ROUGH CUTS| A Mindanaoan President

WE FEEL we are starting to see in the horizon the dawning of an era in the Phlippines where the head of the national government comes from the most deprived region of the island – Mindanao.

This possibility came about when national pollster Pulse Asia released last week the result of its latest survey of potential presidentiables. The period covered was March 1 to 7, 2015. It is the first time that the pollster included the name of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in the list.

To the surprise of many watchers of the country’s political dynamics, the Mindanaoan mayor surprisingly pushed early runners several notches down. Imagine the Davao City Mayor tying up with former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada for the number 3 ranking getting a percentage point of 12! And think about this: Duterte is barely 2 points behind Sen. Grace Poe who garnered 14 percent of the total numbers of respondents polled. Yet, at the time that the survey was conducted Duterte’s “Hearing Tour” for his advocacy on Federalism has only reached a few cities and provinces in Luzon and the Visayas.

Now the Davao City mayor has already travelled a lot more areas and have attended several fora and meetings and have explained quite comprehensively why he is batting for a Federal-Parliamentary form of government. And he has apparently gained good media coverage and his speeches earned positive reviews.

We could hardly wait for the next surveys to be conducted and its findings released to the public. We are very certain that Duterte will continue to inch higher in the rankings. And when this happens, support groups will also start shifting to those potential candidates who have bigger chances of winning.

And perhaps, a Mindanaoan will be the next possible tenant in Malacañang. The nearest that Mindanaoans were able to close in on the highest executive position of government was when we had the late Emmanuel Pelaez as the country’s Vice President. He was a shoo-in for the Nacionalista Party nomination had it not been for another Mindanaoan senator who delivered the slot to the late President Ferdinand Marcos of the Ilocos region.

We are hoping that this time all Mindanaoans, be they politicians and plain constituents, rally behind a possible Duterte run. We may find an end to our deprivation soon.


We strongly support the call of first district councilor Leonardo Avila III for the establishment of a fish trading center to address the seriously growing pollution of the downstream portion of Davao River brought about by the disposal of waste from the Bankerohan Public Market. According to Avila, a Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) study in 2014 shows that the pollution of the water at the stretch of Davao River from the Bankerohan Market down to the Bucana area is largely contributed by the disposal of waste in fish trading processes and other effluents coming directly from the market.

Yes, if in having a fish trading center further deterioration of the quality of water in the downstream Davao River will be arrested, then the city council should prioritize coming up with a resolution addressed to the national government requesting for the putting up of such facility. We have congressmen who can carry that proposal at the national level. Or, if the council believes that the city could do it on its own, then it has to integrate the project in its development plan and consider it a top priority.

We believe that the health of the people of Davao City is one serious concern that our present leaders should not take for granted. No one could argue with the fact that a healthy population makes a healthy community.

Thus, it would be to the advantage of the people of the city and to the credit of our present councilors and city executives if something can be done on the Avila proposition.

Maybe there is no need to wait until we have one of our own sitting in Malacañang to make this project a reality. After all, a fish trading center can be self-liquidating. It can pay for itself.

Posted in Opinion