BY ROGER M. BALANZA
The junior of Davao del Norte’s veteran politician wants to surpass the performance of his father, Rodolfo “Dolfo” del Rosario, Sr.
As a first step, Rodolfo “Rodney” del Rosario, Jr. is gunning in the 2019 mid-term elections for the gubernatorial seat, among several government positions held by Dolfo in his long career as politician and civil servant.
Up against a token rival, Rodney is on his way to the Capitol and will have opportunity to prove himself as a politician and government official. Better than Dolfo.
Catching up with Dolfo, for Rodney, may be a tall order. But the son could try and beat the father.
Dolfo, 84, holds an enviable record wrapped up in his more than 30 years in government that started in the 70s: assemblyman, environment secretary, congressman and governor.
Other than being a prominent figure for decades in the political landscape of Davao del Norte, the now retired Dolfo was a mover in the province’s economy: He is a key actor and partner in the giant banana-growing Tagum Agricultural Development Company (Tadeco). Founded 60 years ago by the late Don Antonio Floirendo Sr., Tadeco is credited with helping transform Davao del Norte from an outback community into the country’s biggest producer of exportable Cavendish bananas. It is not debatable that Cavendish spurred Davao del Norte’s economic growth.
Running under the banner of the Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP), Rodney vies for the seat currently held by younger brother Governor Anthony “AGR” del Rosario, who will run against ex-Speaker re-electionist Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez in the First District congressional race.
Luckily for Rodney, Dolfo has crawled out from retirement, and will be the campaign manager of HNP, a regional political party organized by presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio together with the governors of the Davao Region.
Rodney’s rival is a virtual unknown, former bus conductor and public works contractor Edwin Jubahib of the Alvarez Wing of Rep. Alvarez. Without any background in politics, Jubahib is a shoo-in to be a member of the losers’ brigade when the dust of the electoral battle settles down after the May 2019 elections.
Coming political realities being that, it may be a waste of time and effort to discuss anything about an ambitious, trying hard and inconsequential dot in the political landscape of Davao del Norte.