(Palawan News is reprinting this opinion piece with permission from the author, Elroy John “Clink” Hagedorn. The writer, the youngest son of former Puerto Princesa mayor Edward Hagedorn, is widely recognized as a successful entrepreneur. Soft-spoken and low profile in character, Clink is not known to participate in public political discourse. His recent posts on social media are an enlightening read – Editors)

Hello, friends. I wish to thank everyone for the positive comments on last week’s post. This time, let me share something about the Vice Governor. There are lots of issues against Dennis Socrates that I believe to be false. Below I have made a list of what I personally hear, but let me tell you who Dennis really is as I see him.

“Dennis cannot stand on his own, he is weak”.

He is not weak. This issue is a shallow criticism seen by those looking for a reason not to support him, exploited and used as propaganda by opponents. I remember how he stood against the controversial Reproductive Health Bill (RH Bill) which was shown on national television, obviously, majority of the legislators were for the creation of the law. He did not buckle under pressure and did what he could to go against it.

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“His personality is too soft”.

I will always be proud of our values as Filipinos. Growing up, my generation, when speaking to older people, we’re taught to use the words “Po” and “Opo” to bow or to say excuse me or makikiraan po when passing in front of them, to kiss their hands, “Mano po”, as a form of greeting and showing respect.

Dennis does some of these when meeting people, especially the elderly. He bows, he ushers, and he lets people walk ahead of him most of the time. This shows how respectful he is.

For me, respect is more important than having a strong and superior personality that is not grounded at all. Would we rather have a leader, that is strong with words, and strong with actions, but would not listen to anybody else’s reasoning and treats the public as inferior beings, or, would we rather have a leader who considers himself a servant of the public, which atones to their mandated title “Public Servant”.
I would go for the latter.

“He was for the division of Palawan”.

Yes he stood for the 3 in 1 campaign which was painful to majority of Palaweños, he stood for it even when he knew it was unpopular.

He knows, I told him numerous times that Palaweños will not allow it. It happened and was proposed in the late 80’s.
Being a student in college I did not agree with it and so did other sectors of our society, that was already a precedent. But, this shows he does not fear doing unpopular things because he had to stand by something he needed to do, a party decision enacted in the council authored by board members, and unanimously supported by the 3 Congressional representatives of Palawan. Eventually, the Philippine congress and almost all the senators except one, a lady senator whom we all know.

What I am pointing out is this. If we will crucify him for his role let us not be selective, let us look closer and include everybody, including the Palaweños who voted for the move, but I doubt it would make us better persons in the process, and if we use the issue to imply protest votes it will be our loss, wala pong kahihinatnan ang Palawan. Yes he was for the division and he stood for it knowing it was unpopular, and this clearly shows he is not weak.

“He will be a puppet governor”

How would we know that, we cannot predict the future. Personally I know Dennis has his way of saying no to things that is not right, and we have not tried him as governor yet, but he is a descendant of a great leader, we cannot accuse him of such.

“He is not like his father. Governor Badong Socrates”.

Who else could be then? If we really consider Governor Badong Socrates a great leader, then we should think of Dennis to be the same, he will always be like his father because he has the same blood running through his veins. Not to mention the time they spent together during his old man’s term in office. Tell me, will he be so different? I don’t think so.

Friends, this is Dennis Socrates as I see him, he hates corruption, he will not steal, he is a God fearing person. This is my opinion and personal view.

Thank you everyone and God bless you all.

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