By Mortz C. Ortigoza
A reelective mayor spent twenty million pesos not to ensure his victory but to give succor to his vice mayoralty tandem beleaguered by the vote buying resorted by her rival in the recent poll.
“Iyong taga kabila namimili ng P250 per voter noong pakurong. Iyong vice mayor ko P250 kada botante ang kaya kaya binigyan ko ng P250 para P500 kontra sa P250 ng kalaban,” the mayor in Central Pangasinan told this writer.
He did it because his cash strapped mayoral opponent did not resort to use money to win the hearts of the vulnerable voters.
“I spent twenty million pesos because I gave two hundred pesos to sell myself to the voters and aided my vice mayor with another sum”.
Both candidates for the mayoralty and vice mayoralty are into big contracting business building infrastructure for the government.
His ally in the gubernatorial race, the chief executive cited, gave him two hundred pesos to add to his two hundred pesos because his financially constrained governorship rival did not challenge ingratiating tit-for-tat with the electorates in the first class town.
He said a provincial politician and a tycoon helped him buttress his electoral stocks with half a million pesos and eight hundred thousand pesos.
“May mega project kasi iyong big time businessman dito sa amin kaya tinulungan niya ako,” he stressed.
The incoming last term soft-spoken former village chief said that in the election of 2013, 2016, and 2019 he spent P4 million, P7 million, and P20 million, respectively, against his perennial opponent who is a lawyer and an alumnus of a prestigious law university in the country.
“He is an elite and I am an ordinary person but in every election poor people gravitate to those who can connect with them that’s why I kept winning the election”.
Despite the tens of million pesos he spent he won in a P1.25 million wager.
“Partida pa nga sa sobrang confident ko plus two thousand votes iyong vice mayor nila one million pesos ang pustahan. Noong natapos ang bilangan panalo ng mahigit three thousand votes iyong manok ko kaya may one million pesos ako,” he sheepishly told me.
The mayor, who asked for anonymity, cited too that a pro Art Celeste, a governorship bet, who lived in Lingayen, Pangasinan challenged him with P250,000 bet. He said the bettor lost to him after the Commission on Election proclaimed Amado I. Espino III as the re-elective governor of Pangasinan with 781,307 votes against Celeste’s 582, 380 votes or a margin of 198, 927 votes or 14 percent lead votes.