By Mortz C. Ortigoza
LINGAYEN – Vice Governor Ferdinand Calimlim refused to comment on who between former Vice Governor Oscar Lambino and former Police Director General Arturo Lomibao is the tougher opponent in the vice gubernatorial race. Instead, he said he concentrates on barnstorming the towns, villages and boondocks of Pangasinan with the same propensity and aggressiveness when he ran against Lambino for the province’s number two post in the 2010 poll.
The vice governor is pitted in the May 13, 2013 election against Lomibao who is his relative. Lomibao, a retired four –star general used to head the Philippine National Police, National Electrification Administration, and Land Transportation Office. Political spectators said the three departments Lomibao headed were ‘juiciest” posts many political appointees dream. Lomibao who runs in tandem with gubernatorial bet Hernani Braganza, mayor of Alaminos City, under the Liberal Party is pitted with Calilim and Governor Amado T. Espino.
In the three years stint of Calimlim as vice governor that has more than 1.5 million voters, he has been known to distribute 26,660 monoblock chairs or 20 pieces in each of the 1,333 villages of the province. Calimlim gave also 300 plastic chairs to each of the 44 municipalities of Pangasinan. Calimlim used to be a mayor of Mapandan for three terms.
He said his present post is more demanding than being a mayor, as being vice governor means he has to barnstorm 1,333 barangays unlike when he was a mayor of Mapandan, a small town. “My routine in going to the boondocks did not change when I was ‘campaigning’ for the vice governor for one year and a half before the election in 2010,” he stressed.
He said his style in crisscrossing the villages by feeling the pulse of his constituents is the same as that of Governor Espino. “Nothing changed,” he told the governor when they both exchanged notes when they ran for election in 2010. Aside from the monoblock chairs, he distributed grass cutter and megaphone to every barangay and to the entities who request for financial and material assistance in his office here.