Friday, July 19, 2013

“Presidentiables” for mayors’ league in P’sinan floated

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

DAGUPAN CITY – A political operator who asked anonymity said that there are six prospective bets for the presidency of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines -Pangasinan Chapter (LMP-PC) who are being floated by some quarters these days.
He said in case the election of the 44 members local chief executive’s organization in the province push through on October 5 this year, the following hopefuls are Binmaley Mayor Sam Rosario, Bayambang Mayor Ric Camacho, Aguilar Mayor Eduardo Ballesteros, Tayug Mayor Tyrone Agabas, Laoac Mayor Silverio Alarcio, and PML-PC Incumbent president Noel Nacar.
 Nacar, at the inaugural address of Pangasinan Governor Amado T. Espino at the Sison Auditorium in Lingayen, told this paper that he seeks reelection in the LMP-PC.
In an interview at his office, Rosario was ambivalent to run despite the prodding of some interest groups because of his closeness to presidential hopeful Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalists Alliance. “I’ll run probably if I will be endorsed by the governor,” Rosario was overheard to say.
 The operator said that majority of the Pangasinan mayors would gravitate to Rosario since the maneuvering of the camp of Binay for the highest office of the land will start next year. “A lot of mayors would ingratiate with Rosario by supporting him because of the projects that Binay will give just like what he did in 2007-2010 when he gave mini-vans and other projects to mayors whose towns signed an agreement to become a sister city of Makati because of the intervention of Rosario,” he said in Filipino. The operator said that Malasiqui Mayor Armando Domantay, an ideal for the leadership of the LMP-PC because of his being a last termer mayor and has millions of pesos to boot, declined but instead endorses Bayambang Mayor Camacho. “Si Ric na lang ang patakbuhin niyo kasi wala siyang kalaban noong last election at hindi siya gumastos. Last termer na rin siya at back- up pa siya ni (business mogul) Cesar Quimbao,” Domantay quipped.
But Camacho said it is impossible for him to run because he is preoccupied preparing for the town’s 400 years anniversary and his municipality’s bid for the Guinness Book of World Record to defeat Turkey’s 6.2 kilometers grill.
Turkey, according to Camacho, trounced-out Dagupan City in terms of the longest grill in the Guinness.
 It is a common knowledge among political players in the humongous province that running and winning the presidency of the LMP-PL entails expenses like dole-outs and the dinning and wining of the mayors that the candidate should shoulder.
“One has to shell-out tens of thousands of pesos for the 44 members LMP-PC to win. One has to prepare himself to give a sum to a hizzoner in case he solicits for his town fiesta and others”.
 The source said that an ideal candidate for this prestigious body, where its president rub- elbows with the "who’s who" of the national government , should be moneyed where he can source his wherewithal from whatever means he can tap before he wins the plum.
 Another competent candidate for the league, according to the source, is Laoac Mayor Alarcio. “He is perceptive. He is good in planning,” he said.
 The only problem, the source said, is he is hesitant to run if he has to shell out sums just to ingratiate with the votes of his fellow mayors.
 “Why should I spend for them when I will be serving them?” the source quoted the mayor, a former police general.
The other candidates, the operator said, are Aguilar Mayor Ballesteros who has a thriving construction business, and Tayug Mayor Tyrone Agabas, although a neophyte mayor, has a deep pocket to spend for the internecine financial warfare during the campaign period notwithstanding his being a lawyer, a former Board Member, and the husband of Rep. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas (6th District, Pangasinan) .
“Of course andiyan si Mayor Nacar ng Dasol who was catapulted at the perch of the league in the last election (LMP-PC) by Abono Chairman Rosendo So”.
 He said Chairman So’s support in the coming election is crucial because of his well-oiled political machinery.
Political spectators in Pangasinan unanimously agreed that the election of the LMP-PC is high stake for this year because of the willing supports of presidential hopefuls Secretary Mar Roxas of the Department of Interior & Local Government and Liberal Party’s presidential hopeful, and Vice President Binay who have the moist eyes to position their stocks in the almost 2 million votes rich Pangasinan in the presidential election in 2016.
 “Whoever gets the support of the president of the mayors’ league and the governor have the comparative advantage in the race to Malacanang in 2016,” the operator opined.

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