Random Thoughts

The debate that will never happen

By Leonardo Micua

IS there a sense of urgency for the contenders of the top position of the province to debate this early when the campaign period for local candidates has not officially started?

I ask this question because candidate Mayor Art Celeste appears desperate to face Gov. Pogi Espino in a one-on-one debate this early.

But Guv. Pogi, the one on the saddle, is smart to refuse to bite. The survey (See story on page 10) conducted by Vox Populi Polls, a trusted group now celebrating its 21 years of professional polling, showed the governor way ahead in voters’ preference province-wide at 73 percent to 27 percent over Mayor Celeste.

Methinks, if you have this big lead at this stage and an advantage in manpower and resources, why should Pogi debate with an opponent who only wants to share the limelight focused on him?

 In other words, what good will the debate do for Guv Pogi if  Mayor Celeste is trailing him  by a mile.  After all, wining an election is not only a play with words but how people have been helped over the years.

Mayor Celeste can only hope to have his debate if he can match the governor’s accomplishments and popularity. A debate will be useful only if and when the gap becomes too close to call, and not till the campaign period has officially started.

If the Espino camp feels that the Celeste camp is desperate, it could only be because the mayor has not stopped reiterating his challenge to a debate in every turn.  Indeed, a debate could be the last resort for a desperate man.

Being too obsessed with a debate, instead of concentrating on working on his campaign in the grassroots, Mayor Celeste is obviously convinced he cannot win the election without a debate.

Well, it looks like that will never happen, the debate I mean.

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Like fellow Puncher Gonz Duque, I too, am amazed at the fantastic rise of Dagupan as a sports power in the Ilocos region after a stunning back-to-back win in the Region 1 Athletic Association meet in Laoag City last week.

Many thanks to Mayor Belen Fernandez who believed in the capability of the Dagupan youth to shine in sports above the rest after so-so finishes in previous R1AA meets.

If she gets reelected to her post, Dagupan would be looking for a third, fourth and fifth R1AA crowns.

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It rained a little in Dagupan for the first time Wednesday night and my wife said the brief downpour should have poured on Metro Manila to ease the situation where the faucets have dried up, forcing people to queue for water being rationed by fire trucks.

Metro Manila’s main source of water, the La Mesa Dam in Bulacan, is fast drying up if it hasn‘t already because of the adverse effects of El Niño phenomenon.

We are luckier here. Water is still flowing through our faucets but there is a need to conserve water because El Niño is projected to intensify.

Our worry is the situation for our farmers worsen, they may not be able to cultivate their parched farm lands and that would mean food will be scant, and prices will go up.

But the provincial government, according to Nestor Batalla, the acting provincial agriculturist, is adopting measures to mitigate the crisis by distributing shallow tube wells to farmers whose farms lands are in the tail end of the existing irrigation systems.

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