Gonzaga debacle already painted in the bad fortune wall
For breaking a unity pact for local political leaders and parties to field and support a common slate for the sake of political peace; and failing to reign in his itch to become governor in 2022, Davao de Oro Rep. Ruwel Peter Gonzaga is reaping whirlwinds that could end his political career when the dust of next year’s election settles down.
Six months away from the May election, the reelectonist 2nd District congressman is ranged against former political allies, the who-is-who in the Davao de Oro politics: Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy, his father Provincial Board senior member Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy, former governor Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora, Vice Governor and former 1st District Rep. Maricar Zamora and majority of municipal mayors, councilmen amd barangay captains.
At the moment, Gonzaga’s thin bench consists of himself (he has filed for reelection as 2nd District congressman but with his camp hinting he would switch at the last minute to running for governor to challenge Gov. Uy as subsitute candidate — allowed by Comelec up to November 15); his wife Dorothy (reportedly also being prepped up as substite candidate for Rep. Gonzaga in the Congress or governor’s race; former Mt. Diwata (Diwalwal) barangay captain Franco Tito (who has filed his Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) for governor who could be substituted by either Rep. Gonzaga or wife Dorothy); and a bunch of hurriedly organized mayoral candidates to be pitted against the common candidate.
Gonzaga’s current political woes is a story of deceit, treachery taunted by a political virus that infected the congressman with an ambition to become governor in 2022.
The saga of the political treachery of Gonzaga, regional chair of the PDP-Laban, began in May this year when he signed a “covenant” with veteran politician former governor Chiongkee Uy, acknowledged kingpin in Davao de Oro politics and chair of the regional Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP) of presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
The covenant, witnessed by church, police and military officials and local political leaders, promarily aimed at peace in the coming elections, with PDP-Laban and HnP fielding common candidates.
The highlights of the covenant include: (1) – Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy unopposed in his third and last term in 2022; (2) – Rep. Gonzaga and Maricar Zamora unopposed in 2022; (3) – common slate in other local elective positions;(4) – Tyron unopposed in Congress run in 2025; (5) – Rep. Gonzaga unopposed for governor in 2025.
But even as reports of the highly-appreciated covenant was still ringing in the air, Gonzaga secretly unleashed a challenger, Provincial Board member Nena Atimosa, to Maricar Zamora, 1st District Congress bet of the HnP, which came alongside with propaganda blitzes from the Gonzaga media camp of barangay captain Franco Tito running against Gov. Uy. The Gonzaga media bureau also floated scenarios of the congressman running for governor.
Tito has filed his CoC as Reporma, seen as a convenient vehicle for substitution by either Gonzaga or wife Dorothy in the governor’s race.
Tito’s ties to Gonzaga dates back to when Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, who resigned as PDP-Laban secretary general and reorganized the opposition party Reporma, waged a protracted war vs. former ally President Rodrigo Duterte, the PDP-Laban chair, and then picked Senator Ping Lacson as candidate for president and Senator Tito Sotto for vice president of the Reporma.
If Gonzaga joins Reporma to substitute for Tito to be able to run for governor, he is forced to combine forces with Alvarez, Lacson and Sotto and the machinery of the opposition party Reporma in attacking Duterte and his candidates, including potential PDP-Laban presidentail candidate Mayor Sara Duterte. How would the voters of Davao de Oro react to seeing Rep. Gonzaga attacking PresidentDuterte and Mayor Inday Sara?
Prior to the October 8 deadline for filing of CoC, Gonzaga further revved up on his political treachery with his PDP-Laban mayoral bets trooping to Comelec to file their bids against candidates covered by the PDP-Laban/Hnp covenant.
Gonzaga’s boldest move was pitifully dropping Atimosa and fielding instead Vice Mayor Joanna Gentugaya, wife of Monkayo Mayor Ramil Gentugaya, as PDP-Laban bet against HnP’s Maricar Zamora in the First District Congress race.
But Chiongkee is well-prepared for the Gonzaga assault and had all war fronts in the coming polls covered.
The Gonzaga debacle is painted in the bad fortune wall:
The veteran political leader has lured ex-nemesis retired former governor Way Kurat back to politics as HnP bet vs. Rep. Gonzaga or his wife in the Congress race.
Chiongkee will drop his plans of political retirement and engage Gonzaga or his wife in case either of them substitue for Franco Tito and run for governor .
In the Davao de Oro election in May 2022, the Chiongkee vs. Gonzaga face-off in the gubernatorial race would be the most exciting, but also saddest, event.
