SANTA ANA, Cagayan: A former Cagayan provincial board member-son of Cagayan Freeport administrator denied accusations of having the privileges of using the properties and facilities of Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) during the May 13 elections.
Jean Alphonse “AJ” Ponce who ran against reelected Mayor Darwin Tobias said he should have won if “I did use the privileges as son of CEZA administrator Jose Mari Ponce.”
Earlier, Tobias sent a letter to President Benigno Aquino 3rd asking to effect a change in the leadership of CEZA for a “better working relationship” between CEZA and the local government unit (LGU) here.
In his letter to the President, the mayor alleged that the CEZA administration had used its resources and facilities to support the candidacy of Ponce’s son and wife as candidates for mayor and councilor, respectively.
In the past election campaign period, AJ said he has worked with his own set of political allies and constituents “which came from independent and private individuals who believed in my vision for Santa Ana.”
”I really wonder why the mayor is dragging the good name of my father when in fact I am on my own. I am the politician and not my father. I am the mayor’s challenger for the mayoralty seat and not my father,” said the young Ponce (AJ).
In a statement sent to The Manila Times, AJ said: “I was not pushed by my father to run for the mayoralty position to widen his control over the CSEZFP [Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport] nor did I enjoy privileges during the election campaign from CEZA.”