ORTIGOZA: Dull election in Dagupan City

March 31, 2016 at 8:17 pm Leave a comment


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I bumped recently into Paul Tandoc, son of the late publisher of the Regional Examiner Newspaper, at the downtown area of the city.
“Election in Dagupan (City) would be somber,” he told me.
“Bakit naman?” I posed.
He told me about the withdrawal from the mayoralty race of Nationalista Party’s Celia Lim and  Liberal Party’s Vice Mayoralty aspirant Dean Bryan Lim Kua.
Lim is pitted in the May 9’s mayoralty race with incumbent LP’s Mayor Belen Fernandez, while Kua competes with incumbent NP’s Vice Mayor Brian Lim.
Lim is the son of Celia while Kua is the first cousin of Mayor Fernandez.
“hgsSFGHJRFVBNXVBNHFTTTT!Gutom ang mga taga Dagupan nito, ” Paul sadly quipped and reminisced  how these two camps in the 2013 election outmatched each other by ingratiating with their supporters by pampering them  with manna that waits at the countless queues in every villages three days before the election.
“Malas ng voters sa Dagupan, masuerte ang mga voters sa Pangasinan, may Cojuangco versus Espino sila,” I retorted as I cited the mega governorship race in the mammoth province between these two marquee families.
Dagupan City is an independent component city where its more than a hundred thousands of voters do not vote for the governor and vice governor.
To confirm the information Paul gave me that I still treat as rumor, I rode shotgun to the coffee shop at CSI Mall in Brgy. Lucao and waited for media colleagues to pass by.
These folks every afternoon have TV programs at USATV owned by the mayor whose studio at the world class Stadia is nearby the family-owned giant Mall.
As I sipped my Cafe Amerikano, a pro Lim broadcaster confirmed on my phone that Vice Mayor Brian Lim announced at a morning radio program about the family’s decision for his mother to withdraw.
“Kinausap ni BSL (former Mayor Lim)  ang pamilya niya,” he told me.
  (Mayor Lim had massive stroke the night before the May 2013 election. He was believed to be bed ridden ever since).
“Huh, nagsasalita na si Mayor Lim?” I posed.
“Matagal na!” the broadcaster retorted.
Minutes later a pro-Fernandez broadcaster passed by.
He told me that early this month the two rival families in business and politics have been negotiating with each other.
“Si Mayor Belen naiinip na mas gusto na niya na maglaban laban na sila para malaman kung sino talaga ang gusto ng tao,” he said.

He informed me that the withdrawal certificate for the Commission on Election of Celia Lim was dated March 16 or seven days in March 22 when she and vice mayoralty bet Kua filed their respective withdrawal certificates.
Other sources told me that both Lim, who was accompanied by her son Vice Mayor Brian Lim, and Kua arrived at the City Comelec’s office and simultaneously signed their withdrawal at 10:45 Am.
At Kua’s Face Book account he posted at 3:45 pm of March 22: “Noong nagfile ako ng aking certificate of candidacy, iisa lang po ang nasa isip at puso ko… ang ikakabuti ng ating siyudad. Kaya’t noong nag-usap-usap po kami, napagkaisahan namin mas makakabuti sa Dagupan na isantabi ng mas maaga ang politika, upang maipagpatuloy na kaagad ni Mayor Belen ang kanyang mga proyekto para sa ating siyudad. Kahit kailan, hinding-hindi po ako haharang sa mga pamamaraang makakabuti sa ating siyudad”.
At Lim’s Face Book account she wrote at 4:00 pm of the same date: “Sa ngayon, patuloy pa rin ang pag aalaga kay MBSL (Mayor Lim) upang lubusan na siyang gumaling at sa araw ng Diyos ay muli natin makasalamuha….Makalipas ang masinsinang pag uusap ng aming pamilya, kami ay humantong sa isang mabigat  sa kaloobang pagpasya. Ang inyong lingkod ay opisyal ng hindi tutuloy sa pagtakbo bilang Alkalde ng Dagupan City”.
My source told me that on the day the duo withdrew, House of Representatives Speaker Sonny Belmonte and former Five –Time Speaker Jose de Venecia had been brokering that the deal would be consummated so both camps would no longer duke out in the supposedly scintillating and financially rewarding May 9 polls.
“Panalo dito ang Fernandez and Lim families, they save tens of millions of pesos of their monies. Talo dito ang mga tao na nag aantay ng suerte sa pakurong (distribution of monies and goodies in the eve of the polls),” a political spectator opined.
(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at totomortz@yahoo.com)

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