MAGANES: Year 2012 revisited

January 5, 2013 at 11:21 am Leave a comment


I am writing this article two days before the year 2013, speculating what will happen in our lives in the next twelve months. The year 2012 was a year of guessing who will likely make it in the May 13, 2013 elections. However, I will not dwell on the future which is full of uncertainties- personal lives as well as social and political developments. I believe it’s more appropriate to pause and reminisce what ranspired in 2012.

Personally, 2012 has been good to me. I was blessed with people who really care- my family, relatives, friends and a “special person” who taught me how to value my life and love again. I thanked God for the wonderful gifts of life. While I am nurturing the beauty of life in 2012, I can’t help but to look back of what happened in Pangasinan in 2012.

Politically, Governor Amado T. Espino Jr.’s administration was rocked with controversy at the start of the year. The black sand mining issue against him led the village residents of Sabangan and Malimpuec in Lingayen to file a case against Espino at the Office of the Ombudsman. The issue, however, simmered down.

The intense heat caused by the black sand mining was eclipsed by the preparation for the hosting of Pangasinan of the Palarong Pambansa and the annual celebration of Pista’y Dayat ( sea festival). The grandeur of the Palarong Pambansa has not escaped the attention of regional delegations from all over the country. President PNoy was the main guest of honor during the opening program, which elicited murmurs and rumors on where he went after delivering his speech at the Narciso Ramos Grandstand.

Where was President PNoy at that time? Did he snob the lavish luncheon prepared for him at the Sison Auditorium? It was learned later on that President PNoy and his entourage took their lunch at the Pangasinan Regency in Calasiao town. The reason of his non- appearance at the Sison Auditorium remained a mystery up to this date.

Towards the end of the 2nd quarter of 2012 up to September , 6th District Board Member Ranjit Ramos Shahani caught the ire of Governor Espino and his camp including the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. They resented Shahani’s histrionics of tagging them as Espino’s lapdogs and allegedly naming the governor as the most corrupt governor in the country. Media people feasted heavily on the issue. There were exchanges of unsavory words on both camps. During those periods, Shahani was busy consolidating Liberal Party leaders in Pangasinan. He was eyeing the vice gubernatorial post under the said party. Alaminos City Mayor Hernani A. Braganza has not yet opened his plans to run for governor against Espino. He, together with former Governor Victor Agbayani, former Vice Governor Oscar Lambino and Shahani were conducting political caucuses and consultations among Liberal Party leaders and members. They must have a slate before the deadline of filing of candidacies on October 5, 2012. There were two tandems that have been floated: Braganza for governor and Agbayani for vice governor or Agbayani for governor and Shahani for vice governor.

The Espino- Calimlim tandem has no problem insofar as the party is concerned. They are under the wings of the Nationalist People’s’ Coalition ( NPC) and enjoying the support of at least 90% party members composed of municipal mayors, vice mayors and councilors. NPC is also under the care of former 5th District Rep. Mark O. Cojuangco, the provincial and regional chairman of the party.

During the filing of candidacies, Liberal Party slates made a big surprise. Braganza filed his candidacy for governor with former police general Arturo C. Lomibao as the running mate. It was not Board Member Shahani as the vice gubernatorial bet because the party said they are second cousins, which politically is not good for the province. That situation led Shahani to turn around. After months of jeering Espino and his camp, he sang Mendel’s Hallelujah to the highest baritone notes amid the applauses of Governor Espino and his supporters. Shahani became an instant addendum to Espino’s camp. They smoked their peace pipes and buried their political differences. Political pundits and kibitzers , however, were not sold out on Shahani’s turn around. They said Shahani has totally lost his credibility after issuing nasty remarks against Espino. But Ranjit was then nursing a bruised ego.

Political bickering started to creep in after the filing of candidacies. Was it politically motivated when environmentalist groups held a rally before the Ombudsman Office in Manila demanding for the suspension of Espino? That was to revive the case against Governor Espino on black sand mining. Was it also politically motivated that Bugallon Mayor Ric Orduna filed a plunder case against Espino in connection with jueteng? Orduna claimed that Governor Espino is the feared ” jueteng lord” in Pangasinan and has amassed more than P900 million out of its operations. Espino has to deny the allegations.

Governor Espino is now hounded with allegations on plunder and corruption. He’s being battered left and right by his political foes. It seemed that Espino was not fully affected by those accusations. Can he weather all the political storms in his life? I hope he will. Political campaigns will start on March 29, 2013.

We just watch out fellows. Let’s learn to select good candidates. Til then.

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Entry filed under: News.

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