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ROUGH CUT’S | Ma’am Melba Principe joins the fray

Vic N. Sumalinog

SOME weeks back we took up in this space the assumption of many including the incumbent councilors of the Third District of Davao City as well as those new aspirants, that the reelection bid of the six old-timers is a foregone conclusion. In other words, it is a given that the race for the remaining two slots for councilors in District 3 will be a fight among the newcomers who more or less, already have the names in the consciousness of the voters.

     The re-election seekers are Nonoy Al-ag, Alberto Ungab, Cocoy Zozobrado, Myrna Dalodo Ortiz, Lady Lawyer Bai Advincula, and Conrado Baluran. Since there are eight (8) councilors for the district, then on the assumption that the incumbents, for whatever perceived advantage they have,  are sure winners the remaining two slots will have to be hotly contested among the four more familiar candidates in Carmelo “Bebot” Clarion, Melba Principe, the mother of outgoing councilor Petite Principe, and the cousins Enzo and Potpot Villafuerte. If there are other aspirants we cannot do justice to them since we only had the opportunity to know the names of the four we earlier mentioned here.

     To be fair we are trying to help the third district voters to know their council candidates better by writing about them in this column without appearing to be campaigning for anyone. We have already devoted some space first to candidate Clarion, then to Nonoy Al-ag. Today we are allocating space to candidate Melba Principe hoping that by doing so the people in the third district will get the chance to know her better not just as a mother of a sitting councilor but also the person in her.

     To be honest we hardly knew candidate Melba until we got hold of her leaflets containing a narration of her work experience, her advocacies, and her being a family woman and mother.

     From her leaflet we learned that Mrs. Principe is not really alien in government service especially in the matter of the responsibilities of a councilwoman. She was once a Chief of Staff in the Office of her councilor daughter Petite from 2013 until she filed her certificate of candidacy late last year. Before that she also held the same position in the Office of former Councilor Karlo Bello.

     Mrs. Principe is the current cluster head of the Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, a home grown political party under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte. She was also the former Community Affairs Assistant in the Office of the then Vice Mayor Luis Bonguyan from 1998 to 2007.

     She is also a nurse by profession and was chief nurse in the family-owned Principe Community Hospital in Baguio District. And according to her campaign leaflet, her advocacies center mainly on the enhancement of the lives of rural folks since she had basically spent her whole life in the community, the residents of which are the ones primarily catered by their community-based hospital.

     But honestly we and no one else cannot categorically say that these are enough guaranties that one can become a successful political personality. There are so many intricacies in politics.  But having a good background like that of Mrs. Melba Principe is a good foundation for her to learn how to navigate the oftentimes tortuous route in politics.

     After all, Madam Melba has an able and competent tutor in daughter Petite.

     Meanwhile we have yet to hear from or read something about the cousins Principe. They cannot just be banding around with the family name of their parents to convince the electorate they deserve to be voted into office. 


     We do not want to add insult to injury suffered by the chances of Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s candidacy pulling a surprise on his opponents to the race for the Philippines’ Presidency when he completely lost his way in finding an answer to the question on what would be his foreign policy if elected.

     There is no doubt that he has done a great deal of effort in studying all the aspects of governance, especially that of the highest position in the land. It was clear in some of his previous interviews although the singularity of his lines is obvious.

     His stammering during that particular question in last Saturday’s COMELEC-initiated Presidential debate was too much to bear. Imagine an aspirant for the Presidency not knowing what to say and even ending his unintelligible answer with the sentence cum phrase, “That’s enough!”

     He also exposed his real take on whether he is in favor of perpetuating a political dynasty or not. His answer seems to do away with the dynasty. But Pacquiao made a circuitous response saying politicians’ relatives have also their right to run as provided for in the Constitution and they can also be doing good for the people. In reality however, the Senator was just hoping he would not be caught in his mouth. He is himself establishing a political dynasty for his family in General Santos City and Sarangani. How many of the senator’s close kin are running for position in these places? There are a number from a brother, a sister and a cousin aspirants. Can you beat that?

     For comments and/or reactions we can be reached through our e-mail address at:; Mobile No. 09392980435; or Landline at 2372169.





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