Puerto Princesa mayor turns down offer to complete UNA slate-A A +A
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
MANILA -- He was given a chance to complete the senatorial line-up of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) but surprise candidate Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn stood his ground, saying he wanted to go solo for now.
Hagedorn, who decided to join the senatorial race on Wednesday, said he told UNA stalwart former President Joseph Estrada of this development despite admitting that he lacked the machinery for a national campaign.
"But I don't have regrets. I just want to give it a shot to keep the loneliness away because I will no longer be busy," Hagedorn said, referring to his mandatory exit in mid-2013 after serving as mayor for three consecutive terms.
"Altertanibo lang po ako. Dun sa mga naguguluhan sa madami, baka gusto niyo ng nag-iisa. Anyway po, wala na kasi akong lugar sa Puerto Princesa, expired na yung term ko. Magpapahinga sana ako kaya lang parang nakakalungkot naman," he said.
UNA has until Friday or the close of the filing period to find the replacement of businessman Joey de Venecia, who backed out of the race on Monday to focus on luring investments in the business process outsourcing industry.
Hagedorn believes that his background as mayor will compensate for the lack of legislative experience.
He said he will continue his advocacy on environmental protection in the Senate.
If elected, he will be the second mayor after Manila's Alfredo Lim to clinch a seat in the Senate. Lim won in 2004 but he cut short his term to return to his old position in 2007.
Hagedorn, meanwhile, will field his wife Elena to succeed him as mayor of Puerto Princesa.
Hagedorn, a multi-awarded local chief executive, profusely campaigned last year to make the Puerto Princesa Underground River as one of the so-called Seven New Wonders of Nature.
The mayor achieved this goal early this year as the city have seen growing number of tourist arrivals, setting up demand for more flights, hotels and other establishments. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)