By MANNY A. LOSTE
BAGUIO CITY — Scores of incumbent and aspiring politicians from the Cordillera took their oath of membership as Liberal Party members before former Senate President Franklin M. Drilon here last November 20 at the covered court of Bakakeng Central.
Gov. Teddy Baguilat of Ifugao led the mostly yellow-clad local politicians together with some town officials from his province. Vice-Governor Luis Claver of Mt. Province also came with his own delegation. Former Vice-Governor Joseph Delson of Kalinga was also seen in the crowd together with some Kalinga officials.
Baguio’s delegation was led by former councilors Leandro B. Yangot, Jose M. Molintas and Atty. Edilberto Tenefrancia. They were joined by incumbent councilors Alfredo Bagbagen and Isabelo Cosalan, Jr. Also seen taking their oath as LP members were Pablito Gumnad and Alan Mazo. Several barangay officials from Baguio were also seen taking their oath of membership.
Benguet’s delegation was supposed to be led by former Benguet congressman Ronald Cosalan, but he failed to show up during the mass oath-taking. Instead, Greg Abalos was seen leading the new Benguet LP members.
Asked during the press conference, what position he was running for, Engr. Yangot demurred and instead clarified that a unity ticket with other poltical blocs is being formed under the local Liberal Party and their candidates will be selected in the next few days. But he assured everyone that the Baguio LP chapter would be fielding a complete slate from congressman to councilors.
For his part, Drilon boasted that the LP has recruited more than 50% of the local executives in Metro Manila with more incumbent officials from all over the country expected to join the party in the next few days before the deadline of the filing of candidacy on December 1.
Asked about the raucus raised by the resignation of former Senator Serge Osmeña from the LP senatorial line-up over the recruitment of Ralph Recto, Drilon assured the crowd that efforts are being taken by the top party leadership to control the damage done by this early defection of Osmeña.
Earlier, in his keynote address, Drilon lambasted the LP’s rival political parties for being endowed either with riches or power, unlike his party which can only boast of integrity in public service. But he reserved his most stinging criticisms against the incumbent administration which has repeatedly invoked executive privilege to hide crime and corruption like what happened in the investigation of the notorious NBN-ZTE scandal.# nordis.net