By By Fernan A. Gianan
A RUDE CHRISTMAS GIFT FROM THE SP
posted 28 days ago  ·  
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Businessman Hector Sanchez certainly looks more serious in the current run-up to the 2019 elections than his previous run in 2016.

He and running mate Gov. Joseph Cua has been going around the province and meeting with their barangay leaders, who were reportedly more than happy to receive five kilos of rice from Sanchez as their early Christmas gift.

Assuming that his message comes through to Team 1 leaders and supporters, he will have to continue his grassroots strategy in order to convince voters that he really means business in wanting to be congressman. Taking advantage of Gov. Cua’s wide popularity and extensive local support will help him boost his numbers ahead of the May elections.

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Also showing up more often in the island province is former Governor Araceli Wong and his campaign manager, son JB Wong.

The one-term capitol chief executive is considered the dark horse by many political observers, who have marveled at the Wong family’s deep pockets that seem never to empty after successive electoral campaigns in this vote-buying island.

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Atty. Jorge Sarmiento is no slouch either, as far as going to the barangays and mixing with the common people is concerned, but he has to do it as often as he can before the campaign sets in.

He is the one that the voters in the countryside needs to see, as his rivals, Sanchez, Wong and former Cong. Joseph Santiago are embedded in the memories of those who participated in past elections.

Cong. Cesar Sarmiento believes he and his elder brother have what it takes to win in 2019: a reliably organized group of leaders and supporters, a partnership that will withstand intrigues and financial wrangling that mark fragile political alliances of convenience, and, of course, a huge war chest.

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That was a rather rude Christmas gift that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, through the Committee on Ways & Means headed by PBM Raffy Zuniega and the local assessors, gave to property owners several months ago.

Last year, the provincial board did the right thing by passing a resolution enjoining all 11 Sangguniang Bayans to review and submit recommendations to the proposed ordinance relative to the revision of the schedule of market values for real properties for 2017 in their respective towns.

Most of the municipal councils apparently did a review of the market values but were not able to discern its effect on the real property tax assessments. It was only this December, the month conscientious property owners pay the realty tax to avail of the 20 percent discount, that they learned that the real property taxes more than doubled compared to the 2017 levels.

Apparently, despite airing their view during the SP public hearing that their constituents were not consulted on the matter, the members of the local councils never called for public hearings to discuss the issue directly with the affected sectors.

*****

THE TIE. A traveller becomes lost in the Sahara desert. Realizing his only chance for survival is to find civilization, he begins walking. Time passes, and he becomes thirsty. More time passes, and he begins feeling faint.

He is on the verge of passing out when he spies a tent about 500 meters in front of him. Barely conscious, he reaches the tent and calls out, “Water!”

A Bedouin appears in the tent door and replies sympathetically, “I am sorry, Sir, but I have no water. However, would you like to buy a tie?”

With this, he brandishes a collection of exquisite silken neckwear.

“You fool,” gasps the man. “I’m dying! I need water!”

“Well, sir,” replies the Bedouin, “if you really need water, there is a tent about 2 kilometers south of here where you can get some.”

The man summons sufficient strength to drag his parched body to the second tent. With the last bit of strength, he tugs at the door of the tent and collapses.

Another Bedouin, dressed in a costly tuxedo, appears at the door and inquires, “May I help you sir?”

“Water!” is the feeble reply.

“Oh, Sir,” replies the Bedouin. “I’m sorry, but you can’t come in here without a tie!”


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