Monday, October 12, 2015

Al –Brian Tandem 95% complete

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

DAGUPAN CITY -  A close associate of former mayor Benjie S. Lim said that it is 95% complete as of Monday the hewed tandem of former mayor Al Fernandez and Vice Mayor Brian Lim for the next year’s mayoralty and vice mayoralty election here.
FORMER MAYORS. Dagupan City former mayors Al Fernandez (right)
and Benjie S. Lim.
“Both camps have been talking about the ticket that they are going to file at the Commission on Election this week,” cited by the associate, who asked anonymity, who worked at the mayor’s office during the 2010-2013 Lim Administration.
He said one of the financial supporters of the two-wheeler Fernandez-Lim is Indian-Filipino Businessman Ashok Vasandani who is a friend of former mayor Fernandez.
The tandem in case it materialized will pit this city’s Mayor Belen Fernandez and her yet unnamed vice mayoralty bet.
Top radio commentator Ruel Camba, a friend of the Lims, said the Fernandez – Lim collaboration is not new. “There was LIFE or Lim Fernandez ticket before where former mayor Benjie Lim enlisted Alvin Fernandez to run for the vice mayoralty”.
Both won in the 2004 election.
Camba said that he had been hearing lately about the ballyhooed Fernandez Lim's tandem  among the supporters of the vice mayor.
Dagupan City Vice Mayor Brian Lim
Earlier, media men had opined that Mayor Belen Fernandez had been eyeing either this city’s Administrator Farah Decano, Councilor Jigs Seen, her brother-in-law, or Councilor Alfie Fernandez, the son of the former mayor, to be part of her vice mayoralty slate.

DWPR announcer Harold Barcelona, a friend of Councilor Fernandez, told this paper that the latter was lukewarm to the idea because of some differences with the mayor and the tough challenge that awaits him with Vice Mayor Lim and his financial juggernaut.
Lim, like Mayor Fernandez, owns a chain of malls in and outside of Pangasinan.

Belen-Alfie Tandem Debunks Al- Brian


During the five days filing of the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) at the Commission on Election (Comelec) there was suspenseful roller coaster ride in Dagupan City among supporters of Mayor Belen Fernandez and Vice Mayor Brian Lim. 
On Monday, I bumped into a close associate of former Mayor Benjie S. Lim who told me the Al Fernandez-Brian Lim for mayoralty and vice mayoralty had been 95% complete as both camps diligently negotiated with each other.
Monday night I posted my article “Al –Brian Tandem 95% complete” at my blog P’nan Biggest News (you can access it at
LIBERAL PARTY’S TICKET. Dagupan City re-electionist Mayor Belen T. Fernandez (2ND from right), City Councilor and vice mayoralty candidate Alfie Fernandez (extreme left), City Councilor Mabelyn Fernandez, Congresswoman Gina de Venecia (4th District, Pangasinan), and Former Mayor Al Fernandez, flashed the party sign after they accompanied the vice mayoralty bet who filed his Certificate of Candidacy last Thursday morning at the City’s Commission on Election. Mayor Fernandez and Alfie run under the Liberal Party. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA

When I opened Tuesday night my’s statistics I saw the articles’ became viral from readers in the country and abroad who were dead curious about this development. 
Many had been asking me in the streets and at Face Book about the brouhaha I posted Monday night.
The Al-Brian tattle started to diminish Wednesday morning when reelectionist Mayor Fernandez, former Mayor Al, Congresswoman Gina de Venecia, and supporters prepare to motor from The Stadia to the Comelec provincial and city offices to file their COC.
The problem however was they filed their COCs without the mayor’s vice mayoralty bet that political kibitzers said would be Alfie Fernandez – the son of the former mayor.
The rumour that Alfie would be running as mayor in tandem with Brian permeated the air.
Thursday morning Gypsy the PR of Rep. De Venecia invited me to witness the solon’s filing of her COC at the provincial Comelec while they prepared to accompany Councilor Alfie to file his candidacy at the City’s Comelec.
All the rumours that a Lim-Fernandez’s collaboration was in the offing died on that moment.

Alfie denies negotiation with Lim

The young Fernandez told me there that he did not join the Liberal Party’s filing of COC the day before because of some spiritual beliefs of the date of his filing and the lucky number of the family attached to the date and time.
When I asked the Councilor, in a press conference called by the Mayor at Gloria Maris, if indeed there was a negotiation before his family and the Lims that created the Al-Brian rumour he denied it.
The Mayor told some media men there that it was the Samsons (probably former Councilor Chito and former Barangay Chairman Saysee) who were spawning the rumours to political leaders in the village that it was an Al-Brian tandem versus her.
“ Kasi itong mga Samsons ikot ng ikot may nagsabi sa akin na kagawad na nag te-text na ganoon na 90%, set na! Sabi ni Mortz e. Sabi ko wag kayo maniwala. Iba si Mayor Al he has a word of  honor iba naman iyong umiikot,"she stressed.
NATIONALISTA PARTY. Dagupan City re-electionist Vice Mayor Brian Lim  and her mother mayoralty candidate Celia Lim and their Nationalista Party’s ticket for the 2016 election posed with their Certificates of Candidacy. The other candidates for the city council are re-electionist Councilors Red Erfe-Mejia, Emong Vallejos and comebacking councillor Chito Samson. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA

She said that before she filed her COC, barangay leaders have been asking her about the rumor.

Former Mayor Al assured Mayor Belen of his support

She told them that former Mayor Al assured her weeks before the October 12 to 16 filing of COC that he would not run.
Instead they talked about the composition of the Belen-Alfie and their slate and the day they would be filing their COC.
They were unfazed by the financial chest of the Lims

When I asked Alfie if he was worried because he would be locking horns with the financial juggernaut of the Lims who owned the chain of malls in and outside Pangasinan, he shook his head.
“Did Mayor Belen pledge some financial help to you to shore up your fight with the heir of Magic Group of Companies?” I posed.
Mayor Fernandez took up the cudgels for Alfie.
“We don’t talk about money. And hindi ko sinira ang pangalan ko hindi nila (Alfie and the council men allied with her) sinira nila pangalan nila. So pag nakita mo in the history of Dagupan City I delivered that in our SOCA (State of the City Address) nakita ninyo ang mga projects na ni present namin and nakita niyo rin halos kulang iyong time namin sa pag presents, di ba?”
She said that the former Lim administration could not eclipse what she had done to the city by the bulked of the social services she delivered to the people.
“Banking on that I believed with our vice mayor mas mabilis siguro ang mga ordinansa”.
Meanwhile, amid another rumour mouthed by a pro Lim radio announcer that former Mayor Benjie Lim, a stroke survivor, and son Brian would run in tandem, last Friday Brian and her mom Celia, accompanied by four of their bets at the Council, filed their candidacies for the vice mayoralty and vice mayoralty of the city.
In 2013 former vice mayor Belen Fernandez defeated the patriarch of the Lims Mayor Benjie in an acrimonious election that saw the later hit by a stroke in the evening before the May 13, 2013 poll that made him physically handicapped until today.

(You can read my selected columns at and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at

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