Playing with Fire

Unity in city council

By Gonzalo Duque

WE attended the reunion of our San Beda Class 1976 to honor a fellow Bedan, former Congressman and former Executive Secretary Dondon Bagatsing, also an educator like us, for being appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as new ambassador of the Philippines to India. Congratulations Dondon!

Among those in attendance were the Little President, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, PAGCOR President Alfredo Lim and other appointed government officials belonging to Class 1976 of the San Beda Law School.

We all had fond memories of yesteryears when we were all chasing our dreams in that law school in Mendiola.  We each sang a song and, believe it or not, when it was my turn to sing, I belted out the song “The Last Time” by Eric Benet that put my classmates in awe and spellbound! 

Many wondered where I got that relatively new song that most of them heard only for the first time.  Some sang nostalgic songs that were the hits in Circa 1940s, others in Circas 1950s and 1960s that all were as old as us.  Others sang songs that were popular in Circa 70s, 80s and 90s. 

Mine was different and many observed I sang the song with . . . ugh feeling! Their side comment was I came really prepared for the reunion, like I always did when I and the others were under the tutelage of San Beda. 

They vowed that in our next reunion, they will see to it that they will also come prepared and belt out songs that can whip up the spirits of the oldies like all of us.

That was fun!

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On May 28, I joined a party at the resort of University of Luzon President Macky Samson, this was the blowout of reelected Dagupan City Councilor Luis “Chito” Samson, younger brother of Macky and Auring. 

Chito prepared one of the best tasting salad for my palate, including the crispy lechon and other mouth-watering gourmet delights. That was great, Chito!

By the way, I advised Chito to get himself chosen as the majority floor leader in the City Council because Chito is the most veteran among all the newly elected and reelected legislators. I believe he has been a mainstay of that council for more than 20 years. Imagine! 

Remember, seven councilors under Belen Fernandez and only three from the side of Brian Lim came out in the last election, handing the majority in silver platter to Belen’s forces. 

But in the majority, it needs one with Chito’s caliber—with apologies to the other veterans Michael Fernandez, Joey Tamayo and Karlos Reyna—to set the tone of unity in the city  


Chito said this is not possible because by tradition, the post of majority floor leader is usually reserved to the councilor who garnered the highest number of votes in the last election. This would be Michael Fernandez who came in third in the roster of winning councilors. 

Anyway, Michael is also a good choice as a majority floor leader. I also root for him. He is also a veteran and astute legislator, having served as ex-officio Councilor when he was SK and Barangay Council Federation chairman, and three terms as regular councilor.

The majority needs someone who can unite the members of that august body to work for the prosperity and economic equality of our people in Dagupan. 

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Congratulations to the newly assumed Police Provincial Director P/ Colonel Redrico Maranan. Ditto to P/Lt. Colonel Percival Pineda, the new chief of Police of Dagupan City.

Both officers and gentlemen must continue the unfinished war on drugs started by their predecessors, P/Colonel Wilson Lopez and P/ Lt. Colonel Jandale Sulit. 

Mr. Duterte aspires to be a great President. Myself don’t care who is good, better or best President. What I care is for Duterte to be a great President. His best legacy that he can leave the present and future generations of Filipinos is to make the Philippines truly drug-free. And methinks, he is now almost succeeding.

I remember someone once dreamed to make this nation great again. But after many years of rule, the nation did not become great but instead got worse! Need I tell you who that was?  I believe we can achieve this greatness under Du30 with all our help.

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