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ROUGH CUTS | They who are into a quixotic quest

Vic N. Sumalinog

IT looks like it will be a 3-cornered fight for the Mayoral seat in Davao City. Other than re-electionist Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, one Teodoro Mantilla and a certain Dr. Hans Elizalde have also filed their certificates of candidacy for mayor. One name we missed is that of perennial candidate Marcellones.

     Whether or not the two other candidates for mayor of the city are serious with their intention or just to give the incumbent something to think about, despite her acknowledged invulnerability in the city’s political arena, there are still those who believe they can manifest their desire to put an opposition to the present city leadership.

     Seemingly, the same situation is also prevailing in the first congressional district where the President’ son and Mayor Sara’s brother Paolo Duterte’s hold is as solid as that of a lizard in the ceiling. There are also two challengers in the persons of that Muslim businessman, and social development worker, journalist and activist Mags Maglana. They are also well aware of the difficulty in fighting the incumbents given the resources that their political nemesis is in control.

     In other words, the challengers of both siblings Sara and Paolo know very well that they are into a quixotic battle if they ever think of carrying their fight to a satisfactory finish. But we salute them for their courage. Imagine running in a contest where the enemy is comparable to a solid granite wall standing on a 90 degree angle!

     Yes, in today’s elections where resources – financial, intimidators, and organization wise – are key to a successful run, it is not anymore uncommon to hear that candidates in such positions and areas where there are already dominant prominent names lording over for decades, outsiders, have-nots, and other candidates without names to recall are not only treated as nuisance bets but as “hired” oppositions. Yes, they are those candidates who are in the running in exchange for financial consideration and the opportunity to have their names land in the people’s consciousness even for just a very limited period of time. 

     But of course we know Mags Maglana. She is one principled woman who has devoted her time to the service of the people. We are certain she is out to do a real ala Sancho dela Mancha fight against the wind mill that is Pulong. Whether she will succeed in making a political battle worth chronicling in Davao City’s history we will only come to know after May 9, 2022.

     The other aspirant for the first congressional district who is a virtual unknown in Davao City’s political circle, may equally be as sincere as Mags. But would his sincerity, ranged against the already known bottomless resources and the seemingly indestructible organization of the incumbent congressman, be enough for him to just show even a semblance of a fight? Would he ever be able to mount a campaign that will bring him to the remotest of villages in the first district? That is where our doubts start to tinker with our imagination.

     Quite sadly, the same scenario is evolving in the contest for mayor of the city. We can recall having heard of the name of candidate Mantilla. From our recollection the guy has already tried his luck for the same position way back. As to this Dr. Elizalde, this is the first time we have heard of his full name. Honestly though he holds a bigger advantage over Mantilla as far as name recall is concerned. He has a respected title preceding his first name and a popular family name revered nationwide, especially by aficionados of one well-known Filipino rhum. But again, does this doctor have the “it” to do battle with the incumbent?  All the answers to the above questions of ours will be known when the official campaigning starts. 

     Why do we have this time table? This is because the chances of the non-Duterte candidates waging an honest-to-goodness campaign and perhaps pouring in resources to it, if they have any, is when they know who they will finally be facing. That is, if we are correct in our assessment that Mayor Sara will substitute Sen. Bong Go for the Vice Presidency and younger brother Basti moves up to her vacated candidacy as re-electionist mayor. For certain whatever guts the two mayoral contenders have with them will perk up exponentially if it is not Sara they will be running against.

     Our wait will not be long. We will see the complete picture after November 15.



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