BALANGA CITY – Chairman Felicito “Tong” Payumo of the Bases Conversion Development Authority on Thursday appealed to major political candidates in Bataan to “still try” going into political unification or coalition despite its alleged failure after almost three months of talks.
“We want to have a political coalition upang mabago ang sistema ng pulitika sa Bataan para hindi masyadong magastos at scandalous,” the former chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority said during a dialogue in Balanga City with political leaders and local reporters.
Payumo said he believed there is still a window of opportunity until December 21 for the unification of big rival politicians. The Commission on Elections allows substitution on December 21 for a candidate who filed his certificate of candidacy last October 1 – 5 based on certain requirements.
“Hindi natuloy ang pinag-usapang unification hanggang sa filing ng COC kaya ito ang pakay ko na baka maayos pa,” the chairman said.
The unification or political coalition Payumo was referring to was between the feuding families of Gov. Enrique “Tet” Garcia on one side and former Gov. Leonardo “Ding” Roman and Rep. Herminia Roman of the first district on the other side.
Payumo said he was invited by the governor’s son, Rep. Albert Garcia of the second district, to be a mediator in the talk with Ding Roman, bitter political rival of the Garcias. He said he was happy to see the Garcias and Ding together at last after many years of intense political conflict.
On the last day of filing of COC, Payumo said he was so surprised to learn that Ding Roman was left out and instead the Garcias and Herminia Roman, who were in hot political disagreement, were the ones together.
Congressman Garcia became the common candidate for governor of the Garcias and Herminia Roman with Efren Pascual, Jr., Herminia’s nephew, as re-electionist vice-governor. Herminia is seeking re-election unopposed from the Garcia camp.
Governor Garcia filed his COC for congressman of the second district versus Ding Roman and Onemig Bondoc. Rumors before spread that Ding will have no opponent from the Garcias.
“Dahil sa nangyari, nag-file din ng complete slate from congressman, governor and down si Ding Roman kaya hindi rin nakamit ang objective na unification,” Payumo said, adding “ito ang pakay ko na maayos.”
Asked of his political plan come December 21, Payumo said “hindi ko masasabing ako’y tatakbo habang merong window of opportunity na maayos ang unification para hindi makasagabal sa pag-aayos na gagawin ko.”
“Pero hindi ko rin masasabing ako’y hindi tatakbo dahil maaga pa o kung ako’y tatakbo, hindi ko pa rin masasabi kung ano tatakbuhin ko,” the former Bataan congressman said.
There are talks that Payumo on December 21 may substitute either as congressman in the first district or as governor of the province. Supporters are prodding him to run.