(Photo grabbed from iOrbit News)
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – No substitution. No running in 2019.
Oscar S. Rodriguez, former three-term city mayor and multi-term congressman, ended all speculations Wednesday of a possible run for the city mayoralty post.
“I told Mayor EdSa that, with this development, I am finally acceding to the request of my children not to run and make a substitution,” so was Rodriguez quoted as having said in a Facebook message.
In his message, Rodriguez said LP president Sen. Francis Pangilinan informed him that Mayor Edwin Santiago “was insistent in his request to the party that he be still considered party officer.”
“Informed of my children still against my running, (Pangilinan) told me that he would have a final talk with Mayor Edsa to exact assurance from him of full support of our national candidates, among others, as a condition precedent in granting his request,” Rodriguez said.
Pangilinan also told Santiago to call him, Rodriguez said.
“This morning, at around 10:30, Mayor Edsa called me up, telling me of his talk with Sen Kiko, insisting that he never left the Party and told me that LP stalwarts VP Leni (Robredo), Sen Kiko, and Cong Kit Belmonte as Sec Gen, will soon meet us,” Rodriguez said and that it was then that he told the mayor that he would not run and make a substitution.
The call of Pangilinan was precisely what Rodriguez was waiting for during his tete-atete with members of the local media last Monday at the Best Western Hotel here, for him to make the expected definitive announcement whether he would run or not.
He told media then that he was waiting for a call from the Liberal Party national leadership relative to Santiago’s request for a reconsideration with the party as to his being official party candidate for mayor.
While the LP had a ready certificate of nomination and acceptance for Santiago as its standard bearer in the City of San Fernando, Santiago filed his certificate of candidacy as member of the Kambilan Party of Gov. Lilia G. Pineda.
The move prompted the LP to field one Eugene Diaz as its candidate for mayor. This gave rise to a possible substitution by Rodriguez before the November 29 deadline, buttressed by reports of the LP persuading the 2004 World City Mayor Awardee to run.
Rodriguez had time and again said that he had acceded to the wishes of his family to spend his time with them, “away from politics” where he engaged in for over three decades.
But Rodriguez has never been known to back out to the call of public service.
Hence, the Hamletian dilemma of whether he would run or not. With the withdrawal from the race of Diaz on Monday, speculations of Rodriguez’s running became even wilder.
Hours away from the November 29 deadline for substitution, Rodriguez announced his decision. The expected battle royale between the mentor Rodriguez and his protegee Santiago will not come to be.