Saboteurs suspected as belonging to the political opposition are suspected to be behind rotten rice in bags of relief goods passed off as distributed by the Davao del Norte Capitol in the aftermath of massive floods that hit the province recently.
As floods swept several parts of the province two weeks ago, Governor Anthony del Rosario ordered distribution of relief goods to families hit by the disaster. The assistance included canned goods and rice.
Another disaster, however, came with the flooding disaster whose effect on the affected families Gov. del Rosario wanted to mitigate with the immediate distribution of the relief goods.
The disaster? Unidentified saboteurs, clearly with ill intent to shame the provincial government, also distributed rotten rice stuffed in bags with markings of the provincial government.
The bags were doled out in the flood-hit barangays by the saboteurs who announced that the assistance came from the Office of the Governor.
In a statement, Capitol decried the “dirty tactic” employed by groups out to smear the current administration.
It did not name names but said the sabotage is the handiwork of politicians resorting to dirty tactics to discredit the Del Rosario administration.
Capitol advised the public to report to authorities persons distributing the rotten rice.
Capitol said it is investigating to establish the identity of the “saboteurs and their political patrons who are masterminding the racket in a futile bid to escape an impending debacle in the mid-term election in May.”
The distribution of the rotten rice is the second dirty trick launched against the Del Rosario administration during the last few weeks as the start of the local election campaign period draws near.
Three weeks ago, printed copies of results of an alleged survey by the prestigious Social Weather Station (SWS) were distributed in the barangays.
The survey had candidates of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP/Laban) winning by wide margins against bets of the Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP).
PDP/Laban is bannered in the province by former House Speaker and First District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez who is running for reelection.
HNP is a regional political party organized by presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
The HNP slate is piloted by Gov. del Rosario, who has skipped a reelection bid to challenge Alvarez.
Also in the HNP line-up are reelectionist Second District Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr. against Vice Gov. Alan Dujali of the PDP/Laban; and Senior Board Member Rodolfo “Rodney” del Rosario Jr., who is pitted against a virtual unknown, Edwin Jubahib of the PDP/Laban, in the race for Governor.
Mahar Mangahas, president and chief executive officer of SWS, disowned the survey, saying that the company has not conducted any survey in Davao del Norte.
Printed copies of the results of the survey carried the logo of the prestigious company.
Mangahas said it is identifying the persons or groups behind the fake survey who shall be slapped with legal action.
Meanwhile, a Davao Region-based survey outfit Pulso Dabaw, last week released the results of its first political survey in Davao del Norte in relation to the mid-term election.
The results were a complete reverse of the results of the “fake SWS survey” and showed HNP candidates in landslide wins against the PDP/Laban candidates.
Pulso Dabaw said it will release results of its second survey any time this week.
Political observers say that the reelection of Alvarez is practically on its route to the dumpsite as he is ranged against the Floirendo-del Rosario combine which has ruled the political landscape of Davao del Norte for decades. Also in the bench of the HNP is veteran politician former governor Rodolfo Del Rosario Sr., father of the Governor and Rodney, who has emerged from political retirement to act as HNP Davao del Norte campaign manager.
Floirendo and the del Rosarios are also backed by Mayor Duterte-Carpio and her HNP.
The feisty daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte had vowed to campaign against the reelection of the former Speaker after Alvarez described her HNP as an “opposition party.”
She would call Alvarez an “asshole” and a liability to the administration of President Duterte.
Mayor Duterte-Carpio is reported to have used political muscle in the ouster of Alvarez as Speaker in a coup last year.
President Duterte later would say, after Alvarez was replaced by former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, that his daughter “masterminded” the ouster of Alvarez.