Pampanga bet for vice gov says fight is vs dynasty

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MAGALANG, Pampanga—To defeat the son of Gov. Lilia Pineda and bring back check and balance in the provincial government are driving lawyer Maria Amalia Tiglao-Cayanan to campaign hard despite limited resources.

Cayanan, the Liberal Party (LP) candidate for vice governor, said Dennis Pineda, the governor’s son and running mate, should not have vied for public office in the first place.

“Political dynasty at the local level is inimical to progress,” said  Cayanan, who is running with former Gov. Eddie Panlilio.

“One of the basic features of our democratic system of government is check and balance and separation of powers. If one family controls both the executive and legislative departments, there is the danger of concentrating too much power in that family, the result of which will be to compromise transparency and accountability,” she said.

Cayanan, 39, said it was Panlilio who invited her to complete the LP tandem.

“I had no plans of joining politics but I could not refuse his offer since I believe in my heart that it is the right thing to do,” she said.

Dennis Pineda, on the other hand, is determined to win to “help my mother through legislative efforts.”

The Pineda family, he said, is not building a political dynasty.

“The people asked us to serve. There was clamor. We did not put ourselves in politics,” he said.

Ferdinand Labung, a contractor who is seeking a seat in the provincial board, confirmed he initiated the campaign for Dennis, 39, to run for vice governor.

With a commerce degree, Dennis began as director of a local electric cooperative. After stints as councilor of Lubao, he completed three terms as mayor of the town, serving also as president of the Pampanga Mayors’ League and treasurer of the country’s league of mayors.

His sister, Mylyn, is unopposed in her reelection bid as mayor of Lubao. His wife, Yolanda, is seeking a third term as mayor of Sta. Rita.

Dennis said he has not violated any law because none exists against political dynasties. He said he has a track record of public service. “This is what will matter to voters,” he added.

Cayanan said whether there was a clamor for Dennis to run as vice governor, delicadeza (propriety) should have prevailed. Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon

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