OPINION: Dreamers in our provinces

BLOGISTA

By Cha Monforte

aug 3

As of this moment, there seems to be silence in the political front in the provinces of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley. This, as time and again trumpeters of former Vice Governor Anthony del Rosario (AGR) floated in the media that soonest he would be back in the arms of the Davao del Norte Capitol reporting that he has already been healed from stage 3 hodgskin lymphoma cancer after undergoing series of chemotherapy treatments. And in the Comval front- the burying of the hatchet between Vice Governor Ramil Gentugaya and Boardmember Maricar Zamora-Apsay after their jockeying on who should be the administration’s standard bearer for the the District 1 congressional post comes 2010. Yes, we are re-stating these two potential flashpoint areas in these provinces as these could make or unmake political configurations of the dominant power blocs led by governors.

What if AGR could not really sustain his presence until November’s filing of certificate of candidacy, given his doctors’ advice about his presumably weakened immune system and the high-risk of contracting diseases from third party (read: the masa electorate) if he would expose himself to them during the campaign period? Surely, it would trigger sipsipan over who should be the kingpin governor’s choice for the Davnor District 1 congressional post, and then we’re coming for a new circle in Davnor politics.

If the present Ramil-Maricar silence is taken for good, the more we’ll fear for a divisive scenario as an adage says “still water runs deep”. The more the Comval provincial administration bury this issue and keep their silent brickbrats to themselves even if they continuously sing hosannah to the purported “Comval unity” under the “Uswag Comval” banner, the more the Comval public wonder and ask about what the hell is Comval politics going without the usual fanfare spawned by competing political rivals, for as they say “election is fiesta in the Philippines”. Without the opposition, this province will sink from its usual democratic tradition, nay for having so much democracy shown by competing protagonists even only during elections.

Those who insist that political unity in our provinces is shown by the absence of political opposition and critics or even dreamers of public posts vying against municipal and provincial administration’s power stalkers are giving great disservice to our democracy and to the sacred power of the people to elect whom they want to serve them. This isn’t only a downright hypocritical political slogan, advocacy or doctrine- in whatever degree it may have already crept in our barangays now, but a self-serving declaration that only they have the right to rule over ourselves. “Ano sila sineswerte?” quipped one lawyer who would really dare to run against BM Maricar if really VG Ramil would chicken out from his prior plan and BM Maricar would really have no opponent by May 2010 polls and hence, the spectre of giving the pork- and perks-blessed congressional post in a silver platter to her. Our people should really be given a choice than wait lying down for victors if we want democracy to be alive and to flourish in our provinces.

The insidious characteristic of this creeping political doctrine in our time is the way a privileged few now command to put themselves and their political heirs, associates and allies in power, and agree among themselves on when to transfer and swap high public posts after reaching the limits of their terms.

But this cannot go on indefinitely without a challenge. True, election is really costly and treacheries rule in political realm while daring money politics had been boldly introduced in the recent elections. It’s the realpolitik in these provinces when kingpins dictate and strongly influence. In the end, we we’ll get nothing in this political culture except bad politics that has to be handed down to the next generations, in so costlier and costliest form in future elections after elections that in the end elected leaders would be forced to corrupt the public coffers to recoup their election expenses.

We’re only imagining a dreamland in Isabela and Pampanga electoral experiences with the upset electoral victories of the Padaca and Panlilio over well-entrenched and moneyed political clans and families. But this isn’t unreachable if we believe in the inert capacity of our people to change institutions, leaders and rulers. But always change starts from a dream, and dreamers spring eternal from the ranks of the youths. I recall the late lawyer Florante Garcia of Compostela who stood and fought against blandishments and isolations made by political titans and traitors in traditional politics, and for such he showed the youth’s energy and zest for change in peaceful means. I’m no pessimist. And for this, there are always youthful sons and daughters in our provinces who would spring out to dream and work for reforms and change. (For reactions, txt 09199748945, or email: chamonforte@yahoo.com)

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