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ROUGH CUTS | Scenarios in local politics still hazy




WELL now, as we said earlier in this space, if the Duterte sibling will decide to run for re-election in their current positions their run will just be a walk in the park. But it is unlikely that it would mean no one will file certificates of candidacy against them. They would not like it. So, one way or another they would want it appear that someone would stand up and challenge them. Perhaps by those who believe they can withstand a quixotic quest, or maybe at the behest of the incumbents themselves just to show that they do not have the monopoly of opportunity to lead the city.

     Mayor Inday will surely have the perennial candidate one Marcellones – if he’s still aeound – to challenge her. Remember, Marcellones even ran against her father now President Rodrigo Duterte? Good thing the guy did not go to the Head Office of Comelec in Manila in 2015 to file his candidacy for president and haunt Duterte up there.

     Incumbent 1st district Congressman Polong, we suspect, would most likely be opposed by a certain person with the same family name. After all, the Nograleses know that to attempt to take back the former seat of the elder Nograles and now Cabinet Secretary Karlo, would be a political suicide. So, why commit such a big blunder?

     On the other hand, the most secure of the Dutertes in the local government is Vice Mayor Sebastian “Basti” Duterte. There has been no known namesake of the vice mayor or anyone who had attempted to become a usual candidate for the position during the past many elections. Of course it is certain that there will be a different story if Basti seeks another office and leave open his current position to whoever will get the blessing of the Mayor or anyone higher in the local political party hierarchy.. There will surely be an avalanche of aspirants seeking the top guns of the local administration for endorsement. The local political scenario then will be intrigue-laden by then.

     We are however aware that in the second district the situation may not be so comfortable for incumbent Congressman Vincent Garcia. While the Garcia’s are well-entrenched, they are not as politically impenetrable as the Dutertes. That is probably the reason why in some past elections, their leads over their opponents were no longer as awesome as they used to be. Besides, many well-meaning politicians – aspiring and come-backing – have what it takes to challenge the Garcias.

     For now, we have last term councilor Danilo Dayanghirang who once made the knees of the Garcias buckle down because of the slightest of margins. He is a good campaigner who is not afraid to go down to the lowest grassroots to present his case. His grooming cannot be mistaken as one who belongs to the elite. His vulnerability of course, is that like the Garcias, Danny is also known as a Duterte lackey and relies so much on the latter’s endorsement and other forms of support to convert his attributes to votes in his favor.

     So, it is our take that the only way he could outperform the Garcias in the second district is by dislodging them from the good graces of the gods of the local administration. But can Councilor Danny do it? Or can he find any issue that he can persuade the local party gods to reassess their relationship with the Garcias? We wonder if he can because one fact that cannot be forgotten by the Dutertes is that the Garcia patriarch, the late Congressman Manuel “Nonoy” Garcia, was one of the creators of the Duterte political godfather, now President Digong. Garcia, along with then late Mayor and Congressman Elias Lopez and late Senator Landring Almendras and also the departed businessman and councilor Robert Alan Limso were the ones who convinced then appointed OIC Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to run against the late Zaf Respicio.

     Other than councilor Danny Dayanghirang, there is also the possibility that former candidate and business leader Joji Ilagan Bian would give another crack at Garcia’s fiefdom. She made a good showing despite being a newcomer in politics when she ran some years back. If she has developed a better relationship with the local party gurus then Bian might have the idea of running again. She has the resources as well as connections to fund sources to run her campaign.

     Truth to tell, these two potential Garcia challengers may be able to pull some surprises and disturb the second district’s political balance.  

     As for Ungab’s leadership in the third congressional district, again, the possibility of toppling him down lies on who exercises the greater influence between Mayor Sara and Congressman Polong. As of this writing there is no indication that Ungab is veering away from the city Mayor. Polong on the other hand, is still known to have stucked his trust in Kaloy Bello, the only possible opponent of Ungab as of the moment. And so far no personality in the third is seen meteorically rising to possibly be considered as another mayor’s option for support in the congressional derby. So let’s leave the political ruckus to those who are interested in regaining or gaining a seat in the City Council.


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