‘I can rec­om­mend my­self for gov­er­nor’

Panay News - - FRONT PAGE - By Glenda Solo­gas­toa

ILOILO City – Cong. Richard Garin (1st District) is the Iloilo provin­cial pres­i­dent / chair­man of Par­tido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-La­ban).

He took his oath yes­ter­day at Guim­bal town’s gym­na­sium be­fore House Speaker Pan­ta­leon Al­varez, sec­re­tary gen­eral of the rul­ing party.

As leader of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s party in the prov­ince, Garin said, he has the power to

rec­om­mend the party’s can­di­dates for gov­er­nor and con­gress­man.

He can even rec­om­mend him­self for gov­er­nor, said Garin who had served as Iloilo vice gov­er­nor and con­sid­ered a po­ten­tial can­di­date for the prov­ince’s top post.

“Pwede ma- rec­om­mend ang self mo eh…ako ‘ya de­pende sa

huyop sang hangin. But of course, may ara ako per­sonal choice,” he said at the oath-tak­ing of some 4,000 new party mem­bers in the 1st District.

But as a party man, stressed Garin, “we have also to give way, set aside sang per­sonal, prob­a­bly fam­ily’s in­ter­est, for the sake of the party. You can’t be called a party man kon waay mo man gi­na­sunod ang de­ci­sion sang

ma­jor­ity sang par­tido mo.”

The an­nounce­ment of Garin’s ap­point­ment as PDP-La­ban Iloilo head came a week af­ter Gov. Arthur De­fen­sor Sr. con­firmed he and his con­gress­man son Arthur Jr. (3rd District) were join­ing the rul­ing party.

“Wala ako ob­jec­tion. That is a wel­come de­vel­op­ment for the party kon mag-upod sia,” said Garin.

Con­gress­man De­fen­sor is an­other po­ten­tial can­di­date for Iloilo gov­er­nor.

The po­lit­i­cal ca­reer of his son was a big fac­tor in his de­ci­sion to join PDP-La­ban, said Gov­er­nor De­fen­sor last week.

“I’d be a hyp­ocrite if I say my de­ci­sion has noth­ing to do with pol­i­tics. I told PDP-La­ban my son is in­ter­ested to be­come gov­er­nor. I made the mes­sage clear but up to that point lang,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Garin, 4th District’s Cong. Fer­jenel Biron is also wel­come to join the party if the lat­ter so de­cides.

Biron has also ex­pressed in­ter­est for the prov­ince’s top elec­tive post.

At the side­lines of the oath­tak­ing yes­ter­day, Garin’s mother, Mayor Ninfa Garin of San Joaquin, dis­closed she got the chance to talk to the gov­er­nor at an event re­cently.

She said she told De­fen­sor, “Gov, indi maglain ang buot mo kana­mon. We are not in­ter­ested sa gov­er­nor­ship. We are only in­ter­ested sa amon district.”

The Garins are the ac­knowl­edged po­lit­i­cal king­pins of Iloilo’s 1st District com­posed of the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties of Oton, Tig­bauan, Guim­bal, Miag-ao, San Joaquin, Ig­baras, and Tubun­gan.

“Indi ka mag­pati-pati sa kutso-kutso, sa mga amigo mo nga gasut­sot sa imo kay wala kami sub­ong na­ga­pamin­sar sang gi­natawag puli­tika sa prov­ince,” Mayor Garin re­called telling De­fen­sor.

The gov­er­nor re­sponded with a smile, she said.

House Speaker Al­varez, mean­while, clar­i­fied PDP-La­ban has yet to dis­cuss the party’s choice for Iloilo gov­er­nor in the 2019 midterm elec­tions.

“Wala pa. Masyadong maaga pa para pag-us­apan natin ang lo­cal pol­i­tics,” he said.

Al­varez also made it clear Con­gress­man Garin’s be­ing the provin­cial chair­man of PDP-La­ban does not au­to­mat­i­cally make him the party’s can­di­date for gov­er­nor.

“Hindi na­man. Pag-uusapan

‘yan ng par­tido,” he said. It was Al­varez, dur­ing a visit to Iloilo City on Aug. 13, who urged the De­fen­sors to join PDP-La­ban.

“If Toto (Con­gress­man De­fen­sor) wants to win an elec­tion, the ad­min­is­tra­tion party can greatly help him. That is prac­ti­cal pol­i­tics. That is the re­al­ity of pol­i­tics. We don’t have the money to buy votes,” said Gov­er­nor De­fen­sor.

The gov­er­nor, now in his third term, is barred by law from seek­ing a fourth con­sec­u­tive term./ PN

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