Exciting in that we would see how Chiongkee would demolish an ambitious, treacherous politician like Gonzaga; and saddest for Gonzaga who would see his politics end up in ignominy.
Now, what about Gov. Jayvee Tyron? If the Chiongkee vs. Ruwel Peter Gonzaga pushes through, young Tyron will simply move over to the Congress race by substituting for Way Kurat Zamora vs. Gonzaga’s wifey Dorothy.
Despite his looming defeat, EDWIN JUBAHIB, the ambitious former bus conductor who wants to be governor of Davao del Norte, has a future ahead of him. Ranged against Rodolfo “Rodney” del Rosario Jr. in the race for Governor in the coming May mid-term election, Jubahib, aka Kuya Edwin, aka Ugahip, could graduate from being a former bus conductor to become a train conductor.
In between if he wins, which is presposterously unbelievable, Jubahib could turn out to be a security guard at the Davao del Norte Capitol. One of Jubahib’s favorite campaign line is that if he wins he would open Capitol to the public up to midnight and that he would be holding office there 24/7. If he holds office 24/7 at Capitol, which is again preposterously unbelievable because he could never win, Jubahib would be acting as the Capitol security guard (SG’s work 24/7, di ba?) to demean the office of the governor.
You cannot fault people who say Jubahb is an ignoramus who has no inkling whatsoever on how to run a government office much less the Office of the Governor. His dream to become governor is not only a shot at the moon; It is a ticket to a mental institution. His promise to open Capitol to the public up to midnight and to hold office there 24/7 is funny if not insane. The public transact business with Capitol during the day not in the wee hours of the dawn! Besides, the Civil Service mandates only an 8am to 5pm official work time for government employees. Jubahib could be charged with expropriation of public property if he uses Capitol for his own whim and caprice, beyond mandated office hours for those in government service. Remember Senator Antonio “Trililing” Trillanes who holed himself up 24/7 in his office in the Senate to avoid a warrant of arrest over rebellion charges in 2007? Senate President Tito Toto had said that Trililing expropriated for himself government property and should pay light and water bills. If Jubahib wins, which is again preposterously unbelievable, and orders Capitol employees to work up to midnight and holds office 24/7 in his office, he could be charged for misuse of public property and ordered to pay light and water bills and overtime pay for the Capitol workers! Why do we say that Jubahib is a sure loser? Because his fate is entwined with that of First District Rep. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez, whose own reelection is doomed. Jubahib is the candidate of Alvarez, whose reelection is being contested by Gov. AGR.
Rodney is backed by the formidable political powerhouse team of his brother Gov. Anthony “AGR” del Rosario, his father and nmesake veteran politician Rodolfo “RDR” del Rosario Sr, and cousin Second District Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo. Add to that Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and her Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP). HNP has put up a full slate against the Alvarez Wing of Alvarez. Alvarez’s credility has gone down to the bottom following his ouster in July as Speaker of the House, only less than two years of holding the post over issues of corruption, among others. He has also been called as a “snake in the grass” for fighting the Floirendos and the Del Rosarios despite their having ressurected his political career (Alvarez was a loser in two previous elections against candidates of the Floirendos and Del Rosarios) by helping him win his congressional post in the 2016 election. It is said that Floirendo, who contributed P70 million to the 2016 presidential campaign of then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, also convinced President Duterte to have Alvarez named as House Speaker. Alvarez is also accused of deleting, as the then House Speaker, in the national budget development funds for Davao del Norte following a spat with Tonyboy reported as triggered by a public quarrel between their girlfriends. Alvarez, apparently drunk with power as Speaker, made life harder for his former friend and political ally by filing a graft case gainst Floirendo and initiating a House inquiry into a Floirendo company. Alvarez practically positioned himself against one of the sparkplugs of the Davao del Norte economy by questioning the legality of a joint venture between the government and Floirendo-owned giant Cavendish banana company Tagum Agricultural Development Company (TADECO). The deal involved an unproductive reservation area of the Davao Penal Colony that Tadeco developed into a banana plantation that earned millions of pesos in taxes for government and employed thousands including inmates of the penal colony. Tadeco is credited with having placed the province in the map of the world’s biggest banana producers. For decades, the company has been a key player in Davao del Norte’s progress and economic development. Alvarez’s attack on Tadeco and Floirendo is practically an attack against the province’s economy, against businesses linked with Tadeco’s banana production and against the people of Davao del Norte and the thousands of workers employed by the company. If we want to look deep into the sentiments of the Dabaonons, Alvarez