NEWS: Margie Moran takes oath as new Lakas member, “excited” to run for gov in Davao del Norte

nov 25

Miss Universe 1973 title holder Margarita “Margie” Moran-Floirendo has taken her oath Monday as new member of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD and declared before a crowd of political leaders in Davao del Norte that she is “presenting (herself) to help and be of service to the people in the whole province” by running for governor.

During the mass oathtaking of some 100 new members of the administration party chaired by Rep. Anton Lagdameo (2nd District) in Tagum City , the beauty queen said: “I am willing and excited to join with you in the coming campaign”.

Moran-Floirendo, 55, wife of former Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr, has reportedly the full backing of the Floirendo family including banana magnate Don Antonio Floirendo Sr., owner of the mammoth Tadeco banana exporting firm.

She would square off with reelectionist Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, who last week jumped ship to Liberal Party from the administration party, in what observers said to be a battle royale between strange clanmates. The governor,75, is an elder brother in law of Margie’s husband Tonyboy.

Both the influential Floirendo and Del Rosario families had been reported to have been in “family feud” that erupted beginning in the last 2007 polls when the governor, who was then the Secretary for the New Government Centers under the Arroyo administration, ran for governor when Tonyboy was supposed to be the pick of the Floirendo clan while the governor’s son Anthony Rafael, then the vice governor and his father’s choice for governorship, slid down not to run.

Del Rosario had been acknowledged as the right hand man of Don Antonio in developing Tadeco, the country’s biggest banana exporter.  Tadeco’s sprawling plantation straddles across numerous barangays in at least three towns in Davao del Norte and is recently reported to boost at least 25,000 votes from families dependent on the livelihood to Tadeco.

But Moran-Floirendo refused to be dragged on the issue of family feud saying: “It’s immaterial, (Gov. Del Rosario) is Tonyboy’s uncle. I have no pain in my heart to run against him. I’m not here as politician, and I want to present myself to the people to give time to serve. In democracy there’s always the opposition.”

She said that election to her is no strange thing saying that before the breaking up of the erstwhile undivided Davao del Norte into two provinces with Compostela Valley in 1998 she had been personally involved in campaigns supporting Del Rosario each time he ran for elective post.

She added that although her running for governor is her “first political experience” she said that she felt confident that given her long experience with the civil society and nongovernment organizations in wide range of advocacies and services such as on environment, gender, housing, peace and development could give her “good agenda for good governance”.

“The doors are just open and because there’s a vacancy in the governor’s position…the last thing I know after those civil society engagements that allowed me to reach to as far as Central Mindanao is how can I now help the province. I feel need to do something here,” Moran-Floirendo further said.

For his part, Rep. Lagdameo, who administered the oath for the new Lakas-Kampi-CMD members in the province’s District 2, said that Margie’s running has nothing to do with family feud, adding: “A family feud is a family feud between us, it should not be included in the affairs of the province”.

He said that since Del Rosario left for the opposition, “we have to complete our line up as the deadline (in the filing of certificates of candidacy) draws near and we have to put someone whom we know who can best run the province”.

Former Rep. Tonyboy in separate interview earlier said: “Mas magaling pa sa akin ‘yun. (She’s much better than me)” referring to her beauty queen. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

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