The second district of Zambales, left with no representative in the Congress due to the demise of Antonio Diaz on August 3, 2011, is going to have a special election on 4 February 2012.
The COMELEC is yet to announce the parameters of the special election, but the wannabes through their supporters are already out in the field and in the internet plastering their faces and names as well as programs they would like to pursue.
Among the aspirants are scions of long time rivals in Zambales political derby with some new and old faces.
The people received the news with mixed views. With the ongoing problem of mining and unemployment in the area, the people would like to have a representative that will stop the operations of open-pit mining and will lift the people from poverty. Compared to the other provinces in the region of Central Luzon, development in Zambales is dismal, Pampanga, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and Bataan are leading the way. Thus, most of the people of Zambales seek employment in other parts of the country or abroad.
Others welcome the development as they will be given another chance to choose their representative, yet others said, “It’s just another contest between the powerful clans, we the ordinary people are just their pawns.”
How the candidates will handle these issues will matter in the election, especially in Sta. Cruz, Candelaria and Masinloc, the three northernmost towns where the people are already fed up from the inaction of the incumbent local officials. The candidates have to take primarily the issue of mining seriously to win the special election. Sta. Cruz and Masinloc are two of the three vote rich towns.
Benito E. Molino