INDEED there may be a lot of people who have passed their lifetime in this world already. Davao City has in fact one with the most number. But the question is how many of us still remember the significant contributions they had made when they were still around and actively involved in community building and governance? And above all, how many of us still remember any of such persons?
Yes, it came to our mind that once in the modern history of Davao City there was one who was not even having a drop of blood to legitimize him as Davaoeno. He was a blue-blooded Ilocano and was in fact a resident of Makilala, Cotabato who just happened to be in Davao City to pursue his higher education. But eventually he gained prominence here by being one of the top student activists during his time. He went on to become an elected councilor and later as an appointed Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Mayor of the city after the late former dictator President Ferdinand Marcos was driven into exile in Hawaii, United States.
This Davaoeno by residence was the late former OIC Mayor Zafiro Respicio, who was raised and grew up in Saguing, Makilala from pure Ilocano farmer parents. Yesterday was Zaf’s birthday. But one thing sure is that during his term as OIC mayor he succeeded in bringing Davao City to the limelight of national consciousness.
We are certain too, that the remaining few of his contemporaries who still remember him would have paid his grave a visit just to assure Zaf that they remain friends to him even if he is right there in the great beyond.
Somehow, we seem to observe that Respicio’s legacy or some sort of it, is already slowly “flushed down the drain of forgotten memories,” if only to quote the favorite line of the late councilor Antonio “Polyok” Castillo.
We are happy however, that a good friend and a Respicio buddy, Ilde Bontia, clearly remembered the late former OIC Mayor and endeavored to remind us that yesterday was Zaf’s birthday. Honestly, we too forget Respicio’s exact natal day except that we knew it was one day in August.
There was one thing though that we could not forget about the life of the Ilocano OIC mayor of Davao City. He went into some kind of reclusion in his parent’s farm after he quit government for an omission he unknowingly made because of trusting too much one of his friends. And while he was in self-isolation while a case was litigated against him, this friend of his was and still is enjoying the perks of his continued stay in the high echelon of government.
So far the administration has not yet made or shown any indication as to what exactly is its strategy to counter the incessant onslaught by the opposition party against it, and the man on top – President Rodrigo R. Duterte; and possibly to assure that somebody allied with it to be the next tenant in Malacanang.
We are however dead certain that the seemingly telegraphic yet stingy reactions of the administration on the vehement attacks by the opposition could be part of that strategy and that its wholeness would only unveil itself when the appropriate time comes.
For now we could sense that what the administration is doing in order to disprove whatever assertions made by its critics which appear to be overly detrimental to the present regime is to let its present accomplishments – whether in infrastructure or pro-people policies and laws – speak for the administration’s behalf. After all, actual existence or even pictures of project accomplishments “speak a thousand words.”
It is also our take that none of the various government departments lag behind in terms of accomplishing its respective mandate. So, on the whole their performance will be carried in the overall picture of the present administration, notwithstanding the contrary claims of administration critics.
So, to our mind, it would now be on the shoulders of those tasked to carry out the administration strategy the responsibility of erasing any mindset created by the critics on the Filipino electorate in order to give them a learned choice come May 2022 elections.
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