Homegrown vs. an outsider

By Atty. Antonio P. Pekas

“Considering the foregoing, who will you vote for? Make sure it will not go to waste.”

The political circus is about to hit town. Before you know it, the politicians would be up in the hustings exhorting you to vote for them.
In Benguet, as the rumor mills go, the congressional race would be a toss up between the incumbent mayor of Itogon, Atty. Victor Palangdan, and Caretaker Congressman Eric Go Yap. The differences between the two are quite stark.
Palangdan has the advantage of age. He was a public prosecutor before he left the service to run for mayor of Itogon. He never left his seat there as it appeared that the people liked him to stay there. But now he is legally obligated to give way to others. He will be “graduating” as mayor. By his age and as a lawyer, he has a big advantage. We can say that he is wiser to the ways of the world
And during his incumbency as mayor, he was never accused of any anomaly. More so when it came to the handling of public works projects which is the usual milking cow of corrupt politicians. In short, he was clean especially when it came to money matters. He was worth voting for as mayor for three consecutive terms. So the people of Itogon did.
Another big advantage of Palangdan is being from Benguet. He grew up in Itogon, an Ibaloi area, and that might assure him the votes of the Ibalois. While he has some Mountain Province blood, that will be an added advantage as he, therefore, belongs to the major groups in the province—the Kankana-eys and Ibalois.
Also being a native of Benguet, he understands the people here, their needs and their aspirations. He would know how to cater towards the attainment of what is good for them, economically and culturally.
The biggest reason though to go for Palangdan is the kind of work a congressman should be doing. Being a seasoned lawyer, he will not be a member of the Committee of Silence during heated debates in Congress. He will be competent there or would be worthy of following the footsteps of former Congressman Ronnie Cosalan (my law school classmate) who was chosen several times as one of the top congressmen during his time.
By the way Cosalan did not run last election as he was legally not allowed to and, from the grapevine, he is not interested to run again this time. From what I heard, he said that it is to give a chance to the younger generation but they should do good, otherwise, he might come back and he would surely win. He had been long in the game and had planted enough political roots that, indeed, his claim that he would win if ever he threw his political hat in the ring is not an empty bluster.
Going back though to Palangdan, with all his advantages, going for him would not be a waste of your vote.
How about his expected opponent, Eric Go Yap? Firstly, we were unable to find any part of his educational background to make him at par with Palangdan.
Secondly, he is very young compared to Palangdan. So I would say that when it came to wisdom, Palangdan would be miles and miles ahead of him.
Thirdly, Eric Go Yap is an outsider being from Davao. He was just appointed as Caretaker Congressman due to the untimely demise of Nestor Fongwan who was the duly elected congressman. As such, will he really care for the welfare of the Benguet people, especially that of future generations?
Considering the foregoing, who will you vote for? Make sure it will not go to waste.

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