Why the Church backed Hagedorn

Bishop Francisco San Diego claims credit for having convinced then gambling lord Edward S. Hagedorn to run for mayor of Puerto Princesa in 1992. In exchange for his support, the good prelate demanded only one condition – that Hagedorn enter into a covenant with him that win or lose, he would stop jueteng totally in the Palawan capital.

Hagedorn agreed to stop jueteng, but only if he won. Otherwise, he mused, I wouldn’t have any other business if I lost the election. San Diego insisted on win or lose. He got it.

Why did the good bishop want Hagedorn to be Puerto Princesa’s mayor? “I wanted change,” he recalls now. “The city was moving at a snail’s pace. Nothing was happening for 27 years. I thought Hagedorn could bring about change, quickly.”

“Hagedorn is a dynamic leader,” says the current Puerto Princesa bishop, Pedro Arigo, “he gets things done.” “He is a man of his word. He doesn’t make a promise he doenst fulfill.”

Licking jueteng meant the displacement of up to 5,00 workers, the cubradores engaged in the illegal numbers game in 1992. Feeling responsible for the layoffs, Hagedorn recruited the jueteng workers to do something else – watch the sea for illegal fishers and poachers, and the forests for the illegal loggers and kaingeros. Thus was born hagedron’s ‘Bantay Dagat’ and ‘Bantay Gubat’. The dislocated kaingeros, actually small farmers, along with the former jueteng workers, were commissioned by the mayor for his cleanliness drive.

The results have been dramatic. And the Catholic Church of Puerto Princesa is happy.

Edward Hagedorn was born on October 12, 1946 in Paranaque, Rizal. His parents were Mr. Alexander Hagedorn and the former Miss Gliceria Solon. He is married to Ma. Elena Marcelo, and blessed with two children Eva Christie and Elroy John. He studied in San Sebastian College-Recoletos and University of the East in Manila. He was elected mayor of Puerto Princesa City in 1992. And at the same time served as Representative of League of Cities of the Philippines, Region IV; Member of National Executive Board of Boy Scout of the Philippines; and Assemblyman of Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development. With the overwhelming support of the people of Puerto Princesa, he transformed the city as a major eco-tourism destination and model in environment protection. It became a Hall of Fame Awardee for being the cleanest and greenest component city in the Philippines. And has been generously given national and international awards and recognition for various innovative programs and projects – a proof of seriousness of purpose and magnitude of success. Right now, the City Government of Puerto Princesa is busy executing economic development programs…And the man leading its direction is Mayor Edward Solon Hagedorn.....