DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines – Ending months of speculation, philanthropist Rosemarie “Baby” Arenas yesterday substituted for her daughter, Rep. Ma. Rachel Arenas, in the third district congressional race in Pangasinan.
Mother and daughter went to the provincial office of the Commission on Elections here yesterday morning for Rep. Arenas of the Liberal Party to officially withdraw her candidacy for what could have been her third term and for her mother to substitute for her.
The elder Arenas, a director of the Manila Economic Cultural Office, would run unopposed, making her a virtual winner in the congressional race next year.
“Serving my much-loved people here in the third district of Pangasinan has brought me joy unlike any other. My life has been made more meaningful because you allowed me to be a part of yours. Together, we have shared the tribulation of tragedies and calamities and the joy of progress,” Rep. Arenas said.
She said she drew “examples of true public service” from her mother. “I tried to live by the virtues she has taught me from the womb and to give back to this community in a manner that would make her proud.”
She said it would be a great sacrifice for her mother to give up the “relative peace of her private life to venture once again in public service.”