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Labor officials bats for Lorens’ VP bid

By Philippine News Service

            (January 28, 2004)     --   A big confederation of organized labor union yesterday expressed strong preference for the vice presidential bid of Loren Legarda, legislative performance.

            Speaking on behalf of the Congress of Labor Organizations (CLO), chairman Timoteo “Boy” Aranjuez said Legarda looms as a giant compared to the two other major contenders for the position.

            “While we still have to consult with the mass members of the federations we represent, Loren is likely to be a top choice. We are likewise coordinating with our youth, urban poor, farmers and fisherfolk, women and indigenous and Moro partners to put up a solid front for our choice for national officials,” Aranjuez said.

            He cited the honesty, sincerity and transparency in the legislative work of Loren, making her well qualified candidate for the vice presidency.

            Aranjuez also praised the work of Loren outside the halls of Congress, especially in her efforts to promote peace and order, especially in the Mindanao region.

            The joint declaration of the different basic sectors on their common choice for vice president and senatorial slate will be announced on February 25 when a joint convention will be called. The CLO groups together 25 earn federations.

            At the same time, Aranjuez called on candidates for senator from all parties to come up with their agenda for labor and other basic sectors.

            “We do not want to repeat past errors where we voted for senators and congressmen who later turned out to be anti-labor in their legislative work. Hence we want to be of better service to our membership so that the labor cause would find excellent exponents in both houses of Congress,” Aranjuez stated.



Loren Cites Senate Work as she resigns as Majority Leader


            (January 16, 2004)     -  Sen. Loren Legarda cited the work of the Senate in nation-building as she officially resigned her position as majority floor leader because of her candidacy for vice president of the republic.

            In her valedictory speech on the floor of the Senate, Legarda, the first woman to be elected majority floor leader in the upper chamber, said, “I leave this post after three years with an education worth a lifetime.  Wisened, honed and, in a sense toughened by that experience.  And with a certain confidence, a degree of maturity, that prepares me for the next big challenge in my public life.”

            Legarda is running for vice president under the banner of the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino with Fernando Poe Jr. as candidate for president.

            In her speech, Legarda thanked all her colleagues “for the three years of intense and collective work for the nation.”  She also thanked the members of the Senate minority extending to her “the hand of cooperation on matters for the common good.”  She expressly thanked Senate President Drilon for his “unwavering support and confidence.”

            She added, “The real story of the Senate in the past three years went beyond the news reports on power grabs and intense factionalism.  It was the productive work of the various committees, the grueling hours spent on looking into official indiscretions, the key advocacies to make a better people and a better government.  All of these had been accomplished in the context of a fluid political environment.”

            During Legarda’s watch as majority floor leader, the Senate passed many ground-breaking laws.  She also filed 291 bills and 124 resolutions in the 12th Congress.  Of her bills, 13 were enacted or incorporated into laws, while 41 of the proposed resolutions were adopted by the Congress.

            Among the vital legislation approved by Congress during Loren’s watch as majority floor leader are the Anti-Money Laundering Act, the Barangay Micro Enterprises Act, Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, Film Development Council act, the law increasing the base pay and benefits of the AFP Officers and Enlisted Personnel, An Act Declaring Ramadan as a national holiday, the Overseas Absentee Voting Act, Citizenship Retention Act, the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and the Anti-Smoking Law.

            In her valedictory, Loren stressed, “I relinquish this post with a sense of fulfillment – that somehow during the most difficult and challenging times in our history, we performed our humble task to the best of our ability.”



New faces try luck to beat veteran politicians in May 2004 polls


            (January 9, 2004)     Catbalogan, Samar    -   The guessing game is finally over. This after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) the other day released the certified list of candidates in the local and national synchronized May 10, 2004 elections.  And just like in the previous elections, prominent names in politics are in the running again.  However, it is noticeable that there are so many new comers who throw their hats and filed their certificate of candidacies (CoCs) for various local positions up for grabs in this year's polls in the island of Samar.

