Aquino, Roxas endorse Arroyo ally in Zambales

Randy Datu
Aquino, Roxas endorse Arroyo ally in Zambales
The President and his presidential bet endorse reelectionist Governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr before a crowd of social welfare beneficiaries from Zambales' 13 towns

ZAMBALES, Philippines – President  Benigno Aquino III and Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II officially endorsed reelectionist Zambales Governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr and his slate during the LP’s sortie in the capital town of Iba on Tuesday, April 5.

Aquino stressed that Ebdane’s Sulong Zambales Party is a partner in the “Daang Matuwid” program of the Aquino administration. 

Addressing a crowd of more than 2,000 at the Zambales Sports Complex, Aquino said that the Zambales governor had done well for the province and should continue being its leader.

Ebdane was national police chief and Cabinet secretary of Aquino’s political nemesis, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. As top cop, Ebdane was implicated in the alleged operation to systematically cheat for Arroyo in the 2004 presidential election against Fernando Poe Jr.

“Kilala ko ang inyong gobernador nang may tatlong dekada na at alam kong siya isang taong maaasahan,” Aquino said. (I have known your governor for 3 decades, and I know that he is a reliable person.)

“Siya ang dahilan kung bakit nabigo ang mga coup attempts noong panahong ang aking ina na si Cory Aquino ang president,” he added. “Hindi s’ya marunong magsinungaling at kung ano ang binitawan n’yang salita ay asahan n’yong iyon ang kanyang gagawin.”

(He was the reason coup attempts failed during the presidency of my mother Cory Aquino. He doesn’t lie, and whatever he promises, you can rest assured he would deliver.)

Mining sites

Aquino arrived in Iba to lead the groundbreaking ceremony for a new out-patient department building at the Zambales provincial hospital. He also distributed TSeKaP kits for the anti-dengue campaign of the Department of Health.

During the rally, Aquino further called on Zambaleños to choose candidates wisely during the May elections, and took potshots at other presidential candidates for their supposedly grand promises.

“May nangako na lilinisin ang mga kriminal sa loob ng anim na buwan, at may nangako rin na magpapatayo ng ospital sa bawat bayan. Alam naman nating hindi kayang gawin ito,” Aquino said.

(There’s somebody who promises to lick crime in 6 months, and there’s somebody who promises to build a hospital in every town. We all know that’s impossible.)

Meanwhile LP presidential bet Roxas urged Zambaleños to help ensure the continuation of “Daang Matuwid” by voting for him and the whole LP slate, as well as the whole slate of the Sulong Zambales Party.

“Ang Liberal Party at ang Sulong Zambales Party ay magkapatid sa pagtataguyod ng Daang Matuwid,” Roxas said. (The Liberal Party and Sulong Zambales Party are brothers in taking the straight path.)

“Sa panahon ng aking panunungkulan bilang DILG secretary, nasubukan ko at nakita ang galing sa pamamahala ni Manong Jun,” he added. (During my term as [Department of the Interior and Local Government] secretary, I’ve seen and proven how well Brother Jun [Ebdane] had governed.)

Residents in some towns in Zambales have been protesting the continued operation of mining sites, blaming these for floods and landslides that endanger the lives and natural resources of the areas. They said it angered them when they heard that Ebdane Jr said mining had nothing to do with these catastrophes.

4Ps beneficiaries

Roxas also presented his program of government to the applauding crowd which included beneficiaries of the administration’s 4Ps program from the 13 municipalities of Zambales.

He also promised to continue the Aquino administration’s thrust in fighting for Philippine claim over the Scarborough Shoal, or what is locally known as the Bajo de Masinloc.

The Scarborough has been regarded as traditional fishing grounds for Zambales fishermen, but locals have been shooed away from it by Chinese Coast Guard ships since late 2012.

“Sa mga tubig ng Pilipinas, dapat mga Pilipino lang ang makapangisda,” Roxas said. “Ipagpapatuloy natin ang laban na sinimulan ni Pangulong Aquino para dito” (Only Filipinos should fish in Philippine waters. We will continue the fight for this that President Aquino started.) – 

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