Belen’s gallant fight
By Leonardo Micua
WELL, the election is over. It’s time to move on and let bygones be bygones.
Let those who won get down to brass tacks immediately after June 30. The people expect a lot from them. I am giving them a period of adjustment, a honeymoon, to give them time to collect their thoughts on what they intend to deliver on their campaign promises.
If they have a program, which I am sure they had eloquently presented to the people in the campaign, they must be given time to execute it with a definite timetable. My advice is don’t rush them and might just fall apart. That would be bad for all of us!
Congratulations to all the winners!
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I am saddened that Mayor Belen Fernandez lost. We’ll that’s life. One had to win, the other had to lose. If she is willing to commission me to write a book about what she did for Dagupan for six years as mayor, another six years as vice mayor, including her three-year stint as city councilor, I will gladly accept the challenge.
Besides, I am all too familiar with her programs and projects, which I say are volumes. I patiently chronicled most of these. My friend from Zamboanga City, Felino Santos, my colleague in the early PNA, had long been egging me to write a book. This might be the time.
By the way, public service has not stopped for Belen even if she was already bruised by the election. The day after the result was made clear that she lost by a margin of just 1,200 votes, she was again up by her usual self– busy as a bee serving her constituents whether or not they voted for her. (Despite the odds and of losing the vaunted INC votes, Belen fought a gallant battle that was decided only by a few last-hour smart maneuvering of the generals)!
Her biggest focus now is to attend to her many projects to make sure that all those, which she programmed for the first semester of 2019, are done before June 30 this year. That’s public service for her.
Then she will step down and rejoin the private sector whose members, I presume, will be all too happy to welcome her back.
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In Pangasinan, the Espino political leadership is intact, except the loss of their patriarch, Congressman Amado Espino Jr. in the Fifth District, to an equally talented man, Ramon “Mon-mon” Guico III, mayor of Binalonan.
I think his first ever loss in an election may have something to do with the intense black propaganda even hours before the election directed against her two sons whom he helped even if his political life was on the line.
Imagine, leaflets circulated by people known to the Espinos flashing in big bold, red letters announcing that both Pogi and Jumel were disqualified by the Comelec. The media, I understand, picked this up even if it had no established source. This definitely could make the blood of any caring father–ever protective of his flock–boil hot.
Congressman Espino succeeded in thwarting the backlash of the black propaganda, which if not aborted could have resulted in thousands of lost votes.
The icing on the cake for him was to see Gov. Amado Espino III and Jumel Espino, including their mother, Priscilla, win convincingly.
Were Board Member Raul Sison and Alaminos City Mayor Art Celeste involved in the the last hour smear campaign blitz against the Espinos? I don’t know, but the Espino family wants to find out.
I believe that “Cong Ama” will still be very visible in Pangasinan politics as mentor to the young Espinos.
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Some political dynasties abruptly ended in this election. A classic example are the Perezes of Urdaneta City when Rammy Parayno thrashed Tet Perez-Naguiat in the mayoralty race and incumbent mayor Bobom Perez lost to Jing Parayno. Both Bobom and Tet are children of former Cong. and Mayor Amadeo Perez Jr.
In Lingayen, Second District Cong Leopoldo Bataoil finally ended the era of the Castañedas who ruled the town for 27 long years by trouncing incumbent Mayor Iday Castañeda.
In San Nicolas, Mayor Rebecca Saldivar also lost to Alicia Primicias, MD, sister of Sixth District Cong. Marlyn Agabas. Rebecca’s husband, Djanggit was a three-term mayor.
In Sual, unknown Liseldo Calugay upset former Mayor John Arcinue while his father Roberto, the incumbent mayor, also lost in the vice mayoralty race.
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