By Mars S. Arguelles
PASAY CITY, Aug. 30 (PNA) — Governor Joey Salceda announced Sunday here that he is withdrawing his plan not to run for any elective post and instead declared that he is running for the province’s 2nd congressional district post.
The move is seen by many to have a rippling effect on the plans of other politicians in the province, especially in the second district.
In an ambush interview, however, Salceda explained that a consensus was decided by him and the three incumbent congressmen of the province that he would run for the 2nd congressional seat to bring unity among political leaders for the betterment of the province.
Salceda said he believes in the saying that “In unity there is strength.”
The agreement would form a “Unity Ticket” where all those seeking elective positions — from the governor, vice governor, congressmen, city and town mayors — who belong to the Liberal Party and its coalition will run “unchallenged,” he said.
The economist-politician said incumbent House Representatives Fernando Gonzalez (LP) of the province’s third district, Al Francis Bichara (NP) of the Second District and Edcel “Grex” Lagman (LP) of the first district and the Ako Bicol (AKB) Party List Representatives Christopher Co and Rodel Batocabe agreed to form the “Unity Ticket.”
Under the “Unity Ticket”, the alliance will field Bichara as governor of the province.
Bichara is on his last term as congressman of the 2nd district.
Salceda will run as congressman of the second district, Gonzalez for the 3rd district and Lagman for the 1st district.
Salceda also said his close political rival for the congressional post, AKB Rep. Christopher Co, agreed not to run for the province’s 2nd district and instead will go for re-election under the AKB party list banner.
“At the series of meetings, a sensitive discussion was raised and the agreement that my participation (running for Congress) would need sacrifice and bring unity under one ticket that would lead to a positive political development with a vision, resiliency, sustained efforts aimed at an inclusive growth of Albay,” he added.
Salceda an economist said economic development — what and how it is to be pursued and pushed — will always follow the ecosystem of politics.
His announcement was the third statement he made this August following an earlier declaration in June that he would run as congressman in the 2nd district of Albay. On Aug. 11, he announced that he would no longer run for an elective post and instead help Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas in his national campaign for the president in 2016.
Salceda’s declarations drew mixed reactions from nitizens, wherein majority would not believe that he would back out from a political fight, claiming it is just a “political-psychological warfare.”
The Albay governor on Sunday led some 200 provincial officials and employees of Albay in a Unity Walk for promoting inclusive participation in local governance at the SMX convention center here, hosted by the Department of Interior and Local Government. (PNA)