Q & A: ‘I’ve been from east to west, north to south of Pangasinan’

September 6, 2009 at 9:13 am Leave a comment

Northern Watch’s correspondent Mortz C. Ortigoza caught again with Mapandan Mayor Jose Ferdinand Zerrudo Calimlim in some boondocks in eastern part of Pangasinan. He said he was feeling the pulse of the people, and listened to their problems. Mr. Ortigoza asked some questions from the mayor being groomed to be vice gubernatorial aspirant in the huge province of Pangasinan

NOTHERN WATCH: How many months have you been barnstorming different towns and cities in the province?

MAYOR JOSE FERDINAND CALIMLIM (MJFC): Well, I’ve been going around for the past seven to eight months. I’ve been from the east to west, north to south of Pangasinan already.

NW: Is it financially expensive to do sorties like these?

MJFC: Naturally yes, whenever you have to go to any place you have to spend. You pay for the gas of your vehicles. You have to meet different people; you have to spend on food and others.

NW: What have you discovered about the traits, needs, and nuances of the people you met?

MJFC: It’s very nice to see them. We are welcomed by different people from different walks of life. I saw a lot of people who have a lot of needs. It only motivates me more to serve their needs. They should have been given enough attention. Many of them approached me. Some shared me their views. Some told me they would come to me “pag naka-upo ka na.” As public persons we are duty-bound to solve the problems of people. That‘s part of our job as public servants.

Sometimes we have to respond immediately. But others said: “Mayor, kahit later na pag nasa Kapitolyo ka na, hindi na kami mahihiyang lumapit sa inyo.

I was elated to see how genuine the desire of other people. How people chose their leader.

NW: What are the secrets in winning an election?

MJFC: There are a lot of factors to win in politics. The name, of course. Your capacity to win. Then there is the machinery. The party, the logistics, and many others. What remains constant about a candidate is his availability in presenting himself to the public as he is perceived by the people to be close to them. We are humans, and we require the human touch.

NW: Mayor Sam Rosario of Binmaley told me a while ago that you are the man to beat in the vice gubernatorial race.

MJFC: Well, I’m thankful about such a comment from a fellow mayor.

NW: In case Governor Amado T. Espino gets somebody as his vice gubernatorial running mate, are you running with come backing gubernatorial candidate Victor Agbayani, or will you run as independent?

MJFC: I do hope their decisions will be on the right place. But if I’ll not be with the incumbent governor then I will reassess my options. I’m definitely running for the vice gubernatorial race. But as to how will I treat such decision, I’ll cross the bridge when I get there.

NW: Any comment on Congressman Victor Agbayani’s radio announcement that he will definitely run for the governorship?

MJCF: Well, just like the way my fellow mayors would comment on such declaration: Respect it. We are unlike some sports personalities like Manny Pacquiao. We can not choose our next foe. But we are part of the democratic process. And we are not allowed to choose who will be our competitors. So, all you can do really is respect it!

We have to present ourselves as better options. What people desire is the best candidate that will serve them.

Entry filed under: Features.

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