Libmanan face off: Bulaong vs. Jimenez in 2016

LIBMANAN, CAMARINES SUR— “If it is true that Congressman Dato Arroyo will run for mayor of Libmanan, I am willing to be his running mate. Otherwise, I am ready to run for mayor.”

Left: Marilyn Jimenez, Right: Romel Bulaong
These were the bold words of Vice Mayor Romel Bulaong in an exclusive interview by BICOL STANDARD today regarding the political developments in this town.

Shift in alliances

Bulaong articulated that a new political group is expected to emerge as a result of the sudden decision of Mayor Marilyn Jimenez to abandon Cong. Dato Arroyo and his political allies, and merge with the camp of former governor LRay Villafuerte.

LRay, the opponent of Cong. Arroyo last election in the congressional race in the 2nd district of Camarines Sur, also campaigned relentlessly to crash the re-election bid of Jimenez.

Cong. Arroyo, however, won by a convincing majority over the then governor of the province.

“I am sorry”—Mayor Jimenez

Yesterday, Jimenez declared over BBS-DWLV that apart from her husband and two other trusted allies, she had not consulted, notified, nor informed anybody of her decision to shift to the opposing political fence.

While on the brink of shedding tears, Jimenez claimed that her decision to junk her former allies and political patrons was made with a heavy heart.

“I am sorry. I am very sorry, but I have to decide, because I am a leader,” she explained.

She said that she had no choice but to swallow her pride.

Otherwise, she claimed, her administration will remain hostage by the majority members of the Sangguniang Bayan, which is controlled by the former governor.

She admitted that the 2014 Annual Budget could not get the majority vote of the Sangguniang Bayan.

The only way to get the approval is by joining the majority group of LRay even if it would mean abandoning my partymates, she added.

Fighting spirit

Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Bulaong, nephew of Libmanan’s favorite son, and former Governor Jose “Nonoy” Bulaong revealed that he has no choice but to face the prevailing political reality.

In a meeting today at the residence of Cong. Arroyo, Bulaong said that he is in high morale because a good majority of their original allies remains with them.

Two days ago, while momentarily stunned by the news that Jimenez dumped them, Bulaong regained political strength when he saw new faces pledging their support for him. Most of them come from the youth sector, he said.

“I see a much stronger, more vigilant and younger group of political leaders now. They are more decided, determined, and aggressive to come forward to put a new face and to save the dignity of our town from the clutches of recycled leaders. We need to have a sense of direction for the future of this premier municipality,” he enthused.

Meanwhile, as of press time, the meeting is still ongoing.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM
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