OPINION: Tagum City Hall’s gambit?

By Cha Monforte

The cat is out in the bag, and now we know that Tagum City Councilor Mylene Baura is being tossed up the city officialdom to vie for the coveted position of the general manager of billionaire Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative. Of course, the lady whom a colleague of her in a council supra dominated by men calls a pretty city legislator has all the rights to apply for as well as the qualifications to hold the position. She’s not only the rose among the thorns- she’s a lawyer and an accountant as well.
By the city council’s full endorsement of her bid last Monday, and presumably due to the imprimatur of City Mayor Rey Uy, at no time in the wildest dream of OIC GM Alan Laniba, who is junior in age of Councilor Mylene (and others say he’s yet underage to be a Daneco GM), has he been given a good contender, who is in fact more than qualified than him except that Laniba counts to be an insider than an outsider and has reportedly the backing of the present Board of Directors as he gets the impression of being the most senior among the seven other department managers. But maybe the councilor, who is still single, is, too, a member-concessionaire like the Daneco info man.
This city council endorsement visibly revives or reveals once again the city mayor’s long interest to put Daneco under the city hall’s direction. There was that power summit called by him but the Daneco’s power holders did not give meaning of it. And the libel case filed by Daneco officers against Ed Valdez, the mayor’s info man, which was already dismissed, was a side story in what can be seen as an imbroglio between the City Hall officialdom and Daneco management. It generated more speculations, while it is far-fetched to say it trod on the path of Barry Levinson’s Wag the Dog satire.
With Councilor Baura’s entry, Laniba must all the more defend himself in public that he is more than qualified to lead a big organization covering two provinces and an island even with the looming energy crisis and power rates increases ahead of us. After all, he styles himself a mediaman even while employed as the senior manager for Institutional Services Department, which functions like a public and media affairs department like in the corporate world, even as he clings to the position as the president of the National Press Club-Davao del Norte and Comval Chapter (was this NPC chaptering recognized by NPC-National? Just asking). Morever, Laniba is also writing columns and is reportedly the publisher of a local weekly which his sister Jo circulates – even past Daneco’s doors. And these give him all the right to reply. By that particular engagement, Alan must also be transparent, and declare transparency he must now as one of his cherished policies under his management if heavens favorably smile at him.
But there’s a quiver in the thought of some observers over the councilor’s non-reluctance to apply for the position knowing that the city council had been already stigmatized by two stunts of mandate abandonments made by  then Councilor Tristan Royce Aala who went to Japan, and then Councilor Agripino Coquilla who went to become the unconfirmed provincial engineer of Compostela Valley during the time of former Governor Jose “Joecab” Caballero. For trying to go for greener pastures (just nobody could block anybody wishing to try his luck outside), the first reportedly had his finger broken in an accident, while the second had his heart broken for not being confirmed by the provincial board, and media-tatterred while sources said they both had sterling legislative record before their unimagined stunts.
But this bad karma isn’t a downer for the lady councilor. What evidently comes up next from her endorsed bid is both hushed and bare public reactions and opinions hovering about abandonment of people’s mandate. But maybe Mylene’s bid could come past after the November’s deadline of filing of certificates of candidacy. But what if there’s No-El (no election) given that bombs are exploding everywhere, and martial law is declared to perpetuate local incumbents (heavens forbid)? It’s not regretable anyway as a Daneco’s GMship too lasts until the holder returns to his/her Maker (no pun intended).
However, if Baura’s endorsement is really a City Hall’s gambit, then we’ll expect her to get further support from notable politicians like the Comval Gov. Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy, brother of the city mayor, and Davao del Norte Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario, in tandem with her uncle Vice Gov. Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio. But maybe, it’s go Mylene, go! despite the precedents, since as sources from the Daneco board of directors say nobody and nobody can just be appointed and confirmed as Daneco GM by the superimposing (if not irritating) National Electrification Administration (NEA) without him or her being backed and lobbied by powerful politicians. I don’t know yet who among Baura, Laniba and other applicants has already the upperhand in this most important factor and key in capturing this perks-blessed Daneco GMship (email: chamonforte@yahoo.com)

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