FOR NOT BEING NAMED LP BET FOR VICE GUV’
It was because of his “nonselection” as vice gubernatorial candidate and not because there is lack of transparency in the Liberal Party’s process of selecting its official candidates that made Board Member Ranjit Shahani rush back to the fold of Gov. Amado T. Espino Jr. whom he called the “worst governor” of Pangasinan.
This is how former Vice Governor Oscar Lambino, in a press statement issued Sunday, described the decision of Ranjit to break ties with local party leaders and support the re-election bid of Gov. Espino and his entire ticket. Lambino said contrary to his accusation, Ranjit was an active participant in identifying possible LP candidates and finalizing the list of its official candidates in the province.
He said Ranjit who had been longing to be named official bet by the party for the vice-gubernatorial post agreed to be subjected to the selection process. “I expected him to respect the decision of Party leaders in Pangasinan which was cleared with and approved by National Party Leaders.
It turned out however that Ranjit would respect and honor the Party decision only if his personal ambition is satisfied,” Lambino said. Lambino said that although Ranjit’s “decision to break ties with Local Party leaders, we thank him for brining to light the anomalous and scandalous practices inside the Provincial Capitol of Pangasinan.”
He expressed hope that Ranjit “can be a partner again in our quest to transform the provincial government into a graft-free and efficient local government unit, led by officials who are “Maka-Pangasinan” and not “Makasarili.”
Shahani junks cousin, partymate Braganza
LINGAYEN --- Pangasinan board member Ranjit Shahani, a member of the administration’s Liberal Party, announced on Saturday he will campaign for the reelection bid of Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr., standard-bearer of the Nationalist Peoples Coalition in Pangasinan, thus junking his cousin Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza, LP gubernatorial bet in the coming May 2013 elections.
In a phone-patch interview over a local radio station, Shahani said he was withdrawing his support for Braganza on account of alleged lack of transparency in the Liberal Party’s (LP) selection of candidates in next year’s elections. “I would like the whole province of Pangasinan to know that I am supporting the reelectionist ticket of Gov. Amado Espino Jr. and (Jose) Ferdinand Calimlim for vice governor,” Shahani said.
The announcement in effect confirmed rumors that all was not well between Shahani and Braganza, a second cousin on the maternal side. Shahani’s mother, former Sen. Leticia Ramos-Shahani, is a cousin of Braganza’s mother, the late Purita Agsalud Braganza. The board member, himself a former congressman, is a nephew of former President Fidel V. Ramos. While Shahani and Braganza belong to the LP, Espino and his running mate, incumbent Vice Gov. Jose Ferdinand Calimlim are members of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC). In the interview, Shahani expressed his displeasure over the LP’s choice of candidates for local posts in the May 2013 polls.
“I do not like the process of selecting candidates under the LP. It was not transparent. It’s like backsliding in the old days of the backroom, smoke-filled rooms for politicians…throwing the dice in deciding the faith of the Filipino people,” Shahani lamented. Shahani had earlier made public his intention to run as vice governor under the LP, but the party gave the slot instead to retired Philippine National Police Director General Arturo Lomibao. In the interview, Shahani also challenged Braganza to a debate where he will prove Espino as “far more qualified” to run Pangasinan.
He pointed out that under Espino’s two-term watch, various development projects were remarkably accomplished, notably in the field of health services, infrastructure projects, and environment protection.