Three cornered fight for Olongapo top post

It will be a battle that will literally shake the city of Olongapo after two of the most influential political family face off in the coming May 2010 election.
For the past elections it was a battle between the shorthanded opposition and the dominant Gordon family.
In the coming May 2010 elections however, their will be no more proxy fight, it’s a fight between incumbent Mayor James ‘Bong’ Gordon Jr. and Former Zambales Governor Vicente ‘Govic’ Magsaysay and an independent candidate by the name of Jerome Bacay.
For the most part of the city’s history the Godron family ruled the political arena of the city breaking the winning streak only twice. The first time was in 1971 when Dr. Geronimo Lipumano won over Amelia Gordon and in 1986 when Ted Macapagal was appointed as Mayor of the city.
In the past five elections all of the opposition lost to either to Kate Gordon, the wife of Senator Richard Gordon or his younger brother Bong Gordon Jr.
In 1995 Doroteo Rocha, (1998) Ed Piega, (2001) Bobby Flore all lost to Kate Gordon while in 2004 Gider Malabute and (2006) Rolen Paulino lost to James ‘Bong’ Gordon Jr.
In 2004 Mitos Magsaysay, who is the wife of Jesus Vicente ‘JV’ Magsaysay the eldest son of Vicmag won in a landslide against Kate Gordon for the 1st district congressional seat.
This was the first direct fight between the two political clan although it involved 3 other towns namely Subic, Castillejos and San Marcelino.
Many said that it was a test for the Magsaysay’s but during the 2006 election Mitos Magsaysay wobbled against former Zambales Vice Governor Ramon Lacbain who teamed up with the Gordon’s.
“This will be a good fight between the Gordon’s and Magsaysay” a resident who asked not to named said.
“Both candidates has the machinery, local leaders and most of all, money to spare,” the resident said.
“The Magsaysay have already penetrated Olongapo by way of Mitos and she for her part has done good for the people, the same thing with the Gordon, namely Bong (Gordon), Mitos has already slightly open the door of the Magsaysay, its up to Vicmag to open it widely but off course the Gordon’s will push the door close. Ultimately the people will be the one who decide during election day,” she added.
In an interview, Magsaysay said that the he was prompted to run by the people of Olongapo, the issue surrounding electricity dept of the city and land titles that the local government has to issued for decades.
“Itong P2.5 billion, almost P3 billion na unaccounted for ay pera ng maliliit. Lahat tayo nagbabayad sa oras at tama, saan napunta ang binayad natin sa Public Utilities department ng syudad?” Magsaysay asked.
‘I am running only on two main issues, the huge debt with Napocor and the issue of land titling. Olongapo has remained backward compared to the Subic Bay Freeport because of these two issues. Less that 10% have land titles because the city hall continues to refuse clearing the land for titling,’ Magsaysay explained.

‘If I win,’ he added, ‘getting land titles will be free to anyone who wants to have it. I’ve done it in Zambales and I will do it here.’
‘This will be like the Paquiao vs Mayweather fight. It will be a blockbuster and Olongapo will be better for it,’ Ed de Guzman a former union leader, ‘because finally issues will be asked and the incumbents will be forced to answer them.’
The Gordon specifically incumbent Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. has yet to grant and interview regarding his candidacy and other issue.
Third force
Despite being partyless, lack of campaign funds and contending with two of the powerful political clan in the city Jerome Bacay filed his certificate of candidacy as Mayor of the city.
‘The people of Olongapo needs to have a choice other than mayor James Gordon, Jr. and (former Zambales) gov. Vicente Magsaysay. I am running on the issue of anti-curruption, pro-transparency and good governance. We are the third choice this May,’ Bacay said in a interview last Monday.
Bacay is the barangay chairman of Sta. Rita, the biggest of the 17 barangays in the city. He ran as independent in 2007 and convincingly defeated the bets of mayor Gordon and former governor Magsaysay.
And he does not care if both have tons of money for the election.
A Saudi-boy and the son of the peoples doctor of the city Jerome Bacay is currently the barangay chairman of Sta. Rita, the biggest of the 17 barangays in the city. He ran as independent in 2007 and convincingly defeated the bets of mayor Gordon and former governor Magsaysay.
His first act as chairman is to post the income and expense statement of the Sta. Rita in strategic places. Some even volunteered their fences as posting area. ‘Kahit saan at kahit sino ang gusto magpost, sige lang. Para malaman ng tao kung saan napupunta ang pera nila,” she adds.

And his anti-corruption campaign did ruffle the feathers of his council. ‘Walang 10 percent dito sa amin,’ referring to the kickback usually given by suppliers.

‘Nagkaroon nga kami ng hindi pagkakaintindihan ilang mga kagawad ko. Kasi, legal daw ang 10%. Sabi ko kapag may naipakita kayo na legal, ok. Kung wala, wala,’ the jovial executive recounted. with John Bayarong

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