OPINION: Franco’s 729

by Cha Monforte

Diwalwal’s feisty barangay kapitan Franco Tito is at it again. He said he wants no comment to the forthcoming bidding to the areas outside the 729-hectare small scale mining area that his barangay covers because it is not within his area of jurisdiction, but on the next breath, he wants that the entire country should be off-limit to foreign mining. Not only the 1,800-hectare mineral reservation area,  outside Franco’s 729.

It’s perhaps in the innate wizardry of the region’s most popular kapitan that whenever his mouth opens up, always it spews out sound bytes fitting to become a news. He’s after all an authority up there in Diwalwal, besides that Fr. Melvin dela Cuesta, the former controversial Nabunturan priest, is a new add-on one- in terms of religious life (Well, the priest has erected a over million-worth kumbento in Diwalwal which can be a good sleeping space ala Emmaus for visiting officials and wanderers. He intimated to this quarter that God really exists when he managed to strengthen the many GKKs there by just sipping a lot of coffee from parishioners when he jumped and hopped to unite a divided GKKs, between pro- and anti-Fr. Ali. Amen to that pads, dre, sure I’ll be there to document more Diwalwal’s long-running history, that is, if you already have a smartbro up there like kapitan, check my serious stuff at http://diwalwal.multiply.com).

Diwalwal’s great Franco Tito is not only a kapitan but also a Filipino. Sure. The kapitan is one down-to-earth, and hit talker. In all the tumbles of the most controversial and troublesome gold mountain in the country since be became a kapitan after Nonoy Pabilona became the first, Franco has been riding over crests of controversies carried up to Davao City and Manila media and always ends up to be the last man standing after the hubris settle down. He becomes a permanent media fixture and becomes one authoritative representation of the Diwalwal people. For as long as his 729 is not touched he’ll keep his silence, but since he’s a Pinoy, too, he shouts- the Pinas is for the Filipinos to mine, and not for the foreigners. Such a usual Franco barb trademark.

By the worst problems and great tasks that attend to the infamous mountain, even if he’s just a kapitan, he’s works like mayor reigning over 20,000 people. But don’t convert Diwalwal as town as a monkey wrench can be thrown to the Monkayo’s bid for cityhood for lack of 150,000 population, while it has still over 80,000 and already complied the requirements of P100-million annual income and 100 square kilometer land area. Monkayo after all is the No. 1 candidate for cityhood in the 11-town Comval. If Mayor Manuel “Junjun” Brillantes is wise enough he immediately attain the 150,000 population and make Monkayo a city if he insists on getting a lot of barangays that rightly belong to Comval and not Agusan del Sur if today’s erroneous northern borderline is corrected.

Now back to Franco, who is actually no alien to net technology. Perhaps he’s the first kapitan who uses Yahoo Messenger from his house in Panabo to teleconference using webcams for a meeting with his barangay kagawads up in Diwalwal barangay hall. Sources said Franco has long been using that since the Smart integrated a wireless net technology in its cellular system in the recent year. Such is first, another wizardry to the always beleaguered but indefatigable and hit talker kapitan. That’s a cheer, too, to the Chicken Joy-munching Chinese ZTE miners who had stalked Diwalwal’s belly sometime ago. (For online edition, visit my blot at: https://cha4t.wordpress.com, e-mail: chamonforte@yahoo.com, or ruralurbanews@yahoo.com)


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