BANAT partylist getting support from other provinces – JB Wong
posted 24-Feb-2019  ·  
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Saying that the Barangay Natin partylist group is relying on its best effort to secure votes in Catanduanes, Jardin Brian Wong expressed confidence last week in BANAT’s victory in the May 13, 2019 national and local elections following an outpouring of support from other provinces.

In a meeting with local media at Fernando’s last week, JB Wong disclosed that the group’s strategy is complete and the campaign is now focusing in the provinces.

With BANAT ranking 7th in the list of most-talked about partylist groups, he thanked the team of Sen. Manny Pacquiao for allowing it to air its advocacy 16 times during the live TV coverage of his recent fight in the United States and thus bring its message to barangays across the country.

On the issue of his mother and brother both gunning for seats in the Lower House by different means, JB said they do not see any conflict in having Cely Wong running for congressman and PBM Joseph Al-Randie Wong as nominee of BANAT, noting that Tip-tip is just a nominee and thus can be replaced anytime.

“We don’t see it as a liability,” he said. “What we need to see is how BANAT can augment the lone district’s budget. Hindi kakayanin ng pondo ng congressman o governor to address the barangays’ needs.”

He also cited the possibility that Catanduanes could have two voices in Congress, or three if the partylist group of former Vice Gov. Jose Teves Jr. also secures enough votes.

“We are campaigning for the BANAT partylist group and not PBM Tip-tip,” JB stressed. “It’s already a sacrifice for him as he has already established a following in the province.”

He disclosed that many provinces such as Isabela, Iloilo, Cebu, Sorsogon, Quezon, Bulacan, Davao del Norte, and Zamboanga have already thrown their support behind BANAT.

As for Catanduanes, JB bared, there is no locked-in vote from the island as they will rely on their best efforts.

“We will not make promises in convincing the voters,” he said, adding that for a partylist to gain a seat in the House, it needs at least 300,000 votes, as well as 700,000 for two seats and over a million for three seats due to the many partylist groups running in the elections.

“We are working on name recall,” JB emphasized. “We need patience. Kailangan gapangin ang lahat ng towns to convince people. Lahat ng probinsiya pare-pareho ang problema – kulang ang pondo ng mga barangay.”

“BANAT’s goal is to institutionalize reform in the barangays, so that they would not be used as tools for political purposes,” he added.

Describing the group’s advocacy as very encouraging, JB revealed that while his mother Cely’s focus is on Catanduanes, she is helping in her own way through her connections, with most of those promising their support connected to her in some way.

As for Cely’s positive showing in the surveys for Congress, the former gubernatorial candidate said they don’t want to concentrate on surveys but rather on the need to persevere in continuously strengthening the Wong organization.

“We are confident but not overconfident,” JB said, saying that while many political leaders have pledged their support, the campaign has yet to finalize its decision on supporting local bets. “If ever we forge an alliance, we’ll make sure we have the same advocacies.”

As for the gubernatorial race being contested by Gov. Joseph Cua and Cong. Cesar Sarmiento, he said that they will allow their supporters to make the choice.

“We are very open, we reach out to the other parties,” JB said, adding that political opponents need to remain friends after the elections.

Regarding the family’s businesses, he proudly reported that the P2 billion Aspire office building project composed of 11 floors of 10 office units each has already been sold out.

Our next project is to convert Golden Bay Restaurant into a five-star hotel that would be completed in 2022, he said.

“I have no serious romantic engagements at this time,” JB told the local press. “My priority for now is our family’s needs, so anyone I date would have to be patient.”

His father, Bong Wong, wants another grandchild while his mother, who will be 60 this coming April, has been reinvigorated by the “very exciting” campaign and wants to leave a good legacy on behalf of the Wong family.

As for the shabu lab case against the Wong brothers still pending before the Department of Justice, JB said the DOJ’s sudden decision to reinstate charges against them is undergoing review but they are confident of the dismissal of the case.

“But we still want to see the real perpetrators brought to justice,” he stated,

Asked on the possibility of his returning to the political stage, JB wants to leave the decision to God for now.

    “If there is an opportunity and proper guidance, I am ready,” he said.

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