            Here in (Western) Samar, aspirants for the different positions made a mad rush beating the 12:00 o'clock midnight deadline of filing last January 5.  A total of 48 individuals have filed CoC before the provincial office of the Comelec representing the governors, vice-governors, congress members and provincial board members.

            In the gubernatorial post, the aspirants this year was increased by 3 compared to last 2001 polls.  For the position of governor, the mayor of Calbiga Melchor Nacario (Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas), Renato Llamado and Claro Piczon, both Independents, are vying for it.  Former DENR Undersecretary Mario Roño of Lakas-CMD is also determined to beat the magic of the incumbent Gov. Milagrosa Tan. In 2001 elections, Tan defeated Roño's late father Jose in a very thin margin number of votes.

            For the vice-gubernatorial post, three-termer Catbalogan mayor Jesus Redaja (Liberal), Calbayog City Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Julius Mancol (PDSP), Nicasio Lencio Jr. (DGIPP) and Samar SP Member Felix Babalcon Jr. of Lakas-CMD will clash it out this year's elections.

            For the position of congressman, six have filed their candidacies (three for first and three for the second districts).  Also thirty-three candidates, 15 in the 1st district and 18 for the 2nd district vie for the contested provincial seats.

            Following are the candidates in Samar province.  For Congressman (1st district): Maria Clarina Sabulao DGIPP, ex Rep. Rodolfo Tuazon (NPC) and Rep. Reynaldo Uy of the Liberal Party. For Congressman (2nd district): New-comer Rodolfo Raytos (Independent) has the courage to join the return bout of ex-Rep. Catalino Figueroa (LDP) and LP's Rep. Antonio Eduardo Nachura.  Board Member aspirants in the 1st district are: Nilda Calinao (Independent), Rogelio Casurao (LP), Aquilino Catalan (Lakas-CMD), Evaristo Clarin (LP), Roberto Cruz (Independent), Teresita Dean (Lakas-CMD), Alfredita Labendia (Independent), Quintin Lim (DGIPP), Raymunda Mabulay ((DGIPP), Bienvinida Repol (Lakas-CMD), Cesario Recafort (LP), Rosenaida Rosales (Lakas-CMD), Susano Salurio (LP), Ma. Lourdes Uy (Lakas-CMD) and Renato Uy of Liberal Party.

            Vying for the Board Members in the 2nd district are: Fe Arcales (LDP), Virgilio Bernales (PDSP), Rodolfo Bilbao (Independent), Antonio Bolastig II (Independent), Conception De Luna (LDP), Jacques Dy (Independent), Jimmy Dy (Lakas-CMD), Wilfredo Estorninos (Lakas-CMD), Cynthia Gabinay (Independent), Pedrito Lancalan (PDSP), Juan Latorre Jr. ((LDP), Eduardo Mosot (Independent), Arcadio Quijano (Independent), Pedro Raytos (Independent), Bienvenido Teoco (Lakas-CMD), John Erwin Teodoro (LDP), Minandro Tiopes (Lakas-CMD) and Siegfred Zosa (Independent).

LP remains dominant in Northern Samar

            IN THIS PROVINCE, the Liberal Party remains to be the dominant political party in the province in terms of organization and the number of candidates. The Comelec here said only the LP has so far submitted a complete line up in both the provincial and municipal slots in the two districts of the province as compared to the other political parties.

            Per records released by the Comelec here, the once ruling Lakas-CMD under re-electionist Rep. Romualdo Vicencio has only four candidates aspiring for the provincial board in the second district and one in the first district. Lakas-CMD has, so far, no bets for gubernatorial and vice-gubernatorial posts here.

            Meanwhile, there were two tough political newcomers and one come backer filed their CoC at the provincial Comelec here to give re-electionist Gov. Raul Daza a good fight.  Former Vice-Governor Sixto Balanquit Jr. (Independent), Serafin Cabacang Jr. (DGIPP) and Teddy Morales of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) will run against Daza, who is considered by many as a sure winner in this year's polls.

