By Cha Monforte
Lakas-CMD regional chairman and Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario did not mince words in rallying new and old Lakas members who took and affirmed their oath as members of the Lakas-CMD party last Thursday at Nabunturan Gym. He was optimistic on the victory in 2010 elections of national candidates as well as the local candidates of what appears now as a mammoth monolithic administration party in Comval. This has been so with the swearing in of the forces of the minority pro-administration parties most notably now represented by Monkayo Mayor Manuel Brillantes, who bannered the Liberal party (Atienza wing) in the last polls, and Maragusan Mayor Cesar Colina Sr, who won for his first mayoral reign in the highland town via Kampi party.
So the Lakas-CMD party is now so fortified under the leadership of Gov. Chiongkee Uy. It appears to be the only political party in Comval with the mum on Kampi, and with it, it appears now that Comval has become one Lakas-CMD Country already. Just like the Davao del Norte that appears more than a Lakas than a Kampi territory after Gov. RDR did traffic of sort in the last polls in holding both in straw the Lakas and Kampi parties. Gov. RDR couldn’t be faulted for his optimism last Thursday when he sit side by side with an old-time political kumpadre, provincial elder and Comval’s father Pros Amatong, RDR has been an administration top gun in this part of the country- in a big region at that. But such optimism may ring truer to the local bets than to the national bets.
Not so yet. We have what I call now as “Comval-Davnor effect” in the 2004 and 2007 polls that gives failure to deliver landslide victories for the administration national candidates. In 2004 polls during the GMA vs. FPJ toss up that later zoomed in Garci as a national figure, in Comval amid the political unification of Joecab-Pros Amatong-Way Kurat when Gob. Chiongkee was still running for a boardmember’s seat, the province had virtually no opposition at provincial level while in the municipal level there was that scant challenge posed by the sudden emergence of Kampi brought by former Davao City Mayor and ex-DILG Sec Luis Santos, and the Sen. Angara’s LDP. There was no UNO yet at that time. In the end, there was that sweet, easy victory for the provincial and most of the municipal administration bets. Though FPJ was virtually not carried by municipal opposition groupings which got either Kampi or LDP in the eleventh hours before the filing of certificates of candidacy, but the surprise of it all was that FPJ won in Maco, Mabini, Pantukan and Maragusan, although he lost by over 14,00 votes to GMA throughout the province (with over 10,000 votes in District 1 compliments of Cong. Way Kurat Zamora, and the balance in the District 2, but with 3rd placer Sen. Ping Lacson getting a total of over 17,000 votes). Most of the opposition senators, too, except for the administration’s Mr. Palengke Sen. Mar Roxas, landed in the Magic 12 in Comval. But the worse of its all was that FPJ won right at the backyard of Mindanao’s Lakas chief RDR though narrowly by the margin of over 2,000 votes (but just the same the message was clear RDR should not have lost in his province, while Lacson got a whooping total of over 32,000 votes in Davnor). It was a slapping, nightmarish result for RDR, while Joecab, elder Amatong and the entire Lakas machinery all sweated out in delivering only a margin of over 1,000 in favor to GMA in the Comval Dos. Cong. Way Kurat for delivering good results for GMA in Comval Uno was stand-out in that polls.
The results of 2007 midterm elections in both Davnor and Comval failed again to deliver victories for the national senatorial candidates as even the young navy lieutenant now Senator Trillanes, who did not have his pretty face shown for once to the electorates in the two provinces during the entire campaign period, landed in the Magic 10 while the opposition favorites Sen. Chiz Escudero and Sen. Loren Legarda squabbled for the top post along with the Sen. Manny Villar. Consistently showing in the last hours for the two provinces in the two polls was the abandonment of the campaign for the national candidates as provincial and local bets as focused for their own electoral survival.
This “Davnor-Comval effect” only shows that Davnor and Comval- related like sisters or like father and son- are consistently and historically polarized provinces that strong opposition votes against national candidates (and maybe against local candidates sans the last-hour logistics) have been always there as evidenced by the 2004 and 2007 electoral results.
It’s one big fallacy then to say that just because there is this recent swearing in of almost all municipal officials and barangay captains under the wings of the administration Lakas-CMD party in Comval and the traffic of politicians under the Lakas/Kampi in Davnor, the provinces would then become one big Lakas-CMD Country for national candidates and for Noli de Castro or Bayani Fernando as GMA’s anointed President. For recalling these (did I slip, VG Baby?), Gov. RDR’s optimism is all for wishful thinking only. (For online edition, visit my blog at: http://cha4t.wordpress.com, for comments, reactions, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)