ArchivesDecember 2010Perdices: I’m at peace

Perdices: I’m at peace

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Gov. Agustin Perdices is sporting a new look: he no longer wears his big eyeglasses, thanks to the cataract surgery two months ago that dramatically improved his eyesight.

His 76-year-old body, however, is taking a little while longer to recover. Weakened by the effects of treatments for stomach cancer, Perdices ambles along with an accessory–a cane–while his aides walk beside him, ready to give a hand at the first sign of difficulty.

So far, Perdices has gone through six of 12 scheduled chemotherapy sessions. Meeting the press for a Christmas get-together last Wednesday, this writer engaged the governor in a personal one-on-one while everyone else was having lunch.

“How are you,” I ask. “I’m improving slowly,” he says in a voice louder than a whisper, “but you know that in this condition, anything can happen.”

“How’s your spirit–are you upbeat?” “The effects of chemotherapy weaken my body but I’m inspired by the many people who wish me well and pray for me.”

“Do you pray harder now?” “I guess every person in this kind of crisis would pray a lot more than he usually does. But I leave it up to God. He has the answers and I am at peace.”

Leaving his fate to God, however, hasn’t stopped Perdices from asking the most pressing question of all– “I usually ask Him–Lord, now that you have made me Governor, why are you in a hurry to take me?’”

Do you consider your stint in Dumaguete as your best years? “Those were the longest years,” he said of his 19-year stint as City Mayor of Dumaguete starting in 1988, interrupted only by a three-year hiatus due to the ban on a fourth consecutive term.

Perdices’ father, Mariano F. Perdices, also served as Mayor of Dumaguete and later on moved up to become Governor of the Province of Negros Oriental. This inspired the younger Perdices to also aspire for the governorship, although the highest post he had won in an election was for the vice-governorship.

Unlike the relatively easy political victories Perdices had in his years as Dumaguete City mayor, Perdices won a tight three-way race for vice-governor despite the absence of support from any incumbent elected official.

As destiny would shape it, Perdices was thrust to the coveted position of governor after Gov. Emilio Macias II succumbed to liver cancer on June 13, barely two weeks before he could be sworn into office.

Perdices has lived his life the way he wanted to live it, so much so that if he were to live life over, he said he would still vie for the governorship.

“But would you have run for governor earlier?” “Not if Dodo [Macias] was around. I wouldn’t run against him but I would allow him to finish his term.”

Despite their petty political bickerings and maneuverings to get to the top elective post in Negros Oriental, Macias and Perdices had always professed a friendship that goes back to their mischievous childhood days when, in Macias’ recollection, they would run after passing trucks carrying sugarcane and steal one or two stalks for a quick sweet fix.

In his first speech as governor last June 30, Perdices had vowed to perpetuate the legacy of Macias. “I will never forget the reality that it was my good friend, Gov. Emilio Macias II, who was elected to office. I am only filling in for his unexpired term,” Perdices said in his extemporaneous address.

Still, Perdices remains upbeat about beating the odds. “I have no illusions of running again in the next election; I just want to finish my term. And I hope to see you again next Christmas!”

(Back to MetroPost HOME PAGE)


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