Thursday, August 7, 2014

9 pro-Joson mayors joining Umali?

CABANATUAN CITY – A city mayor and at least eight municipal mayors from the Josons’ Bagong Lakas ng Nueva Ecija are reportedly shifting allegiance and planning to join the camp of Gov. Aurelio Umali at the Unang Sigaw Partido ng Pagbabago.

          Informed sources who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak on the issue, said the local chief executives have already sent feelers to the governor’s camp and their official transfer will just be a matter of time.

          The sources said those who are considering to transfer to Umali’s camp are mayors Francis Steven Dizon of Guimba, Amado Corpuz of Cuyapo, Froilan Nagaño Jr. of San Leonardo, Rafaelito Andres of Rizal, Lucio Uera of Pantabangan, Nerivi Santos-Martinez of Talavera, Areli Santos of Gen. Natividad and Allan Xystus Gamilla of Bongabon and Nestor Alvarez of the Science City of Muñoz.

          When sought for comment, Umali said a “vast majority” of the Balane mayors have signified interest to join his camp and that of his wife, third district Rep. Czarina, who is running for governor in 2016.

When asked to identify them, the governor cited the names of Alvarez, Dizon, Corpuz and Nagaño.

          Dizon and Corpuz are both on their third and last terms while the rest are on just their first terms.

          They were all known Joson die-hards who stuck with the clan at the height of their 48-year-old reign at the Capitol.

          Nagaño is the son and namesake of former two-term mayor Froilan Sr. who ran for congressman in last year’s polls but lost to incumbent fourth district Rep. Magnolia Antonino-Nadres.

          Uera, who previously served as mayor for two terms, has reportedly formed his local party, the Pantabangan People’s Party (PPP) in preparation for his breakaway from the Josons. He defeated old rival, former two-term mayor Romeo Borja Sr., a known Umali ally, in last year’s polls.

          Santos-Martinez is the daughter of former three-term mayor Nerito, also a known Joson loyalist. The neophyte mayor is at odds with first district Rep. Estrellita Suansing, an Umali ally.

          Santos is the wife of former mayor Levi Santos who is reportedly eyeing a comeback against incumbent Board Member Ruben Ilagan.

          Gamilla is the son of former three-term mayor Amelia Gamilla and the late ex-mayor Jimmy Gamilla who served for more than 20 years.
         Alvarez, a former three-term mayor is the younger brother of Efren Alvarez, also a former three-term mayor who served as provincial administrator during the Joson’s capitol reign. Efren is the father of incumbent Vice Mayor Tekila Grace Alvarez.

At present, Umali has 12 mayors as allies in the 27-man Nueva Ecija chapter of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines, led by its president, Peñaranda Mayor Ferdinand Abesamis.

The others were Elizabeth Vargas of Aliaga, Mary Abad of Carranglan, Rolando Bue of Gabaldon, Santiago Austria of Jaen, Lorna Mae Vero of Llanera, Richard Ramos of Lupao, Cora Lacurom of Nampicuan, Antonino Lustre of San Antonio, Cesario Lopez of San Isidro, Quintino Caspillo of Talugtug and Louella Belmonte of Zaragoza.

Abesamis said that many of the mayors from Balane who he has talked to have voiced their support for the “continuance of the good programs of Governor Umali.”

“Anyway, the programs of Governor Umali are already institutionalized such as those pertaining to peace and order, infrastructure, investments, disaster management and agriculture modernization,” he said.

He added that the greatest legacy of the Umali administration is effective administration of service to the people of Nueva Ecija. “It’s an administration with a heart for the people,” he said. (Manny Galvez)

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