could be the most hated persona in Davao del Norte today. To add to the woes of the ex-Speaker, presidential daughter Mayor Sara has also called Alvarez an asshole and a liability to the Duterte administration. She has vowed to campaign against his reelection, for calling the HNP, the regional political party she organized, as an “opposition party.” It is reported that Mayor Sara played key role in the ouster of Alvarez as Speaker and her apparent anger could doom the ex-Speaker’s reelection, when she invades Davao del Norte to campaign for Gov. AGR, Tonyboy and Rodney and other HNP bets. For all his sins, we should just allow Alvarez to wallow in his political misfortune when the dust of the May polls would have settled down. He deserves it. But let us sympathize with Jubahib, his personal assistant he whimsically lured to run for governor under his Alvarez Wing in his quixotic fight against the political giants of the pprovince. There is still hope in the future for Jubahib, the former bus conductor. His mentor, Alvarez, has been persistentlly claiming that the Tagum-Davao-Digos segment of the Mindanao Railway Transit (MRT) was funded under the General Appropriations Act (GAA) when he was the sitting Speaker. Fact is that credit-grabbing Alvarez has nothing to do with the mega-project, which is being funded by the Chinese government and implemented as part of President Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” progam. Jubahib has also been repeating Alvarez’s claim so that we suspect he thinks he should get something out of the MRT. Well, when the May poll is over, and Jubahib finds himself jobless, he could apply as train conductor in the MRT on the recommendation of his credit-grabbing mentor Alvarez. As we said Jubahib has a future ahead after the election —- from bus conductor to train conductor!
First District Rep. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez is dead wrong if he thinks he can buy votes of Davao del Norte voters with a few kilos of rice. Ex-Speaker Alvarez, running for reelection in the coming May polls, has been in a rice-giving spree in what is now called as the Alvarice Politics, as he parries off an impending loss against Governor Anthony “AGR” del Rosario in the race for Congress.
Also jokingly called as BOT2 or Botbot, a take-off from Alvarez’s nickname Bebot, the Alvarice Politics actually consists of 2 kilos of rice, 2 cans of sardines and 2 packets of noodles. The camp of Alvarez proclaims that the Alvarice Politics has lifted Davao del Norte people from hunger. Alongside the Alvarice Politics rice distribution is the black propaganda peddled by the media bureau of the Alvarez camp, primarily composed of blocktime unlicensed radio brodcasters also engaged in the Last Two “winning numbers” racket, that the Del Rosarios (Governor AGR”, Board Member Rodolfo “Rodney” del Rosario Jr, who is running for governor, and their father former governor Rodolfo “RDR” del Rosario Sr); and Second District Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo have not lifted the province from poverty and that the province has gone nowhere during the many years that the Del Rosarios and Floirendo have been in public office. Alvarez on the other hand is projected as a Knight in Shining Armor coming to a starving people who can’t buy rice because of the current administration. Alvarez and his Alvarice Politics want to picture the people of Davao del Norte as “patay gutom” so here comes Alvarez who should be reelected as congressman because he has 2 kilos of rice, 2 cans of sardines and 2 packets of noodles to give to the “patay gutom” Dabaonons. This is an insult to the people of the province considered as the most prosperous in the Davao Region. This is also an insult to all government officials and employees who all these years gave their best to contribute to the development of the province. This is a big insult to the private sector, who hand in hand with the local government helped push Davao del Norte’s progress and development. Who wants to put into office a politician who looks at voters as “patay gutom”? Well, not the Davao del Norte people. And who is this Alvarez? He has been in office for only about three years now but has full of hot air to brag that he has outdone the Del Rosdarios and Floirendo in terms of performance. But he had been out of sight for fifteen years since abandoning his post in Congress won in the 1998 election for a post in the Arroyo administration where he was charged for graft for involvement in an anomalous government contract. He has made comeback attempts but was rejected and lost in two elections. He won in 2016 because of help from friends in politics whom he is fighting now. That is your Alvarez, who was ousted as Speaker of the House of Representatives after only two years in office and who is coming back to woe voters of Davao del Norte whom he calls “patay gutom.” The beauty in Philippine election is that rice-giving has become a tradilitional political strategy designed to lure votes. The more politicians there are, the more rice are given free. The bad thing about rice-giving is that some politicians call voters as “patay gutom” who can be bought with 2 kilos of rice. Alvarez has no monopoly over rice-giving and the camp of AGR is not going to allow Alvarez to deceive Davao del Norte voters with his rice-giving spree. We heard that Capitol has also been giving rice but this is in aid of public service. Alvarez’s Alvarice Politics is in aid of election.