Archive for January, 2009

OPINION: The admission

Posted in anthony del rosario, baby suaybaguio, yayong gementiza with tags , , on January 31, 2009 by cha monforte
By Cha Monforte
The admission of leading congressional aspirant Anthony Rafael del Rosario (AGR) that he is afflicted with Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer- Stage 3 is fatal to his political career and specifically to his plan of running for the District 1 post. Like it or not, even if he survives from the debilitating disease, people will talk about his health and physical capacity to handle the post.
We are forced to research online and found in the website of the National Cancer Institute of the United States that Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer in Stage 3 development has this state: The lymphoma cells are in lymph nodes above and below the diaphragm. Lymphoma also may be found in one part of a tissue or an organ (such as the liver, lung, or bone) near these lymph node groups. It may also be found in the spleen.” The treatment requires chemotherapy or radiation therapy or both, good nutrition, and a lot of rest.
Hodgkin Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system and its symptoms include the painless enlargement of lymph nodes, spleen, or other immune tissue. Its symptoms include fever, weight loss, fatigue, or night sweats. The website tells of sure side effects of the treatment that include a weakened immune system “because chemotherapy and radiation therapy often damage healthy cells and tissues and the common side effects of cancer treatment are fatigue, pain, nausea, vomiting, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss, and mouth sores.”
Taking these literature, AGR’s cancer would really have an impact to his physique and gives great physical challenge to him in case he or his family still decides to still engage him in politics after his recovery from the treatment. We are 12 months ahead before a heightened electoral tempo of 2010, and if for the next 6 months his chemotheraphy is through and the next 6 months (July to January) he’s quite on track on rest and recovery, the early months of 2010 would all still be needed by him for mild physical activity considering that it is cancer and not a common disease that is afflicting him.
What Tagum pundits are saying that there is quite a doubt that he could withstand a bruising electoral campaign by March 2010 is thinkable speculation. As of this writing, we don’t hear yet that the Lakas leaders in Davao del Norte led by Governor Rodolfo del Rosario have convened purposely to tackle on who is the next in line after AGR for the congressional standard bearer although Vice Gov. Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio is now much talked of as the logical choice for the post.
But the governor could not indefintely put the issue on his hand considering the wrangling of Boardmember Roger “Dangpanan” Israel and the need for certainty in the political realignment with the seeming political exit of AGR. Also, with Baby’s shift for the congressional post, the vice governor’s post will become an open, vacant post and we expect further wrangling over for this from other Lakas party wannabes. Dangpanan for the VG post? What about the last-termer Cong. Arrel Olano? This has to be decided in consideration to the possible moves of the other factors outside the provincial political boardroom- City Mayor Rey Uy, former Gov. Gelacio “Yayong” Gementiza (who has said why not also in Congress? But he threw his indorsement to Baby), and as well as the Floirendos.
Things are just beginning to be both certain and messy with AGR’s political exit due to his health (For online edition, visit, ot, for comments and reactions, text 09069104553, or email, watch “Tagum Newsbreak” of WTV 11 channel over Skycable Tagum)

NEWS: Yayong endorses Baby Suaybaguio for Congress 2010

Posted in boardmember roger israel, gelacio "yayong" gementiza, governor rodolfo del rosario, vice governor victorio suaybaguio with tags , , , on January 27, 2009 by cha monforte

“New City Hall is just a walking distance from my house”

Former Davao del Norte Governor Gelacio “Yayong” Gementiza Tuesday  in an interview said that he liked to see Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio taking the crack for the District 1 congressional post which last-termer Arrel Olano is finishing to serve at present.

“Yes, I am endorsing him (Suaybaguio) for Congress,” he said.

Gementiza’s statement came close to what observers said as political exit of former Vice Gov. Anthony Rafael del Rosario who admitted last week that he is afflicted with Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer in Stage 3 development.

Gementiza opined that between Suaybaguio and the young Del Rosario the former has more winnability in District 1 saying that the latter “is more identified with the second district”.

He added that Del Rosario only established residence in Tagum City in a recent year “because he wanted to be a candidate”.

Asked on his political plan by 2010, Gementiza said “wala sa, kay layo pa” (none yet as the election is still away). “It’s still a nobody’s game,” he said.

