Meet the Vegetable Vendor Elected Mayor of Eastern Samar Town


With a 562 vote lead, a vegetable vendor in an Eastern Samar town was elected mayor, proving how common folk can prevail over ruling political families.

Rodrigo "Onoy" Rivera, 62, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer he decided to run for mayor of Dolores, when he found out that the Carpeso brothers -- medical doctor Zaldy and incumbent mayor Shonny Niño -- were unopposed.

Backed by a volunteer-driven campaign, independent candidate Rivera won with 11,508 votes. His rival Carpeso, who ran under the ruling party PDP-Laban, got 10,946 votes. Shonny Niño won as vice mayor.

"'Di ako nakatapos dahil sa kahirapan dahil ang nanay ko, ang pamilya ko ay magsasaka, nagtatanim ng gulay-gulay. Mahirap na mahirap kami," the high school dropout told TeleRadyo on Monday.

Rivera promised to help uplift the lives of fellow farmers by building more farm-to-market roads. He also told his constituents he plans to construct a public hospital in town, as the nearest government hospital is 60 kilometers away in Borongan, he said.

He previously served as a barangay captain of Gap-ang village for three terms. During this period, he said he went to Manila to ask the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Agrarian Reform for aid such as free fertilizers.

His wife, a laundrywoman, will continue to wash clothes for a living while he serves as mayor, Rivera said.


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