BY RUEL CAMBA
DAGUPAN CITY – A three-cornered battle for the presidency of the Liga ng mga Barangay here is shaping up after re-elected Barangay Captain Pedro Gonzales of Bonuan Binloc hinted his intention to run for the coveted post.
|Lucao Barangay Chairman Lino Fernandez |
(1st extreme Right), former president of
the League of Barangays Dagupan City.
“I am seriously studying the situation and in the process of consulting my fellow barangay captains, including Kapitan Willy Salayog, he said in the vernacular.
Two names for the Liga top post cropped up even before the barangay polls on Oct. 28, elected barangay captains Marcelino “Lino” Fernandez and Dean Bryan Khua of barangays Lucao and Pogo Chico, respectively.
Cua reportedly has the blessings of Mayor Belen Fernandez, a relative.
Lino Fernandez reportedly has the support of former Mayor Alipio Fernandez Jr. during whose last stint as city mayor Lino served as Liga president.
Gonzales is closely allied with the camp of former Mayor Benjamin Lim whose support enabled then Poblacion Oeste Punong Barangay Guillermo Vallejos to clinch the Liga presidency in 2010.
Gonzales is confident he has the necessary credentials for the top Liga post having intermittently served as five-term barangay chairman.
He said he is familiar with the concerns of the barangay chiefs, which he could elevate to the Sangguniang Panlungsod through appropriate resolutions and ordinances.
Throughout his years as barangay captain he has established good rapport with his fellow village chiefs, at times sharing with them practices in good governance and effective measures in addressing various barangay concerns, he said.
Gonzales said he is also familiar with the intricacies of the campaign for the Liga presidency, having taken a hand in the successful campaign of his grandson, John Chester Gonzales, for the presidency of the SangguniangKabataan in the city in 2010.
Several elected village chiefs initially approached by this writer said Gonzales has a big chance of succeeding the city’s Liga president if Fernandez and Cua will choose to fight it out against each other.
“One of them has to give way considering that Gonzales could possibly count on the support of at least 14 newly elected and re-elected barangay captains,” said a re-elected barangay chairman from an eastern barangay, who requested for anonymity since the three would-be contenders are his friends.
Between Cua and Fernandez, he said Fernandez has the edge in terms of experience and connection with the re-elected village chiefs with whom he (Fernandez) used to work with when he served as Liga president.
“He enjoys the confidence and friendship of his old buddies who got re-elected, as well as some of the new barangay captains elected for the first time,” he said.
On the other hand as a neophyte barangay captain, Cuais yet to establish rapport and leadership credibility practically with all the other barangay captains in the city, he said.
However, he added, Mayor Belen Fernandez is expected to throw her weight for Cua, her blood relative.
“As the saying goes, blood is thicker than water,” he said, even as he was quick to add that it would be wise for the mayor not to ram Cua down the throat of the city’s barangay chiefs.
The same village chief said that Gonzales could capitalize on the call made by former Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr. on city officials for them to forge political unity and reconciliation so that the city could move on.
“Gonzales, if elected as Liga president, would stand as a symbol and instrument of genuine political unity and reconciliation in our city,” he said.
During the recent 100-day report of Mayor Belen Fernandez at the CSI stadia, De Venecia in public called on the mayor to extend a hand of unity and reconciliation to Vice Mayor Brian Lim.“What is a better way for the mayor to show sincere effort toward genuine political unity and reconciliation than allowing Gonzales to be the city’s Liga president?” he said.