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Rough Cuts: They are the cinch, but not quite

In the forthcoming local elections in the city our hunch is that most reelectionist and come-backing councilors are cinch to get through the next City Council. This is because they have the advantage of name recall and their identification with the party whose watch the city is under. Also, there is the likelihood that they have prepared financially for their run. And some vested interest groups who have sought their favors may now be repaying their “debts of gratitude” especially to those councilors who have helped their causes the most.
But we also believe that none of them can be complacent; that they have to give their best in campaigning. After all, there are those who are running for the first time who come “loaded.” They have planted their political seed well and they also have the resources to run a district-wide campaign. And we can add the fact that they too, can claim closeness to the leaders of the local party in power.
Just to mention a few in the third district. We have three-termer barangay captain Abay Bargamento of Mintal. He is young and dynamic. He has shown his capacity to fight the status quo in order to introduce change in running the affairs of his barangay. And look at Mintal now. It’s bustling with development. It’s fast becoming a new commercial, educational, and residential enclave; a vibrant economic center.
There is also Congressman Alberto Ungab who prefers to slide down to become a city councilor this coming May 13 polls to give way to elder brother Sid who is running for his previous congressional post in the third district. The younger Ungab has ably put his feet on the shoes of his elder brother who was chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee during his incumbency. And look at the imposing 3 and 4-storey school buildings in almost all public schools in his district. They’re sprouting like mushrooms. These projects are clearly the congressman’s response to the need for more classrooms of the growing student population in the rural areas. Barangay roads? Well, the concreting of even some of the remotest villages funded during Sid’s term are carried out by the younger Abet. Will he be able to replicate that performance when he is at the City Council? Surely he can, if he plays his card well.
And we have come-backing Nonoy Al-ag, also a three-termer councilor in the third. He may not have shown excellence in the council deliberation of issues attendant to ordinances and resolutions introduced during his time, but his readiness to lend a hand to his constituents in need especially those who suffer deaths in their family are traits that people refuse to forget.
We remember one incident where a construction worker met an accident while riding his motorcycle. He nearly broke his head and arms. After over a month in the hospital his family was left with almost nothing. When he was discharged his wife had to beg for assistance for his husband’s transport home some 50 kilometers away from the city. After several tries with certain private persons and some third district councilors the wife got only denials. The last that she approached was Nonoy Al-ag. The just released patient was transported home using Al-ag’s service vehicle driven by his staff. And the family was given some cash to tie them over for a few days.
That support may not be really big. But for the beneficiary who less expected it to come from someone his family did not even know personally, the act is a world of Samaritan deed that they vowed never to forget.
Frankly, we do not have any iota of an idea if the others seeking the voters support can also claim they have the same deportment both as private and public persons. What we are certain about is that they, too, harbor the same intention and commitment to serve the people of their respective districts. But whether or not they have clearly manifested this behavior through their deeds for the people’s better appreciation we are, for now, clueless.
Of course there is no doubt that the incumbents can always refer to their accomplishments in terms of ordinances introduced and approved for the benefit of the people. But the question to be answered is, “Are the Davaoenos already feeling and enjoying their supposed benefits?”
The answer will not be long in coming. If they make it back to the Sangguniang Panlungsod then that would be an affirmation that the people are now enjoying the benefits of their sponsored resolutions and ordinances.
Let us see come May 13.

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