Random Thoughts

Celeste-Lambino sidelined by Hugpong?

By Leonardo Micua

WHEN the team of Hugpong sa Pagbabago led by presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte came for the first time to woo voters of Pangasinan on Valentine’s Day, who do you think got recognized as their allies here and who were not?

I say it was the group of the Espino father-and-son that was recognized by Hugpong despite their being affiliated with the PDP Laban, the political party of Sara’s father, President Rodrigo Duterte.

Fifth District Rep. Amado Espino Jr., father of Gov. Pogi, is the provincial chairman of PDP Laban in Pangasinan. Being the congressman of the district where the political campaign sortie was being held, wasn’t it just logical that he should be there?

In the case of Guv Pogi, it was his duty to welcome the President’s daughter in his own province. Besides, I was informed too that Urdaneta City Mayor Bobom Perez wanted both the congressman and his governor son present in that occasion.

That meant both Mayor Arthur Celeste and Mark Lambino were not in his radar that day.
Bobom perhaps thought it would be absurd to have opposing candidates sitting beside each other and acting as strange bedfellows.

Besides, the Hugpong team perhaps believes that they get a better deal if they get the blessing from no less than the governor of Pangasinan and his congressman father than from any of the wannabes.

I am sure Mayor Celeste and Lambino may have opted to wait for Sara and her party at the Binalonan Convention Center, in a political rally by their ally, Mayor Ramon Guico III, where more than 3,000 people were attending..

But for a still unknown reason, the teams Binalonan sked was abruptly cancelled allegedly upon the advice of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) that was securing the presidential daughter.

Of course, hindi pa rin nasayang yong 3,500 launch packs that were prepared for the occasion.

Instead of dropping by Binalonan, the Hugpong group proceeded straight to Baguio, where a much bigger rally awaited them. Sara Duterte, however, proceeded to Manaoag to visit the Minore Basilica before she joined her candidates in the Pines City.

But lo and behold!, There was even an alleged last-ditch effort exerted by somebody from the Celeste camp to convince Sara to drop by at the Binalonan Convention Center but her PSG escorts prevailed upon her to skip the invitation.

Was the Celeste team given cold-shoulder by Sara and Hugpong?

When President Duterte campaigns for his candidates in Pangasinan sometime next week, don’t expect the Celeste camp to be there.

Wanna bet?

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When Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa was arrested for the crime of libel filed by a businessman, many people from almost parts of the world cried foul.

But when a local newshen Janice Hidalgo was defamed in a cacophony of words questioning her persona in a daily radio ad emanating from the camp of Bayambang Mayor Cezar Quiambao, nobody wants to take her side.

The unkind words could be in retaliation to Janice video playing on Facebook alleging corruption in the local government of Bayambang, that may have been found offensive and libelous to Mayor Quiambao and his administration.

Many said Mayor Quiambao may have valid points against Ms. Hidalgo but he didn’t have to go down to the level of Janice to the extent of buying an air time in a radio station just to get even with his accuser.

He could have simply asked his lawyer to file a case of cyber libel against Ms. Hidalgo.

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