Vice-Gov. Julius Caesar Herrera has a birthday message to Rep. Edgar Chatto

Sunday Post: Vice-Gov. Julius Caesar Herrera has a birthday message to Rep. Edgar Chatto: expect a friendly competition in the gubernatorial race.

      Herrera gave the message when asked to comment on Chatto's birthday celebration which falls on Sunday, Feb. 21.

      The vice-governor and the first district solon were long-time political allies but turned bitter rivals when they both set their sights on the governorship which will be vacated by Gov. Erico Aumentado.

      "The election is only up to May 10 but life goes on," the vice-governor explained his message.

      Herrera said he would like the friendship between them to remain even though the rivalry has intensified as the election nears.

      He added that the issues against each other cannot be prevented for obvious reasons.

      "He sees things differently and he has a different style so the differences cannot be prevented," the vice-governor added.

      Herrera, however, stressed that friendship has to give way to a higher calling and that is public service.

      The vice-governor said that as early as his second term, he had decided to run for governor and made it clear to his erstwhile Lakas party mates including Aumentado and Chatto.

      Herrera admitted talks that there were efforts to convince him to run for congressman instead to avert the head-on collision.

      The vice-governor in turn suggested that Chatto field his wife to replace him but the latter also did not budge.

      "It came to a point of two determined public servants eyeing the same responsibility," he said in describing the situation.

      Herrera said that he had bound himself to the commitment to make the rivalry "a friendly one".

      He, however, admitted, that it is difficult to arrive at a common definition on what is friendly and what is not.

      "There are times when I feel that his camp is no longer playing it fair and I won't be surprised if there are times he feels the same way," the vice-governor added.

      Herrera stressed that his commitment will remain although he agreed that friendship will have to be a two-way process.

      He said it will be up to both of them to determine if they will want the friendship to remain after May 10.

      "I cannot decide for him in the same manner that he cannot decide for me," the vice-governor added.

      Herrera said he considers public service a higher calling.

      "Friendship should take a back seat to public service," he added.

      The vice-governor did not say it, but no matter how the election results will end up, his friendship with the first district solon will no longer be the same.