Archive for the victorio suaybaguio Category

OPINION: Political orphans

Posted in davao del norte governor rodolfo del rosario, former vice gov anthony del rosario, hodgskin lymphoma cancer, vice gov, victorio suaybaguio with tags , , , , on February 15, 2009 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte

There are talks that Davao Del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario might do the thinkable: retire from politics as he’s already on his waning age- 76. Naughty pundits, nay those skeptics in the treacherous world of politics, now say that in perhaps seeing the present fate of his son heir-apparent Anthony Rafael, the good governor, like any father would react to a beloved son infirmed, may have been feeling distraught over a possible loss of his dream that someone from his children would take on his shoes and follow the footsteps that has led him to achieve a great and illustrious political career in a long timeline spanning three decades.

When he shed tears when son AGR ultimately announced in PDCC meeting that he is stricken with Hodgskin Lymphoma cancer in Stage 3 development, the governor’s act of wiping his eyes left a most vivid image most heart-shattering that added to the gloom of the most surprising news that reverberated so loudly beyond the halls of Capitol at Mankilam.

True, Gov. RDR has been there – in the ups and downs of the larger politics of this country and surely he’s one known political figure in Mindanao watched and tapped by various administrations. The apex of his politics was when he became the minister of environment department. At present, he remains a political force to reckon with despite the loss of his economic influence in the corporate boardroom of the mammoth Tadeco and Anflocor management. In this side of the country he is the regional boss of the party in power- Lakas. But the unexpected truth that stares at the great Davao del Norte leader is the possibility of losing a successor who comes from his own blood at a time when he’s on his waning age now.

The report that on few occasions the governor had hummed in to his political leaders that he might leave them might have been made only by their boss out of a slip or in jest, perhaps it was even cracked as a joke. But such unconfirmed report mirrored a possibility in human realm. But a mayor didn’t think so Gov. RDR would leave them to become political orphans, not at a time after his son AGR made a political exit, although this is being contested now by AGR’s name recently being carried in banners of provincial activities. Last week, an un-dated open letter was released by the Office of the Governor thanking for the prayers and various expressions of support given to AGR, who had already passed two chemotherapy treatments, the latest of which was February 5.

RDR’s retiring from politics even without AGR in his stead and place is also a thinkable option, the mayor I interviewed to opine acknowledged. But among other possible, thinkable options, the governor would not be leaving without leaving his post and other vital posts in the province under the care of the other members of his kapamilya- the politically active and emergent Floirendos and Lagdameos, and to his valuable political allies like Vice Gov. Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio. The reported conflict between the Floirendos and Del Rosario would ultimately be resolved, especially now with the present fate of AGR. In the end, “blood is thicker than water”, the mayor said.

BLOG AND BUZZ: There’s also talk that RDR’s top hatchetmen managing the Capitol are so overprotective to their governor that their actions at times put those in the legislative department in angry mood to them or they put a distance to the governor and those in the legislative department. They should have made second thought before making a cordon to the governor, otherwise the cordon becomes tightrope on where the governor walks…. When the governor is walking in a tightrope, they should and could not afford to lose allies. Or the hatchetmen also become political orphans on the prospect that allies would desert their recognized leader by the rope of alienation they put in between …. Who’s this alderman who has la affair with another woman? He was seen before Valentines Day going out from the B.I. Maybe the man was just a look-alike (For online edition, visit my blog at:, for your comments and reactions, e-mail:, watch and listen – hourly newscast in “Tagum Newsbreak” over WTV 11 channel at Skycable Tagum, and broadcast over DXPA 103.1 FM , 11:00-11:30 AM, Mon-Fri)

OPINION: Bal Sator reminisces (last of two parts)

Posted in baltazar sator, comval history, davao del norte history, propero amatong, rodolfo del rosario, roger sarmeinto, victorio suaybaguio with tags , , , , , , on February 8, 2009 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte

