Piñol made the announcement today during his weekly noontime radio program, “Pareng Gob.”
As early as 2004, Piñol made a public declaration that he will not run for the vice gubernatorial post. He said then he would vie for a seat in Congress.
“I cannot sacrifice the welfare of my people in my province. It is in this light that I have decided to run for vice governor,” he said.
Piñol said it is “the only way” to ensure that the programs he started that lifted North Cotabato from being one of the poorest provinces to becoming one of the 30 most progressive provinces in the country would be continued.
He will be the running mate of Vice Gov. Jesus Sacdalan as they swap positions.
Piñol said that he decided to discard his plans to run for Congress “in the interest of public service.”
He expressed fears that his successor might discredit the programs he started “even if these are effective” and start a new set of programs all over again. He said this could stunt the development of the area.
But his decision, he said, has also affected the decisions of the many mayors in the province, many of them have already given their support to Rep. Gregorio Ipong (2nd Dist.), who is also running for vice governor.
But Piñol told them: “I cannot be a party to a convenient political arrangement whose results will threaten the well-being of our province and sacrifice the interest of our people, especially the poor.”
“It is not too late for you to consult your conscience. Are you making a decision based on what is good for the people or because of your own political interest?” he asked.
Sacdalan would be pitted against Mayor Roger Talinio, of the municipality of Carmen, who as early as 2004 announced he is aiming for the province’s top post. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)