Archive for the DAVAO DEL NORTE POLITICS Category

COLUMN: A long kingdom story

Posted in DAVAO DEL NORTE POLITICS with tags on January 1, 2012 by cha monforte

Oct 27-Nov 2, 2011


By Cha Monforte

Once upon a time there was one united kingdom. It reigned in a vast rich land. The king was known to be a good provider to his people and the people in return gave obedience to him. The kingdom had a profitable economic enterprise which fed his vassal people. Because the king was too preoccupied in building up the kingdom’s economic empire, he picked the brother of his queen to take in charge of the politics of the kingdom and gave him even more powers in the training and even disciplining of his young and growing royal children on the rudiments of both economics and politics so that one day they would be capable to rule their people and run their great enterprise that connected with the outside world.

The empowered brother in law proved to be an asset of the king as he stood to be the king’s right hand man and good manager in assisting to build up the kingdom’s economic enterprise. For these, the brother in law virtually became the kingdom’s representative prince. He turned out to be a strict and disciplinarian uncle. Under the representative prince’s tutelage the royal children grew up fearful and tiptoeing to the beck and call of their uncle. A whistle of him was already like a loud siren and dog’s jolting bark to the royal children.

One day, the eldest boy of the royal children, who was the incoming royal prince, had his jamming and drinking session with his friends, playing his violin on the palace grounds. Seen to be merrymaking in a so happy  go lucky manner, the group was approached by  the representative prince and right there the uncle grabbed the violin from the arms of the eldest royal boy and he smashed it on the ground- before the boy’s friends. The group dispersed and the incoming royal prince was told to go upstairs the palace to have a rest. The uncle, the proxy prince while the royal children were growing and not yet in mature age, indeed  proved to be a strict disciplinarian to them- they who were born out of the golden spoon.

The kingdom’s representative prince was really an asset of the king especially in taking in charge of the political representation of the kingdom. When later on the kingdom was threatened by the confiscation sprees of the new rulers of the new Republic in the north, in which the kingdom was part of, following the anarchic uprising against a dictator who held the old Republic for too long by force, ruthlessness and bribery, the kingdom’s representative prince played across the corridors of the power of the high and mighty as the kingdom’s diplomat and political representative. For several times he managed to worm his way to sit in influential posts in the national councils of the Republic. He also became the kingdom’s representative to the legislature of the Republic. Verily, the representative prince protected the kingdom in the south from crumbling as confiscations of land and ill-gotten wealth of the dictator’s friends and cronies failed to penetrate into the kingdom’s doors. The king himself was a known close friend and crony of the ousted dictator. There was just equality in graces as the proxy prince became a so influential official of the kingdom and in the Republic while the king supported the proxy prince in his own political quest and in building up the great political power of the kingdom itself as when the king became the power broker and funder of the lesser politicians and leaders within his kingdom so that they would all be beholden to him.

But the kingdom in the south had also competing kingdoms in neighboring areas. The proxy prince could not actually wade even more to capture all territories in sight and spread an overarching political power of the kingdom as there were other kingdoms competing for their share of turfs and vassal people in the larger province. The proxy prince engaged in diplomatic offensives to other princes of other kingdoms, and they later agreed to gerrymander and chop off the vast territory being competed. So the original kingdom’s area of control became a smaller province.

One day, when the king was already old enough, the proxy prince, thinking to retire, tried to put his own son as a successor to his throne as a proxy prince, but the eldest royal son, who was the real incoming royal prince, got wind of the proxy prince’s scheme and he, the eldest incoming prince, without yet the king’s blessing or dying, preempted it by declaring himself to be the next prince for having a royal blood. It was then that a full conflict characterized by maneuverings and betrayals erupted within the royal family which extended to the clan. As the proxy prince’s son was still young compared to the eldest son of the king, and to keep the peace of the kingdom, the proxy prince himself declared that he would not be retiring nor he would be insisting to put his own son to the throne. He himself would continue ruling in behalf of the king- particuarly for the entire political affairs of the kingdom. Outsmarted by the proxy prince’s move, the incoming royal prince had the proxy king booted out from his enterprise’s role and from the sharing of incomes from the kingdom’s prosperous enterprise. The enterprise council composed of the royal children and advisers convened and tackled the proxy prince’s exit from the enterprise. The proxy prince demanded his due to him as one who contributed much for the enterprise’s growth. He got his wish from the royal council with the blessing of the aged king.

As the proxy prince exited from the kingdom, he carted along not only his big share but also the political power imbedded in him. Sooner he established his own turf within the kingdom, divided the kingdom itself by establishing a demarcation line that separated from the home turf that was all loyal to the original kingdom and to his new smaller kingdom. It was out of respect to the aged king that the proxy prince did not usurp the territory around the palace although as political representative all  throughout the provincial area he had tried to threaten it during the assemblies of political representatives to the imperial Republic in the north.

When the proxy prince exited from the palace after his fall from the royal grace it was then that the eldest son became fuller the prince of the kingdom- but, it was already late as he ruled and reigned in a kingdom that was already smaller as the proxy prince carved out for himself and for his own son another separate kingdom within. Each of the two parties had their own respective kingdom while because of the libertarian rule that dawned after the fall of the dictator of the Republic the proxy king became the overall diplomat and political representative that covered even the reduced, original kingdom where he came from. The proxy prince sooner designated his own son to rule and represent the district in his own carved kingdom. On the other hand, the royal prince had designated his own brother, too, to penetrate the hall of political representatives in the province. Earlier, he had his own nephew put as political representative of their own kingdom’s district to the legislature of the imperial Republic.

