January 13, 2018
ILOILO – Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. will be among the 4,000 officials from the 3rd District who will take their oath as new members of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) of President Rodrigo Duterte on Jan. 18.
The governor said PDP-Laban secretary-general and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez will administer their oath-taking.
Defensor will be joined by sons 3rd District’s Cong. Arthur Defensor Sr. and Provincial Board member Lorenz Defensor. The others are municipal mayors, vice mayors, councilors, barangay captains and barangay council members in the 3rd District.
However, according to the governor, Maasin town’s Mayor Mariano Malones was still undecided whether to join the party or not.
Malones earlier said he planned to quit politics. In 2016 President Rodrigo Duterte accused him of being an illegal drug protector – a charge that the mayor vehemently denied.
After the oath-taking ceremony, Defensor said, representatives from the Speaker’s bureau will conduct a lecture on federalism.
Alvarez invited the Defensors to join the ruling party last Aug. 13, 2017 when he administered the mass oath-taking of new PDP-Laban members in Iloilo City and Guimaras province at the Iloilo Convention Center.
Defensor had been a member of the Liberal Party since 2013. He was supposed to take his oath as PDP-Laban member last Nov. 23, 2017 but this was postponed due to a conflict in Alvarez’s schedule.
According to the governor, his shift to PDP-Laban would be a big help in the delivery, approval and implementation of big-ticket projects in Iloilo.
Among the proposed projects here were the improvement of the Iloilo Airport and construction of the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge.
Defensor also cited “practical politics” in deciding to leave Liberal Party. The political career of his congressman son was a big factor, he admitted.
“I’d be a hypocrite if I say my decision has nothing to do with politics. I told PDP-Laban my son is interested to become governor. I made the message clear,” said Defensor.
According to the governor, “If Toto wants to win an election, the administration party can greatly help him. That is practical politics. That is the reality of politics. We don’t have the money to buy votes.”
The governor, now in his third term, is barred by law from seeking a fourth consecutive term.
In all the elections both father and son participated, Defensor said, they relied on the people’s support and goodwill, their hard work and capacity to serve the public because they did not have money.
Last September 2017, Alvarez also administered the oath taking to PDP-Laban of the more or less 4,000 local officials in the 1st District. (PNA)