MAGANES: MOC for Governor in 2016

February 16, 2014 at 9:55 pm Leave a comment

He surprised the members of the media. He surprised his party mates at the Nationalist Peoples’ Coalition (NPC). And he apparently surprised the Pangasinenses.

Yes Virginia! Former 5th District Rep. Marcos (Mark) O. Cojuangco, also known for his moniker MOC is eyeing the highest post in the province in 2016 elections. Right after Governor Amado T. Espino Jr. delivered his 7th State of the Province Address (SOPA) , in an ambush interview by the Pangasinan media, MOC unexpectedly “spilled the beans” ending speculations on who would likely be the formidable candidate for governor in 2016 elections. Not Liga ng Barangay Provincial President Amado “Pogi” Espino III, not 2nd District Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil, not Abono Partylist Rep. Conrad M. Estrella III, but MOC.

After that pronouncement before a few media practitioners, more speculations came in. Why did MOC pronounce his plan too early? What will happen to the NPC party members who are also eyeing the position, if there are? Will MOC pronouncement further consolidate the forces of NPC?

Those speculations probably could not be answered by Cojuangco as of the moment. Cojuangco was stern in giving his plans to the media that “qualified as he is”, he will run as governor for Pangasinan in 2016. ” I will seek the mandate of the people (Pangasinenses),” Cojuangco said.

Indeed, MOC is more than qualified to be the governor of Pangasinan. With his nine years stint in Congress representing the 5th District of Pangasinan, he knew the problems prevailing in Pangasinan. As the chair of Pangasinan’s NPC, he, through the sitting NPC officials, could easily feel the pulse of the Pangasinenses and what they want? What development agenda could be put in place and what directions Pangasinan will go in 2016 and onwards?

Then, why did MOC announced his gubernatorial ambition so early? Regarding this, I will give a dime of my speculations.
From now to October 2015, which is the period of filing candidacies for local positions, it will just be 20 months. MOC, although popular in District V, is not that popular in other districts of Pangasinan. Although he heads the province’s NPC, he has still to reach out to the masses and be heard on his development plans for Pangasinan. Pangasinan has six districts, 47 municipalities including the three component cities of Alaminos, Urdaneta and San Carlos ( Dagupan City not included being independent) and 1,315 barangays (villages). With the early announcement, MOC has all the time to visit the villages- mingle with the people and feel the real pulse of local politics. By the time that he will file his candidacy in October 2015, MOC shall already be a household name. Thus, his popularity will soar and there will be no problem on name recall during the election in 2016.

Another reason probably is to consolidate the forces of NPC. Who among the NPC officials will stand by him until the filing of candidacy? Who among the incumbent officials who are eyeing the governorship will drop their ambitions and give way to MOC? I think this is a strategy of MOC. He has to strengthen the NPC forces , not only to be the formidable party in 2016 but also to ensure victories at the municipal levels. We are aware that NPC is still the dominant party in Pangasinan having a majority of elected incumbent officials- from municipal mayors down to the councillors.
The last of my speculation is that President PNoy is the second cousin of MOC. With him as the candidate for governor, the Liberal Party (political party of PNoy) might not be fielding a gubernatorial candidate but adopt him instead as a common candidate for Liberal Party and NPC. With that scenario, MOC will run unchallenged -without any opponent, thus the fastest way to occupy the Capitol.
Amid those pieces of thoughts, I personally believe that MOC is a better if not the best gubernatorial candidate in 2016. Being enmeshed in agriculture, he could propel agricultural development in the province- albeit on what we call agro-industrialization that his predecessors have not done much. He could push his advocacy on nuclear plants as the cheapest sources of electricity and could work well on investors, he being the son of industrialist Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, the chairman of NPC.
Cojuangco’s announcement for his gubernatorial bid is just on time, political observers opined. He knows where he is leading. He knows his strategies and he knows when to halt his political allies as well as his would-be opponents.
Personally, I wish him the best of luck. Maybe, he is the leader we are looking for to propel us to the heights of industrialization. Governor Espino has done a lot of progress in Pangasinan, but with MOC I hope he could do more given all the backings he has with the NPC leadership at the national level.

As I’ve said, it’s still 20 months from now. There will be a lot of political negotiations that will be done. Will Cojuangco still continue his gubernatorial plan? Let’s cross our fingers on that.

(For comments, email me at Visit my blog The Roving Pen at

Entry filed under: News.

Abrenica supports Mark’s gubernatorial plan EDITORIAL :Too late the hero(es)?

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