Contrary to public perception that I owe my gubernatorial quest to the Marcoses and the Dutertes – I owe it only to the majority poor and oppressed Negrosanon fighting the elitist, dynastic, insensitive, unresponsive and abusive Lacson administration.
Win or lose, I owe no one a political debt, except the poor and oppressed Negrosanon.
It is true that I am perceived as a Marcos boy and therefore construed as pro-BBM; that is because I worked as a tourism officer and foreign diplomat during the Marcos years. Be that as it may. It was the call of my public service to work with various officials of Marcos regime until I became a legislator under the Estrada administration, and just before this quest, as a Bacolod city administrator under the Leonardia and Duterte administration.
I have no regrets working under these administrations; I have learned so much from my various designations, and the opportunities that went with them, and I have done so much for Negrosanon, especially building the friendship and solidarity between Filipinos and people of various countries.
I am a political orphan right now, and I don’t intend to get entangled in petty and unprincipled quarrels between parties and personalities, and rampant turncoatism among incumbents and aspirants.
What matters most to me as gubernatorial aspirant is the interest and future of Negrosanon.
I am fully cognizant of the deep moral putrefaction in our Negros society especially the reign of patronage politics and money. For this I realized the need to arrest the further devaluation of our social life, rights and morality. This is the big challenge for me.
So, whoever wins to lead our nation, be it Leni, BBM, Isko, Pacman, Ping or Leody, Sara or Sotto, Ong or Atienza, or Bello – I assure them of my support so long as their thrust, policies and programs will result to the emancipation of our people from modern day slavery and impoverishment, towards a life of prosperity with dignity
First and foremost, the fight for gubernatorial post is a fight for the hearts and minds of Negrosanon, and not about who among the national candidates can boost the warchest and winnability of local candidates. That is patronage and bully politics.
I vow, and cross my heart, that if given a chance, I will initiate substantive change in Negros economics and politics by advancing righteousness, servanthood, transparency, accountability and principled partisanship in governance.
I will also push for the diversification and modernization of our agriculture and economy, establish economic zones and vibrant growth centers, food processing and manufacturing industries, state-managed farms for food security, wholesome, earth-friendly and sustainable tourism, peace-building – all to bring improvement in our people’s quality of life.
Finally, to my contemporaries let us not be hypocritical in our association with past and present presidents for reason of expediency. Many of us have learned from our experiences under them, and we bring them to fuel what and who we are now. For others, I honestly do not know.
To the hardcore political turncoats, some of whom are my contemporaries, who survived various regimes through the politics of expediency, I warn you that our people who remain poor and oppressed under you, forced by you to the “Kapit sa Patalim” culture, are aware of it, know you, and mark you for the judgement day.
To the political newbies, beware of the political kingpins who dictate and manipulate Negros politics and economics for their vested interests. Instead, stand firmly and always on the side of the people, learn to be model of servant leadership and good governance, for such will make you the shining light and armor of our people and society.