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Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson Sr. congratulated mayor-elect Gerandy Danao of the Municipality of Narra for winning the mayoral race against reelectionist Lucena Demaala on his Twitter post last Thursday, May 16, that ended the reign of the Demaalas after 33 years.
“Mayor-elect Gerandy Danao is one big inspiration in politics. He used to tend a small goat farm until he defeated a political dynasty in Narra, Palawan. He needs help from the national government and all the guidance not to be eaten by the system of dirty politics,” said Senator Lacson on his Tweet.
Mayor-elect Danao expressed his gratitude to Senator Lacson. “Nagpapasalamat po tayo na gano’n po ang message ni Senator Ping na kahit ganito tayong tao ay napansin tayo ni Senator. Maraming Salamat,” said Danao in an exclusive phone interview with PDN.
Gerandy Danao is a goat herder prior to his electoral victory last May 13 election. His town, which is around two hours away from Puerto Princesa, is the rice granary of Palawan.
“Ordinaryong tao lang po ako. Nagkakambing lang po ako … ‘yan po ang pinagkakaabalahan ko sa araw-araw,” he added.
Danao bested Demaala in the neck-and-neck mayoral battle and emerged victorious with a 1,033-vote lead. Danao got 15,062 votes while Demaala got 14,029 votes.
Danao ran the mayoral rice independently while Demaala ran under Partido Pagbabago ng Palawan (PPP) partylist.
Danao says he had no money and even had to walk around during the campaign season to introduce himself to the voters of Narra.
He surmised that the residents of Narra might have enough of the Demaalas for the last three decades that is why they voted him over the incumbent mayor.
He ran because the persons he expected would stand up against the Demaalas did not appear at the Election Office during the filing of the Certificate of Candidacy that is why he decided to run instead. He said these people might have feared for themselves that is why they did not push through.
He added that the Demaalas might have underestimated him because he had no machinery and was just going around on foot that is why he won.
On his rise to office, he will focus first on the municipal employees as well as learning how to run and handle the municipality.
“Priority po siguro iayos muna natin ‘yung mga empleyado ng munisipyo kasi wala pa po tayong experience sa ‘ganun (politics) kaya kailangan siguro muna pag-aralan paano yung sistema mag-ano ng, magpatakbo ng munisipyo,” Danao said.
He used to be a purok president and had been a student body official in his younger years.
In 2017, Narra, according to a Commission on Audit report, had a budget of P292 million of which P233 million was spent.
There were some audit observations that were discussed with the municipal officials on June 2018 and might have been already corrected. Some of these were: around P6-million in disbursements were not properly recorded in the books; there were program, projects and activities that were funded using the 20% development fund which should not be the case; and the local economic enterprises was not set up.