But on the next breath, he said that the location of the new City Hall that is being fast-tracked for completion by Mayor Rey Uy at present at Apokon “is good that it is just a walking distance to my residence”, a seeming potshot to one of Yayong’s political options.

Gementiza though admitted that he and the present governor have been calling each other in phone saying in vernacular that “if it’s not me calling him, it’s he who gives a call”.

Gementiza, now 74, ran but lost to the governor in the last 2007 polls.

The young Del Rosario, known by his political nick AGR, was earlier so much speculated to be the inevitable Lakas standard-bearer for the District 1 congressional post given that he is the son and political heir-apparent of the aged Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario. The latter is already 76.

AGR announced last week that he would be undergoing chemotherapy treatment for the next six months and hence would be on leave from his present position as the provincial sports coordinator.

But observers speculated that with AGR’s disease there would be difficulties for him to stand the rigors of the bruising electoral campaign once he physically recovers, or he would be associated with an electoral issue on his health.

With Del Rosario’s political exit, Suaybaguio, known close to the governor, is now speculated to take the stead of AGR in the governor’s endorsement for the post.

But Gementiza commented that Boardmember “Dangpanan” Roger Israel, who is also aspiring for the congressional post, could not also be discounted citing that Israel has a record of landing as topnotcher for senior boardmember in three elections in the past. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWS: Investigation on alleged Sportivo overpricing scam in Davnor Capitol called on

Posted in boardmember demitrio maligro, davao del norte boardmember artemio san juan, former vice governor anthony rafael del rosario, governor rodolfo del rosario, nicandro "nick" suaybaguio sr., vice governor victorio "baby" suaybaguio with tags , , , , , on January 27, 2009 by cha monforte

BM San Juan asked for parallel probe

Davao del Norte Boardmember Artemio San Juan called on for a “parallel investigation” by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on the alleged Sportivo overpricing scandal being circulated in malicious text messages from still unknown senders.

Showing previous copies of a local Tagum daily, Sidlak and of a local Visayan daily which reported last week the spread of said text messages to among local mediamen, San Juan, chair of the SP’s laws and justice committee, moved in Monday’s session to refer the matter to the committee on good government chaired by Demitrio Maligro for “proper investigation parallel” to the one pledged by Governor Rodolfo del Rosario during a press conference.

A few interpellations were heard on the floor to clarify San Juan’s motion.

Boardmember Ely Dacalus stood up and asked for copies of the previous issues of Sidlak and a Visayan daily saying that he had not yet read the news items.

San Juan then made supplementary motion directing the Office of the Secretary of the Sanggunian (OSS) to reproduce copies of the issues for the rest of the boardmembers.

Floorleader Gregorio Facula wrapped up San Juan’s motion following clarificatory queries from senior Boardmember Janet Gavina, who was still presiding over the provincial board yesterday in view of the continued absence of Vice Gov. Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio.

There was no comment heard on the floor when Gavina asked for it before the motion was sent to Maligro’s committee.

Gov. Del Rosario Tuesday last week in the Kapihan sa Kapitolyo press forum at the Media Center in the Capitol compound pledged he would conduct his own inquiry-probe on overpricing allegations spread by text messages that tagged his provincial administrator Rufo Peligro and general services department head Sammy Sanchez.

He dared the unknown senders to come out in the open and bring out evidences to their allegations even as he swore on the integrity of the bidding processes at the Capitol.

The governor also decribed the text messages in one angle as political intrigue intended to sow disunity among political leaders adding that it came with 2009 being a political year already.

Menwhile, the vice governor is due to return office on February 2 after his over a month of vacation from the United States, said Nicandro “Nick” Suaybaguio Sr., brother of the vice governor.

He said that the vice governor also underwent medical checkup in the US for his minor arthritis ailment.

He said that the DILG provincial office made Tuesday a favorable legal opinion that the authorization of the vice governor to OIC Vice Gov. Gavina to sign papers as e-mailed last Friday is “valid in form and substance”.

“All’s well already so the SP casual employees could already have their salaries,” he said.

