By Mortz C. Ortigoza
During the birthday celebration and distribution of Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA) early October of former Congressman Mark O. Cojuangco, Pangasinan’s gubernatorial bet, I met Tayug Mayor Tyrone Agabas, a lawyer, who told me he would be duking it out with the town’s Vice Mayor Carlos Trece Mapili for the mayoralty in the 2016 election.
When I bumped again with him lately at the provincial office of the Commission on Election in Dagupan City he told me he and Mapili patched it up and agreed to run in tandem just like in 2013.
“So you’re running unopposed (for the mayoralty)?” I posed.
He said there was a man who challenged him. But he was a “nobody politically in the town”.
His kind words in stopping short calling the opponent as nuisance.
Tyrone, whose wife is Congresswoman Marlyn Primicias-Agabas, told me he was a son of a mayor, too, in the rambunctious Abra province. His father was the chief executive there from 1960s to 1970s.
He thought when he lived in Manila and studied law there at San Beda College he would be shunning away from politics, but he was wrong.
“Marlyn who was my law classmate had a political lineage in Pangasinan that smitten her thus here I am now in politics,” he told me.
The congresswoman came from the illustrative family of the Primicias who produced a governor, congressman, and senator in the humongous province.
Tyrone used to be a Board Member while his wife Marlyn was the provincial vice governor, before he became a hizzoner of the Wild-Wild West Tayug town where its former mayor the tough Guerrero Zaragoza was assassinated.
“In my watch Tayug became a peaceful town,” Mayor Agabas said.
I was all ears with the mayor when I asked him about the political families and supporters of former Abra Governor Vicente Isidro Valera and Abra Rep. Luis Bersamin where the former was implicated for the murder of the latter.
He said one of these families is a relative.
I could not fail not to mention or think about Abra, I told him, whenever election in Pangasinan looms because some mayors in the province either hired goons from the place or Ilocos Norte.
When I told recently BDO-Dagupan City’s manager Henry Arce, a resident of Ilocos Norte, about the Ilocos goons hired by Pangasinan’s politicians, he told me Ilocos politicians hired Abra goons too during election barnstorming and voting.
I wrote a column on these goons when a mayor in Central Pangasinan told me he hired those guys but he provided them with their long and short lethal firearms.
Here’s an excerpt of that column I wrote after a Pangasinan mayor was assassinated:
“Before a mayor of Pangasinan, who allegedly maintained sicarious (hit men), went to Infanta recently to pay his last respect to the slain Mayor Ruperto Martinez, I went near his van.
He showed me two Russian-made folding- type Kalashnikov AK-47s sprawled at the floor of his car.
“Why not use those M-15 A4 Carbine (baby M-16 Armalite used by U.S special forces in Afghanistan and Iraq) your family has been giving as gift to political friends,” I asked him.
He just laughed. He told me AK-47 (that has a 100-round detachable box and drum style magazine) is much powerful than M–15.
When I told this story two days later to a high elective official in Central Pangasinan who used to hire close-in body guards from Ilocos every election time, he told me he sold all his M-16s he bought before in lieu of the much powerful AK-47.
I could not agree more. This Russian made assault rifle invented by an Ivan Sergeant Mikhail Kalashnikov has been known to have the same fire-power with the longer M-14 rifle (first entered service in 1957 and was used by the U.S Marines when they set foot in Vietnam in the early of 1960s).
According to the online Wikepidia: “The main advantages of the Kalashnikov rifle are its simple design, fairly compact size, and adaptation to mass production. It is inexpensive to manufacture and easy to clean and maintain. Its ruggedness and reliability are legendary. The AK-47 was initially designed for ease of operation and repair by glove-wearing Soviet soldiers in Arctic conditions. The large gas piston, generous clearances between moving parts, and tapered cartridge case design allow the gun to endure large amounts of foreign matter and fouling without failing to cycle”.
To would- be- assassins, who would emulate how Mayor Martinez was killed in broad daylight; just take a pre-caution my dear killers. The Toyota Land Cruiser, Mitsubishi Montero, or the Starex Van you want to ambush has probably a cache of full-jacket Kalash versus your .45 caliber hand gun.
Susmariosep, that would be a mismatch”.
(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too firstname.lastname@example.org).