|Our own people are starting to ask: Harani na naman
ang eleksiyon. Ano lamang ang naginibohan kan satuyang mga lideres digdi
Now is the time to look back to the respective performance of our top
provincial and municipal officials, if only to determine who among these
fellows still deserve the public's trust. In this respect, it is fair
to ask whether the actual performance of Cong. Joseph Santiago during
his first three years in office has made any impact on his constituents.
In the same manner, it is only fair to rate the actual performance of
incumbent Governor Jun Verceles (including his adversaries at the SP headed
by Vice-Gov. Cesar Sarmiento) if we are to arrive at a logical idea of
the present crop of politicians reigning in our benighted province. To
be blunt about it, there is nothing about Cong. Santiago's alleged performance
that entitles him to deserve another time. Hain na so mga ipinangako kaini
sa sato? Hain na so mga public school buildings? Hain na so mga concreting?
Hain na so mga livelihood projects? Hain na so mga baratong bolong? Hain
na so pig-aapod niyang tunay na pagsierbe sa Inang Catandungan?
Where, in other words, have these lofty promises gone during the first
three years of his power and influence as Representative of the Lone District
of Catanduanes? What Catandunganons would remember as Cong. Santiago's
legacy to the province were his relentless effort to subvert and destabilize
the Verceles administration through his running dogs in the Sangguniang
Panlalawigan. Through Vice-Gov. Sarmiento, Cong. Santiago succeeded in
depriving the province of the most vital and urgently-needed solution
to the long-term power crisis way back in 2001.
In fact, it was the Santiago camp who conspired and resurrected the most
vindictive and counter-productive style of trapo-politics the province
has ever seen: the recall move against the incumbent governor!
Meanwhile, what has Cong. Santiago done to improve the lot of his suffering
constituents? Virtually nothing!
In fact, most, if not all, of the concrete road projects now credited
to his name all over the province were in truth merely realigned projects
originally initiated by Gov. Jun Verceles during his last term as Congressman.
Cong. Santiago, together with his cohorts in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan,
will have a hard time explaining to the electorates their mediocre performance
in public office. As for Gov. Verceles, his unassailable track record
as public servant can speak for itself. If a question boils down to who
among our leaders deserve another term, Catandunganons would still go
for Verceles instead of Santiago.
Now that the much-vaunted Third Force of alleged billionaire Cenon Traballo
has been written off by respectable local organizers as "clinically
dead" - the ball is back to square one, as far as this corner is