Reports said that casual employees in the SP have been already complaining last week over the delayed release of their salaries this month as their contracts have still to be renewed and signed by the vice governor.

However, staff members of the vice governor’s office told Sidlak that release of salaries for casual employees has always been rather delayed every contract renewal month of January and July citing the need to process working papers and requirements which would pass various departments in the Capitol. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

OPINION: Baby Suaybaguio, the logical choice for Congress

Posted in AGR, anthony del rosario davao del norte, davao del norte, rdr, rodolfo del rosario, tagum city, vice gov baby suaybaguio davao dedl norte with tags , , , , , , on January 25, 2009 by cha monforte


By Cha Monforte

The admission of former Davao del Norte Vice Governor Anthony Rafael del Rosario (AGR) last week that he is afflicted with Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer on Stage 3 development and that he is now on the way for treatment and rest for the next six months has given a new, big twist in the political landscape of the province.

Since shortly after the middle last year, the congressional post that the last-termer District 1 Congressman Arrel Olano is finishing to serve had then become fait accompli in the declaration of the governor’s son to vie for it.  AGR’s declaration edged out early bird congressional aspirants from political warrooms in the province though it earned more audible verbal sniping from Boardmember Roger “Dangpanan” Israel over Radyo Ukay-Tagum, and flickers of thoughts from pundits on the possibilities of City Councilor Oyo Uy and even former Gov. Yayong Gementiza vying for the position. Blank blips were however were seen from the quarters of the two, while there was that little talk last week that former Cong. Bal Sator has been reviving his PDSP network in District 1. A source confirmed that before former Vice Gov.AGR made his declaration, Governor Rodolfo del Rosario had actually blessed first Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio to prepare for Olano’s post as he was his choice. AGR’s congressional plan was only prodded by a Kapihan questioning and earned subsequent bias interpretations even as he lay his bid that it was still up to the Lakas party’s decision (but who else can vote against a kingpin’s son). It was such declaration that preempted VG Baby’s subsequent moves in deference to AGR and true to his being a governor’s good soldier. Sator for being a Lakas outsider even if he is connected with Bert Gonzales PDSP, a minority ally party of the administration, has still to fend much for himself. He is a political has-been now, just like former Cong. Bebot Alvarez despite the unrepentant insistence of their respective political merons like that pondok sa purok.

Time’s a-changing really and the electorate is now looking for new, fresh faces in politics. Perhaps last-termer Councilor Joey Millan can cast his hat for the congressional post but it’s unlikely he’ll get the backing of City Mayor Rey Uy given that the known Suaybaguios- VG Baby and Councilor Nickel (include there the influential Nick Sr) are in ally with Uy.

Millan may as well join in the fray to the one open District 1 boardmember’s slot to be vacated by last-termer Macario “Bong” Bermudez, but the lawyer councilor would also be facing his co-equal last-termer councilors, chief among whom is the populist Councilor Enting Eliot.

But BM aspirants have also stopper scenarios coming: if last-termer Olano does run least dignified when he chickens out from squaring off with Uy in his mayoral option, or if City Vice Mayor Rellon isn’t shoved out from his last term to take instead for the BM’s seat if Oyo is positioned ala Sara Duterte by 2010 for his eventual mayorship by 2013, the year when the mayor will possibly gun for governorship, his ultimate pipe dream.

But then when Vice Gov. Baby becomes now a logical choice to take the place of Olano by 2010 the vice gubernatorial post is not only left much open but also much sighted by 2013 given the fast retirement age of Gov. RDR and the absence of a politico kin from his family now with AGR’s exit. The post is just a spit away to governorship.

There are also big variables in the political equation that Olano has to contend with- former Cong. Tonyboy Floirendo (and the grand old man “White Hair” Don Antonio Floirendo, and who knows Cong. Anton Lagdameo’s political lollipop is taken back by his tito and he’s positioned for VGship), Mayor Uy and former Gov. Yayong Gementiza. On where Tonyboy and Uy stand and relate to each other and on RDR’s political and familial considerations lie the next political fate of Olano.

