Archive for September, 2009

OPINION: Rump company for Nonoy’s sake

Posted in agr del rosario, Allan Laniba, anthony rafael del rosario, atty. jun lopoz, boardmember tony lagunzad, maricar zamora-apsay, Tagum City Mayor Rey with tags , , , , , , on September 28, 2009 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte

sept 17
It’s foremost queer, nay unique or maybe a subterfuge depending on one’s jaded eyes that a governor’s son would call for an obviously anti-administration campaign, that is his vocal support to the presidential bid of Senator Noynoy Aquino, right inside the backyard where his father sits as the top honcho of the threatened administration party now- the Lakas-CMD or Lakas-Kampi-CMD, whatever that is in Davao del Norte.
That was Anthony G. del Rosario (AGR in political nick), the former vice governor, did last week in declaring his vocal support to Noynoy at a media forum right inside the Capitol at Mankilam in Tagum. From that cue, Boardmember Antonio Lagunzad called for the same for Nonoy but not without leaving a caveat of getting first an imprimatur from the governor whom he professes to high heavens as he’s too loyal of (as though he alone is too loyal to the governor in the Capitol. What about the members of the cordon sanitaire gob?). There were also two others, an appointed one from Carmen town and the other, an elected one from Samal island, who drew a rather blurred line against the coming Lakas presidential timber as seen in a photo-op with AGR for Noynoy’s sake.
Now the Malacanang’s political operators are not again that naive. AGR’s political statements clearly mean he already burned the bridges with Arroyos, for siding with the Good than the Evil. And if Evil is Malacanang to critical writers and commentators, the Palace’s Big Brother eyes might have been already furious for the governor’s continued silence to his son’s statements and political activities that are now rocking the boat- that he is steering without an assembly of Lakas tripolantes.
The public visibility cast by such rump company of Noynoy’s supporters closely connected to the governor, who up until now is still a Lakas partidista, to borrow the oft-repeated line of last-termer 1st District Cong. Arrel Olano, only smacks an image of a divided Capitol. But pundits say that Gov. RDR can’t yet jump ship to the opposition, despite that he no longer has a “Tadeco to protect”  as leaving the administration party would open up the Lakas-Kampi-CMD up for grabs by and control of the Floirendos, the acknowledged kingmaker in the province’s District 2, leaving RDR vulnerable in his reelection bid.
For such, the spectre of seeing the governor to be mum over his son’s political stance, coupled with the spectre of him holding on at bay a political inertia, foremost of not calling for a big assembly of Lakas and Kampi leaders and members as this will exclude AGR, has now generated second guessing game in the Capitol and entire province after AGR’s health became the first that cracked up.
But this is obviously putting pressures to the governor, one from Malacanang, and the other from his partymates and the voting public as seeing him sticking it out with Lakas-Kampi-CMD, and putting no one as standard bearer for the 1st district congressional post, obviously to reserve it to AGR as possibly an adopted candidate, who is already with the opposition for now, is a height of political trickery and duplicity. This would not really sit well with an ultra-envious Malacanang, while there is this dignified option of following the path of AGR now, or putting the latter on gag order while he’s inside and working at the Capitol. Or better still, AGR has to resign as provincial employee and put up his own private political headquarters somewhere else outside the confines of the Capitol.
A private citizen AGR? Why not! That’s fine to many Noynoy’s supporters around waiting for a leader to rally for them for Noynoy’s sake.
BLOGBITS: BM Tony Lagunzad is a Coryista. He was appointed the OIC mayor in Tagum after EDSA Uno. But he was defeated by Vice Gov. Baby Suaybaguio when he ran as regular mayor, while seven of his OIC councilors won….. Now he’s at it again, wanting to jump first while asking somebody to hold him not to….. Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy did not mince his words in my last Monday interview of calling Daneco OIC GM Allan Laniba as “not right (person) to be there”. Way Labad na ana si Laniba mayor. I mean he’s also ready not to become the full-pledged Daneco….. Comval Boardmember Maricar Apsay has now a contender for the congressional post in the District 1- Atty. Jun Lopoz, former Ombudsman for Mindanao lawyer, university professor, former community organizer, ex-student activist, who has been on private practice for over 10 years. His slogan: kursunada! His battlecry: “lipay, lingaw, daug!”…… Comvalenyos are getting thrilled of Atty. Jun- Kursunda! than giving the congressional post to BM Maricar without a fight. That’s what an election, piniliay is- dapat may pilion ta! (For comments, email:

NEWS: “I’ll wait and see” – Mayor Uy

Posted in anthony rafael del rosario, tagum city mayor rey uy with tags , on September 28, 2009 by cha monforte

