for the newly introduced TV news program here in Ilocos.

Local fans here had missed more news about daily happenings in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. We surmise only a few people here may be interested to watch and listen to the news in the Cordilleras and Cagayan Valley.

In the same manner, GMA’s Balitang Amianan doesn’t cater to the viewing taste of the Ilocanos because its daily news broadcast in Tagalog is almost 90% about events in Pangasinan and some parts of Region 3.

If my info is correct, the ABS-CBN network had trimmed down its news corps in the Laoag office. Some reporters had gracefully exited and given a handsome separation pay. The veteran ones were retained but given limited role.

Grace Alba, dubbed as TV patrol Ilocos queen for many years, is absorbed in the TV patrol north Luzon but sad to say, she is relegated to the background.


Obituary. Former Police General Romeo Maganto died at 70 due to multiple organ failure–GMA news.

He passed away last June 16, 2018. We, his close friends in Ilocos Norte remembered him as a down-to-earth police provincial director and readily became darling of the local press headed then by yours truly.

Also, General Maganto, then Metro Manila’s Southern Police District Director, personally arranged with the Manila City Hall concerned agencies the civil wedding of my Las Vegas USA-based sister Norma and he stood one of the ninongs.

Farewell, Sir General Romy.

Another friend, Pepito “Pete” Salenda, of Laoag City, had finally returned to the Almighty Creator at age 72. He was the school director of ISALA (International School of Arts, Languages and the Academe).

Very few may know it, Pete also served for years as bishop of the Mormon church. I knew it when he officiated a wedding ceremony where my wife and I were among the principal sponsors.

Several weeks before his death, Pete’s name cropped up in our talk over a bottle of brandy with kin and party guest Rey or Naldo who remembered Pete Salend as a fellow popular student activist during the Marcos regime.

During the Martial rule, Pete, together with well-known activist leaders Naldo, Vasiong, Arthur, Jimmy, Sammy, Lenville (now active Sunday church goer), Juliet (now a teacher), Elizer, et al, were all arrested and detained by the military. Naldo, however, later escaped, went underground and operated as a dissident chieftain in the Cordillera.

Naldo has long left the insurgency movement and finally had rejoined the mainstream of the society.
We also recalled activists Cesar Baroña and Errol Collado, my pre-martial law drinking buddies while I edited the Ilocos Times for years in the 1970s. Baroña was then the editor in chief of the Divine Word College of Laoag’s Williamite school organ when he went underground and became New People’s Army commander in his home province of Abra.

I got lost of Collado’s exploits after the ML declaration. He was then a student leader of the University of Northern Philippines in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.


Congratulations to Bombo Radyo Laoag for holding its simultaneous Medico 2018 a resounding success last Sunday, July 8, 2018. Its free medical, dental and optical mission, aided by the city government; local medical, dental and optical societies, PNP and other generous sponsors, had benefitted many of the sick and other less fortunate city and province mates. Keep up the good work, Bombo! #