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Rough Cuts | That political beehive somewhere north

If we were betting against ourselves and against other persons we lost.

That is as far as our hunch that Davao City Mayor Inday Sara trades candidacy with her brother, former Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, who is now officially affirmed congressman of the city’s first district. Our projection did not happen.

Anyhow, that was what we thought the lady chief executive was aiming at considering her not-too-hidden secret of aiming for a higher national position in government. It was our belief that by getting into Congress unopposed Mayor Inday is a cinch to the position of Speaker of the House. And that would have brought her even more in the national limelight.

Of course, Mayor Inday Sara is no stranger to the path that was taken by her father towards the Presidency. Perhaps she believes that there is nothing that her father can do that she cannot. So she might have thought why go into the trouble of having herself exposed to a national-level scrutiny when she can have herself isolated by remaining in her turf?

After all, the lady mayor may have the idea in her mind that even by simply remaining as mayor of Davao City she can do what her father did and even improve on it.

We congratulate whole-heartedly Mayor Sara whose reelection was affirmed by yesterday’s votes in the city, and Congressman Pulong. We are also extending our felicitations to newly “confirmed” vice mayor Baste Duterte.

And why are we insisting on our use of the word “affirmed” in describing the win of Mayor Inday, Vice Mayor Basti, and congressman Pulong? The reason is so simple. Long before last Monday’s elections the three government executives were already winners in their races.

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Candidates for councilors in Davao City’s three districts were actually doing a “to-each-his-own” campaign during the last week prior to the May 13 midterm elections.

We noticed this personally through our interactions with leaders of the council candidates. The council bets all known to have claimed part of the administration twin parties Hugpong ng Pagbabago and Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, tapped members of the Barangay Council to carry out their campaign in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

Each barangay council member had their own set of campaign posters and sample ballots. It carried with it only two names. One, that of the candidate for councilor they are “contracted” to campaign; the other that of the Partylist apparently their patron council bet has committed to support.

One aspirant we knew was demanding from his barangay councilor campaigner to carry the Partylist supposedly claiming to represent a sector from among the country’s OFWs. The first nominee of the said Partylist is a son of a huge construction company that is reported to have bought a substantial stake in a school whose graduates are providing warm bodies to that particular OFW sector.

And wow, we could not believe that there was one residence somewhere north of the city that was like a beehive attracting candidates for the city council from all the three districts the week before the elections!

According to one reliable source we had, the release of the manna from that beehive was also the basis of the promise of certain council candidates to their barangay council leaders for the contingent funds needed to ensure their win in the barangays.

The manna was released by the political financier last Friday giving the barangay councilor campaigners 2-day lead time to distribute the funds together with the sample ballots.

As this column was submitted for inclusion in today’s issue of this paper we have monitored that most of those who were beneficiaries of the manna from that landlord of the house north of the city appeared to be winning.

What the trade-off is, we can only have certain idea based on the nature of the livelihood of the funding source.

Meanwhile, we are thinking of suggesting that the concerned winners in the Davao City council derby take their oath of office in front of that particular financial backer of theirs. After all they’d eventually be serving the interest of that house owner.

So what integrity were they talking about during the last elections?

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