SouthCot’s ruling NPC facing disintegration – Fuentes

Reelected Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes, NPC provincial chair, confirmed to reporters during a media forum on Tuesday evening that the party is currently suffering from serious leadership crisis due to their differences in principles.

She hinted that their party is presently divided and may even face disintegration in the coming months due to the emergence of new controlling bloc within the party led by reelected second district Rep. Arthur Pingoy Jr.

Fuentes admitted that she and Pingoy are at odds over differences fueled by critical incidents during the previous elections and with some principles, especially how the party should be run and where it should stand with regards to the national leadership.

Fuentes and several party members had criticized Pingoy when he supported the trashing of the second impeachment case against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the House of Representatives. Pingoy, who was part of the opposition bloc that endorsed the first impeachment case against the President, defended his decision saying his district can no longer afford to lose its funding allocations from the national government for various local projects.

During the campaign for last week's mid-term elections, Fuentes said her party suffered so much from allegations of corruption primarily directed at some dealings of the congressional office and several mayors.

The camp of De Pedro, who lost to Pingoy in last week's polls, earlier accused Pingoy of engaging in some alleged questionable transactions and irregular practices related to purchases made by the congressional office.

De Pedro, who ran under the administration-backed Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi), filed a case against Pingoy before the Office of the Ombudsman-Mindanao.

Pingoy repeatedly denied the allegations in his daily radio program during the campaign period.

But Fuentes said the accusations against Pingoy and some party members were serious and was never answered properly by those concerned. "I was shocked of the accusations. For the first time, we went with our campaigns with charges of corruption hanging in our heads and I really resented that. We eventually won but I deep inside I am still unhappy," she said.

Owing to this, Fuentes said she will convene the party's membership in the province in the coming weeks "to make a personal check on whether we are still treading the path along with the party's ideals."

"I am not saying that I am clean and I must admit that I was also tempted in the past. But I have set bottomlines for myself and I believe it is also within the party's standards. So we are going to ask ourselves if we are still within those bottomlines and if not, what are we going to do next?" she said.

Fuentes acknowledged that such action may cost her the party's leadership but stressed that she has already accepted that her influence among party member has already waned. "I realized all that during the last election. It appeared (that Rep. Pingoy) has control over majority of the party's membership," she said.

"But somehow, we have to make the important decisions. I will do what I have to do, so at the end of the day, I can still proudly face the people and my God," Fuentes added.

MindaNews tried but failed to get comments from party leaders, including Pingoy. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)