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In With the New, Out with the Old? - CT

The New Year is supposed to bring in the new and kick out the old. However, judging from the official list of candidates for the 2010 local elections, the electorate probably will have to make do with recycled leaders.

Former Governor Leandro Verceles Jr. is back to try to win a new stint in congress, against indefatigable loser Araceli Wong, former Vice Governor and now DOTC Assec. Cesar Sarmiento, and the largely unknown but reportedly loaded Manolo Sanchez.

Congressman Joseph Santiago tries to extend a nine-year stay in Congress to another nine-year stint in 2013, by using the governorship as a launch pad but he breaks up a friendship with Governor Joseph Cua in the process. Talk has it that the solon dreams of passing on the torch to his son, who is still in high school.

Of course, there are new faces in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan slates, councilors who have outgrown their towns, retirees out to break new ground, a son of Senator Kit Tatad trying his hand at local politics, and former board members trying to regain lost glory.

At least there is hope in the municipal races, except in Virac (highly qualified but partyless Idoy Tablizo is not given much of a chance in the battle between elephants named Alberto and Zafe). In the other 10 towns, we have a new crop of dreamers and plain businessmen aching for more power than their money can bring.

But, taking it all in, the New Year is not bound to bring great changes in this lonely island. The same kind of people will reign although a few will rise up from the stink and, with the help of effective leadership, come up smelling like roses . (Those who protest should prove it by winning and then by trying their best not to steal from the public coffers to reimburse themselves for the votes they bought.) The new board members and councilors will promptly start studying to be contractors. The same kind of stagnant governance will prevail. And we will all go back to sighing, "Ano nang pagtios ini…"

Source: 12 December 2009, Editorial, Catanduanes Tribune

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