On political realignments

sept 15
In the wake of initial political stirrings in the province over the support of some politicians to Senator Nonoy’s bid to presidency, Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy has remained quite unperturbed saying “I’ll wait and see” on the political realignments in the national scene as well as relative to Nonoy’s recent emergence as an opposition’s top presidential contender.
“It’s his prerogative,” he commented to last week’s vocal declaration of support of the son of Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo Del Rosario, forrmer Vice Gov. Anthony Rafael, who earlier declared to run as independent candidate for the District 1 congressional post.
Already, the young Del Rosario’s expression of support last week has attracted a few of provincial politicians notably Boardmember Antonio Lagunzad while the governor has visibly remained mum on the political pronouncements of his son, who earlier went into seven-month leave as provincial sports coordinator to undergo series of chemotherapy treatments to recuperate from his stage 3 hodgkin lymphoma cancer. Last month, the former vice governor announced he was already healed from the disease.
Mayor Uy said he remained to be the city chairman of the Lakas-CMD party although it has been not clear whether the Lakas-CMD and Kampi parties have already been merged in the province while there was no provincewide assembly of Lakas and Kampi members that had happened purposely for it since the regional merger of Lakas and Kampi in June 2008 at Apo View Hotel in Davao City.
The governor though late last year said that as far as he was concerned the Lakas-CMD and Kampi parties were already merged.
This, as in the national scene, Lakas-CMD officials such as the Lakas originals represented by former President Fidel Ramos and former Speaker Jose De Venecia and Lakas-Kampi officials supportive to President Arroyo have been fighting it out at the Comelec on the issue of the accreditation of the merged Lakas-Kampi-CMD party, while other reports said that more Lakas-Kampi-CMD members in the provinces are entertaining to jump or have already jumped out from their party to the Liberal Party identified with the Senators Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas as claimed by De Venecia.
Uy, who commands the city with a big chunk of voting population in District 1, bolted from the administration to the opposition camp of opposition presidential candidate Joseph Estrada during the 2004 polls.
Uy though currently has been observed to be maintaining good relationship with Gov. Del Rosario, whom the son Anthony Rafael described in a local TV interview as a “loyal Lakas member”. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

NEWS: More space in country’s history for “Battle of Ising”, Davao del Norte execs ask

Posted in battle of ising, battles in the philippines, carmen davao del norte, mayor mar perandos with tags , , , on September 13, 2009 by cha monforte

aug 31

Wrapped under a so scorching heat of an overcast sun at noon Sunday, Davao del Norte officials and the military, in celebrating the National Heroes Day, profusely gave tribute to a handful of still living World War II veterans of a 1,500 guerilla force that stood in a fierce seven-day “Battle of Ising” and exalted the “victorious battle in Mindanao” as worth of more space in our country’s history books.
Led by Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, officials laid a wreath at the Veterans’ Memorial Shrine with the flag in a half mast, at the junction of the national highway in Carmen town and respectively remembered and cited the “Battle of Ising” right in the place where it happened 64 years ago.
In that battle at Ising river, elements of the 130th Infantry Regiment of the 10th Military District, Mindanao, led by Maj. Saturnino R. Silva Sr., launched an attack on Japanese forces attempting to occupy Northern Davao and Agusan, and escaping to the seawaters of Agusan and Surigao.
The Filipino guerillas overran Japanese defensive positions from May 3-10, 1945 with hundreds of lives lost on both sides.
It was “a culminating and the last decisive battle in the liberation of Mindanao,” writes Marie Silva-Vallejo, author of a recently launched book, “Battle of Ising—The Untold Story of the 130th Infantry Regiment”. She is a daughter of 130th Infantry Regiment officer Lt. Col. Saturnino Silva Sr. of Pangasinan.
She distributed few copies of the book to the veterans and officials present during the occasion.

Gov. Del Rosario said the “Battle of Ising” reminded the “present and future generation to exercise vigilance to guard freedom or the blood of our heroes is wasted”.

Torcuato Cirpo, now 81 years old and the supply incharge of the regiment, spoke in behalf of the 14 other living veterans of the battle present in the occasion.

Cirpo thanked that he is alive long after the battle and is more thankful for having received last May $9,000 lump sum compensation from US government for the Filipino veterans’ services during World War II by virtue of the economic stimulus package approved by US President Barack Obama.

“For them (veterans) to enjoy… while already in the twilight days of our lives,” he added.

“It’s a ferocious but victorious battle in Mindanao… unlike the battles in Luzon where the Filipinos were defeated, but unfortunately our history books abundantly chronicled them,” said Carmen town mayor Marcelino Perandos.

On the other hand, Major General Reynaldo Mapagu, commander of the 10th Infantry Division, cited the bravery and heroism of the guerrilas and called that the battle ” be given a significant space in our history”.

