3 Bulacan gubernatorial bets face off in university forum
BULACAN, Philippines – Three of the 11 gubernatorial candidates in Bulacan faced off in a forum organized by the Bulacan State University (BSU) in Malolos City, Bulacan on Saturday, April 2.
Reelectionist Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado of Liberal Party, former governor and postmaster general Josefina Dela Cruz of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, and San Miguel town Mayor Roderick Tiongson of the United Nationalist Alliance were invited by the university's Graduate School.
School officials said the forum was meant to allow Bulacan folk to make an informed decision on who to vote for as the next leader of the province by listening to and understanding their respective platforms.
While the two-term Sy-Alvarado expressed his intent to continue his programs for Bulacan folk, Dela Cruz and Tiongson called for change, offering themselves as the right leaders to bring the province to the next level of progress.
The 3 gubernatorial candidates have one thing in common – at some point of their lives, they all enjoyed the support of post-EDSA People Power governor Roberto Pagdanganan, who led Bulacan from 1986 to 1987, and from 1988 to 1998.
Dela Cruz was Pagdanganan’s protégé before she became governor from 1998 to 2007. Sy-Alvarado was Pagdanganan’s running mate in the 2007 gubernatorial election. At present, Pagdanganan is supporting Tiongson’s gubernatorial bid.
In the 2007 elections, Pagdanganan lost the gubernatorial contest to Joselito Mendoza, brother of Dela Cruz, but Sy-Alvarado prevailed in the vice gubernatorial race.
In 2010, Dela Cruz, representing the Liberal Party, tried to regain her old post and ran for governor against Sy-Alvarado of Lakas-Kampi but lost. Dela Cruz obtained only 492,468 votes against Sy-Alvarado’s 533,527 votes.
In the 2013 elections, Sy-Alvarado and his vice governor, actor Daniel Fernando, ran unopposed under the National Unity Party.
Another actor, Philip Salvador, the running mate of Dela Cruz, is challenging Fernando for the vice gubernatorial post this coming election.
Eight other gubernatorial candidates who were not invited to the forum are all running as independent candidates.
They include Ernesto Balite, Ermalyn Carmen, Clemente de Guzman, Fernando Dizon, Andrew Gonzales, Paul Libiran, Jonjon Mendoza, and Ceo Oloroso.
Poor sound system
Sy-Alvarado’s supporters dominated the audience inside the university’s airconditioned gymnasium. They applauded the loudest throughout the duration of two-hour long forum, while only several dozens cheered for Dela Cruz and even fewer for Tiongson.
Most parts of speeches and remarks of the 3 gubernatorial candidates were incomprehensible to guests and members of the media who covered the forum due to the poor quality of the sound system.
A forum staff told Rappler they had tried to improve the quality of the sound coming from the speakers but to no avail.
A correspondent of a Manila-based newspaper who also covered the forum told Rappler that he did not understand any of the remarks of the gubernatorial candidates.
“Wala akong naintindihan sa sinasabi nila. Ang sama ng tunog ng speaker, puro echo," he said. "Yumuko na lang ako kasi masakit na ang ulo ko sa pagta-try na mainitindihan ko ang sinasabi nila.”
(I did not understand anything they said because the speaker's sound was so bad. My head ached trying to understand what they were saying.)
To the amusement of some people in the audience, however, political supporters of the gubernatorial candidates did not mind the poor audio system. They just clapped and cheered each time their respective candidates spoke.
“Naiintindihan nila? (They can understand them)?” someone from the crowd remarked. – Rappler.com
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