I AM writing in defense for Mayor Rene S. Cordero of Estancia for being blatantly branded by President Digong as “protector of drug lords” – thus maligning his honor and integrity without due process. To make matters worse, the President lately directed the Region VI NBI to conduct lifestyle check on Mayor Rene S. Cordero.
It is along this line that after reading The Daily Guardian 9-20-17 issue, my conscience keeps bothering me if I cannot give the right side of the issue. Hence, this letter.
I am a native of Estancia since birth in 1935 and now on my 82nd year and yet, I can still vividly remember the people and their names who were responsible for Estancia’s transformation from a mere coastal fishing village into a prosperous and modern town.
On the issue of lifestyle of Mayor Rene S. Cordero, I can personally vouch without an iota of doubt that one source of his wealth came from inheritance from his parents and grandfather. Mayor Rene’s father came from a prominent family of Cordero’s of Pototan; a pharmacist by profession who established one of the first, if not, the first drugstore/botica in the Poblacion of Estancia.
I have personal knowledge because Mayor Rene’s grandfather and mine are close relatives. In fact, I was very close to the late parents who in their lifetime acquired real properties including fishpond situated at Brgy. Lawis, Balasan. On the other hand, his grandfather is one of the landed gentries of Estancia who owned a vast track of coco plantation situated at Brgy. Bulakenia, Estancia. It is in the adjacent barangay where my family evacuated and lived during WWII until the liberation. And I am very sure Mayor Rene’s wealth came from his share of the above mentioned properties.
It is worth mentioning here that Mayor Rene’s grandfather to include mine and countless old timers were quintessential pioneers that developed the once thriving coastal fishing village into a progressive municipality of Estancia today. These old folks are the real UNSUNG HEROES of Estancia and also instrumental for making it famous as “Alaska of the Philippines”.
As a person before he became Mayor, I know Rene to be humble and never boastful or “hambog” despite of his parents’ wealthy background. Believe it or not, in the early 60s, Rene and I worked as daily wage earners at 4.00 pesos per day at Visayas Rice Experiment Station (VRES) at Brgy. Hamungaya, Jaro, Iloilo City. Our work involved conducting field trial of different rice varieties and its pests and diseases control. However, we did not stay long at VRES. He resigned first and I followed suit. Later, I learned that he (Mayor Rene) went to where the money was… USA!
I wrote this piece without Mayor Rene S. Cordero’s knowledge. I wrote this purposely for TRUTH AND JUSTICE.
Lastly, it is highly appreciated if this piece can find space in your widely circulated and read newspaper – The Daily Guardian.
Madamo guid na salamat!
Very truly yours,
OTHELO CACERES CLEMENT
Retired Public Servant
1165 Kanlaon St. Alta Tierra Village
Brgy. Quintin Salas
Jaro, Iloilo City
October 29, 2017
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