SAN JOSE, Dinagat Islands (MindaNews/03 July)Former Akbayan Rep. Arlene Kaka J. Bag-ao was sworn in Wednesday morning as Dinagat Islands representative in the bailiwick of her political nemesis here.
Bag-ao, dubbed the dragon slayer for defeating a member of the politically well-entrenched Ecleo family, took her oath before Annie Morales, village chair of Barangay Sta. Cruz in Loreto town.
She was sworn in before a large crowd of supporters at Barangay Aurelio in San Jose, the capital town of Dinagat Islands.
Joining Bag-ao during the oath taking were her father, 70-year old Francisco Bag-ao Sr., her siblings, relatives, friends and invited guests.
Baga-o, who also celebrated her 44th birthday Wednesday, said it was not impossible to defeat a dragon if you are on the right path in the quest for change and hope.
She defeated Gwendolyn Ecleo, former mayor of Dinagat town, in the race for the lone congressional district of Dinagat Islands last elections.
I ran on the platform of change and hope: Bag-ong Dinagat, Bag-aong Kaugma-on. We did not only run under the platform of change and hope. We strove to bring what is change and hope within the period of six months, she told the crowd.
Months before the May 13 elections, Bag-ao was appointed the caretaker of the provinces lone congressional district after its elected congressman, Ruben Ecleo Jr., was delisted in the roll of the House of Representatives in 2012 because of absences.
Ecleo Jr. was convicted in a graft case, which he appealed before the Sandiganbayan but was denied with finality. He was also convicted for killing his wife by a court in Cebu City in 2012.
Nine months ago, when I was still struggling whether to run as representative of Dinagat Islands, I spent sleepless nights weighing the pros and cons, the pluses and the minuses in running, hindi po talaga madali magdesisyon bumangga sa isang matigas na pader (its not easy deciding to go against a very tough opponent), she said.
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Bag-ao sworn in as Dinagat rep, shares how she â€˜slaughtered the dragonâ€™