By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.
SORSOGON CITY (BicolToday.com/21-Nov-2012) – The battle lines are now clearly drawn when at 9:34 in the morning today, United Nationalist Alliance City Mayor candidate Christine Lee Rodrigueza-Balita submitted her Withdrawal of Certificate of Candidacy with Substitution under oath at the City Comelec office and within seven minutes, former two term City Mayor Sally Ante Lee certificate of candidacy as city mayor was stamped received by the local Comelec office here thus making her the official party candidate of UNA for the mayoralty post in the May 2013 National and Local elections.
The withdrawal of Rodrigueza-Balita was highly expected and the substitution of her mother, Sally Lee was anticipated. It was the timing of the substitution that caught many by surprised for many believed that it would be coming by the middle of December, within the time frame allowed by law.
Escorted by supporters and well-wishers and witnessed by the tri-media of Sorsogon, the wife of Governor Lee exhibited confidence in her bid to wrest the top city post from the incumbent. Before hand, a holy mass was offered at the family owned chapel attended by the members of their family and circle of supporters which was an indication of the religiosity of the aspirant.
“I have to go on a spiritual retreat, have a deep thought if I can be again of service to the people of Sorsogon City. I seek spiritual guidance, contemplated and came strong in my conviction that I can be, do something, more better for Sorsogon City”, she revealed.
During the interval Sally Lee looking motherly and compose offered few words just telling everyone that a press conference was scheduled.
At the event, the new candidate emphasized the importance of instituting again a “character program” in the city. The program was started during the infancy of Sorsogon City classified as fifth class. It covers discipline, orderliness, punctuality and caring which she said are ingredients to make Sorsogon City as more responsive,vibrant and friendly to its constituents.
This kind of character will do away repressions, intimidation, coercion which was a jab against the incumbent at city hall.
Identifying the land banking which was necessary in order to tap the Gawad Kalinga program for families living in vulnerable areas, the re-aspiring city mayor took another swipe at the present dispensation saying that during her six year term at city hall, lot purchased where priced not more than three hundred thousand pesos per hectare. She was indirectly referring to city hall officials who over valued land acquisition. She referred the National Housing Agency approved site in Barangay Cabid-an, for housing units of deserving families as an effort gone to waste.
Justifying her constant travel abroad during her two-terms in office, the former city chief executive said that it was her travels that the City became recipient’s of funding from foreign funding entities thus freeing the limited internal resources of the city for basic social services which was badly needed for the merging of then Municipality of Bacon being a fifth class municipality and Sorsogon a first class town as Sorsogon City, created more problems for good governance. I was able to deliver the goods, proof are the numerous awards and commendations from national and foreign agencies for the accomplishments and doable programs that were implemented under her watch.
Ending she said, I am a responsible and mature leader. [BicolToday.com]
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