SAN FERNANDO CITY – After quitting politics for several years, this former mayor wants to get back the post of one of two La Union towns he once served as chief executive for a total of 19 years.
George Pinzon, 70, is running in the mayoral race in Bangar in the 2016 polls. He was mayor of this northern town from 1988 to 1998 and in the neighboring municipality of Luna from 2001 to 2010.
Pinzon, the Liberal Party standard bearer, told Northbound that it was his destiny to become mayor of two towns. “It has never been my aspirations to become mayor of these municipalities,” he said.
Pinzon, a sure winner in next year’s, would be replacing his daughter, Mayor Joy Pinzon-Merin, now on her third and final term.
“I have reached the peak of my political career and I will be retiring to become political adviser of my children,” Pinzon, who once served as president of the La Union Mayors League, said.
In the 1998 elections, Pinzon was succeeded by his son Gary while he served as vice-mayor.
While serving as vice-mayor, Pinzon then established his residency in Barangay Napaset in Luna, the hometown of his wife, Rufina.
In the 2001 elections, Pinzon won overwhelmingly against then incumbent Luna Mayor Geoffrey Tongson.
Many believed that his victory was attributed to his excellent performance in Bangar and his association with the powerful Ortega political clan.
“Just like in Bangar, some groups and political leaders in Luna convinced me to run as mayor there in the 2001 elections,”Pinzon said. “Maybe I had charisma or they might have learned of my accomplishments that brought progress in Bangar,”
Pinzon first entered politics in his early twenties, when he was fourth year college student. He ran as candidate for village chair in the barangay election in 1970 and won. However, his term ended with the declaration of Martial Law in September 21, 1972 by then President Ferdinand Marcos.
While serving as Barangay Captain of Central West in Bangar, Pinzon was also elected as president of the Association of Barangay Captain and rubbed elbows with local political leaders.
In the succeeding years of the Martial Law regime, Pinzon decided to quit politics and engaged in the tobacco business.
It was in 1988 that politics beckoned him again when elders and political leaders in Bangar successfully convinced him to enter the political arena.
“I became inactive in politics since my election as barangay captain. But in 1988, I was pushed by group of elders and barangay leaders to run, which I did, and I won although I was an independent candidate,” Pinzon said.
Pinzon recalled that during the elections, the Ortegas supported his political rival.
“Nobody believed that I beat them (Ortega clan),” added Pinzon.
Pinzon said anybody who wants to go into politics should be practical to avoid being called “perennial loser.”
“This is a lesson to everybody– that we should not enter politics without first weighing our chances to win by gaining the trust and support of the people, ” he said.Jun Elias/NorthboundPH