Ranjit says he will run for vice governor

May 17, 2009 at 5:32 am Leave a comment

PhotobucketDAGUPAN CITY – Remember Ranjit Shahani?

After eight years of absence from politics, the nephew of former president Fidel V. Ramos, appeared in a press conference Wednesday morning to announce that he would run for vice governor in Pangasinan—a post which he once held—in the 2010 elections.

“The die is cast,” Shahani, also a former congressman, told reporters here.

Shahani is the son of former senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani, Ramos’ sister.

He will be the third political leader in Pangasinan to have announced his vice gubernatorial bid.

Board Member Alfonso Bince Jr. and Mapandan Mayor Ferdinand Calimlim earlier declared intentions to run for vice governor.

Shahani said he was hoping to be nominated as Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats official candidate.

He did not categorically say, however, if he would be the runningmate of incumbent Gov. Amado Espino Jr., a member of the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi, Partner of the Free Filipino), a party founded by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“I have decided the vice govenorship would be the best (elective position to aspire for) because I could serve people beyond the sixth district,” Shahani said.

Shahani was congressman of the province’s sixth district for two terms from 1995 to 2001. He was vice governor from 1992-1995 when he ran in tandem with the late Gov. Aguedo Agbayani.
His third attempt for Congress was foiled by Rep. Conrado Estrella III.
Shahani said his return to the local politics has the blessing of his mother and his former president uncle.

Former Senator Shahani spoke by phone patch during the news conference and appealed for Pangasinenses’ support.

“After all, Ranjit did a very good job as vice governor. He had many projects which benefited the people. And you all know that Ranjit is industrious and he sees to it that the projects he implement are followed to the last detail,” the elder Shahani said.

Shahani said he was ready to plunge again into the political arena and that he was more mature this time.

He said that when he was elected vice governor in 1992, he was only 28 years old and “maybe, in that respect, e, baka adda bassit nga (I had a bit of) juvenile behavior).”

“But political service matures leaders and I think if Barack Obama became president of the US at 47, at 46, I think I’m not yet ready to be retired to the pasture,” Shahani said.

Shahani was known then to be an “indiyanero” as he oftentimes snobbed functions where was invited. If he attended, he was almost always late.

“But you see, I apologize for, maybe, inconveniencing a few people. But on the balance, I think, given all the projects done (in Pangasinan) under the Ramos administration that helped uplift our people’s lives, I will not apologize for that,” Shahani said.

He said among the big-thicket projects that the Ramos administration had brought to the province were the Sual coal-fired power plant and the San Roque Mulitpurpose Dam project.

“But having said that, I will keep a promise. I will do my best,” Shahani said.
Asked if he already acquired the emotional quotient to become a public servant, he explained that by having “juvenile behavior, I meant I was very young that time.”

“As you know, I fight against all odds. To be honest with you, the most humbling thing is to lose an election. Kasi, akala mo, wala kang katalo-talo (You think you won’t lose) because you do your best,” Shahani said.

“You bring in billion of pesos (worth of projects) to your district; you don’t steal a single cent; you fix the roads, the bridges. Yet, during the elections, these do not seem to be the bases of electing a congressman,” he added.

But Shahani said that it was his humbling experience that had made him mature. “If you are humbled, you now look at the reality and then, you mature because you still don’t lose your idealism in the sense that you’d want to contribute to progress,” he said.

At the news conference, which was organized by the Pangasinan Press and Radio Club, Shahani arrived at 8 a.m., one hour earlier than the event’s schedule.

He said if there’s one thing he would like to do in the province as an elected official, it’s the completion of the irrigation component of the San Roque Dam.

“[The dam] was not built for the power component. Not even for the flood control. Nor for the water quality enhancement of the Agno River,” Shahani said.

“I think the more discerning Pangasinenses have realized that the main reason (former President Ramos) had this dam was to emancipate the farmers from their fundamental poverty, which is the root cause of almost all of the problems in the province. Period. Period. Period,” he said

He said that if 87,000 hectares of crop land can be irrigated in the province’s 6th to the 2nd districts, allowing our farmers to have two to three cropping seasons a year and immensely increasing their income to allow their children to go to school and be duly employed, many problems of Pangasinan will be solved.

He mentioned such problems as social, including crime,and the selling of votes come election time.

Entry filed under: News.

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