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By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THERE’S a 50-50 chance that Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) Director General Augusto Syjuco will reclaim his old seat in the 2nd congressional district of Iloilo.

Syjuco said one of the factors that might compel him to run for congressman in 2010 is the health of his wife, incumbent Rep. Judy Jalbuena-Syjuco.

Syjuco said the congresswoman underwent hip surgery recently which affected her mobility.

“Her condition will definitely be a factor. But we have not decided yet. Everything is still 50-50 as of this time. Rep. Syjuco is getting stronger by the day,” he said.

Syjuco was reportedly being eyed to run for Senator under the Partido Lakas-Kampi-CMD but he was not included in the slate during the party’s national convention Thursday.

Executive Eduardo Ermita on Wednesday said Syjuco will quit Tesda to run for congressman in the 2nd district.

Political observers said Syjuco will run because of the candidacy of Pavia Mayor Arcadio Gorriceta and Ramoncito “Citoy” Arenas for congressmen.

But Syjuco said he is not threatened by Gorriceta and Arenas even as he taunted the capabilities of his potential rivals.

“I guess the Arenases should do some studying first because they have many things to know about the 2nd district. Imagine Mr. Arenas saying that Pototan is in the 2nd district when it is in the 3rd district. He also said that Panay Electric Co. is the distributor of power in our district when it’s Iloilo Electric Cooperative,” he said.

Syjuco added that Arenas is more of a threat to the people of the 2nd district than to his political career.

As regards Gorriceta, Syjuco said the mayor is losing Pavia to Lucille Villanueva.

Villanueva’s name surfaced as Syjuco’s mayoral bet in Pavia when candles bearing her name and the Syjuco couple were distributed in the town last All Souls’ and Saints’ Days.

ON MEJORADA

Syjuco also clarified his side on the exclusion of Iloilo Provincial Administrator Manuel “Boy” Mejorada from the voters’ list of Alimodian, Iloilo.

Mejorada accused Syjuco of instigating Ireneo Mondero to destroy the former’s nipa hut at Brgy. Pajo, Alimodian and to file the exclusion case to prevent the capitol executive from running in the 2nd district.

“I admit that Ireneo Mondero is my friend for 13 years. But our friendship is not the issue but Boy Mejorada’s debt to Mondero. The reason why his so-called house was destroyed is that he failed to pay for the lot of Mondero,” he added.

Syjuco also described Mejorada as an “aswang” (flesh-eating ghoul) for transferring his address from one place to another.

“He flew from Capiz to Sta. Barbara but he never landed. He transferred to Pavia but he was excluded. He tried to go to Alimodian but he was also excluded.”

Mejorada initially hurdled past the exclusion case filed with the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC)-Aleosan.

But the Regional Trial Court reversed the MCTC’s decision and ordered Mejorada’s deletion from the voters’ list of Brgy. Pajo.

In an interview with Bombo Radyo-Iloilo, Mejorada said the Syjucos should allow him to run if they don’t perceive him as a threat to their rule in the 2nd district.

Mejorada said he does not mind being called an aswang because it connotes that he is a genuine Ilonggo.

“The Syjucos landed on Iloilo from Makati,” he added.

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