Meanwhile, as the royal prince and the proxy prince  tangled themselves over issues of territories and vassal followers, the queen, the sister of the latter, was proving herself to be at times influential in resolving conflicting issues that both threatened each of the two kingdoms. One day, during another assembly of representatives, the estranged princess of the royal prince     threatened to fight against the proxy prince. She was shoved off by the queen who defended the provincial political representation of her brother proxy prince.

As the two parties focused on their respective kingdoms, they saw the rapid rise of the metropolis that was nurtured and led by a strong-willed mercantilist leader. The metropolis had gone so developed, influential, efficient  and modern under a mercantilist leader that even its income raised from the taxes of the people and from the subsidy of the imperial Republic was bigger compared to the combined incomes from the two kingdoms. It became an awe to the outside world. It was a state metropolis within the two-kingdom province of the Republic. Later, the tough metropolitan ruler had trained his sight for the political representation posssessed by the proxy prince, who became the smaller king in his own smaller kingdom. The mercantilist ruler had positioned also his own son as his heir apparent to rule the metropolis.

It came to pass that the political representation in    the province was an influential thing for one to participate in the grand affairs of the Republic and to control the two-kingdom, one-metropolis province of the Republic in the south. This was also recognized by the royal prince as the proxy prince enjoyed the power for long.  The mercantilist ruler came from another influential clan and he had a brother prince ruling in the chopped up territory of the gerrymanders, which was once a part of the old undivided one kingdom of the yesteryears. It was the only clan which could threaten the rule of the clan where the royal prince and proxy prince came from. But then, since their youthful years in the past the royal prince and the tough mercantilist leader had been close friends.  The mercantilist leader and the proxy prince  on the other hand had been forging an alliance that not a few advisers from the council of trent observed to be only bordering on plasticity.

The vassal peoples of each kingdom and of the metropolis were waiting, anticipating for something bigger event to develop in the horizon. Some advisers and jokers in the palaces were speculating for an ultimate battle of kingdoms ahead. Was blood thicker than water or was friendship penetrating beyond the bloodlines? When this fantasy story was closed, there were yet no war drums nor sabber rattling heard, only murmurs and whispers from trumpeters and jokers.  (For comments/reactions, email:

OPINION: Mixed, confusing signals

Posted in Anthony Rafael del Rosario (AGR), DAVAO DEL NORTE POLITICS, Governor Rodolfo del Rosario (RDR), Vice Governor Victorio "Baby" Suaybaguio Jr with tags , , , on August 10, 2009 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte

aug 7
Former Davao del Norte vice governor and now confirmed congressional aspirant Anthony Rafael del Rosario (AGR), on his first working day last Monday, has definitely let loose mixed and confusing signals from the influential politico-economic Del Rosario family. By now,  after his Monday’s statements hogged the headlines and aired wide over in the next day, political leaders and pundits in Davao del Norte are drawing and trading opinions and speculations that have either reinforced or changed the usual perception on the politics of his father Governor Rodolfo del Rosario (RDR).
Nevertheless, AGR’s statements have still to be connected to the politics of his father governor, who is considered a political kingpin in the province, whether or not the son consulted first the father on his plan of resigning from the administration Lakas-Kampi party and going independent in running for Congress by 2010. As has been through the years and decades, it would seem that RDR’s politics has been anchored on traditionalism and convenience linked to the national administration in power, and in previous cases where his presidential candidates lost in the polls he played to be consistent post-election turncoat in favor to the winning administration.
When AGR said that there’s no need actually for a party to win an election, we take that with grain of salt given the resources of his father or the Del Rosario family (including his mother who comes from the Floirendo family). The speculation is that AGR has crossed the rubicon or put the cart ahead of the horse in going independent in calculated deference to his father’s partymates, foremost to Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr who is most closest to RDR in terms of anointment without an AGR comeback from his stage 3 hodgkin lymphoma cancer. The resignation act is pretty respectful to partymates while it seems to be actually suggesting to ask for the slot from a distance, following AGR’s long absence due to cancer disease that “was already completely healed”.
But by this, two speculations cracked up: the first is that comes before the elections, the Lakas-Kampi party headed by RDR would have to adopt AGR as a guest congressional candidate without filling up the congressional bet in the province’s District 1, and the second- RDR would engage in political lobotomy in favor to his son with a token congressional Lakas-Kampi bet chosen, which is not only far-fetched and divisive, but also puts the governor in a politically treacherous and awkward position.
In terms of seniority under the rule of the Lakas-Kampi equity of the incumbent in selecting a congressional standard bearer, Vice Gov. Suaybaguio has the edge than AGR who is not elected official this time and is only a member, not an official of Lakas-Kampi party. In the light of his father’s pro-administration consistency, it is also far-fetched that the son would root for the opposition in a way that they could play one hydra with two heads, with each playing with two leading presidentiables comes 2010.
But then pundits ask who knows AGR is the forerunner of next events that could change the political landscape in the province like becoming the forward emissary to the opposition, although in his mixed, confusing statements he said he would be independent in his running, meaning neither an administration nor an opposition while still believing 100 percent on GMA up to this day, without minding that his father is the top gun of the administration party in the province.
By this, either he would remain 100-percent independent, or inevitably jump to the opposition ship with RDR if the latter continues to be visibly no longer enjoying the top of the creme in the blessings of the Palace (with AGR’s revelations that RDR at the recent was abruptly replaced as the regional boss and national treasurer of the Lakas-Kampi party). If they so jump ahead and not change horses in mid-stream only, the national opposition that is winning as shown in the unprecedented people’s outpouring in Cory’s funeral will gladly receive them. But by then RDR’s politics is changed. (For comments, reactions, txt 09069104553 or e-mail: