President Rodrigo Duterte has nothing but praises for the leadership of Davao del Norte Governor Anthony Garcia “AGR” del Rosario in steering the province to progress.
President Duterte said that Davao del Norte, under AGR, will continue to become one of the fastest-growing provinces in Mindanao.
“With its vast resources and strong, resilient, and vibrant people, the province will be able to achieve greater development at par with the rest of the nation,” the President said in his speech on July 2, 2017 during the 50th founding anniversary celebration of Davao del Norte in the capital city of Tagum.
But a virtual unknown running for governor in the 2019 midterm elections shot down Duterte’s praises for AGR and the province’s march to progress.
Edwin Jubahid, a party mate of former House Speaker and 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, in an interview after filing his Certificate of Candidacy on October 15, 2018, claimed that DavNor is not progressing under AGR, blaming the province’s alleged lack of a zoning ordinance that would guide investors.
Capitol laughed off Jubahid’s claim, with provincial administrator Sammy Sanchez describing him as an ignoramus who shoot claims straight from the mouth without passing the brain.
Jubahib does not know what he is talking about, said Sanchez.
Sanchez said that while crafting a zoning plan is not a mandate of Capitol, the Davao del Norte local government has a Provincial Development and Physical Framework Plan (PDFP), which is used as guidepost by its municipalities/cities in crafting their respective zoning/land use plans.
Sanchez, lecturing Jubahib, said the provincial government has no authority to approve or disapprove applications for locational permits by investors.
It is not Capitol but the local government units (LGUs) like say Panabo City that approves application for reclassification by investors which are also approved by the Provincial Board if they conform with the PDFP of the provincial government, said Sanchez.
Jubahib, who is Alvarez’s special assistant, is running under the Alvarez Wing, a local political bloc formed by Alvarez, who was ousted in July in a coup that installed former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as Speaker.
Alvarez was a political ally who broke ties with AGR and his cousin 2nd District Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo, Jr.
In next year’s electoral battle in Davao del Norte, the ex-Speaker’s Alvarez Wing fill fight it out with the AGR-led Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP), a regional political party formed by presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
In the gubernatorial race, the political neophyte Jubahib, a former bus conductor and public works contractor, is pitted against Rodney del Rosario of the HNP.
Rodney, the older brother of Gov. del Rosario, is a member of the DavNor provincial board. He also carries his wide experience in business and a mission to continue the legacy of public service of AGR and their retired veteran politician father, Rodolfo del Rosario, a former assemblyman, environment secretary, congressman and governor.
AGR is not seeking re-election but will instead contest the return to Congress of Alvarez.
Re-electionist Tonyboy will parry off the challenge from Vice Governor Alan Dujali of the Alvarez Wing in the 2nd District Congress race.
Jubahib’s verbal stab is the third blast from the Alvarez camp that hit Duterte, Inday Sara’s HNP and AGR, as the election fever heats up at the approach to the mid-term elections in May.
Earlier, Rose Garcia, head of Alvarez’s DavNor congressional office, twitted Capitol’s health program as a copycat of Alvarez’s Malasakit sa Maysakit project, a monthly medical mission that offers minor health services.
Capitol’s health program, the flagship of AGR’s “Best People Festival of Services,” is patterned after Malacanang’s Malasakit Center, established nation-wide spearheaded by former top presidential aide Bong Go.
Capitol said the governor plans to request the help of the former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) to establish a Malasakit Center in DavNor to backstop AGR’s ‘Best People Festival of Services,’ a daily program that tours barangays to deliver various forms of essential public services to the doorsteps of DavNor residents.
Sanchez, during the launch of the project early this year, said the project characterizes Gov. del Rosario’s brand of governance, which is encapsulated in his leadership slogan of “Abilidad at Malasakit” or AMA for short. (Abilidad is competence while malasakit is compassion).
Recently, Rommel Pastoral, a block-time broadcaster who is known as engaged in the racket of selling on air winning numbers in the lottery, described Mayor Duterte-Carpio’s HNP In Davao del Norte is composed of politicians who will “enslave” people of Davao del Norte.
Pastoral is among 10 radio broadcasters, mostly operators of the “Last Two” numbers racket who broadcast in radio stations in Tagum City and Davao City and on Facebook, identified with the Alvarez camp and listed as consultants receiving monthly pay of P50,000 from the congressional office of Alvarez.