A FORMER Provincial Board (PB) member who was among those who opposed the purchase of the Balili property wants to return to the PB as an independent candidate.
Victoria “Tata” Corominas currently works as the chief of staff of Cebu Association of Barangay Councils President Celestino Martinez III, who has an ex-officio seat in the PB. Martinez and his father Celestino “Junie” Martinez Jr. both belong to the Liberal Party.
“Dili lang ang pagpili og partido ang mo-determine sa imohang mga baruganan ug unsang prinsipyo nga imong gibarugan (It’s not just your choice of a party that determines what principles you stand for),” said Corominas, now 34.
Corominas was a PB member in 2004 to 2007 and was reelected for the 2007-2010 term. She ran as an independent candidate in 2004 and was with the opposition in 2007.
The district she wants to represent includes Barili, Aloguinsan, Pinamungajan, Toledo City, Balamban, Asturias, Tuburan and Tabuelan.
When she lost to PB Member Alex Binghay in 2010, she decided to take a break from public life and had a baby in 2013. Now, she said, she misses public service.
“Easy going ra gyud ko nga pagka-tao, pero naa lang gyud mga butang nga I feel strongly against or for, nga ako sang barugan, ug makalahutay pud ko being consistent sa akong baruganan (I am an easygoing person, but there are some things I feel strongly about and am willing to fight for, and I can stay consistent in my viewpoints),” she said.
During the April 5, 2010 Provincial Board session, Corominas and then Vice Gov. Gregorio Sanchez dissented from the majority at that time and asked that the Province rescind its contract to acquire the Balili property.
They also recommended new guidelines for property purchases, like requiring a survey and inspection of the property.
The Province acquired the 24.7-hectare former resort in Barangay Tinaan, Naga City for around P98 million, only to find out later that about nine hectares of it was submerged or covered with mangroves.
Corominas remains convinced the contract should have been rescinded and the total amount returned to the Province “because the lot title is pre-patent.” She said this meant that anytime the State needed the property, it could get it back, considering its classification.
But the executive department’s decision was to go to court to reduce the purchase price.
While away from politics, Corominas said, she realized how much she missed the opportunity to visit the barangays.
“I grew up in politics,” she said.
Now, she plans to visit the third district again to find out what has happened to her programs for senior citizens, other programs for school children in Asturias and feeding programs.
What would her strengths be if she ends up in the PB again?
The business administration graduate of the University of San Carlos said her youth will still allow her to go to the farthest and most interior portions of the district.
“Ikaduha ang akoang drive para mo serbisyo ug ang akong sinseridad nga moserbisyo sa mga tawo (Second is my drive and sincerity to serve),” she said.
Corominas is the fourth of five children of the late Provincial Board Member Andres Corominas. Her family hails from Tuburan, where Corominas Transit was once the only bus company that ferried commuters from that town to Cebu City.
Andres died of liver cirrhosis in 2002.
Then-PB member Sanchez, she recalled, took her on as a one-peso-a-year consultant for barangay affairs, and she represented the board member sometimes in community meetings.
That added to her training in politics.
Corominas described her relationship to the administration led by Gov. Hilario Davide III as a close one, but added she is under no pressure to join the administration party. “Mag-una ang mong mga principles og imong mga (You should put first your principles and) ideals before you choose which party you will belong to."
She has not been offered the opportunity to run for district representative and would prefer legislative work in the PB to running for town mayor.
If elected again to the PB, she said she will speak up for ordinary people. “Of course, you stand up not only for yourself but for others nga dili pod maka sulti (who have no voice).”