But for VG Baby Suaybaguio? It looks like his political star is ever smiling now. Ok, there’s no “equity of the incumbent” Lakas rule for an open post. But what other yardsticks which could then be the bases of choice for the congressional standard bearer? Surveys, popularity, seniority in present position, Lakas years of membership and lastly but most importantly- the vote of the kingpin that partymates nevertheless have to follow. Certainly, VG Baby has all these even if BM Dangpanan sings “it’s now” than “never” or Yayong sings in refrain “you’re loser to me”.

AGR’s recent political exit has sprung up a new, big twist in the province’s political landscape that first made VG Baby Suaybaguio as the logical choice for Congress. (For online edition, visit my blog at: http://cha4t,, for comments and reactions, txt 09069104553, e-mail: Watch “Tagum Newsbreak” over wTV 11 channel in Skycable Tagum. Coming up “Ang Lungsod” over DXPA 103.2 FM)

OPINION: Political year

Posted in alleged sportivo scam in davao del norte, boardmember artemio san juan, comval, cong way kurat zamora, davao del norte, gov. chiongkee uy, governor rodolfo del rosario, tagum with tags , , , , , , , on January 23, 2009 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte

We’re definitely on political times down the road. Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario said it so Monday during a Kapihan. On the broadside, he described the spread of malicious text messages on the alleged Sportivo overprice scam as one political intrigue, even while he dared the unknown cabal to come out into the open and then prove and substantiate allegations. Veteran and seasoned Igacos politician, Boardmember Artemio San Juan has no reservation in saying that this year is when intrigues will fly thick and fast.
Good for Gov. RDR and BM San Juan. They said what should be expected. Recalling back during the gubernatorial reign of Joecab in Comval, this is the same time of his last term term when he got an ultra-filibustering and obstructionist majority of boardmembers led now Gov. Chiongkee Uy. Joecab’s executive budget was re-enacted for the majority’s intentioned failure to approve. On a hailstorm of allegations vented by Joecab’s oppositionists over the media, new budget approval was snagged while the issue of pork barrel for direct disbursement by the legislative department landed on COA’s frying pan. The cooked menu was named disallowance.
That was history though but preluding Joecab’s electoral defeat. The lesson learned is that towards halfway of a term is already a political season and politicians have to start politicking in the open. It’s now time to cast that phrase out, “malayo pa ang eleksyon, trabaho muna.” It’s no-no now. Such is good for the last year. The pundits are after all right. If outsiders and challengers could not make a dent in the public mind later this year, they could not break even with the incumbents considering the latter’s administration advantages. January 2010 is time for premature electioneering already.
So with this, the choice of Comval Lakas to make this month, January as the time to decide whether the congressional standard-bearer is Vice Gov. Ramil Gentugaya or congressman’s daughter Boardmember Maricar Zamora-Apsay is just right and fitting. At least the one who is left out by the party has still the time to jump to opposition’s ship and dovetail with the national opposition presidentiables and senatoriables. That way he or she could still have plenty of time to organize a districtwide or provincewide political structure and machinery.
The case of former Davao del Norte Gov. Yayong Gementiza is an exemption. He was shoved out from Lakas on the rather eleventh hour, two months before the 2007 elections, while he was the sitting governor. When he jumped to United Opposition, it was not late as he had all the provincial activities and government manpower and logistics served for his reelection. But RDR had more logistics, men, media, bailiwick, techniques and organization than what a personalistic Yayong could muster for a win.
The Big Ramil-Maricar Problem of Comval Lakas is different. If it’s BM Maricar now, then VG Ramil is shunted out from provincial-sponsored activities and mass gatherings from this month up to the election ban time as it would be a duty of of Gov. Uy in the tandem to expose and promote Maricar as his runningmate. VG Ramil could still invoke his inclusion being a VG to whatever provincial activity but it would be a sneaky one, if not a cat-and-mouse affair- he’ll appear first onstage while Maricar is still away and coming.
But that’s still an iringan win-win solution while VG Ramil holds his ground as a Lakas member banking on the possible free zone stance or lobotomy of Uy on the last hour. But it’s better for VG Ramil to jump ship to the opposition on this scenario as he has his own logistics and two mayores and the people’s opposition temper on the waiting to favor him. But a longstanding-Lakas member Ramil to the opposition? It’s too unlikely, but just maybe.
On the other hand, if the choice is VG Ramil, the same scenario would hold true to the provincial activities except that BM Maricar is a lesser political mortal for constant isolation. The big problem is that she has a card, in fact a wild card who could throw a money wrench to Lakas in Comval Uno- Cong. Way Kurat Zamora, a stage-, propa- and gimmick-savvy and most popular politician in Comval, while he has three mayores at his side. Which could trigger a chain reaction to District 2, and voila- provincewide! Being that, Cong. Way Kurat is good opposition material and a potential regional opposition chairman, from whom funding flows in the likes of Joe Tejado during Erap’s presidential running in 2001 elections.
But a Way Kurat to the opposition? He who delivered over 13,000 votes margin to GMA over FPJ in 2004 elections and who consistently participated in slaying the four impeachment complaints against GMA? It’s still likely since GMA has already been repaid by Way Kurat’s votes. Bayad na. A plain citizen Way Kurat could have the best potential of becoming a cabinet member, chairman or undersecretary of a national agency under a new President coming from the opposition. On this good scenario, Way Kurat has nothing to lose even if Maricar loses. But he has more to gain if Maricar wins. (For online edition, visit my blog at:, for comments and reactions, text 09069104553, e-mail:

