They came from diverse backgrounds : One is a political chip off the old block, the other, a young politician from a new political clan, while the third, a dyed in the wool political operator from the masses. If there is something common about them, it was their stint at the Provincial Board where they first honed their parliamentary skills.
Of the three, no one doubts that Cong. Chicoy’s election to the Board in 2010 was but a temporary sojourn while waiting for the completion of his father, Cong. Tony Alvarez’ term as First District Congressman. Then BM Chicoy acquitted himself well at the Provincial Board where he was the recognized leader of the PPP block. As a neophyte solon, he was one of the ” Anak ” ni Mar, a group of young legislators close to then presidential aspirant Mar Roxas . Now on his second term, he heads one of the most powerful House committees, the Committee on Legislative Franchises. With him there, we hope to see the full ” signaling “of the first district, and of the entire province, courtesy of the major telco operators with their franchises up for extension.
Cong. Gil Acosta could easily qualify as one of the most colorful politicians we have in our midst now. A known strategist and media man, he had worked closely with the legendary Speaker Ramon V. Mitra, one of the most astute politicians of our times. After his term as City Councilor of Puerto Princesa ended, he transferred to the First District where he was District Officer and point person of then Cong. Vicente “”Brown” Sandoval. Eventually winning a seat in the Provincial Board, it was there where he got the attention of businessman Jose Chavez Alvarez, then aspiring for the top position of the province. He was ready for retirement after his term in the Board ended, until a confluence of events brought him back to the Puerto Princesa to do battle with then incumbent Congressman Douglas Hagedorn in what was considered by many as a losing battle- until Gov. JCA flexed his muscle to carry the day for Ka barangay Gil. As a neophyte solon, the congressman has done his homework, networking with government offices, and chalking-up membership in the House Appropriations committee, no mean feat for one who was a reluctant congressional candidate in the first place.
Humble to a fault, Cong. Erick is every inch a public servant in the mould of his father, former Congressman and Deputy Speaker Alfredo”Amor” Abueg and that of his grandfather, the late Governor Alfredo M. Abueg. Cong. Erick surprised everyone with his unexpected designation as Deputy Speaker of the current Congress, certainly a position of privilege in the House. Cong. Erick’s rise in politics is nothing but meteoric.Topping the Provincial Board elections in the second district in 2010, he served as Floor Leader of the Board until he broke ties with then Governor Baham Mitra to run for Congress against another political scion, Monmon Mitra. Running unopposed last elections, the young Abueg has proven his leadership in the District with his solid performance, hard work and unsullied integrity. As one of the recognized and trusted work horses of the House in providing legislative support to the Duterte administration, Cong. Erick will have to translate his new found power into more projects for his district, and ultimately for the whole province of Palawan.
Once the dependable boys of the Provincial Board, the three solons are now the big boys in the big league. They are the face of present Palawan politics whose every performance will be measured by a new generation of voters who have grown skeptical of politicians. The challenge then is for them to give new meaning and depth to public service in a way that will inspire young Palawenos out there to follow their footsteps, and thus make a difference in our generation.
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