Davao Norte governor Del Rosario withdraws from Samal mayoral race, cites health reasons
TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte, Philippines – Davao del Norte Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario has announced his withdrawal from the mayoralty race in the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) in Davao del Norte, citing health concerns.
The 81-year-old Del Rosario, a stalwart of the Liberal Party, announced during a meeting with former Davao del Norte Representative Antonio Floirendo Jr. and the local party, Kusog Baryohanon, on Monday, that he has thrown his support to the mayoral bid of erstwhile rival and partymate, Vice Mayor Al David Uy.
The Davao del Norte patriarch, whose 35-year-public service career included holding two Cabinet positions during the Marcos regime, said “frequent sorties in villages as governor have taken a toll on my aging body.”
He said he has been suffering from a lingering back pain caused by slipped disc – a condition characterized by displaced or partially protruding vertebral disc that presses nearby nerves. This has been bothering him for over a decade already.
He said his condition has limited his mobility and prompted his doctors to advise him to take a long rest and quit politics.
“My spirit is more than willing to carry on. But my fragile health is failing me. My doctors stressed that it is high time for me to retire. Heeding their strong advice is crucial to keep my physical well-being,” said Del Rosario, whose son, Anthony, has filed his candidacy for governor of Davao del Norte in next year’s elections.
In a subsequent media statement issued on Tuesday, Del Rosario said he could go through the mayoralty campaign and win it, but administering a city such as Samal, “with so many administrative and development issues besetting it, is another thing.”
“I don’t want to be unfair to the people of Samal later on. My passion to transform and develop Samal is still high. (But) that passion needs a higher level of strength and a very able body, which I am not in a better condition to perform at this point in time,” the governor said.
Due to the latest development, the race for the next occupant of Samal city hall has left Uy and Rogelio Antalan, the first mayor of Samal and the brother of incumbent Mayor Aniano Antalan, in the running.
The governor said he would continue to support and mentor party mates for the development of Samal.
“A good warrior knows when to throw in the towel,” Del Rosario said.
He also vowed to continue serving the people of the island-city and the entire province in whatever capacity even after his retirement in June 2016.
“The challenges of the times are getting more complex and diverse. This era of new public management requires young, brilliant and active transformers,” the governor said. SFM
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