OPINION: Sigh of relief

Posted in davao del norte, davao del norte boardmember janet gavina, tagum officials, tagum tricycle fare, vice gov. victorio suaybaguio with tags , , , , on January 17, 2009 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte

Davao del Norte Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio until this writing is out of town. In his absence since last week, senior Boardmember Janet Gavina took the helm of presiding the provincial board, that was well known last year of its legislative vigilance, I should say. BM Gavina is spirited in steering on the provincial board. Maybe it’s due to the good stuff that the body is made of while the Great Tug-of-War has not yet come (Or will it really come?).
Well, for the last year’s feat, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan junked two controversial city ordinances- the Nickel Suaybaguio-authored Urban Poor Ordinance and the legally infirmed Purok Ordinance. But on the same year, the body’s policy confirmatory authority was somehow belittled if not undermined when City Hall enforced its Flexi-Fare Ordinance even while the measure was not yet confirmed at the provincial level.
Somehow the hurried pre-implementation of the flexi-fare measure was just a revenge of sort for what the SP did to the first piecemeal P7-to-P10 tricycle fare measure when they evidently put it in suspended animation while the gasoline prices were still up and only let go off the increase when gasoline prices had already decreased thereby putting the City Hall red in cheek reeling on the shadow of irate tricycle-riding housewives. Nevertheless, the year 2008 ended well with City Council and the SP declaring sort of ceasefire. But it was not really a joke when four lawyer city legislators hopped on at the Capitol’s SP conference hall to advance the merit and worth of their Purok Ordinance only to know after that the measure was returned to the sender. But now here’s one proof of democracy, while the city remains a true component of the province.
But for those two stones, the City Hall made even with the Capitol at the year’s tailend with that hurried implementation of the Flexi-Fare Ordinance (as if the provincial board didn’t exist at all). When the SP would say negative, we would stop enforcing, City Legal Officer and CTFRB chair Roland Tumanda offered though a caveat. But who among the SP could junk the fare measure when the gasoline prices were decreasing last Yuletide Season and P1-fare saving was the first thing wanted by Tagumenyos as a Christmas gift. The City Hall felt vindicated, and more so last January 2 when it gave a New Year’s gift of another P1-fare saving to the city’s riding public. We pray that gasoline prices nowadays could hit the range of P20 to P29.99 so the tricycle fare can be adjusted down to P6, and what a forthcoming sigh of relief.
BLOGBUZZ: But Councilor Joedel Caasi on Monday’s session expected an uptrend of gas prices and reported about cases of arguments breaking down between tricycle drivers and passengers over whether the fare is still P8 or P7. Time to mount an electronic billboard for fare advisory infront the City Hall…. It’s almost mid January. Time flies so fast. We have a half month more of waiting on who should be the Comval standard-bearer for the District 1 congressional post. Is it VG Ramil or BM Maricar?…. A bubuwet said that Senator Chiz Escudero, a presidential wannabe, secretly went to Tagum City last week and met with someone who has a good record of electoral cheating. Intriguing lie?…. A pundit tipped us that a Davnor congressional dreamer is changing color and repackaging himself. From a social drinker, he’s now fast becoming a drunkard, if only to cast away his old image of being unreachable un-makamasa. He was last seen drinking til the wee hours of the night with a town priest. Who is he?  (For online edition, visit my blog at:, for comments and reactions, e-mail:, text 09069104553)

