Random Thoughts

Political tricks and issues

By Leonardo Micua


EVEN before the City Elections Office could sort out things and the names of candidates, Socorro Barrozo Aquino, the woman who filed her certificate of candidacy for mayor as an independent candidate at about 2:00 p.m. on October 17, withdrew from the race at 9:20 a.m. the next day.

I suppose this was an easy decision on her part to withdraw, even faster than when she entered the City Election Office and reluctantly filed her CoC after perhaps succumbing to the dictation of some people out to make a mockery of the election in Dagupan City.

We maintain our previous assertion that an outside force dangled a prize she could not resist, that was why she hurriedly went to the election office to file a CoC form that may have been prepared for her.

We had no doubt before that such a deception will be ultimately be exposed as we are confident of the fairness of the Comelec. We believe that in such a case, the poll body will not play a blind eye and lose no time in declaring Barrozo Aquino a nuisance candidate.

We are puzzled no end why schemers would resort to such a ploy unless they perhaps are not convinced their candidate will win in a fare game of popularity.

Politics should be confined only to a contest of issues. Those who in the eyes of the voters performed well in their official and personal capacities will definitely have the edge.

With Barrozo-Aquino out of the race, the election in Dagupan will be a one-on-one contest
between the current highest officials of Dagupan, Mayor Belen Fernandez, who is seeking reelection for a third and final term of office, and Vice Mayor Marc Brian Lim, who wants to avenge the loss of his father Benjie to Belen in 2013 election.

Who between the two performed better and responded to the needs of the people of  Dagupan City must be used as the gauge by the discerning voters.

Incidentally, another withdrawal of CoC was registered at the Provincial Elections Office. Larry Gryson de Venecia, backed out from the congressional race in the Fourth District, whose incumbent representative is Cong. Christopher “Toff” de Venecia.

That left three other independent candidates for congressman in the race of contenders for the post of Congressman Toff. They are Winkie Manaois, Councilor Redford Erfe-Mejia and former Vice Mayor Alvin Fernandez, son of the late former Dagupan City Mayor Alipio Fernandez Jr., once a De Venecia ally.

With the three contenders, the son of former Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. and former Congresswoman Gina de Venecia is no longer running unopposed as in the previous election when he was elected in his first term of office.

We’ll see what his three opponents can do to match Toff’s popularity not only in Dagupan City but also in San Fabian, Mangaldan, San Jacinto and Manaoag.

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As we are writing this column, a fifth school in Pangasinan was rocked by another bomb threat spread through social media. This time it is the Pangasinan National High School in Lingayen. It already suspended classes to give way to the clearing of the school premises of the supposed bomb.

This is the third day that a bomb scare gripped the student population in Pangasinan. The first was on Oct. 24 at the Pan Pacific University in Urdaneta City and a school in Mangaldan town.

On Oct. 25, students of the main campus of the University of Luzon and the UL campus in Pozorrubio left their classrooms on the order of school authorities when somebody posted on Facebook that bombs were planted in rooms and offices of those schools.

At UL, the students taking their examinations had to be ordered to leave the classrooms.

 Fortunately, the bomb threats turned out to be pranks after the Bomb Explosive and Ordnance teams from the Pangasinan Police Office that used K9 sniffing dogs cleared all the rooms. While these were a big waste of efforts, money and resources because of the pranks, these had to be done since many lives and properties were at risk.

Add this to the fear and panic among the students and their parents that these incidents caused and you know that some mad minds out there planned on the bomb threats to serve a purpose that would lead to panic and pandemonium.

The police said the bomb threats were obviously not the handiwork of terrorists but by pranksters possibly holed in isolation in their rooms or may be youngsters in computer shops who gloat and find pleasure in causing panic.

We recall an incident a couple of years ago when someone posted on Facebook that a bomb exploded in the carnival area on Jose de Venecia Expressway that left many people dead.

The police led by then Chief of Police Supt. Neil Miro, Public Order and Safety Office and the Bureau of Fire Protection immediately responded but when they reached the carnival area, they found no sign of carnage and no bomb explosion.

Although those who spread the false information were never identified and arrested,  there were speculations this could have been directed against the city administration which was successfully hosting the city fiesta that year that resulted in many tourists flocking to the city.

We are sure the police are doggedly working on this case till the madman on the loose is finally identified and behind bars. Use of the internet leaves digital footprints.

Meanwhile, tight security is now being employed in all schools in Dagupan City and Pangasinan. 

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