            People at the Comelec office anticipating for the arrival of ex-Gov. Madeleine Ong failed to see the former lady governor to file her candidacy at the Comelec. Former Presidential Assistant Emil Ong who earlier announced his senatorial bid also a 'no-show' at the Comelec office except for Harris Christopher Ong, son of Madeleine, who is running for Board Member in the second district.

            Norther Samar Election Supervisor lawyer Andrew Bido released the complete list of certified candidates at the provincial level, read as follows: Govenor: Raul Daza (LP), Teddy Morales (KBL), Sixto Balanquit (Independent) and Serafin Cabacang (DGIPP).  Vice-Governor: Guido Lavin (LP), Glicerio Mondigo (Lakas-CMD), Wenceslao Pancho Jr., of KBL. Congresman in the first district: Harlin Cast Abayon (LP), Nelson Ong (Aksyon Demokratiko), Pedrito Tangle (Lakas CMD) and Rosendo Cinco of Kilusang Bagong Lipunan. Congressman in the second district: Romualdo Vicencio (Lakas-CMD), Don Avalon (LP) and Pete S. Lobos of KBL. SP (1st district): Rodolfo Del Valle, Luis Damariñas, Paul Ruiz Daza, Licarion Lim, Herbert Esponilla, all of Liberal Party; Elvira Tumamil (Lakas-CMD), Conrado Turla (PMP), Pelagio Paredes (KBL) and Independent candidate Shirly Vicario.  (2nd district): Maritess Gillamac, Ben Gorembalim, Remus Dulay, Gil Timan and Miguel Sarmiento of the LP; Arnold Atondo (Lakas-CMD), Rodolfo Mercado, Miguel Lucban, Harris Ongchuan, all of Lakas-CMD; Emerito Lagrimas (Aksyon Demokratiko), Leonardo Lagrimas (Independent) and Voltaire Legaspi of the Partido ng Masang Pilipino.

Return bouts in Eastern Samar

            MEANWHILE, in this eastern part of Samar, three strong political parties will be vying the people's vote come May 10, 2004 synchronized election. Tight fight and exciting elections is expected to happen in this province as 'return bouts' by veteran politicians are expected to clash in soliciting the votes of their constituents.

            For Representative: Re-electionist Rep. Marcelino Libanan is once again be facing former Rep. Jose Tan Ramirez, joining the fight with is new comer into the political arena Roy Montes who is running under the banner of the LDP.

            For Governor: The return bouts of re-electionist Gov. Clotilde Salazar (NPC) and former governor Ruperto Ambil Jr. (LDP) will be join-in by two new faces Jose P. Castillo (DGIPP) and Ben P. Evardone of LDP. Other candidates in the provincial level were: Vice Governor: Leander Geli (NPC), Jacinto Dadia (Independent), Isagani Lisaca (Aksyon Demokratiko), Federico Suyot (LDP) and Emiliana Villacarilla (LDP).

            Provincial Board Members (1st district): Jose Ivan Dayan Agda (KNP-LDP), Aldwin Aklao, Domeciano Ampong, Ricardo Carpeso, Agustin Docena, Alfonso Esposa, Luisita Framil, Ismael Menzon, David Tuñacao, all of the LDP; German Alido, Jose Vicente Raymundo Opinion, Norma Badiola, Cirilo Balagapo Jr., all of the National People's Coalition Party (NPC); Evangeline Cainday, Juan Dulfo, Sergio Escoto, Aquilino Mejica, Neil Ian Anacta, all of the Lakas-CMD Party; Corazon Lupos (KNP-LDP), and Benjamin Umil Jr., of the Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP).   In the 2nd district: Joselito Abrugar, Ernesto Baldono, Cecil Bernas, Adriano Castro, Francisco De Paz, Claro Ramiro Garado, Eulogio Loyola and Enerio Sabulao, all of the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP); Celirino Bagro, Priscila Cela, Glenda Enage, Generoso Juaban, Felix Pagatpat, all of the Lakas-CMD; Eduardo Cablao Jr., Pedro Macabocsit, Fernando Naputo and Generoso Yu, all of NPC; Francisco Ogsimer (PDP-Laban); and Cornelio Ferdinand Sison of Partido ng Masang Pilipino.

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