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ROUGH CUTS | Firing the political volleys this early

It IS still a little less than a year from the next midterm elections. Yet in Davao City volleys are already fired to signal that the political battle at the local scene is already fought.

Yes, the most recent of these volleys is the social media post made by a certain “Mary.” It was apparently emanating from the camp of the local administration, using a poster of an image in the office of First District Congressman Paolo Duterte as background. The post says that the Congressman’s office is asking for the indulgence of the people in the city that it cannot anymore help those patients confined in private hospitals seeking financial assistance. It has to temporarily halt medical and burial financial support. The reason, according to the post on Tik-Tok, is that the Department of Social Services and Development (DSWD) has stopped allocating funds to the First District Congressman’s office for the purpose.

The claim immediately elicited a reaction from DSWD Region XI itself. The office, in a statement posted on Facebook, said the claim that alleged fund stoppage is not true. It added that the DSWD funds for individuals and families in crisis situations are sufficient, and that DSWD is always ready to be of service to all Davaoenos.

Earlier, Congresswoman Migs Nograles debunked the claim saying that the lack of funds is only “black propaganda” and that particular social media post was “fake news.”

Now questions are already floating around why the alleged halt in DSWD funding to the Office of Congressman Polong is attributed to the Partylist lawmaker. So local political observers are already in the thick of analyzing the situation.

Personally this is our take on the issue. As we have earlier written on this column, we advanced the possibility that the 2025 elections for local officials in the city would be another boring exercise for the mayoralty contest. We said in that article that for now there is no meaningful opposition to the ruling clan in the city. If at all there is one that could have better chance of making the next electoral contest for mayor he or she could be from the Nograles family.

However, with the clout of the former President and undefeated mayor of Davao City Rody R. Duterte any of his scion, be it potential re-electionist Mayor Baste, Congressman Polong, or VP Sara, will be one political nut hardest to crack. Thus, any attempt to fight a Duterte by a Nograles would still be an exercise in futility.

It is however clear that the Dutertes still consider the Nograleses their strongest rivals. And they see Congresswoman Migs as the likely candidate should the Nograleses take their chances; or possibly be goaded by the national administration to contest the position of mayor of Davao City with the promise of full backing.

Hence, the local administration and the ruling political family are focusing their salvos on the lady Partylist lawmaker. They are adopting the strategy in basketball games. That is, the best defense is one strategic offense. And as they see Congresswoman Migs a potential opposition to the incumbent or any of the ruling family, they find it best to destroy even the grounds that Migz Nograles would set up the foundation of her political infrastructure at the local level.

Of course we are not foreclosing the possibility that the Congresswoman could just have been “sideswiped” – intentionally or not – in the exchange of political gun fires between the camps of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and former President Duterte. The two groups are now locked in a bitter fight for dominance in the country’s politics.

In other words, the true target of the tirades coming from a leading member of the Duterte camp is likely the President. Yes, one must take note that the funds subject to the alleged cut-off come from the national government. It is downloaded to the local offices of the DSWD for assistance to persons and families in crisis situation.

Therefore, the real object of the blame is the national administration under Marcos, Jr. But clearly it is of dual purpose – to heap the blame on the national government and President Marcos, Jr., and destroy this early the person of the most likely opposition to the local leadership.

Whatever will come out of this early political word war is worth the public’s wait. After all, it will not take long to come.


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