Former Davao del Norte Congressman Baltazar “Bal” Sator was the paper pusher in Congress during the time when the breaking up of mother Davao del Norte was underway. In the brood of four lead gerrymanders of the erstwhile big Davao del Norte, quite visibly it was Sator, a lawyer, who buried his neck into the thick of legislative paperworks than his counterparts in the old Davnor’s districts. Close to the eventful year of 1998, he held the chairmanship of the committee on revision of laws in Congress. He had had on his lap the important issue on re-districting of legislative districts demanded by many legislator-gerrymanders in the country. The cries of cityhood and provincehood across the country would seem to have started in later 90s following the enactment of the New Local Government Code of 1991.
So influential Sator with that post that he said even Senator Nene Pimentel called him up to divide a district in Misamis Oriental. In his fine recollection, both the present Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, a last-termer congressman of the old District 3 at that time, and today’s Comval statesman-provincial elder Prospero Amatong, also a last termer-governor of the old Davnor, separately reminded Sator to ensure the breaking up the mother province as they were already running out of time and- term.

Sator’s other counterpart- former Cong. Roger M. Sarmiento (“RMS”) of the old District 1 of Davnor earlier re-filed his father’s bill on the 7-town Comval (the mainland valley towns of Mawab, Nabunturan, Montevista, Monkayo, Compostela and New Bataan plus the highland Maragusan). The late Don Enchong Sarmiento, erstwhile politico-economic patriarch in the big province similar in various pedigrees of influence of the Don Antonio Floirendo Sr. (who was politically represented by Del Rosario at that time) had first thought of that old Comval composition for a new province but his bill did not saw passage in Congress.

Shortly there was already a running feud between Sator and Amatong over territories. It was then that Sator and a number of Tagum politicians chief among whom was then Mayor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio were much going after first and foremost Maco to become a part of the planned Tagum City, and by territorial proximity, the Mabini and Pantukan as part of the smaller Davao del Norte. But Amatong aside from the three coastal towns wanted even more the Laak and New Corella towns to become part of new Comval province since that a new smaller Davnor province could still be created even without the two. It could still comply with the requirements of land area, population and income and at the same time give more equity to the new Comval as Davnor has still the big IGACOS under it.

Sator recalled that his feud with Amatong over territories centered on the issue on whether the coastal towns would really have to be given to Comval. RMS subsequently joined, praying to Sator not to make the new Comval a landlocked province by giving it the towns with a sea. In a seeming compromise, Sator proposed for either to retain New Corella and Maco, or New Corella and Laak to Davnor. But the feud turned a controversy that already involved municipal mayors. Then a stalemate on the issue developed that Del Rosario mediated. The issue was inevitably thrown for a consensus with lesser gerrymanders- the mayors.

In the meeting with mayors called for the purpose, it was then that Sator knew to his dismay that only the New Corella mayor chose to be with Davnor. “I learned later that the rest of the involved mayors were each given earlier by Gov. Amatong a P1 million-worth of provincial government project,” he said.

The sub-plot of the story on gerrymandering was that the planned new Comval was first contemplated to have only one district but Amatong was persistent to Sator to break it into two districts. When the provincehood bill was heard by the Congress committee on local government chaired by Cong. Felix Alfelor, a one-district Comval was approved, moving Sator and his co-authors – prodded by Amatong- to seek for reconsideration before it was put in plenary. “The proposal to have the 2nd District in Comval was really first denied by Alfelor’s committee,” he reminisced.

The rest is history. Eleven years after we are remembering how the mother Davao del Norte was broken up by gerrymanders, and reliving the steps of the few who made a great impact to over a million populace who now live separately in two smaller provinces. This shows Sator as the thinktank-legworker-paper pusher combined, while Amatong was the leading moving spirit behind the division. Asked on whether the breaking up of mother province was such a gerrymandering act, the former congressman admitted in my interview without a second thought. Of course, the issue is moot and academic now. But history must be retold for history’s sake. Journalism, I should say, isn’t only “history in a hurry”, it is as much history coming out late. (For online edition, visit my blog at:, for comments and reactions, text 09069104553. Watch for my newscast in “Tagum Newsbreak” over WTV 11 channel in Skycable Tagum)