Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Belen Fernandez vs Benjamin Lim in Dagupan City

The City Election Office here has confirmed that the mayorship of Dagupan is now a one-on-one fight after the namesake of Vice Mayor Belen Tan Fernandez, the official candidate of the Liberal Party (LP) in the city, has voluntarily withdrawn from the race last Saturday.

City Elections Officer lawyer Remarque Ravanzo accepted the affidavit of Belen Tamondong Fernandez, 66, a widow, at 3:20 p.m. Saturday, stating her reasons for withdrawal in her candidacy for mayor.

Thus, the mayoralty fight here is now narrowed down between Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez of the LP and reelectionist Mayor Benjamin Lim of the Nacionalista Party.

In her affidavit subscribed and sworn before lawyer Victoria Cabrera, the widow manifested that she had no genuine desire to run for any elective office and neither has she any capacity to sustain her candidacy.

She admitted further that she was convinced by influential people who she can not refuse to file her COC for mayor.

Ravanzo said she immediately submitted the affidavit of withdrawal of Belen Tamondong Fernandez to the Comelec Law Department in Manila and the Comelec provincial and regional offices for their information.

Belen Tamondong Fernandez, who belongs to a poor family in Barangay Bonuan Gueset and is engaged in buy and sell whenever she has capital, admitted she was fetched by certain people, one of them a former village councilor, in the morning of Oct. 5 because a ranking city official wanted to see her.

Belen Tamondong Fernandez is a frail woman and looked sickly in contrast with the vice mayor of Dagupan who is a tall woman and has a large body frame.

However, the fact that the two Fernandezes have the same given name, middle initial and surname will surely confuse voters during the election.

After learning that her namesake was made to sign a prepared COC without even knowing what is it in the house of a city official, Vice Mayor Fernandez said she pities the woman who she said was only misguided.

Corollary to this, Vice Mayor Fernandez and her runningmate Michael Fernandez appealed to their opponents to campaign within the bounds of law and not resort to dirty tactics that may muddle the conduct of honest, fair and peaceful elections.

In an interview, the vice mayor lamented that this cunning maneuver directed against her was made just at the filing of COCs, an indication that her opponents will stop at nothing in order to put down her.

Vice Mayor Fernandez hugged the teary-eyed Belen Tamondong Fernandez after the latter realized her mistake and withdrew her candidacy, saying the woman was just a victim of a plan to deceive the people of the city .

Meanwhile, former councilor Michael Fernandez, who is running for city vice mayor, said the Liberal Party which they belong believe in fair play and expects their opponents to do the same.

At the same time, lawyer Jose Netu Tamayo, a candidate for councilor under the Fernandez-Fernandez tandem sees malice in some people who induced the old woman to run for mayor.

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