Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mangaldanians, 4th District folks mourn Mayor Romero’s untimely death


 MANGALDAN, Pangasinan – People here and in the 4th District have yet to recover from shock after news broke out on Sunday evening at about 9:45, that Mayor Herminio A. Romero,72, passed away. According to a reliable source who was with the mayor when the tragic incident happened..
 He said Romero, who just finished delivering his message at a Christmas party in Barangay Lipit Tomeeng in San Fabian town last December 23, complained of sudden dizziness and was assisted by his security aide to a chair where he was made to relax for a moment.
 However, upon noticing that the mayor’s head slumping to the left side of his shoulder and sensing of a more serious illness, the aide immediately bodily carried the mayor to his van and was rushed to Decena Hospital in Bonuan Gueset in Dagupan City, the nearest hospital from San Fabian, where Romero could be given emergency attention and first aid.
Unfortunately, Romero was declared dead-on-arrival at the hospital with initial findings made by the doctors as cardiac arrest. Romero, who was into his final three-term as chief executive of Mangaldan, filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for the upcoming 2013 polls last October 1 as candidate for the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Board) in the 4th District under the United Nationalists Alliance (UNA). And since then, he was already seen to be a front-runner among individuals, various peoples’ organizations, as well as civic groups that invite him as either their guest of honor and speaker, or simply the most distinguished guest in their respective affairs, events or celebrations.
Although Romero was usually busy and having a tight schedule in running the affairs, he did not fail in all invitations as his presence was needed.
Source from his camp said he acquiesced to about eight to ten invitations per day. “He was a workaholic and always kept himself busy, that often times even as he settles to bed late in the night, he wakes up at 3:00 A.M and pores over his schedules for the day, at the same time signs various documents that need his signature, said Dr. Rosalie Hulipas. Hulipas has been Romero’s long-time executive/administrative assistant and personal secretary since Romero was still then the municipal vice-mayor.
She added that the mayor was always present in his office and diligently attended all concerned activities in the town hall, as well as performed his duties and responsibilities to the best he could. “Even during calamities, Mayor Romero would not leave his office, staying there for a night and day giving orders and monitoring himself the situation within the 30 barangays of the municipality.
The mayor really acted as a father to every Mangaldanian and had always has an open heart, generosity and kindness, especially to the less fortunate families that come to his office or house for some help,” Hulipas stressed. This writer noticed that in the past days of making himself visible to the various communities within the 4th District, Romero seemed to be energized with how the people he visits welcome him very warmly. Having hectic schedules left and right, the mayor seemed very inspired and happy in all his sorties, that he ignored getting tired. And probably, his body gave way, thus his untimely and unexpected death.
As the people of Mangaldan grieve over the demise of an unparalleled leader and public servant, Romero will be remembered for his remarkable deeds, his enormous love for his people and mostly, his personality as a humble, kind and soft-spoken person.
Romero will surely be cherished in the hearts of the people whom he served and he will always be remembered as the father and architect of progress and development in this now, booming town of Mangaldan.
Since Monday morning shortly before lunch time, when Romero’s remains was brought to his residence, people from all walks of life started flocking there to get a glimpse of him for the last time and to pay their final respects. Romero’s interment will be held on January 3, 2013 after a Mass that shall be held at the Sto. Tomas Catholic Church at 9:00 A.M.
 VM Berex Abalos is sworn in
 Although declared as a non-working holiday last Monday, December 24, Vice-Mayor and Sangguniang Bayan (SB) Presiding Officer Bernardo ‘Berex’ C. Abalos was sworn into office at 9:30 A.M. at the municipal hall as mayor of the municipality. The oath-taking of Abalos was administered by Lawyer Gabriel Magno and witnessed by the members of the SB, a number of employees and department heads of the different offices of the local government unit (LGU).
 The immediate swearing-in of Abalos as the new chief executive of Mangaldan was said to avoid vacuum in the leadership within the LGU.
 However, Local Government Operation Officer Dinah Pinlac cleared that Abalos need not to be sworn in as the next mayor, for the fact that it is automatic for him (Abalos) , by operation of law, to assume office upon the demise of the incumbent mayor. Abalos, who is himself a candidate for the mayoralty  in May 2013 polls, will be the town’s mayor for six months until June 30, 2013.
 On Wednesday, December 26, Abalos’ first day in office as mayor, he called for a meeting with all the department heads and threshed out an orderly turn-over for a continuous and smooth run in the delivery of services to the people.
 Accordingly, Abalos will hold office at the newly constructed annex building at the back of the main municipal hall. On the other hand, number one councilor and SB Presiding Officer Pro Tempore Ma. Teresa ‘Baby’ M. Abalos, has replaced Abalos as the town’s vice-mayor and SB presiding officer, while Mayor Romero’s youngest son Herminio ‘Erjun’, which has been decided upon by the party the former mayor belongs, will seat as an SB member, filling up the vacant position due to the unexpected movement within the municipal council.
As of press time, talks are undergoing on whether Mayor Romero’s eldest son, Christopher ‘Toper’, who at 38 years-old, will finally decide to shoe-in for his father and be a replacement as provincial board member-candidate in the 4th District.
 A strong clamor for him to run for the position though is in the offing, as the majority of the people in Mangaldan would like to have a board member to represent them and the entire 4th District in the provincial’s August Body. Political observers say that Toper would eventually win the elections, in as much as it would surely be sympathy votes that would propel him to be one of the two winning candidates in the 2013 elections. “Toper, although really not yet prepared to run for the position, will however hurdle the campaign and win in the elections. He has the potentials and the same personality of his father, who does not talk a lot, but rather works and performs. And he too like the late mayor, is very generous and very understanding,” said one political pundit.

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