In his foreword to the book, Prof. Ricardo Trota Jose of the University of the Philippines writes that “most of the histories of World War II in the Philippines have focused on Luzon. The battles fought on Luzon were of course, important … but there were significant battles fought in the Visayas and Mindanao, battles which may be known in their immediate locality but not in the national consciousness. Mindanao, in particular, has not received the attention it deserves.”
Provincial officials and historical and cultural buffs from nongovernmental and business sector in Davao City put up an exhibit on the “Battle of Ising” at Davao Museum last June in the bid of putting it in proper place in the country’s history. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

OPINION: Readings from the ground

Posted in Uncategorized on September 7, 2009 by cha monforte


By Cha Monforte

sept 7

Now national politicians are already gearing up fast to select and finalize their standard bearers. The Lakas-Kampi has issued an ultimatum to Vice President Noli de Castro to decide whether he will run for President or not, while 49 of the 79 governors in the country have just endorsed the presidential candidacy of Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro. At press time, we don’t know yet if Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario and Compostela Valley Governor Arturo Uy are part of the 49 governors rooting for Teodoro, although we heard from the rounds sometime that the latter was gravitating towards presidential hopeful Senator Manny Villar, while Del Rosario’s son Anthony Rafael had declared to be neutral and independent in his bid for Congress in his province’s 1st District.

So we’re too close to November’s deadline, and politics in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley provinces is starting to brew now seemingly, despite that for many months the political teapot has always been subdued into not percolating hot by ruling provincial leaderships which both stressed unity under the administration’s banner. We heard, too, that governors who are claiming to be independent minded in their presidential choice have been under close watch of, if not already distrusted by Malacanang. This quarter is not yet believing that story that Gov. Del Rosario has already fallen from Malacanang’s grace when he was replaced as the regional chairman of Lakas-Kampi by Davao Oriental Gov. Corazon Malanyaon. Or that another story in the political grooves of Comval that Gov. Uy had been excluded in the Lakas-Kampi national directorate by Malacanang at that moment when he started organizing the Uswag Comval party as an independent political aggrupation in his province. While we are seeing that there’s already this equilibrium tilting towards the opposition presidential bearers in our provinces, we’re still not concluding things, and we’re not yet apt to buy the line, “When there’s smoke, there’s fire.” Prior to that, I’m still seeing though that doubting Thomases among our governors are not yet burning their bridges with Malacanang, to hell and back.

I’m first seeing on the ground that Malacanang’s political operators aren’t really naive as they count on support of governors in their bid to ensure for victory of GMA’s presidential bet (and hence her continued post-election immunity), or they isolate potential turncoats among the governors and throw resources to loyal allies among congressmen to still maintain the administration’s nationwide breadth and network of political support and machinery.

But really the way Malacanang’s operators are cleverly cracking the party whip now for the governors and congressmen to still toe the line in the face of the snowballing of interest to opposition standard-bearers, foremost the Aquino-Roxas tandem, and even despite the continued suspense in Malacanang’s final presidential pick, is still pushing governors and congressmen to hold their ground even if a lot of them are already on the brink of jumping to the opposition’s ship. We know for sure that it’s still the Malacanang’s campaign largesse that speaks in the costly stretch of campaign period. And as a wag says in Davao del Norte’s provincial board, in the end the governor’s son AGR who declared to be running independent for Congress, would have to choose a party to cling to as sustaining the cost of his candidacy would easen up when party funds are trickling down for watchers and others, and what with the benefits of running under a Comelec-accredited party. That, besides getting the influence and count of delivering on the ground votes for national victors.

BLOGBITS: During the commemoration of the “Battle of Ising” last National Heroes Day at the Veterans Shrine, Carmen town, mayors in Davao del Norte’s District were no-show except the host Mayor Mar Perandos. A pundit said, that showed how united are the District 1 mayors to the governor, while District 2 mayors were reportedly sickly (just for the occasion?)- and one of them is allegedly already in pampers. A running joke, or maybe the District 2 mayors did not attend the historic occasion as they still swear allegiance to the District 2 political kingpins- the Floirendos of the mammoth Tadeco….. Comval’s new gold rush site at Pamintaran in Maragusan town is continued to be trekked on by stampeding tunnel financiers, prospectors and miners. There’s really plenty of gold there, and in fact prominent political names in Comval have been heard often downhill to have hit it big to become fealty rich. Now one is just comtemplating to run for Congress after he earlier swore not to. Politics is fluid in Comval as it maybe dependent on gold, unlike in Davao del Norte where its politics now is too dependent on someone else’s health. (For comments and reactions, e-mail: