STA CATALINA, Ilocos Sur — Cool and composed as usual.
Mayor Edgar “Plong” Rapanut of this town reiterated his stand that the negative impact of politics won’t affect his principle that building good relationships, whether with political allies or not, is still the best way of governing his constituents, whether during campaign periods or not.
In a recent exclusive interview with the Ilocos Sur Integrated Press for its Kapihan Iti Amianan Media Forum Program for airing at Iluko Heritage Channel 16, Rapanut appealed to the media, the Philippine National Police, the Comelec, the Church and all concerned citizens to help Sta. Catalina achieve an Honest, Orderly And Peaceful Elections (HOPE) in view of reports that there are already cases of intimidation and fear-sowing activities in Sta. Catalina by some sectors in order to affect the decision of the people comes May 13 elections.
“I am aware that there are common practices during campaign period which have already become a part of our culture, but I don’t go with politics of sowing intimidation and fear among our people. I repeat, I have not lost my confidence and trust in our people that someday, politics will only be based on politics of good performance and good relationships,” he said.
He said that, like his father, the late Mayor Porfirio Rapanut, he loves his town more than any place else, but unlike him who was a “brave and honcho” town leader, he despises violence as a way of political governance.
“I cannot sacrifice good relationships in governance. I am here to offer myself as an instrument in changing our political way of thinking that winning can be achieved by sowing intimidation and fear among our people,” he said.
Earlier before the start of the campaign period, he said that “violence will gain him nothing.”
“What will I get if I engage them? That won’t improve relationships. Diak pulos nakirirriri (I didn’t quarrel with anybody) and I don’t select people to help. I prefer that everybody is happy and we just let the people decide,” he said then.
Rapanut, one of those “non-sitting mayors” in the country, said that one of his primary goals is to protect the shoreline of Sta. Catalina from being eroded by the sea. He said that previously, around one kilometer of land area has already been “eaten” by the sea and he is determined to protect the shoreline at all cost.
“I will never allow blacksand mining here in Sta. Catalina,” he said.
Currently, he is working to finish the 4th phase of the municipal building where all agency heads will soon be having their own offices. He also mentioned about the currently being constructed multipurpose building where the 2nd floor will eventually be occupied by the Sangguniang Bayan.
Mayor “Plong” is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) whose first term as a mayor earned for Sta. Catalina SGLG (Seal of Good Governance) awards. He is in tandem with Former Councilor Jojo Redoble as his vice mayor and they will be challenged by Former Mayor Carlos Asuncion and incumbent Vice Mayor Tony Rabang.