‘I can recommend myself for governor’
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