Henson sees “planetary alignment” among political power brokers. Photo by Bong Lacson
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — The cat is officially out of the bag. Three-term Pampanga 3rd District provincial board member Rosve V. Henson declared his intention to run for the mayoral post of this capital city in the coming 2022 polls.
Henson, 62, is a veteran public servant who started his political career at the age of 21.
During a press conference here last Friday, Henson said he will run in tandem with city councilor Benedict Jasper “BJ” Lagman under the provincial party Kambilan. Henson is one of the founding pillars of Kambilan.
Henson cited his personal closeness and political alliance with Lagman’s late father, the city’s “undefeatable” vice mayor Ely, better known as “Tiger” as among the principal factors in his choice for his running mate.
The young Lagman topped the 2019 city council race with 70,978 votes, even without the support of the Iglesia ni Cristo bloc votes, immediately priming him as vice mayoralty material.
“The planets are aligned this time,” Henson said, explaining that the Capitol and the third district in which the City of San Fernando is included, are now positioned to his advantage. “I believe all factors are in the right places at the right time,” he said.
Henson, who hails from Barangay Del Pilar in this capital city, started his 42-year public service as a two-term councilor in 1980. He ran but lost by some 1,000 votes during the 1992 mayoralty race against then incumbent Pat Guevarra, the time when he was local chair and standard bearer of the Liberal Party.
In 1995, he again ran (his own decision and not party-influenced, he said) for San Fernando’s top post. That attempt led him to other political races which included a congressional run until finding his niche as a provincial board member.
“In those times, the situation was not always favorable. All those present now were absent then, meaning, hindi mo kasangga ang distrito, Capitol, and even the national. I was barely known by the business sector. Now, probably they have seen what I can do,” he said.
“…I believe they know I am qualified as a candidate for mayor in the coming post,” Henson noted.
He said that if given the opportunity to be the city’s local chief executive officer, he will pattern his administration on the “Pineda template” in which the principal concept is “pwede mo palang gawin ito sa isang local government unit basta may puso ka para sa tao.”
This means he “will prioritize those which need to be prioritized and utilize well the resources of the LGU.”
Henson also said he has a “pattern of my own, like BFF which stands for ‘business-friendly Fernandino’ and SAUP which stands for social amelioration upliftment program’.”
A public servant is focused on essential things like creation of an environment that is conducive to business. “Let them (private sector) invest and run their business but give them what they need like peace and order, fast processing of permits and no red tape. They should be partners in governance. Once the business sector is good, you could now focus on social services, education and health,” he said.
One important mark Henson said, is that he could work with any official even those who are not with his party.
“That is a hallmark of a good leadership and governance. To be able to work with others for the benefit of Fernandinos regardless of party affiliation. We are in public service and we are serving the people,” he stressed.
Henson will reportedly face Vice-Mayor Jimmy T. Lazatin and Association of Barangay Captains president Vilma Caluag in the mayoralty post.
However, both Lazatin and Caluag have not yet officially declared their respective intentions to run for the mayoral post.