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ROUGH CUTS |   Is this silence the ‘calm before the storm’?                                                     

Vic N. Sumalinog

AS this year draws to a close the CoViD 19 pandemic is also showing some signs of waning in the Philippines. And even as there is a new threat of the so-called more infectious South Africa-emanating Omicron variant of the virus, it appears that the Philippine government is well on track in the implementation of preventive measures against the new cause of concern. Yes, as of Monday two new CoViD cases borne out of Omicron were monitored. But still the country’s health authorities are saying the infected individuals are closely being watched to ensure that they cannot transmit the new virus to others. Thus, as of the other day, the level of alert in the entire country still remained under a more relaxed category.

     We were therefore not surprised that during the last week-end people in Davao City were like herds of cows being able to escape from the fenced ranch. They were in malls and groceries, shopping centers and other areas for relaxation. We also observed that in Davao City it seems all roads lead to the beach resort-laden Island Garden City of Samal. Vehicles, big, medium and small were seen lining up for the opportunity to get on board Roro barges to be able to cross the Pakiputan channel going to IGaCosS and back.  The unlucky ones even had to wait for as long as two hours before they could get on board. In other words, the barge operators, the resorts, and of course the city government of Samal were able to make a financial killing during these holidays.

     We could not help but think aloud about the position of the barge owners on the possibility of the realization of the Davao City-IGaCoS connector bridge. For certain their thriving business is sure to crumble like houses of cards.

     But of course the barge transport business could not have endured that long if their operators are not astute. We even suspect that they might even have some roles in the delay of the bridge project implementation.

    Anyhow, they (operators) have every right to make hay while the sun is still shining for them.


     It is still well over two months before the official campaign period for candidates to local government elective positions. For now the more technically skilled aspirants are limiting their well-camouflaged campaign activities in the social media with some help from the mainstream especially those who are known or perceived biased for or against a particular candidate.

              In the local political front – we mean Davao City – the situation appears to be relatively but intriguingly silent. We would like to assume that the camps of front runners Baste Duterte and the likely ‘heat rubber’ on his mayoral run, former Congressman of the third district Ruy Elias Lopez, are calculating in their moves.

     Perhaps the younger son of the President is basking on his family name so much so that he might have thought he can afford to be a little complacent. But maybe Davaoenos will also agree with us that Ruy Elias Lopez could also afford to bask on his father’s name, the late former Mayor and Rodrigo Duterte king-maker Elias Baguio Lopez. He was one mayor who was quoted by the late Atty. Blasito Angeles who served as the City Administrator, as saying that he (Elias Lopez) is not prioritizing the concreting of Kamuning st. in Juna Subdivision for fear of getting misconstrued as favoring the specific place where he lives. So Elias had the other Juna roads cemented first and Kamuning road the last.

     But that is going quite far back, although that may give the Davao citizenry an idea of what a Ruy Elias Lopez mayoralty could be, if he makes it. As to why the relative silence in the local political field, the situation is something worth to be keenly watched.

     Baste with his known resources and the influence of his father and sister Sara could easily launch a political juggernaut which might easily steamroller the material and financial resource dry Lopez “invasion” attempt of the Duterte turf.  But of course Davao old-timers and maybe the “thinking” generation X may be coming to reinforce Ruy’s army to launch a more effective pincher type counter-attack Hence the Lopez challenge could end up a significant force for the resource-laden Baste to confront.

     So, it is our personal take that the current silent phase of the forthcoming political confrontation is more of a “gut feeling” time for both candidates, and even by the two others who the Davaoenos may not have given a Chinaman’s chance of making it to the surface.

     Of course two months or even three is not that long to wait. When the first political salvo is fired, we can be certain it will not be left unanswered.  Meanwhile, let’s keep our hands folded on our breasts and keep watch. This silence could be the “calm before the storm.”



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