OPINION: A Season’s right topic

By Cha Monforte

dec 19

If there’s one good topic good-natured politicians in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley must discuss during the merrymaking in the Yuletide Season it is the death of vibrant democracy in this part of the country. This death has been with us since two elections ago. This dying little by little occured starting when Fernando Poe Jr. ran for President, and when Kampi emerged as a new pro-administration party that fought against Lakas in 2004 polls. In FPJ’s loss, a song was made with a lyrics, “sa Pinas ang talo ay naging Pangulo.”

Since then electoral battles in Davnor and Comval have been engaged by Lakas and Kampi parties although there was such exemption when former Davao del Norte Governor Gelacio “Yayong” Gementiza was forced to jump ship and went to United Opposition (UNO) after a political wrangling. But then Yayong’s muckracking wasn’t against Lakas nor Kampi being opportunist political parties, while his campaign went only for rallying around his personality and not much on issues. It was in that 2007 polls when Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario clutched in straws both the Lakas and Kampi bets that threw a monkey wrench to the District 2 bets of former Cong. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr.

Comval in 2004 polls has that political unification with former Gov. Jose “Joecab” Caballero running under Lakas with erstwhile political rivals, former Cong. Pros Amatong, Cong. Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora, and the Lakas mayors while Kampi then scarcely fielded municipal slates. It was in 2007 polls, when Caballero was shoved out from Lakas forcing him to use Kampi to engage in feverish battle with the Lakas titans.

When Kampi emerged only with few flickers in 2004 polls, it turned out to be a serious, alternative power contender against Lakas in 2007 polls, but in so far as the national bets were concerned, just the same to Lakas, Kampi also rued for Malacanang bets.

Without now the strong presence of Erap’s PMP, De Villa’s Reporma, Danding’s NPC, Drilon-wing Liberal parties in the two provinces, alternative political figures in the opposition are largely absent in the present political landscape.

At this writing, nobody even from the losing bets especially those having provincial stature and prominence, while not yet considered as political has-beens have engaged in even discursive engagements with Lakas and Kampi incumbents in critical and gut public issues of the day. Well, then Gob. Yayong and then Gob. Joecab are not yet seen as has-beens and spent force as far as my jaded eyes can see, but the former chose to still play a guessing game with the media when he earlier said he was convenient also to run with Gov. RDR, while the latter is still reportedly entertaining to be with the administration through Kampi. Santa Banana! Basa na ang record sa Lakas ug Kampi these days for pure and simple political opportunism while corruption issues are burning the fences of the administration, but sadly in our locales, no non-incumbent politician has yet emerged to engage in democratic discourse pertaining the incumbents’ policies and ways of running the government, nor someone from them has risen to be counted on as representative of the legal opposition.

But maybe potential legal oppositionists in our provinces, if really there are still souls out there, are just waiting for Lakas and Kampi parties to turn from basa to baho in the likes to what had befallen into KBL (Kilusang Bagong Lipunan) during the dying years of Marcos dictatorship. It seems that the blunder of legal oppositionists occurs not only when they continue to be in the comfort zone but more so when the refuse to see the writings in the wall, like the sentiments of our bishops these days, and feel the pulse of people. Look only how people gave political fortune to Isabela Governor Grace Padaca and Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio, who read well the temper of their own people.

For their continued silence as we now enter in electoral year a few days from now, while people observe, see and listen the failings and arrogance of administration Lakas and Kampi parties over the media, legal oppositionists in our provinces have only themselves to blame when they are routed again comes 2010. It’s they who voice for the practical check and balance in the provinces. The legal opposition place is right in the bedrock of our democracy. It’s the safety valve of peace. Without it, the alternative is the underground opposition, that only begets further violence and bloodshed we can only regret. It seems they don’t rage to the dying of the light or choose to become bystander in their own dark tunnel. (For online edition, visit my blog: https://cha4t.wordpress.com, txt 09069104553, e-mail: chamonforte@yahoo.com)


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