ROUGH CUTS| Local politics: getting more exciting now

OUR CONGRATULATIONS to Aboitiz Power Corp. for finally making the first 150 megawatt line of its power generating unit Therma South, Inc. (TSI) on stream. The coal-fired power plant is located in an area that straddles Binugao in Davao City and part of Inawayan, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur. TSI is a 300MW fluidized bed coal plant when fully completed sometime late 2016 or early 2017.

     With the new base load capacity added to the power supply in Mindanao, somehow the energy situation in this southern Philippine island has stabilized a little. The initial 150MW capacity is already fully allocated to the different power distribution utilities. In fact, as of Wednesday, September 16, the power outlook in the island as reported by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) was already at 1,564MW available capacity, with a system peak of 1,370MW thereby leaving a gross reserve of 185 megawatt.

     Hence, despite the reported worsening of the El Nino phenomenon which could affect the capacity of the main power supplier Agus hydro complex in the Lanao provinces and the Pulangi hydro complex in Bukidnon, the running of the 150MW TSI capacity can already assuage the fear of Mindanaoans that the island could morph back to the early 2010 crisis situation.

     Indeed TSI’s just commissioned line can serve as a strong assurance that Mindanao’s economic stride will not be hampered due to lack of power.


     Now the excitement in Davao City’s politics is getting hotter after these two developments came into the surface.

     The first development is City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s reported pronouncement that he might allow the third congressional district to become a free zone for all aspirants for the congressional seat if and when all of those who have signified their interest to run under his home-grown Hugpong party will insist in doing do. The mayor was quoted as saying that in this situation he finds it difficult to endorse any of the aspirants. If such will be the scenario for the third congressional district, the mayor said he might as well declare the third political district open to any Hugpong member who wants to run for congressman.

     Customarily, the mayor who heads the home-grown party makes his decision who to endorse only after thorough consultations with party leaders stretching down to the barangay level. After getting their inputs, the mayor names his endorsee. Incumbent congressman Isidro “Roy” Ungab, in fact, is a beneficiary of such endorsement.

     If indeed the third district becomes a free zone among Hugpong aspirants, then it would be a case of “Matira ang matibay… matibay lalo na ang bulsa”. And there is no denying the fact that the one with a more stable pocket is also the most likely to keep his political organization intact until the last ballot is counted.

     Now, should we have to mention names of aspirants who have the pocket we are referring to?

     And what is this second political development we are bringing out in this issue?

     What else but the announcement of second district councilor John Louie Bonguyan that he is interested to run for vice mayor if no member of the Duterte family will run for the position.

     In other words, If former Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio will be the standard bearer of Hugpong and Vice Mayor Pulong Duterte will not run for reelection and instead guns for congressman of the first district, and younger brother Basti will cast his lot in the third, then the younger Bonguyan makes his entrance in the arena for vice mayor.

     So, there may be three or four of them squaring off for the Hugpong’s vice mayorship. That is, suddenly first district councilors Leonardo Avila III, Mabel Sunga Acosta and Myrna Dalodo-Ortiz or Kaloy Bello find company in the political ring. And if this happens will the mayor again declare the vice mayorship slot for Hugpong a free zone?


     And talking of the vice mayorship one councilor who packs potentials for the position is Tomasing Monteverde III. But we had been missing him for a long time in the city council. What has happened to this very able councilor from the second district?

     We have asked many of his peers on his whereabouts and why he seems to have neglected his responsibility. The latest that we inquired from on Tomasing was third district councilor Atty. Victorio “Bong” Advincula Jr. But his answer was just like that of the other council members we previously asked – somewhat intriguing instead of giving outright answer.

     We challenge our good friend councilor Tomasing to come out and tell the public why he suddenly “faded” from the council scene.


Posted in Opinion