OPINION: Nasty virus

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 7, 2009 by cha monforte
By Cha Monforte
jan 6
The long holiday vacation of government officials and workers has also given us in the media a break. Without much government beat to cover, while this month the Ramil-Maricar row over the issue on who should be of the two congressional wannabes would be chosen by Lakas party in Compostela Valley (yes it’s electoral time now), I also got a splendid time to revisit the ways of the techies and geeks in computer and web world.
My PC at home has long been infected by this nasty huelar browser virus that leads to the porn site of redtube, while my flash disk we commonly call as USB has long resided by this Cool USEP virus. In preferring to get and write news since late last year, I ended up letting my patience go on with slow speed and often interrupted online PC. I also didn’t mind inserting my USB to any PC in internet cafes I dropped by to send my news and views. Anyway, I always thought, the cafes have technicians to repair virus-infected PC. It’s part of their business and getting virus, worms, trojans, etc and spreading them isn’t intentional. When you’re Internet-engaged, think it normal, don’t panic.
But really this redtube virus is snapping my patience’s limits. I tried reformatting my PC for two times over the weekend, and awhile after in each successful reformat the huelar redtube virus was re-launched, and there, it wanted that the porn redtube site would be your only site to browse on and nothing else. This worm stops other programs, disallows other installations and disables the PC administrator.
I downloaded a lot of free anti-virus and installed them on the third reformat, before the redtube virus crept in to the PC’s system, but a little while the redtube site again flashed onscreen. I thought of the boot sector being infected by this nasty virus, but online sources said it is the PC’s task manager and registry editor being disabled by it. Either, it’s not the orgasmic site that launched it. The naughty virus maker just chose redtude as the site to where all your clicks lead to. But maybe he/she wanted infected PC owners to get horny first before becoming mad at this virus. Anyway, until this writing I’m still searching for solution and has posted help in various online forum using another uninfected online PC.
For this virus variant alone, I’m saying now that nastier virus, worms, trojans etc  could still come ahead of us to test patience, wreck time and money of PC owners and those engaged online. But not to worry, virus makers are humans- we know that among them are engaged in business of selling solutions for the virus they created to amass monies worldwide. This is one big paradox in the era of the Internet and computerization. Who knows multi-billionaire Bill Gates is one among them? But this is a techie reality we have to live with.
As to the Cool USEP virus that infects removable disks, it still resides in the USB I’m using. Online sources said it is made from the Philippines. My two-cents worth guess since last year is that USEP stands for University of the Southeastern Philippines. Maybe a computer geek from USEP’s School of Computing made and unleashed it, ala the Love virus years ago that hit even the Pentagon website. Maybe we now have our own Davaoeno IT genius. Looking at it liberally,  the Cool USEP virus shows of the latent wizardry of the Filipinos in the field of information technology. Why does our government fail yet to seize this opportunity for good use and realize leap-frogging of our computing and software industry to the level of India. They say we have also a braindrain of our IT talents.
Looking the state of the tech-voc schools in our provinces, there’s still a large lack of governmental support to IT development. Sadly, our tech-voc schools are left to fend for themselves- operating under inadequate learning facilities, lack of computers, instructors- absence the State subsidies, and as to the IT development, they are left to rot as certificate mills for poor-caliber computer technician graduates. In Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley, a number of voch-tech schools are offering computer technician courses while standing alone without being even connected with the Internet, which is a basic aid of any computer technician worth his salt. Paging our congressmen- pogi points can be more earned if you set aside a budget from your pork barrel for the puchase of computers and Internet connection of these schools. (For online edition, visit my blog at:, for comments and reactions, text 09069104553, e-mail: