CLARK FREEPORT – Business and political leaders here described as a good move the decision of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade not to file his certificate of candidacy for senator in the May 2022 local and national elections.
Irineo “Bong” Alvaro, chairman of the Clark Investors and Locators Association, said that Tugade’s decision not to enter the political fray serves the latter well.
“I think it’s best for him not to join politics. He might have the shock of his life on how immature our politics is,” said Alvaro.
“Mas marami ang hilaan pababa. Lahat ng bagay kinakalkal at minsa’y tapunan ng putik. Alam ko di sya sanay duon,” added Alvaro, who once served as Angeles City councilor and city administrator.
Alvaro said he has known Tugade to be an outstanding personality in the corporate world.
“Sec. Art stands out well in business. It is best that he should focus on the corporate world where he excels!’”
At the time of his appointment as CDC President in 2012, Tugade was Chairman of Perry’s Group, a big logistics firm operating in Metro Manila and other parts of the country. He resigned his Clark post to help in the presidential campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte in 2015.
For his part, former CDC President Noel Manankil, who also served as the state firm’s vice president for administration and finance under Tugade, said that the Transportation secretary has already done remarkable achievements for Clark, with more DOTr projects being completed until next year.
“He would have been a good Senator. But to complete the many projects, aside from those the DOTr had already completed like the new Clark terminal, is just as noble and even honorable,” he said.
In his statement, Tugade, a key official in the Build Build Build program, said one reason why he decided to forego seeking a senate seat is for people not to think that he has spearheaded various infra projects for political gains.
“I can emphasize that the efforts of DOTr in finishing projects are not, in any way, in aid of election. It is just in doing and completing what we sincerely and honestly think is good for the country, the people, and the sambayanan,” he said.
Meanwhile, Angeles City Councilor Jesus “Jay” Sangil said that Tugade could serve in and out of Senate halls.
“Sec Art knows the many ways to serve. He need not be in the Senate to deliver service and infra needed by the people and the country,” he said.
“It could have been a rough sail for him in the campaign where odds, given his wits and accomplishments, could be turned to votes for him. He is a good man,” he added.
Sangil is the chairman of the City Council’s Oversight Committee on Clark Freeport.
Tugade was widely bruited to become one of the top senatorial candidates in the Duterte line up where he had endorsement from the PDP-Laban.