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ROUGH CUTS | The Garcia fiefdom could be in danger

Vic N. Sumalinog

NOW the purging starts. We mean the elimination from the official line-up of candidates who were earlier assured or have claimed to be part of the Magic 8 in the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP) in the first district of Davao City.

     In a memo issued by HnP substitute candidate for Mayor of Davao City Basti Z. Duterte the other day, he advised the public that two candidates for the City Council carrying the home-grown party HnP are already officially excluded from the line-up. They are Nilo “Small” Abellera Jr. and Patricia Librado. Small Abellera is comebacking while Librado is seeking a second 3-year term.

     What does this move mean? Simple. Basti’s preferences may not necessarily be those of Sara’s.

     Without doubt this will impact on the chances of others, especially those who will be taken in by the circle under Basti. And this will also add to the number of people who may have ruffled feelings against the local ruling political family in the city.

    We can only hope that those who will be taken in as new members in the official line-up for the first district are the most deserving among the many aspirants to be included in the ticket.


     In Davao del Sur it looks like lawyer Israelito Torreon who hails from Bansalan is getting more certain of his bid for governor. Not only that Torreon has the name that rings a bell in the legal circle, he also has established a sizable voters’ base in the Southern Davao Province.

     The lawyer who is now Dean of the Pastor Apollo Quiboloy-run Jose Maria College Law Department, will likely have the backing of the influential religious leader who has followings all over the province as well as in the entire country and even outside.

     We also know that the lawyer from Bansalan has a wide clientele of moneyed and influential people and corporations. Therefore, he can possibly match or even surpass the much needed resources of other gubernatorial aspirants to run a massive electoral campaign.

     But does Torreon have what it takes to balance the situation should his political adversaries employ the tactics of open or subtle intimidation that normally is resorted to in a closely contested election?


     Back in Davao City it looks like the second district congressional derby will be a tight race, again between the Garcia clan candidate and Councilor Danio Dayanghirang who is making his second try for the position.

     It may be recalled that the first time councilor Danny opposed a Garcia candidate he almost made it with the Garcia bet getting the smallest margin ever in the history of congressional elections in the district.    

     But what we see as the most likely to make the second district congressional polls in Davao City extremely interesting is this scenario.

     During the filing of certificate of candidacy then HnP goddess Sara openly endorsed incumbent Rep. Vincent Garcia as the party’s candidate. Vincent did not have any qualms in posting his picture with Mayor and now Lakas-CMD Vice Presidential candidate Sara in the social media. Neither did Sara make any effort to stop the posting nor denied it.

     But lately however, we have also seen and read in the social media posts councilor Danny showing some kind of proof that the HnP overlord President Rodrigo Duterte is backing him in his bid.

     Assuming that there is truth to the Dayanghirang posts, the second district congressional election appears to be another arena of the purported political discord between the daughter and father?

     While we do not believe there is truth to the father-daughter enmity, we are convinced that what is happening in the second district is the HnP’s way of ensuring that whoever wins as congressman in that part of the city will owe his loyalty to the ruling family in Davao.

     After all, it is only in the second district that there are two real adversaries to the position of congressman. In the first, we can say that despite the presence of at least two challengers, Presidential son Polong still is assured of an easy reelection. In the third, incumbent Isidro Ungab does not have any challenger at all. And he is both the President and Sara’s man.


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