Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza, administration candidate for governor of Pangasinan, on Thursday said voters in the province “now resist traditional politicians’ use of guns, goons and gold.”
Braganza issued the statement in reaction to a Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) report saying that political machinery is likely to decide the race between Braganza and incumbent Gov. Amado Espino, who is running for reelection.
The PDI report said in terms of machinery, Espino has the advantage.
“The days of monolithic party machineries are over. Voters, not party machinery, win elections,” said Braganza.
Braganza cited as examples the victory of President Ramos in 1992 and of President Aquino, who won despite their rivals’ control over the dominant party machinery.
“The voters of Pangasinan are intelligent enough not to be swayed by trapos (traditional politicians) and their dirty tactics,” he said.
Braganza expressed optimism that Pangasinan voters would choose a gubernatorial candidate who has a track record in good governance.
“There are two questions that must be answered truthfully by the current governor. First, is he morally fit to govern? Second, does he honestly believe that he has improved the living condition of Pangasinenses?” Braganza said.
He said many mayors belonging to the Espino camp have expressed willingness to jump ship and transfer to the Liberal Party (LP). But he said the LP in Pangasinan is still examining the track records of the mayors.