OPINION: Mayoralty Battle Royale: Fernandez vs. Lim

December 11, 2009 at 5:46 pm Leave a comment

mortz2I thought I was watching a political race cum beauty contest where two gorgeous ladies clash for the diadem of the 2nd Congressional District after they filed their Certificates of Candidacy (CoC) at the rickety provincial Comelec office in Dagupan City.

A petite head-turner sporting Baush & Lomb (Ray Ban) dark green sunglasses in white shirt and jeans appeared in the midst of media men. I thought I was in some five-star hotels in Hong Kong with those fashionable pretty looking Chinese gals’ crosses my direction with frequency.

“Does her beauty speak also for her brain?” I asked myself.

“I should ask the first question!” I told the moderator of the Pangasinan Press Club.

“Good afternoon, ma’am, my first question: Lawmakers are elected to hammer bill into law, what bills are you going to pass in case you win? My second question: Are you going to forego your P70 million annual pork-barrel since your position is to make law not to compete with DPWH in the construction of school buildings, dams, and highways?

Modesty aside, these are explosive questions that stammered and took the wits out of some congressional wannabees every time I have a chance to ask them questions.

Blanca Kim – Lokin confidently answered me that she will re-file the bill she passed when she was a congresswoman of CIBAC Party List. She specifically told me the bill was on corruption and similar to what Hong Kong government crime buster Tony Kwok Wan-Mai has successfully done.

On the pork issue, she shrewdly told me that she first consults her mayors in the 2nd District before she foregoes it.
Intellectually, she was miles ahead from politicians like Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr who finished only Grade 4. When I was still a budding cub reporter in Cotabato after I graduated in college there in the late of 1980s, I asked the warlord-governor who was running for his reelection.

“How’s the peace and order situation in Maguindanao, governor?”

Andal who owned a swanky fishpond told me in a halting carabao English: “Ahh, you asked me about peace & order, very bad. Many fish here but no order from Davao.”

“No Mr. Governor, what I mean is the violence here in Maguindanao,” I interjected.

“God damn it, you asked me about violence, when in the first place I could not even play a guitar!” he angrily told me.


Everybody thought the 2010 election in the 4th District of Pangasinan would be a bore unlike the “brawl” its counterpart in 2007 brought.

Then all of a sudden, at the last hours, spouses Benjie and Celia Lim went to the office of Comelec and filed their CoCs.

Benjie, who runs under the Nationalista Party, challenges incumbent Mayor Al Fernandez of Liberal Party, and Celia (Independent) faces off Gina de Venecia (Nationalist People’s Coalition) for congressional seat to be left vacant by Gina’s hubby former Speaker Joe.

Everybody thought that Gina would be pitted with retired General and LTO chief Art Lomibao.

Everybody thought it would be “Mother of all Battles ” again in the 4th District like what Benjie versus Joe had brought in 2007. In that electoral tussle susmariosep, it was “money” that chases the voters, and not the other way around.

Did Lomibao backtrack at the last day of the filing of CoC because his multi-billion Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) has no China man’s chance against a Petition for Certiorari with Temporary Restraining Order?

Or did Lomibao backtrack because he is a believer of the dictum of military philosopher Sun Tzu who said that a general who wants to wage a war should “know himself, and know his enemy”?

Jesus Christ, the enemy (Gina) has been waging a Ho Chi Minh and General Vo Nguyen Giap (all-combined) kind of war in wining the hearts and minds of the people in almost all boondocks of the district for several months with her almost daily medical missions.

I remembered couples of months before when Gina was asked in a Kapihan called by the Patrima (under the stewardship of Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Ging Cardinoza) how she would deal with a battle-scarred PMAyer and a four-star general in Lomibao.

With all the chutzpah, she said: Don’t you know that the general is dealing with the “reincarnated” version of Pangasinan heroine and warrior Princess Urduja?


But all of a sudden, somebody challenges the warrior princess. Celia Lim (a reincarnated version too of Xena another princess warrior of that American cult TV?) series went combative after she filled her CoC.

She mercilessly lambasted – in the native tongue Pangasinan – Gina as “visitor” in the district.

Upon hearing it, a member of the de Venecia’s sanctum-sanctorum reacted that at least Gina is 100% Filipino.
Gee whiz, campaign period for the lower House should be on late March next year but the landscape have already sparked-up.

To add more excitement to the Gina-Celia face-off another kibitzer butted: Candidate in the district should espouse “Aroen ko, kabaleyan ko” and not hate, divisiveness, and discrimination that she likened to the Holocaust.


But for me the dream fight would be between come backing Mayor Benjie and incumbent Mayor Al Fernandez. A battle royal that can be likened to the negotiated Floyd Mayweather- Manny Pacquio, Sugar Ray Leonard-Marvin Hagler, and Muhammed Ali – George Foreman marquee fights.

After hearing that BSL filed his candidacy I remembered my boxing-scribe idol the witty and humorous Randolf “Bert” Sugar of HBO whose style of categorizing his subjects to their strengths and weaknesses, and the things they should do to win endeared him to be number 1 in the pen-pushing profession.

“I’m going to write about Benjie and Al ala Bert Sugar later,” I told myself. (Send comments to totomortz@yahoo.com)

Entry filed under: Opinion.

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