Firmly committed at 63 and beyond!

By Ermin Garcia Jr.

THIS month, your SUNDAY PUNCH marks its 63rd year of publishing, without any interruption since 1956.

The PUNCH continued publishing even when terror struck us and founder-editor Ermin E. Garcia, was shot and murdered in our office in 1966, during the dark days when press was controlled throughout martial law through People Power from 1972- 1986, through the devastation of Dagupan City in 1990 when 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 1990 that devastated Dagupan City, through the series of floods and calamities that hit Pangasinan.

Not even corrupt businessmen and politicians who harassed us with libel cases could prevent us from publishing. Thanks to the lawyers of indomitable spirit who share our vision and took care of the cases pro bono so we could attend to our mission.

Your Sunday PUNCH faithfully covered and reported significant events in Pangasinan, from politics to calamities, about people who mattered in governance, economy, sports, cultural development, religious-government relations and environmental advocacy.

Through the decades, The PUNCH reported how corruption in politics and business impacted on people’s lives, how ambition and dreams inspired professionals to help in the development of the province, how Pangasinan became the center of education in the region.

But The PUNCH could not have made it through 63 years without the faithful and professional services of our journalists – editors, reporters, photographers and correspondents – and administrative staff. Many have since moved on but their services will forever be etched in our mind and in our pages. 

Our faithful readers and advertisers did more than follow us but inspired us to deliver the news and opinion that mattered to them. The weekly challenge to us has always been to publish a new issue that meets our founder’s commitment to truth and justice.

Your PUNCHERS remain steadfast and committed to deliver another year of meaningful community journalism never forgetting that “No man is to be reverenced than the truth.”

To God be the glory!

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KEEP HUNTING! I am not the least surprised that the index crime rate in Pangasinan has dropped by 24%.

Why? Because a peaceful environment is felt, not imagined.

However, that remains as a BIG challenge to our law enforcers is the total elimination of illegal drug trade in our neighborhood. While it may never happen because of entrenched network of protectors that include corrupted policemen, public prosecutors and judges, the day we hear of more families willingly surrendering drug-affected family members for rehabilitation is a time for celebration and acknowledgment of the successful efforts of our law enforcers.

But the arrest of the man who habitually and randomly raped his daughters also did a lot to boost our faith in our police. It is the arrest of such suspects that make citizens trust in our police’s dedication to duty.

Let’s see more such arrests of felons who have managed to stay out of the reach of our judicial system for years. Keep hunting.

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DEATH PENALTY. I hope the restoration of the death penalty will give our law enforcers the boost they sorely need to keep heinous crimes under control.

Speaking of the death penalty, I am squarely behind it. It may not deter crimes but it can bring justice to those who keep faith in our system, no matter how flawed it may appear to bleeding hearts among us. If death penalty makes a prospective criminal to rethink his/her position, the restoration of the death penalty shall have served the purpose – it saved one victim’ life from being wasted.

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