LINGAYEN–The Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) is confident it is now the dominant party in the province and has announced its support for the re-election bids of Governor Amado Espino Jr. and Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Calimlim Jr., both party members.
Former Fifth District Rep. Mark Cojuangco, son of NPC founding national chairman and business tycoon Eduardo Cojuangco, said they are the “overwhelming majority… Pinakamalakas na partido tayo sa probinsya.”
Cojuangco said while the party is already strongly grounded in Pangasinan, there are still new additions that have recently joined and will soon be sworn into membership.
“As much as possible, there should be a mayoralty candidate in each town na NPC din para masuportahan ang mga nasa taas na kaalyado,” Cojuangco said.
Stalwarts of the NPC mapped out a masterplan during a caucus meeting on September 27 in Sison town in support of Espino’s re-election bid.
Joining Cojuangco at the caucus were six Congressmen of the province and the Pangasinan-based Abono Partylist expressed their all-out support to the re-election bid of Gov. Espino and Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Calimlim, Jr., and the entire NPC Provincial Ticket.
Present during the meeting at the residence of Cojuangco were Reps. Jesus Celeste (1st District), Leopoldo Bataoil (2ndDistrict), Rachel Arenas (3rd District), Kimi Cojuangco (5thDistrict) and Marlyn Agabas (6th District), together with Abono Partylist Chairman Rosendo So and former Cong. Conrado Estrella III.
Arenas is a Liberal Party member while Rep. Gina De Venecia, of the 4th District, also of NPC, who was not in the meeting, has also expressed her support to Gov. Espino.
Meanwhile, Bataoil announced his re-election bid for a second term of office and expressed support for Espino.
“The members of the party (NPC) have been committed to work hard and campaign for the best interest of the party with Governor Espino as the standard bearer for the gubernatorial race,” Bataoil said.
At the same time, Bataoil urged members of the Liberal Party (LP) -Nationalista Party (NP)- NPC coalition to “respect the equity of the incumbent”.
However, the LP, the ruling party of President Benigno Aquino III, appears poised to push for its own team.
The LP may possibly pitch Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza who has declared his “availability” to run for governor under the LP banner.
Braganza said he will possibly have former Governor Victor Agbayani as his running mate, but he added that there are also discussions on Agbayani running for governor and with Sixth District Board Member Ranjit Ramos Shahani as his runningmate.
Bataoil, in response, said “we are all committed to serve our people in accordance with the plans and programs of the administration under President Benigno S. Aquino III.”