LINGAYEN, Pangasinan—Hundreds of political leaders in Pangasinan recently took their oath of affiliation with the ruling Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan or PDP-Laban at the Sison Auditorium here.
Fifth district Rep. Amado T. Espino Jr. was inducted as PDP-Laban president for Pangasinan along with his son, Governor Amado “Pogi” Espino III, and Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Z. Calimlim Jr.
PDP-Laban national vice chairman and Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, on behalf of party chairman President Rodrigo Duterte, administered the oath to the Espinos and Calimlim
The elder Espino then led the oathtaking of all members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, followed by 16 incumbent mayors and the mass oathtaking of some 300 political leaders from various parts of the province.
Cusi said the President “has been very appreciative” of Pangasinan’s overwhelming response to his advocacies to eliminate illegal drugs, corruption and criminality in the country.
“We will push for real change under the leadership of President Duterte,” said Cusi, who also noted the elder Espino’s brand of governance, which enabled Pangasinan to become the fourth-best performing province in the country. This was from a low of 64th in 2007 before the current lawmaker assumed his first term as governor.
The elder Espino said that the mass affiliation of Pangasinan’s leaders to PDP-Laban was “a reassuring statement of support” to the Duterte administration.
Rep. Espino recalled that Duterte visited him twice, the first in January 2015 when he was still contemplating whether to run for president, and a month before the May 9 elections when the longtime Davao City mayor sought the support of Pangasinenses for his presidential bid.
Espino, on the other hand, stressed that the zeal of his provincial leadership complements President Duterte’s platforms of good governance, as he extended the all-out support of the officials of the province for the Chief Executive’s programs and projects.
Cusi was accompanied by former Pagcor Chairman Efraim C. Genuino, PDP-Laban deputy secretary general Melvin Matibag, Energy Undersecretary Donato Marcos, and PNOC president Ruben Lista, among others. First District Rep. Jesus “Boying” Celeste, who had been sworn in earlier with PDP-Laban, also attended the ceremony.