A ‘win-win’ solution to the Fajardo-Legarda rivalry

By Herbert Vego

A ‘win-win’ solution to the Fajardo-Legarda rivalry

FORMER congressman Paolo Javier threatens to regain Antique’s lone House seat and may just succeed because of rivalry with two other wannabes – Abdiel Dan “Ade” Fajardo, a renowned corporate lawyer and past national president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP); and Antonio Agapito “AA” Legarda, a brother of incumbent Congresswoman Loren Legarda.

If only the two could unite, Javier would find himself running uphill, as in 2019 when Paolo and his dad Exequiel “Boy Ex” lost to the joint forces of incumbent Governor Rhodora Cadiao and Rep. Loren Legarda, respectively.

Boy Ex had been elected congressman and governor alternately for three decades. Therefore, he could not be belittled yet, especially now that he is in a position to concentrate his reserved logistics for his son alone.

In this corner a few issues ago, I vouched for Ade because, being a lawyer, he is very qualified for law-making; secondly, because he is the son of the late Danny Fajardo (my former employer) and the former Maria Santillan, my classmate from grade school to college.

On the other hand, I have yet to meet AA in person, and so could neither speak well nor ill of him.

Sad to say, even now that the campaign period has kicked off, neither could not be persuaded to withdraw in order to support the other.

However, it is not too late for Ade and AA to sit down for a “win-win” agreement to the effect that only one of them would run against Paolo on May 9.  The winner (assuming it’s one of them) would pave the way for both to run and win three years later.  How?

Simple. As the saying goes, patience pays. The elected congressman may file a bill dividing the province into two congressional districts. A province that has reached a population of 500,000 – as Antique has — may thus divide and be entitled to two congressmen in 2025.

Incidentally, Antique is the only province in Western Visayas today with only one congressman; the rest have two or more.

I understand that some political elders, whom I would rather not name, have tried to broker an AA-Ade unity but in vain – to the delight of the Javiers who are now regrouping their old alliances.

As far as outgoing Rep. Loren Legarda is concerned, well, why worry? She is sure of regaining her Senate seat, as sure as the sun rises tomorrow.



OUR New York-based Antiqueño president of the World Youth Alliance (WYA), Lord Leomer Pomperada, has been named by the Commission on Filipino Overseas as one of the recipients of the 2021 Presidential Awards for the Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas (PAFIOO).

The PAFIOO is a biennial search for overseas-based individuals and organizations who have “dedicated their work in the service of Filipinos in the Philippines or abroad, selflessly supported relief, rehabilitation, and development programs in the home country, or excelled in their field of work or profession.”

Pomperada will soon receive the Pamana ng Pilipino Award for “exemplifying the talent and industry of the Filipino” and bringing honor and recognition to the country “through excellence and distinction in the pursuit of work or profession.”

The 30-year-old son of Chief Engineer Leopoldo Pomperada and the former Merlyn S. Bayombong of San Jose, Antique is in his seventh year as the president of WYA, a global youth movement with over a million members – wow — in more than 200 nations and territories. It aims to promote the dignity of the person and build solidarity among the youth from developed and developing countries.

Lord Pomperada graduated as cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Consular and Diplomatic Affairs from the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB), wherein he served as a deaf advocate and sign language interpreter.

He completed an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School. He is currently pursuing a Masters in International Affairs and Diplomacy, a joint program of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (Switzerland) and the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Spain).

He is the author of the new book You’re Never Too Young to Lead, a collection of personal anecdotes on the makings of a global youth leader.

“The habits that I developed growing up,” he wrote in that book, “were the key to my success.”

One of these habits was waking up at 4 a.m. daily to write the book.



YESTERDAY was another milestone for MORE Power with the switch-on of its new substation in Iloilo City Proper, even preceding the first ray of sunlight.

As announced by MORE Power President Roel Z. Castro, the new 33-magavolt facility is a replacement of the obsolete, decades-old 20-MVA substation acquired from the previous distribution utility.

It would solve the problem of power shortage that used to necessitate load transfer from a neighboring substation.

Congratulations to Sir Roel for living up to his promise of power modernization in three to five years.

The growth of MORE Power has been phenomenal in its first two years of operation. From February 2020 to today, its customers have grown from 63,000 households to around 88,000.

It is expected to soar exponentially with the impending expansion of coverage to certain areas currently under the Iloilo Electric Cooperative (ILECO), including Passi City and the municipalities of Pavia, Sta. Barbara, Leganes, Alimodian, Leon, San Miguel, Zarraga, New Lucena, Anilao, Banate, Barotac Nuevo, Dumangas, Dingle, Duenas and San Enrique.