ORTIGOZA: Art Lomibao vs. De Venecia for Congress?

September 17, 2018 at 9:07 am Leave a comment

After writing two extensive columns on the nuances of Federalism and the nitty gritty of the most advance lethal fourth generation F-16 Viper’s combat jet, I missed already the peculiarities of the local politics.

When I recently dropped by the offices of San Fabian Mayor Danny Agbayani and Mangaldan Mayor Bona Fe D. Parayno, I met not only the chief executives there but the Central Pangasinan towns’ elective officials where I exchanged notes.


San Fabian Vice Mayor Leopoldo N. Manalo told me he will be exiting as veem of the coastal town and added that No. 1 elected councilor and Majority Leader Marinor B. de Guzman, who was seated with him, will tandem with Agbayani in the May 13, 2019 election.

“Balik ako sa pagka councilor. After the mayor ends his term in 2022, labo-labo na kami sa mayorship,” Manalo gamely told me by looking at Marinor, whose daughter is the classmate of my youngest girl in Grade 6.

I heard one of the four councilors and the top two officials there that Agbayani will be challenged by lawyer Gerald Gubatan.

Gubatan is the counsel of the financial juggernaut Speed Game Incorporated (SGI) – the Authorized Agent Corporation (AAC) of the government’s Small Time Lottery. He is a formidable opponent and a son of the long reigning mayor of the town.


When I entered the mayor’s office of Mangaldan, Mayor Bona Fe D. Parayno waved to me to come for news updates on the brewing political cauldron in the provincial politics.

As I sat near the chief executive of the Fourth Congressional District’s town, Vice Mayor Jojo Surdilla and eight of the councilors joined us on the table.

“We read your news blog on the Celeste, Estrella, Cojuangco issue,” Councilor and Lawyer Joseph Emmanuel Cera, the darling of media men with libel suits, told me.

“What was that?” Mayor Bona curiously posed.

I narrated to them what I got from my sources that the vice gubernatorial bet is not yet certain as both the camps of Alaminos City Arthur Celeste and Governor Amado T. Espino, III  eye exiting Sixth District Congresswoman Marlyn Primicias- Agabas – the magnet of votes in the two Eastern Pangasinan Congressional Districts.

Pundits saw that winning Agabas to their side will buttress their political stocks in the 2019 election.

“Everything is still fluid as we approach the October 1 to 5 filling of the Certificate of Candidacy (CoC)” I opined.

After I posted this blog cum column for a day, one of my sources privy on the politics in Western Pangasinan told me that Congresswoman Marlyn was the anointed tandem by Mayor Art for the vice governorship.

“It’s final kaibigan. Isa sa major conditions the mayor asked when he was requested to challenge Governor Pogi. Without Agabas on the ticket no governorship for the mayor,” my source, I called Deep Throat -3 because he asked for anonymity, retorted when I posed if the tandem was already final.

Sources close to former Governor Victor Agbayani told me that he was considering a comeback as congressman in the Pangasinan Second District where the present congressman Pol Bataoil will be finishing his constitutionally prescribed nine years of continuous term.

“He was mulling to eye, too the vice governorship since it is not as expensive as the congressional seat where he would be clashing with the son of Fifth District Congressman Amado T. Espino, Jr.,”one of my sources quipped.

 I heard from Mangaldan officials that Mayor Bona will be challenged by the wife of Northern Luzon Presidential Adviser and Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) Director Raul Lambino.

Lambino, according to my sources, was one of proponents to the powers that be in Manila who created the Celeste gubernatorial run next year versus Governor Amado “Pogi” Espino III.

“Our ticket for the councillorship is intact as all of us are reelectionist,” one of the councilors told me when I asked about the new faces that will run for the town’s August chamber.

Somebody told me that Councilor Patricia Grace Kenny “Trisha” de Guzman, the niece of mayoralty challenger Marilyn de Guzman Lambino, will no longer seek election because she will tie the knot with her groom.

I heard from one of the luminaries there that their townmate former Philippine National Police’s Chief and former National Irrigation Administration Administrator Arturo “Art” Lomibao is being considered by the power players in Manila to run versus re-elective Fourth District Congressman Christopher de Venecia in the next year’s poll.

Lomibao was whisked on these top posts when House Speaker Gloria M. Arroyo was president of this country.

Renowned radio commentators Ruel Camba, Ed Abubo, and Atong Remogat, and newspaper publisher Ronel de Vera told me too about this persisting rumor between Lomibao and De Venecia when I bumped into them “quaffing” brewed coffee with their favorite mayor in a coffee house in the city.

Lomibao was a classmate at the Philippine Military Academy of Congressman Espino – the father of the three cities and forty four towns’ Pangasinan Governor Pogi.

“Speaker Arroyo has an axe to grind against the De Venecias on the hundreds of millions U.S Dollar’s China ZTE –kick back’s spat that cost the Speakership of Joe de Venecia and to Congressman Toff who did not vote for Gloria when she coup d’état Speaker Alvarez before the start of the SONA (State of the Nation Address 2018) of President Rodrigo Duterte,” one of them said.

“General Lomibao should brace for an expensive election in case he would tangle with Joe, Manay Gina, or Toff de Venecia in the Fourth District. They would fight tooth and nail, hammer and tong with tens if not hundreds of millions of pesos in the one city and four towns’ district they considered as their citadel even against the Espinos,” I told the group.

(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)

Entry filed under: News.

EDITORIAL: Pagpupugay sa mga pulis ng Pangasinan sa likod ng kalamidad Gubatan torn between Malacanang offer and mayoralty run

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