Archive for Jess Albacite

OPINION: Bal Sator reminisces

Posted in 16504759, Atty. Romraflo Taojo, Bal Sator, congressman bal sator, congressman baltazar sator, Cris Maniwang, former Carmen Mayor Claudio, Jess Albacite, Jose Silvosa, Max Estela, RTC Judge Justino Aventurado with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2009 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte

There’s new revelation and now we have oral testimonies taken in journalistic way to document the gerrymandering acts of leading politicians in the breaking up of mother Davao del Norte. Well, this might be an initial offer for history as Tuesday I got the chance to talk with the one of the founding fathers of the division of Davao del Norte into two provinces- the 8-town smaller Davao del Norte and the 11-town Compostela Valley, and of the conversion of Tagum and Igacos into cities. He’s former Cong. Baltazar “Bal” Sator.
Quite visibly he’s aged now- 71 but for that he’s younger than Gov. RDR, 76, former Gov. Yayong, 74 and former Gov/Cong. Pros Amatong, 77. After that energetic opposition image in the 80s when I was just out from the university and became watcher to a daring Atty. Bal Sator onstage during opposition rallies, along with his early colleagues in provincial opposition- Cris Maniwang, Jess Albacite, Max Estela, Jose Silvosa, former Carmen Mayor Claudio, Atty. Romraflo Taojo (a human rights lawyer who was killed in his own home in Tagum on April 2, 1985, after he had been allegedly warned by the military about the nature of the cases he was handling, as cited in Ilagan’s doctrine). The famed Rolly Marcial and BM Tony Lagunzad came later after Ninoy’s death as they jumped ship from Marcos KBL, while Pros Amatong was also making his own opposition voices in Nabunturan and others of the old Comval numenklatura (Rey Castillo and other Compostela fellows).
But despite his age now, he dared anyone of my age for a long walk, perhaps that fatigue-ending walkathon. As a private citizen, he’s in the thick of pro bono lawyering that even RTC Judge Justino Aventurado called him and referred poor litigants to go to the “PAO (Public Attorneys Office) nga private”. Sator said it just like he went into vacation from the court bista when he had his 11 years of serving as Davnor’s District 1 congressman (2 years during Cory’s revolutionary time plus the three straight terms) and came back only to know he could not say “no” to poor litigants for pro bono legal service, which his better-half keeps on protesting. At one time his wife called him when he would ever bring his lawyer’s office table at their home for final retirement days he should spend as they’re most contented now for having small fishpond, small corn and coco farm given by his clients, “pang bugas ug sud-an”, for the couple to subsist on til the lights go off. (To be continued. For online edition, visit my blog at:, for comments and reactions, text 09069104553. Watch my newscast over WTV 11 channel at Skycable Tagum.

OPINION: Death of democracy in Davnor and Comval

Posted in Bal Sator, death of democracy in comval davao del norte, Jess Albacite, kampi lakas party in comval davao del norte, Rey Castillo, Rolly Marcial, tony lagunzad with tags , , , , , , on December 15, 2008 by cha monforte
By Cha Monforte

Our congressmen have backpedalled in their Con-Ass assault. We may surmise that days prior Friday’s Makati rally either our own congresssmen have stood in the sidelines yet supportive to the move of Kampi and Lakas to pursue the path of converting Congress into constituent assembly to change our Constitution by their own, or became part of the rabid Con-Ass movers led by Cong. Luis Villafuerte of Kampi and Speaker Prospero Nograles of Lakas.

We know for sure that Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, being the Lakas regional chairman, would feign no qualm over the Con-Ass move. After all, he’s the one in charge to crack a party whip in this part of the country, for good or for bad for the party, while the Con-Ass move shows that it is just too divisive for the country.

There are expectations from the kanto that should the ilk of Villafuerte and Nograles made true the convening of the Congress into Con-Ass last week and sailed on despite the legislative stalemate posed by the Senate’s resolution of nixing the move, pro-administration rallies led by Lakas in the provinces would be mounted. We know of the superficial Lakas unity in Comval and Lakas-Kampi unification in Davao del Norte. Just like in Marcos time when a mammoth crowd of KBL kapitans and municipal officials could be mobilized in Tadeco using government resources, the Lakas in Davao del Norte and Comval could do a KBL separately in the provinces and pledge support while our Supreme Court tackles the legality of the Con-Ass without the Senate. But since Nograles had backtracked the other day while Villafuerte mumbled in the corner, The kanto expectations nevertheless died down.

This local show of support to the administration is one that is yet unchallenged. Fact is, there is yet no organized legal opposition in the two provinces. Our time hasn’t yet reached the time before when erstwhile opposition politicians in the provinces stood to be counted on in the fight against Marcos dictatorship. Before we have Bal Sator, Rolly Marcial, Jess Albacite, Cris Maniwang, Rey Castillo, and later Florante Garcia castigating Marcos. What we have at present are the traditionally noisy organizations in the Left  But these are few, disjoint, scattered and only propaganda-obsessed. No politician of the caliber of Sator et al in their past mold (forget them at present) has yet taken even a voice of a legal opposition in Davao del Norte and Comval. And this is alarming to the democracy in this part of the country!

The check and balance of governance in the provinces and in the lives of towns and provinces has been practically played by opposition politician figures. When all incumbent politicians now, chiefly those constituting the legislative departments, bid for blessings for patronage of the Lakas chief executives and rabidly vie for inclusion to the Lakas party slate in 2010 polls, while politicians outside who lost in 2007 polls couldn’t yet shake off their losing Kampi membership or either constantly pray for inclusion to Kampi slate once again or the better as replacement for Lakas open post, and emerging ones are afraid to rock the Lakas boat, provincial and municipal governance is left to rot of itself. Check and balance becomes a misnomer. Politics becomes so opportunistic, so obsessed for political career’s sake. Transparency and accountability in governance are absent as these have been left at the discretion of power holders.

With the people in the sidelines, without the legal opposition, and with the Lakas-Kampi opportunistic politics foisted upon us, I must say a living democracy has already died in our provinces. It seems the death of our democracy comes voluntary with the acquiescence and opportunism of our politicians, reigning or otherwise, to the opportunistic baton of the pro-administration Lakas and Kampi parties. Time has indeed changed. (For online edition, visit my blog at:, for comments and reactions, e-mail: