No Oca-EdSa showdown


    CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Chillax, EdSa. Gear up, Dong.Pampanga 3rd District  Rep. Oscar S. Rodriguez  categorically stated he  would seek re-election in 2016, ending speculations  – for now, and forthe sitting mayor  hopefully  forever – that he wanted city hall back. 

    “I will run for congressman  again,” wasRodriguez’s response to a   query about his 2016plans during a merienda  cena he hosted for the local media at r78 resto-  bar here Friday.

    This also ended loose  talks that Rodriguez also eyed the governorship of Pampanga.  The three-term-congressman- turned-threeterm-  city-mayor and first-term congressman again said he would neither undermine nor challenge         Mayor Edwin Santiago, his protégé and “loyal” vice mayor during his city hall stint. 

    “Masanting naman ing piyabe mi   at mekinabang ya ing siyudad  (We had a good partnership and the city benefited  from it),” Rodriguez said.

    This, even as he  lamented that Santiago had done some things  that peeved him: “Atin yang gewang makabuysit.” Rodriguez did nothave to say what it was that riled him.

    Into the first month of  Santiago’s take-over of the city  government, the  city council released reports of alleged financial irregularities during the  Rodriguez administration  rising out of “un-reconciled differences in the balance sheet of the  General Fund.” 

    Councilor Joselito Ocampo of the  Committee on Good Government, Public Ethics and Accountability, reported  then:

    “According to the city  accountant and treasurer, the estimated cash balance as of December  31 (net of fixed expenses and contractual obligations) that will be used to finance LGU programs  and projects amounts to P188,522,983.

    Actual  cash as of  June 30, as the treasurer reported  is P360,303,960, but the accountant reported that it is P73,783,062. The  difference of P286,520,898 has to be reconciled by the treasurer  together with the accountant.” 


    Quick to take on the reports was the local media that bannered stories  of the city as being “bankrupt.”  Calling it an    assault on his character, Rodriguez  dispelled all talks of anomalies and bankruptcy under his term  as city mayor with certified  statement from the LandBank,

    The city  government’s depository bank, showing that  the day he left office, June 30, 2013, the city had a total deposit of P447,110,363.32. 

    While Santiago himself denied any claim of  bankruptcy as having  come from his camp, a crack in his relationship with his mentor apparently ensued. From there started talks that Rodriguez  would seek a return to the city mayorship, ending  – for now – only last  Friday with Rodriguez opening his option for re-election. 

    Return bout

    “The best Christmas gift from Oca to EdSa,”  said columnist Ed Aguilar of Rodriguez’s announcement.  “A call to arms for Dong,” he added, referencing  former 3rd District Rep. Aurelio “Dong”

     Gonzales whom Rodriguez denied of a    third term in 2013. Gonzales is considered  a “sure-winner” in his district, “without Oca  to contend with.” Names  being bruited  about as also interested to run for congressman  were those of Board Member Ferdinand Labung and Bacolor Mayor Jomar Hizon. 

    “Rodriguez’s clear declaration has defined  a limited arena of battle for the third district – just between him and Dong,  all other pretenders consigned to being mere  spectators,” said a  political observer.  


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