17 Pangasinan LP bets declare support for reelectionist gov

April 17, 2013 4:21 am 

URDANETA CITY, Pangasinan, April 16 -— At least 17 of the 26 mayoralty candidates under the Liberal Party Banner in Pangasinan have declared their “unwavering support to the reelection bid of Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr.,” standard bearer of the Nationalist Peoples Coalition (NPC).

The move practically slowed down the campaign of Espino’s opponent Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza.

The group, who are allied with the LP breakaway faction of Board Member Ranjit Shahani, signed a covenant Tuesday (Tuesday) which cited the governor’s performance in leading the province into becoming one of the country’s top performing local government units.

Those who signed were Sta. Barbara Mayor Carlito Zaplan; comebacking mayor of San Carlos City Douglas Soriano; Wilson de Vera of Calasiao; Benigno Robeniol of Asingan; Moises Hortaleza of Sta. Maria; Eddie Lopez of San Manuel; Madelyn Cabotaje of Tayug; Rowena Zaragoza of Natividad; Percival Mallari of Infanta; Felicitas Soriano of Malasiqui; Renato Legaspi of Binalonan; Herminigildo Marzan of Balungao; Dominador Arenas of Labrador; Constante Agbayani of San Fabian; Romeo Boling of Mabini; Gerardo Rosete of Burgos and Bongkil Sison of Agno.

Owing to the defection, the LP-Braganza wing now has reportedly only nine mayoral bets in Pangasinan, the country’s third most populous province composed of 44 towns and four cities with Dagupan City as independent component city.

On the other hand, Espino is backed by the NPC’s 43 mayoral bets and the 17 LP candidates under the Shahani wing for a total of 60 mayors supporting the governor’s re-election bid from NPC and LP alone.

Shahani, a second cousin of Braganza, was the first to jump from the Braganza ship. The Board Member is son of former Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani, who is likewise supporting Espino’s candidacy.

Shahani said other LP mayoral bets who are expected to join anytime this month the exodus from the LP-Braganza wing.

"We’re not defecting from the LP; we’re just declaring publicly our support to Governor Espino,” Shahani clarified. “The group remains supportive of Team PNoy senatorial bets and the party’s Matuwid na Daan policy,” he said.

The group of LP stalwarts who declared support to Espino are set to formalize the covenant they signed before former Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani in her family’s ancestral home in Asingan on April 21.

“We want it to be known that we do not adhere to the dirty tactics, especially character-assassination, employed by the governor’s rival,” Shahani said. (PNA)

LAP/LVM/LVMICUA/RMA

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