SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ – Absent in the 2016 elections for the gubernatorial post, which was unprecedented in 58 years, a member of the erstwhile powerful political Joson clan, is making a run for it in the coming May polls.
“It was a sort of miracle that made me run for governor in this this year’s election,” Eduardo Nonato Joson, former governor, congressman and assemblyman of this province, said in an interview here. “Somebody bought my ten-hectare rice lands, which (proceed) I can use for my campaign and elections needs,” he added.
Joson, in an unassuming form with only his driver as companion, came for an interview with this writer in an eatery here. He motored from his residence in Barangay Sta. Cruz, in Quezon town, an hour drive away from here.
He revealed the purchase price (of his inherited rice lands) at P12 million which will come in three tranches. He stressed that it may be enough (for his run) as “volunteerism,” backboned by the Citizens Power Movement (CTM) he founded, will carry him through to a “successful path to fulfillment”.
The CTM is the “power of one principled man” who is God-loving, pro-people, and pro-environment. It emphasizes that the “power of one, when grouped together, is the power of all”. It is a reverse of “People Power” as he viewed it as “fake people power” proven by succeeding ills that plagued the country current problems.
Joson, emphasized that a strong voice coming from a local official, with Nueva Ecija as the launching pad,” will reverberate, saying “No to salvaging,” “No to corruption” (in government and private sectors), and “No to vote-buying”.
But curiously, as far as support is concern, he is not in concert with his brothers and a nephew in his dream of getting back for the governor’s post in Nueva Ecja, then held one time or the other by a member of the Joson clan for more than six decades. Clan patriarch Eduardo ruled the province starting in 1959 and was re-elected five times.
Ex-governor Tomas Joson III, eldest among the siblings (who ruled the province from 1992 to 1995 then from 1998 to 2007), is supporting the candidates of the ruling PDP-Laban Party as his son, ex-vice governor Edward, is running for vice governor again in tandem with ex-Gen. Tinio Mayor Virgilio Bote who is the party’s bet for governor. Mayor Mariano Cristino Joson of Quezon town, who is running for re-election as an unopposed candidate, is supporting comebacking threeterm governor and former 3rd District Rep. Aurelio Umali.
Umali, who is running under his self-founded “Unang Sigaw” party, is teamed up with his brother, incumbent Cabanatuan City vice mayor Anthony Umali.
Incumbent Gov. Czarina Umali, wife of Aurelio, is running to reclaim her old post as congresswoman of the third district against incumbent Rep. Rossana “Ria” Vergara, wife of graduating Cabanatun Mayor Julius Caesar Vergara who is running for vice mayor of the city.
The Vergara’s eldest daughter, lawyer Myca Elizabeth, has been fielded for the post of Cabanatuan City mayor.
Eduardo Nonato said he hoped his card-bearing members of the CPM and his volunteer brigades from the different barangays in this province, which he continuously recruits, will help in his campaign sorties, his “watchmen against vote-buying (whether in cash or kind), and as inspectors in the elections.”
He also counts on Joson die-hards which he said number from 200,000 to 300,000 voters.
“They (the volunteers) would be in lieu of paid campaign leaders and individual campaigners, watchers, and inspectors which I have none,” he said.
Since 2010, he said, he concentrated in rice farming and allowed the other members of his clan to run for governor and other positions to “prove that I adhere to the anti-dynasty law which I was the principal sponsor in the lower House”.
In the interregnum from politics, he said, he contemplated the grave ills of the country that include extra-judicial killings, rampant corruption in government, vote-buying from the upper echelon, including the speakership of the House, down to the barangay level, and the utter neglect about the crying needs of the poor.
“That’s why I have come out… That’s why I will be running for the post of governor, and if successful, I will make Nueva Ecija as a model for what the government should rightly do for the sake of the masses,” Eduardo Nonato said.
On the crying need of the poor, decent housing is tops, he said. Then there’s need for a dialysis center for every town and city for the increasing number of patients needing it and big attention to long queues of the poor asking for medical assistance, he added.
Reacting to comments that he is against six other opponents, including ex-gov. Umali who came to be called “the political slayer” of the Josons, he said he is prepared for any eventuality.
“At least I demonstrated that there is down below a man who is shouting ‘No to salvaging.’ ‘No to corruption,’ and ‘No to vote-buying’ and trying to prove that every principled man is the power of one and when grouped together can be the power of all that can bring positive changes in the country”, Joson emphatically said.