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Political promise and peril in Quezon 2nd district: Procy Alcala vs Jayjay Suarez - 2

Tumbas Manipis
by John A. Bello

David ‘Jayjay’ Suarez is the sitting governor and has been at it since 2010 and he has only up to June 30 for his 3rd and last term. He started his political career as councilor in his hometown of Unisan, went on to become president of the province’ councillors league to automatically sit as member of the Sangguniang Panglalawigan, then he ran for vice governor and won and in his second try in the gubernatorial race, after first losing in 2007 to then congressman Rafael Nantes, he succeeded in 2010 to beat Nantes in the latter’s 2nd term. The young Suarez’ winning streak brought him past his 2nd and 3rd term and this coming May 13 elections, he has decided to throw his hat for the congressional race in the 2nd district, for what else is there to go for him but forward to a congressional seat where he can learn his way around in the legislative arena and, who knows, be like his father, House Minority Floor Leader, Danilo Suarez, who has become a national political figure who gets to hobnob with other political denizens in the national political scene.

On the other hand, Proceso ‘Procy’ Alcala has been congressman before he was appointed Secretary of Agriculture by then Pres. Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III. He was elected on the strength of his civic-oriented activities and environment advocacy even when he was still a private citizen, a plain businessman who is a land developer who founded Cotta Realty Development Corp. and who even then has partnered with environment group Tanggol Kalikasan on protection of Mt. Banahaw and on his own, initiated coastal cleanup and mangrove planting activities in coastal barangays of Lucena city and Sariaya. His interest also included farming and agricultural development which led to the successful establishment of Sentrong Pamilihan, a vegetable trading center located in Sariaya which takes care of the farmers produce not only in that town but in the whole 2nd district and even as far as Bicol and Laguna and Batangas provinces whose farmers produce landed in Sentrong Pamilihan to insure their profitability and sustainable farming activity.

Anyway you look at it, there is no doubt that the coming electoral fight between Gov. Jayjay Suarez and former congressman and agriculture secretary Procy Alcala is quite stirring and bears watching and waiting in the entire province from the start of the election campaign for local officials on March 29 up to May 11 and on the slambang day of reckoning itself, May 13, when 393,323 total registered voters of the 2nd District, or at least a majority of the registered will troop to voting centers and express their voting power from the 12 senatorial candidates down to city and town councilors.

The province’ 2nd district is considered to be the most progressive of all the 4 districts of Quezon and rightly so as it is where the province’ capital city, Lucena, is strategically located. Here is where the hub of economic, agricultural and cultural activities mostly take place. The 2 biggest shopping malls – SM and Pacific-Metro – and most of the trading activities are here, the provincial Kapitolyo where Niyogyugan festival is held yearly in August and draws thousands of visitors, the Sentrong Pamilihan ng Produktong Agrikultura is in Sariaya where agricultural trading activities are brisk and benefitting the district’s vegetable and fruit farmers, among others, are here in the 2nd district. And this district happens to be the political bailiwick of the Alcalas – Lucena city mayor is Roderick ‘Dondon’ Alcala, and the district representative is the incumbent Cong. Vicente ‘Kulit’ Alcala who is in his second term but has filed his certificate of candidacy for provincial governor. And of course most of the municipal mayors of the 2nd district have politically aligned themselves with the Alcalas – Macario Boongaling of Candelaria, Mario Milan, Jr. of Dolores and Marcelo Gayeta of Sariaya. San Antonio mayor Erick Wagan and mayor Ramon Preza of Tiaong may have already opted to go for the Suarez camp which has been visible all over the district already since last year but the inhabitants, the voters themselves of the 2 towns could very well still be enamoured of the Alcalas – Procy, Irvin and Kulit who have held successively the political district since 2004 when Procy made his political debut as congressman.

Three Alcala congressmen in the 2nd district is no joking matter just like the alternating husband and wife tandem of Danilo and Aleta Suarez who have been elected succesively in their own political backyard of the 3rd District – each of them have invested big and small infrastructure and various development projects and programs which have surely been imprinted in the minds and hearts of the voters of both districts.