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ROUGH CUTS | The Garcia dominance’s acid test

Vic N. Sumalinog

WE DO not know how senatorial re-electionist Lila Delima got into the conclusion  that the dead woman found floating off the coast in Coronon, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur was a victim of torture. By her statement it was clear that she was insinuating the woman could have been at odds with law enforcement agents.

     Yes, in a television interview the detained lady senator wanted that the case of the “tortured” woman be investigated. How she got the information about the incident and how fast she made her conclusion are something worth pondering by the authorities themselves.

     Clearly, by alluding torture as the possible reason of the death of the woman it is assuming with immediacy that the crime was committed by government agents. Of course Delima’s call should not also be ignored by the authorities as conducting the investigation will clear the matter from the minds of the ever doubtful human rights advocates.


     We believe that in the forthcoming May 9, 2022 congressional elections in the second district the Garcia family dominance will have its most lithmus test ever. What with a challenger who had already proven his vote-getting potential in the past. And add the still unsettled claim of supposed endorsers of the two candidates and it will further give the second district voters hard time to choose who between the aspirants to support.

     Yes, for decades the congressional seat had always been in the hands of the Garcias. From the venerable Manuel “Nonoy” Garcia to son Vincent, then to daughter Millene and back to Vincent. The only time the second district representation in Congress changed hand was when the late Congressman Cornelio Maskarino toppled the late Nonoy in a closely contested election. When it was taken back by the Garcias, the seat was nearly grabbed again by Danny Dayanghirang whose style of campaigning was devoted on the grass root level. How Dayanghirang eventually lost we’d better leave it to history.

     Today, Danny is back again to challenge Vincent who had earlier claimed to get the endorsement of Hugpong top gun Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio.  But Dayanghirang himself also showed images purporting his candidacy’s endorsement not just by Mayor Sara but by the father as well — meaning President Rodrigo Duterte. 

     And here comes this other strategy of the incumbent that if continued to be adopted during the official campaign period for the local candidates, may not bode well with other local administration candidates.

     We are referring to the seemingly focused campaign of Vincent with only that of his nephew Councilor Javi.  This scheme may not be acceptable by the other official local administration bets for councilors because it’s like “to each his own” thing and that “we do not care about you for as long as we are assured of attaining our objective – winning the election.”

     The likelihood therefore, is that the other candidates will not also carry the two in their campaign sorties in the district.

     And of course, when the official campaign period for candidates of local position fires off, the possibility is that people in the district will be clamoring for guidance who to support. Meaning they might ask the Mayor or the President to come out clean as to who they are endorsing between the two. By that time therefore the endorsing personalities will be forced to officially advise the electorate in the second district. And that will spell the difference.


     So a bill is now approved in Congress granting authority to Davao Light and Power Co. to expand its franchise area in what is now covered by the franchise of DNECO or Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative. The bill just approved is 10554.

     The Bill will still need its counterpart in the Senate before these will be harmonized and finally passed for the President’s approval before it becomes officially a law. And should this finally be approved and effective the first to benefit are the City of Tagum and the Island Garden City of Samal. Of course it follows that the other areas to be covered by the expanded franchise will also benefit from what many expect as quality, reliable and affordable electric services supposedly coming from the new franchisee.

     However, it was clear from the statement of the lawyer of the electric cooperative that it will fight tooth and nail in the Senate to prevent the passage of a bill up there that will support the Congress version.

     The coop’s lawyer believe that the power firm which was organized under a law has to remain operational until the expiration of the franchise or that the law allowing its operation be amended.

     Why the cooperative is earning the scorn of the people of Davao del Norte and Davao de Oro, we can only hazard a guess – inefficiency in the committed service by the officials tasked to run the distribution utility. How this controversy will end, we have to wait.

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