OPINION: Political year

BLOGISTA
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: https://cha4t.wordpress.com, for comments and reactions, text 09069104553, e-mail: chamonforte@yahoo.com)

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