Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Ipe Remollo: I'm inclined to run

Former Dumaguete mayor Felipe Antonio "Ipe" Remollo has bared he definitely does not discount the possibility of making a comeback in local politics in the May elections.
“I’m inclined to run,” the 45 year-old told the Chronicle in an exclusive interview.
He said he is seriously weighing certain factors before he makes his final decision.
Remollo did not categorically disclose the position he prefers to participate in the coming elections, saying he is eligible to either comeback as mayor, run for governor, or even for congressman.
“Everything is fluid in politics,” Remollo said.
He added that in politics, the only thing permanent is change.

Conditions to run for mayor

Remollo confirmed that he took some time off his Manila law practice last December to test the waters, quietly feeling the pulse of the people.
He said he will continue to consult other sectors, and hear their sentiments.
He recognized that regaining the mayorship of Dumaguete was pushed by some quarters he talked with during the holidays.
He however cited stern conditions before he will consider running for city hall again.
First, he said is lack of any alternative.
He said if there is no one who will step forward and present a viable and credible alternative to the present administration, then that would be a signal for him to present himself.
“I can present an alternative,” Remollo said.
“I was mayor once. The people can gauge my three-year performance. I have a master-plan for the city which can be re-implemented and continued if I comeback. That is an alternative,” he said.
His second condition is that there must be no other credible alternative.
He explained that those who would run for mayor must not have been associated with, nor have helped the present administration in past elections.
If contenders are associated with the local leadership, then they are not really alternatives, he said.

Governorship or Congressman?

The governorship and a congressional seat are also interesting challenges, the former mayor said. Remollo confirmed that he has been approached by some mayors in the province urging him to run against Rep. Emilio Macias who is touted to regain capitol.

Others are also pushing him to run for congress, since he has also established ties with Manila politicans considering that he has been practicing in Manila for a long time.
As matter of fact, he recalls that in 2004 he was personally urged by President Arroyo to run for Congress. But he politely he declined and instead worked for the President's election.

Gauging Perdices’ performance

Remollo said for the last six years he has never criticized nor posed any obstruction to the administration of mayor Perdices to give him a chance to develop the city.
He was hoping that the masterplan he started during his administration would be pursued.
Unfortunately, the conditions of the city, particularly the peace and order, traffic, the drug problem have gone from bad to worse.

A failure of leadership

Tuting epitomizes a failure of leadership, Remollo said.
He has served as mayor of Dumaguete for seventeen years. What has he done for this city in seventeen years?
“Where is Dumaguete now, after his seventeen years as mayor?” Remollo asked.

Mayor Perdices first became mayor in 1988 until 1998. Remollo was elected in 1998-2001. Perdices came back as mayor in 2001 until th present.
"When senseless killings of the young and innocent, extrajudicial executions happen right at your very nose and remain unsolved; when corruption by local officials are unabated, that is nothing short of a total failure of leadership," Remollo said.

“The problem with Tuting is that he is losing focus,” he said.
“Tuting is salivating to be governor like his father, yet he always wants to play safe,” he explained.
Because of Perdices’ ambition to be governor, he is not concentrating on making Dumaguete a safe and better place, Remollo added.
That is unfair and prejudicial to Dumaguetenos, he said.

But to change Perdices has to be a collective and resolute effort of all stakeholders, he said.
Sacrifices have to be made, he added.
Remollo said he will announce his decision on whether to throw his hat into the political ring in the coming days.

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