Barbers, Romarate open to alliance

By VANESSA ALMEDA

Will it be "let bygones be bygones" for former congressman Robert Ace Barbers and Surigao del Norte Rep. Guillermo Romarate? After a reported fallout several years back, the Barbers and Romarates are reportedly patching things up. Barbers said his family welcomes reports that Rep.Romarate is willing to broker a political alliance with them. "Nothing is impossible," said Barbers, adding that he was open to prospects of a tactical alliance with the congressman and "forget the past." Romarate expressed similar view but clarified that the statement that he was willing to offer a hand of peace to the Barbers stemmed from a question from reporters about his relationship with the former leaders of Surigao del Norte.

"Kana man gud nagsugod man na kadtong gipangutana kita kun kumusta ang among relasyon sa mga Barbers. Para kanako wala man ko magdumot kay mas maayo hinoon na. Mas maayo nga magtinabangay kita ug walay kontra-kontra," he said. Romarate said a tactical alliance with Barbers would be "within the ambit of politics." "Politics is always addition. Kun naa alliance then mas welcome kaysa magkontra kami," Romarate said. Romarate also clarified that his pronouncement was personal in nature and not a party decision. The congressman is allied with the Matugases which have established their own political party, Padajon Surigao.

He denied talk of a political rift among the stalwarts of Padajon Surigao. The "rumors" started because of the absence of Romarate during the groundbreaking of the 50-bed provincial hospital in Placer, Surigao del Norte, last month. The congressman's wife, provincial board member Myrna Romarate, came. The groundbreaking was attended by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Gov. Sol Matugas, Surigao del Norte Rep. Francisco Matugas (1st District), Health Undersecretary Romulo Busuego, and many local officials.

"No, that's a very wrong interpretation of my absence in not attending the groundbreaking. My wife was there. I was not there because naka-schedule na ang conference nga ako gi-adtoan adto nga time," explained Romarate. He said it was he and Rep. Matugas who teamed up for the realization of the project. (Goldstar Daily)

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