Rough Cuts | Launching a career in politics

We have had mixed experiences during last Monday’s Barangay Council and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

In the barangay where we voted some 31 kilometers from the Davao City proper we found the election as one activity that allowed an unplanned reunion of old friends who seldom meet each other because of their individual pursuit for a living. It also gave us a sneak peak of how barangay populations have grown and evolved into a society of young citizens.

Moreover, we saw the people’s level of enthusiasm of participating in the electoral process growing to a new level. We gauged our observation on the number of candidates who run for different positions and the heavy voters’ turnout.

Of course we were not surprised because these days, barangay officials both from the elected ones to the appointive now receive commensurate honoraria. Add to it the opportunity to earn additional remuneration that may be allowed under the law.

And this is not even to mention chances of making money on the aside by those barangay executives who have the gall to violate their covenant of service to the people of which there are plenty.

On the whole though, we have noticed that last Monday’s barangay election was even hotter than the local and national elections. Imagine the close to 30 people dead during the entire campaign period and several others wounded or maimed!

These incidents are symptomatic of what could be in store for the 2019 elections and of the willingness of some politicians to engage in criminal activities just to pursue their ambition to control politics even in the smallest unit of governance — the barangay government.

Well, yes. Perhaps it is worthwhile adding this observation from a school grader whose parents reside in another barangay not far from ours.

Upon seeing Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s picture collaged in a campaign poster in our barangay the grader exclaimed:

“Tay Vic seguro pobre diay na si Mayor Sara kay didto sa amo-a Tay Vic, ako pud nakita si Mayor kauban taga amo-a sa parehas ana ‘picture.’ Mao ra gihapon iyang sinina; wa mag-ilis. Ngano di siya mangayo sa iya papa nga Presidente?”

Looking at the posters fronting our residence with the mayor’s picture collaged with those of at least three candidates we understand what the grader said.

We could not help but have a good laugh.
And talking of elections we are now starting to figure out the possible scenarios in Davao City’s three congressional districts.

We’d like to touch first the possibilities in the second district. There are reports that already the political family of the Garcias is busy preparing one of its younger members to join politics. We have heard that young professional and already a successful entrepreneur Javier “Javi” Garcia Campos, 25 years old and finishing his masters at the Ateneo de Davao University, is actively engaged in the activities of last termer aunt (or is it cousin?) Congresswoman Mylene Garcia-Albano. We have heard that every corner of the second district has already been reached by Javi and that he has rubbed elbows with the people in the barangays.

Any which way we look at all this “moving around” by the young Garcia scion is clear launching by the venerable Garcia political clan of another member’s career in politics. From inquiries we have made lately we were told that Javi is eyeing a slot in the official City Council seat in the second district.

Well, with the Garcia surname tacked around his waist, he could be a shoo-in on the official slate and a potential sure winner, possibly even a top placer.

And what about the Garcia plan for the congressional seat that will be vacated when incumbent Millene Garcia’s third term ends next year?

Again there is certainty that former three-termer congressman Vincent Garcia is making a come-back run. And knowing the performance of the Garcia politicians in the second district, Vincent appears to have no negative political baggage to reckon with.

Of course there are potential oppositions to the Garcia dominance in the said district. The person who appeared close to topple a Garcia incumbent is sitting councilor Danilo Dayanghirang.

But Danny’s “close” was not near enough to unsettle the Garcia domination.

In the coming 2019 congressional election there are indications that incumbent second district councilor Jimmy Dureza is planning to try his luck again in the congressional derby. We all know that Jimmy is consistent being on the top bracket among winning councilors in the second district. And he is also a brother of Presidential Peace Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza, a bosom buddy of President Duterte who could possibly exert influence on the President in making a decision who to support.

But of course the Davaoenos know that one of those who made the President run in the 1988 local election was the Garcia patriarch, the late Congressman Manuel “Nonoy” Garcia. This could well be the President’s balancing factor when he decides who to support when he is called upon come 2019 local and congressional polls.

“Let us to see,” according to another Duterte maker the late Senator Landring Almendras.

Posted in Opinion