DAGUPAN CITY — “Performance,” said Governor Amado Espino Jr., among others, is his edge against his opponent in the gubernatorial race, second district Representative Victor Agbayani.
“Compare what I have done in just (almost) three years to his nine years at the Capitol,” he said Monday at the press conference held after he and running mate incumbent Mapandan Mayor Jose Ferdinand Calimlim Jr. filed their certificates of candidacy (COC) at the provincial Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Espino and Calimlim are bannering Lakas-Kampi-CMD and local political party Biskeg na Pangasinan (Strength of Pangasinan).
Biskeg na Pangasinan was founded and is chaired by Undersecretary Antonio Villar Jr. of Sto. Tomas town.
Accredited by the Comelec as a provincial political party, it is now the most dominant political group in Pangasinan having the most number of members as compared to any national political party. It was accredited in 2006 and first fielded candidates in the 2007 election.
Espino’s group which included his wife Precy, their children, and his supporters first heard mass at the Our Lady of Manaog in Manaoag town before proceeding to the Comelec office here.
He said they chose to file their COC on November 30 because of its significance, that being the Bonifacio Day.
Coincidentally, Espino was the 30th candidate to file his COC at the provincial election office.
“Modesty aside, nakikita ng ating mga kababayan ang mga pagbabago sa probinsiya. All that I promised in 2007, we have started. We have finished some, other projects are ongoing. Three years is too short. I want to be back and continue serving to finish these all for the benefit of our provincemates,” he remarked.
Espino said that aside from the projects he started (which include in the area of peace and order, agriculture and fisheries, health and others), he would like to give focus next to education.
“Nagkulang tayo ng pondo sa education sector. Maliit lang ang pondo ng provincial government, at hindi devolved ang mga opisina ng Department of Education (ang capital outlay ng Deped ay nasa national government),” he stated.
“Dinaanan tayo ng apat na malalakas na bagyo. What we did and still doing is to repair instead of construct school buildings. I really would like to give attention sa education sector – i-revive ang dating boy scout, girl scout activities, improve school play grounds but we do not have fund and a lot more,” he added.
Meanwhile, Calimlim said his team-up with Espino is perfect as they are both development-oriented, their programs for the environment, tourism and education perfectly jive.