DATELINE: Libacao, Aklan 2 May 2013

Independent congressional aspirant, Capt. Ramy “Nono” Panagsagan, despite his exhaustive campaign sorties in Libacao and Madalag municipalities yesterday, found time to express his personal support for Tibyog Akean (Libacao) vice-mayoral candidate Jose Jerome “Dong” Legaspi (NP-LP).

Being a political newcomer, Capt. Panagsagan found in Mr. Legaspi the embodiment of what he had always believed in. This belief is retained in his campaign battle cry which is “Malinis na Hangarin at Tapat na Serbisyo!” loosely translated as: A Clean Purpose and Honest (public) Service.

Born in Altavas, Aklan on January 28,  1954, Ramy is the eldest of six siblings by Antonio Quimpo Panagsagan and Bienvenida Lepardo Evaristo. Even as a child he was considered a bright student and achiever. Eventually channeling his energy to maritime school, he became a seaman and quickly climbed the ranks. By 2011, he had already been ship captain for several international vessels owned by different multi-national shipping conglomerates. At about the same time, he dabbled in, and prospered in, private consumerism in his hometown of Altavas. There he set up Altavas Cable TV service and the R.E. Panagsagan Enterprises around the time of the turn of the millennium. Not content to rest on his laurels, Ramy now has set his sights on the lone congressional seat for Aklan in the Philippine Legislature by pitting himself against the “trapos” (traditional politicians) of Aklan politics who he believes have not done enough to improve the life of the average Aklanon. “It is not easy running as an independent candidate when your opponents have the machinery they’ve ammased during their years as representative of the province but voters are different now” confided Captain Panagsagan. “Matalino na ang botante ngayon, hindi na nababayaran ang boto”, he cheerfully added. (Voters are intelligent nowadays, their votes can’t be bought anymore!)

This faith in the people making the wise choice is shared by Libacao vice-mayoral candidate and incumbent Sangguniang Bayan (town council) member Jose Jerome “Dong” Legaspi. The second of four children by Former Libacao town Mayor Sol Ruiz Legaspi and Lota Villamil of Pangasinan, Jerome was reluctantly thrust into politics after his father’s untimely demise and almost immediately after graduating from college. Even then, the people were clamoring for him to follow in his father’s footsteps and continue the progress the late Mayor had started. Almost right after graduating from college at the prestigious San Juan De Letran of Manila, he ran for and easily grabbed a seat in the Municipal council which he still holds today. At a relatively young age of 42, Jerome has decided to continue the fight against corruption and political dynasties by throwing his hat in the proverbial vice-mayoral ring.

While both Captain Panagsagan and Jerome Legaspi’s paths toward the same goal appear to be very different, they are both united in their fight against corruption in all levels. On the one hand, Captain Panagsagan is up against some of the big names in Aklan politics fueled only by a noble purpose and a fighting heart, on the other, Jerome Legaspi is fighting the same nemesis with the same meager resources albeit closer to home. This bond has brought them together; even crossing established party lines.

The much-awaited election day is only ten days away but both tirelessly continue to convince their constituents that they are not only the WISE choice but also the RIGHT ones. After all is said and done, it is not the destination but the journey that counts.

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