OPINION: Villar’s lobotomy


By Cha Monforte

jan 7

Quite obviously now in this part of the country, presidential candidate Manny Villar hasn’t yet moved on in terms of party machinery building. It is clear that Villar is maximizing projection of his candidacy through outdoor tarpaulins, radio airwaves and TV rolls and sound bytes. In both Compostela Valley and Davao del Norte, he’s largely lacking of local slates including independent candidates carrying his name. If he struck support from incumbent officials in the region, it’s scarce and not a plenty that can create bandwagon effect. Villar’s Nacionalista party apparatchiks aren’t organizing local machineries since  their obvious gameplan is to dovetail with incumbent officials, targeting governors and congressmen who are for now supporting Gibo Teodoro of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD or for Noynoy Aquino of the Liberal Party, and have them bolt maybe at the homestretch of the May 2010 polls to support Villar. We have a Bisaya political catchword for that- lobotomy.


Erap is similarly fated with Villar in our provinces. By and large, the former president is not being carried by local slates and independent candidates in Davao del Norte and Comval. His masa appeal seems to be dying already as the new vogue in town is Noynoy Aquino. “Uso-uso ra man gud ni ug si Noynoy ang uso,” said reelectionist Councilor Gregorio Dujali III of Panabo City . The councilor said that he’s sure that Noynoy could still muster a lot of votes in District 2 of Davao del Norte even if Tadeco barangays and villages command 13,000-strong votes on which Lakas Congressman Anton Lagdameo can bank on to deliver for Gibo. It’s understandable as Governor Rodolfo del Rosario and his son District 1 congressional bet Anthony Rafael del Rosario are already with the Liberal Party and actively campaigning for Noynoy Aquino.


Talk was that Gibo Teodoro has called up his trusted leaders and contacts, not necessarily congressmen and governors, in Region XI for a meeting in Manila today. Gibo is accordingly worried of his faltering candidacy in the region knowing of the report that there are governors and congressmen pretending to be with the administration party but are actually waiting in the wings to do lobotomy act against him. It’s now time to crack a whip, and account who are really pro-Gibo until the voting day. Time to account, no  more loyalty check as party loyalty is so loose now among governors and congressmen. It’s true, my unimpeachable source said, there’s this “underground Lakas” among older governors and congressmen re-grouping to do lobotomy act and switch to either Noynoy or Villar, whoever of the two, tops the surveys close before the elections.


There’s no truth to the rumor that Comval Governor Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy has funded his arch-enemy former Gov. Jose “Joecab” Caballero for the latter not to run against him and run instead against District 2 Cong. Rommel “Bobong” Amatong. “They (Joecab and his supporters) would really use that issue against Bobong,” he said in my interview. Using that issue against Amatong, while the reelectionist governor runs unopposed, and therefore with least worries on spending so much these polls, unlike Amatong who must spend a lot to defeat for the still bankable and popular Joecab in their return bout without his late kingpin father Pros Amatong, is really demoralizing. Di bah? But the naughty issue of Joecab’s propagandists is uncovered at this early.


Gee, who’s being gilubot? Is it Davao del Norte Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr, Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy, Congressman Arrel Olano or former Governor Gelacio “Yayong” Gementiza? Baby has a good opponent in the person of Boardmember Roger “Dangpanan” Israel , who is being supported by the Floirendos and Lagdameos, while Baby’s tandem Gov. Del Rosario has no opponent. Mayor Uy, who has been maintaining his alliance with the governor and a known close friend of former Cong. Tonyboy Floirendo, has an opponent in the person of Olano, who’s publicly known to be close to the governor. Olano, who is supposed to be the District 1 Lakas-Kampi-CMD chairman, was forced to run for mayor as independent Lakas as he was not given the Lakas certificate of nomination and acceptance (CONA) close before the deadline by District 2 Cong. Anton Lagdameo. Ex-Gov. Yayong, who swore as new Lakas member when ex-Miss Universe declared her gubernatorial bid with Cong. Lagdameo administering late November, and a few days after run for city mayor as independent candidate (still without the Lakas CONA).


There was that “Comelec incident” in the final minutes towards the midnight of Dec. 1, 2009 deadline of the filing of CoC. Talk was that Mayor Uy and his “ready provincial slate” were there at the provincial Comelec office inside the Capitol compound at Mankilam. Uy and company were accordingly ready to file their new CoCs in case the governor’s son Anthony Rafael del Rosario would withdraw his congressional candidacy and run instead for governor, with the father governor RDR retiring from politics and Baby Suaybaguio running instead for congressman. The mayor, sources said, was ready to run for governor vs. AGR. RDR and AGR made true their earlier filing, as the scenario did not materialize. It seems, at this very much early, 2013 election is much exciting in Davao del Norte.


BLOGS AND BITS: Controversial ex-police officer and congressional candidate Cesar Mancao is violating a law on premature campaigning with his greetings posters pasted in walls in all towns of District 1 of Comval. Mancao’s poster really looks like an ordinary campaign propaganda material during election time of the old days when there was still no common Comelec posting area. Old habits really die hard…. It could have been legit if Mancao put a 2010 calendar below the photo of his face and name the way Davao City District 2 congressional candidates Dado Mahipus and Danny Dayanghirang cleverly promote their candidacies before the campaign period…. Admin congressional candidate Maricar Zamora-Apsay should file her protest at the Comelec now for that obvious violation of Mancao, for the latter to tear them down at his own cost…. As to the recent Lakas bungling involving Olano and Yayong, the CONA-less candidates, now we know that Cong. Lagdameo is superb in playing politics. Whew, he made it after walking in a tightrope. Time to lounge and relax with his unopposed candidacy as well as to his tito RDR while AGR is also virtually unopposed. So young but so…. politically mischievous. (e-mail: chamonforte@yahoo.com)


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