Sunday, December 30, 2012

‘I didn’t chicken out of Aurora gov race’- Angara

BALER, Aurora, December 30, 2012-Sen. Edgardo Angara has clarified that he didn’t chicken out of the gubernatorial race in this province amid claims of his detractors that he was afraid to lose, saying he would surely win the governorship but didn’t want to be an absentee governor.

          In a media briefing, Angara said he was sure he would be elected governor if he didn’t back out of the race.

          “Firstly, if I went on with my gubernatorial bid, I would surely have won. For me to rule as a good governor, I have to stay in Aurora and will be tied up here and would be unable to fulfill my international commitments,” he said. 

          Angara made the clarification amid the flood of reactions from a local social networking site claiming that he was afraid of losing in a one-on-one face-off with incumbent Vice Gov. Gerardo Noveras, the prohibitive underdog.

          Members of the Aurora Family Community, a vocal critic of the Angaras said the senator is making his supposed international commitments as a “convenient excuse” to back out of the race where they believe he is at risk of losing.

Some local political observers are also giving Noveras more than an even chance of winning over Angara in the socalled “David vs Goliath” match not only because of the vice governor’s “masa” image and his being “kind” but also because of the solid Ilocano votes.

          At least 60 percent of the voting population in the province reportedly belongs to Ilocanos who consider Noveras as their favorite son.

         But Angara said he had no doubts he would win. Then, in an obvious dig at Noveras, he said : “Ang totoong mabait ay ‘yung nakakatulong sa kapwa (One who is really kind is one who is able to help his fellowmen).”

However, Angara reiterated that he had two major international commitments, first as elected member of the  International Executive Board ng Christian Democrats International  or Centrist Democratic International (CDI) and as sponsoring head this month of the Anti-Corruption Conference of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption.

Angara said he is the CDI’s Vice President for Asia Pacific and he will be hosting an Executive Meeting in Manila either in May or June.

Regarding the GOPAC, he said he expects 450 members of parliament all over the world as well as non government organizations involved in anti-corruption programs to attend the conference.

“This is the only international body based in Canada that is focused on anti-corruption measures. Right now, I am the Vice Chairman of this and I just got back from Mexico and I have been asked by the Executive Board if I’m prepared and willing to assume the leadership of this international anti-corruption body immediately after the Manila Conference,” he said.

A third reason, Angara said, is his active role in the Angara Centre for Law and Economics, the international advisory board who is composed of international economists and political scientists.

“This alone, not to count on my national commitments and my local commitments, would really tie me down and I think it is unfair for the people of Aurora that if I become governor, I will become an absentee governor. I think that is not the style I pursued in my public life. If I have a responsibility I assume, I would do it singularly unobstructed by any undertaking except to do it in my work,” he said.

He said his decision was a family decision and that he is confident that the man who substituted for him, Baler Mayor Arthur Angara will get elected governor in his stead.

“He (Arthur) is  the head of the Mayor’s League in Aurora who has been, I think an outstanding mayor of Baler. He is an achiever.”

“I can support Aurora as well as the country through this international organization and my work here in Manila, I think I will do a better job of providing the back-up support to the people of Aurora,” he added. (Manny Galvez)


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