• The Star Staff

PDP at-large House candidate Ferrer Jr.: ‘Trust is earned with a good deed’

By Pedro Correa Henry

Twitter: @PCorreaHenry

Special to The Star

As the Popular Democratic Party’s (PDP) top vote-getter in the primary elections with 152,655 votes, at-large House candidate Héctor Enrique Ferrer Santiago told the Star on Thursday of his desire to continue the legacy of his deceased father Héctor Ferrer Ríos, of his platform should he become a member of the House of Representatives, how he was going to build his reputation, and his aspirations for his political future.

When the Star asked how Ferrer Santiago won his candidacy, he gave some credit to having the same name as the former PDP president. However, he said, listening to the party’s supporters and understanding their concerns and needs helped him earn the first spot.

And as for continuing Ferrer Sr.’s legacy, he said he will work to make his journey his own.

“Legacies are earned,” Ferrer Santiago said. “Legacies are meant to be worked upon; effort must be made. What matters is that my dad made his journey and I don’t pretend to walk his path or fill his shoes; I intend to walk my path with my own shoes, always carrying his advice and suggestions that he gave me back when he was alive.”

“If there’s something that I learned from his public service it was to always speak the truth, be grounded, listen to people’s concerns so we can find solutions together and fight for them,” he said.

In order to build a better Puerto Rico, the representative-at-large candidate said that both he and the PDP must devote themselves to working for and defending pensioners’ retirement and welfare, confronting the Financial Oversight and Management Board, reforming the Department of Education to provide equal opportunity to students, defending the University of Puerto Rico and rebuilding the island’s healthcare system into a prevention-base one that is accessible and affordable.

However, when the Star asked Ferrer Santiago how he would build his reputation with current and new voters amid heavy criticism for a picture that went viral on social media, which some user said showed the candidate to be “conceited” and “privileged,” he said his political campaigns and his deeds will speak for the voters, although he recognized that he has to put his best foot forward to earn voters’ trust.

“Trust is earned with a good deed. It’s my turn to prove that I’m capable and ready to face [the existing challenges] and work for the country. Trust is earned with time, it’s not something you win overnight. It’s my turn to prove myself and that people acknowledge what I will do for Puerto Rico. That’s part of my political campaign,” he said. “I will earn the trust once I get to serve people in the Legislature because they will see the results of my deeds. People will get to see that person who is honest and driven to move forward for Puerto Rico’s future.”

Ferrer Santiago said that his political platform is focused on youth, as he is committed at the age of 26 to bringing innovative ideas to the island. Commitment, in that he considers it important to commit himself to people’s welfare and be devoted to noble causes; honesty, in that he said people do not deserve to have the truth hidden from them; and a desire to move Puerto Rico forward.

“We are in an economic crisis, and, as part of the youth, it’s our turn to, on the brink of the future, take a step forward and occupy the necessary positions to improve our country so our family and friends get to stay [here], develop and create a better life in Puerto Rico,” he said.

As for working to build back a better reputation not only in the House, but the Puerto Rican government and its entities, Ferrer Santiago said that in order for that rebuilding to happen, the entire government has to commit itself and work for the people, being truthful and making every public procedure transparent, adding that it was also necessary to “get rid of those who don’t act correctly and come to serve themselves, and not the country.”

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