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Brillantes: I won’t withdraw from mayoralty race

SAN JUAN, Ilocos Sur — Atty. Cesar Brillantes of this town reiterated his position that he won’t withdraw from the mayoralty race despite the insinuations and pleas from some sectors.

Brillantes will be running anew as mayor of this town, this time against Vice Mayor Elaine Sarmiento, the daughter-in-law of incumbent Mayor Benjamin Sarmiento.

In an exclusive interview with the Ilocos Sur Integrated Press in his house over the weekend, Brillantes said he is running for the third time “to instigate that change that the town badly needs.”

“Waya ti siasinoman ti mangipeksa ti kapanunotanna; waya ti siasinoman ti tumaray, makipagpartisipar iti eleksion agsipud ta addatayo iti democratic society. I must admit I am only a David fighting against a giant, but I trust in God and our people that this time, I will be given the chance. Let merits be the basis in these elections and not intimidation and the power of money,” he said.

When asked about the RA 7171 funds that the town is receiving, he said that the funds “should benefit the farmers more” and that once given the chance, he will see to it that these funds will be used properly to directly benefit the farmers.

“Aside from the tobacco farmers’ plights, our town also needs an e-library coupled with a free Wi-Fi system in major business establishments and government agencies for use by everyone. We are now in the computer age and we need to cope up with computer technology to benefit our farmers, fishermen, OFWs and our millennials especially students where they can research,” he said.

He is eyeing the conversion of the old municipal building into a municipal library and archives where students can research if elected. He also said that he is batting for the construction of a dialysis center and a lying-in establishment for pregnant women which are much-needed by the town and also the development of sports among the youth.

“We should not concentrate only in the popular sports. We have talented table tennis and lawn tennis athletes and we just sent 7 of them to the 2019 Region I Athletic Association (R1AA),” he said.

In health, he said he will see to it that all municipal funds intended for medicines will be used.

“It’s very sad to note that we still lack medicine and once given the chance, I will see to it that all people will be benefited whether they are our allies or not,” he said.

A former town councilor, Brillantes said that it was only during his time from 2004 to 2007 that there were formal and regular weekly sessions in the Sangguniang Bayan which was then presided by the late Richard Varilla, unlike nowadays that the resolutions “have to be brought to the houses of the councilors one by one (for signing).”

“When I was a councilor, we conducted public hearings because I was then the chairman of the Committee on Rules and Justice and all resolutions and ordinances had to pass by my office. If given a chance this time, my administration will be one that has a heart,” he said.

“Gobyernong may puso,” he said.

He also said he has no personal grudge with Mayor Sarmiento and that he respects him as the local town executive.

“We shake hands when we see each other and I don’t have any personal issue with him; I respect him,” he said.

The Ilocos Sur Integrated Press is still trying to contact Vice Mayor Elaine Sarmiento and Mayor Ben Sarmiento for their comments on the issues raised by Brillantes.