Ramos backing ‘big break’ but seen not enough to beat incumbent

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DAGUPAN CITY—A political analyst here Friday said while former President Fidel V. Ramos’ endorsement of Hernani Braganza as candidate for governor is the Alaminos mayor’s biggest break yet, it won’t be sufficient to ensure Braganza’s victory.

Perla Legaspi, former vice chancellor of the University of the Philippines in Diliman and now program chair of the Lyceum Northwestern University graduate school here, said Ramos alone would not propel Braganza to win the race against incumbent Gov. Amado Espino.

Legaspi, in an earlier interview, said voters usually go for someone “who has performed well, someone who’s been tested, like Espino.”

“People speak highly of Governor Espino because he is really a performing governor. He had done many things that had been ignored by other governors,” she said.

Legaspi, however, said Ramos still enjoys clout. “The former President still has some influence, that’s why,” said Legaspi.

Legaspi said the endorsement of Ramos’ sister, former Sen. Leticia Ramos-Shahani, of Espino would be good for the reelectionist governor because “she also has clout.”

“She is the sister of FVR (Ramos) and she’s a known personality in Pangasinan. Her voice can add more votes for Espino,” Legaspi said.

Ramos endorsed Braganza, who is running under the Liberal Party (LP), during a family reunion last week in Asingan town. Braganza is Ramos’ nephew.

“May you continue to help our town be a happy place to live in and may you also continue to make Pangasinan one of the greatest provinces in the country,” Shahani told Espino during the Asingan fiesta’s Barangay Night.

The Nationalist People’s Coalition, which is supporting Espino, has not issued a statement regarding Ramos’ endorsement.

Legaspi said Ramos’ support for Braganza would help him draw votes from eastern Pangasinan, where the former President’s hometown, Asingan, is located.

Shahani said Espino worked hard “following the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) standard of good government so we captured some of the leading awards of governance in the region.”

The former senator’s son, Board Member Ranjit Shahani, is an LP member but he has also backed Espino. Inquirer Northern Luzon

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