ALVAREZ, JUBAHIB NECK-TO-NECK IN DAVAO DEL NORTE PRE-POLL SURVEY
In Davao del Norte, reelectionist First District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez and his candidate for Governor are in a stiff fight in the race to the bottom of pre-poll surveys for the coming May election.
Alvarez, his political stock downed by his ouster in July as Speaker of the House of Representatives and battered by allegations of corruption, was a few points away from Zero in the survey conducted by Pulso Dabaw. Gubernatorial bet Edwin Jubahib, a virtual unknown and candidate of Alvarez’s “Alvarez Wing” competed with Alvarez in the neck-to-neck race to the bottom of the survey, the first by the Davao Region-based pollster in relation to the 2019 mid-term election. The survey was conducted during the period January 8-14, 2019 involving 1,200 repondents. Three Pulso Dabaw five-member teams separately generated results of the survey in face-to-face encounters with respondents of voting age in the province (500 respondents), First Congressional District (350 repondents) and Second Congressional District (350 respondents). The respondents were asked the question: IF THE 2019 MID-TERM ELECTION IS HELD TODAY WHO WILL YOU VOTE FOR AS…(GOVERNOR/CONGRESSMAN)? In the race for Governor, Rodney del Rosario was picked by 284 repondents or 81 percent against Jubahib’s 59 or 17%. 2% or seven of the respondents were undecided. In the First District race, Anthony del Rosario clobbered Alvarez with a high 255 respondents (73%) against the former Speaker who got the nod of a measly 77 or 22%. The undecided numbered 18 repondents (5%). Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr. in the Second District survey, was picked by 322 respondents (92%) with Dujali netting an extremely low 21 (6%), with 7 (2%) in the Undecided bracket. Rodney del Rosario, a sitting member of the Provincial Board, and younger brother, incumbent Governor Anthony del Rosario are cousins of Floirendo.
The Del Rosarios and Floirendo are running under the banner of the Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP), a regional party organized by presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. Alvarez, Jubahib and Dujali carry the banner of the Alvarez Wing, a local bloc aligned with the PDP/Laban, of which Alvarez is the secretary general. Jovita Salvador, Pulso Dabaw chief executive officer, said the survey is uncommissioned. Salvador said it would release soon results of survey conducted during the period January 15-28, which shall include a poll on voters’ preference in the cities of Igacos (Island Garden City of Samal), Tagum and Panabo. She explained that its first surveys zeroed in on Davao del Norte as it is the only province in the Davao Region where the coming election is “most politically pronounced.” Salvador said that while there is also a “hot contest’ in the race for Governor in Davao del Sur, candidates for top positions in other provinces (Davao de Oro, Davao Oriental and Davao Occidental) are either reelectionist incumbents backed by Mayor Duterte-Carpio’s HNP or are facing only token opposition.
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.
Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio will start her campaign to frustrate the reelection bid of Davao del Norte First District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez in April at the homestretch to the 2019 mid-term elections on May 13.
Governor Anthony “AGR” del Rosario said Inday Sara prior to April will be touring the country to campaign for senatorial candidates of the Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP), the regional political party that she founded.
While ensuring Alvarez’s political debacle, Inday Sara was also expected to mount a campaign in support of the HNP, whose banner is carried in Davao del Norte by Governor Anthony del Rosario who is contesting the Congress seat of Alvarez, 2nd District Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr. vs. Vice Governor Allan Dujali and Board Member Rodolfo “Rodney” del Rosario Jr. for governor against virtual unknown Edwin Jubahib of the Alvarez Wing of Alvarez.
Inday Sara’s political muscle was expected to get more sting in dealing a death blow to Alvarez’s doomed fate, former governor Rodolfo “RDR” del Rosario Sr., AGR’s and Rodney’s father, acting as campaign manager of the HNP.
Inday Sara in early July vowed to campaign against Alvarez as the then Speaker of the House of Representatives described the HNP as an “opposition party.”
HNP is a regional political party organized by the presidential daughter in support of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Badly hurt by the remark, Inday Sara called Alvarez an “asshole,” and “a liability to the Duterte administration,” and urged House members to kick out Alvarez as Speaker.
In mid-July of that month, Alvarez would be ousted in a coup and replaced by former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Reports said Inday Sara played key role in Alvarez’s ouster.
Inday Sara has also vowed to personally campaign against Alvarez, with HNP fielding a full slate in Davao del Norte against the Alvarez Wing of the ousted Speaker.
Inday Sara has expressed her full support to HNP and wants a clean sweep in next year’s polls in Davao del Norte, said AGR in his speech at the opening and blessing of the HNP provincial headquarters in Tagum City on Saturday, December 8.
Attending the event were Floirendo, AGR, Rodney, RDR and mayors and councilors of the HNP.
Former House Speaker Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez said he owes his election to Congress in 2016 to voters and not to the Del Rosarios and 2nd District Rep. Antonio Floirendo, Jr.
Who voted me as congressman? Them or the voters? No single person can put you in that position except the voters, said Alvarez in a radio interview.
Alvarez said this even as he has publicly admitted earlier that his win in the 2016 congressional race was supported by Floirendo and Governor Anthony del Rosario and his father former governor Rodolfo del Rosario.
Alvarez won in 2016, after two previous debacles in the 1st District congressional races where he was not supported by Floirendo and the del Rosarios.
Some quarters have described Alvarez as a “snake in the grass” for going up against his former benefactors.
People of Davao del Norte are well aware about how the del Rosarios and Floirendo in 2016 brought back Alvarez from his political grave by helping him, financially and politically, win the election.
Alvarez, who first won a Congress seat in the 1998 election, had practically disappeared from the province’s political landscape since abandoning his congressional post in 2001 to take on a short-lived stint as transport secretary of then President Gloria-Macapagal-Arroyo, and since being clobbered by opponents in his comeback bids in the 2010 and 2013 elections.
He resurfaced as part of then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s presidential campaign and was named as Speaker of the House of Representatives with Duterte winning the presidency. Alvarez, however, would be ousted two years later and replaced by former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in a coup on July 2018.
Interviewed on ABS/CBN Davao on Monday morning, November 12 in the Banat program, anchorman Jun Bersamin asked Alvarez to react to accusations that he is “walay batasan, walay utang na loob (Without manners, without gratitude).”
After breaking up ties with the del Rosarios and Floirendo, Alvarez is going to war with his former allies and benefactors in the 2019 mid-term election.
For the elections in May next year, Alvarez has organized a political bloc, the Alvarez Wing, against the Floirendo- and Del Rosario-led Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP), a regional political party formed by presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Alvarez’s reelection is being contested by Gov. del Rosario, while Floirendo will be facing off in the 2nd District race with Vice Governor Alan Dujali of the Alvarez Wing. Alvarez has also fielded his personal assistant, virtual unknown Edwin Jubahib in the gubernatorial race against HNP’s Rodney del Rosario, the governor’s older brother.
In the interview, Bersamin hinted that Alvarez has forgotten the word gratitude as Alvarez is now ranged against his former benefactors who helped him in the past to win an election.
“Mentalidad sa pamulitika nga ikaw ang agalon (That’s the mentality of politicians who think they are the master),” Alvarez said, referring to the del Rosarios and Floirendo.
“Kinsa nagbutang (sa akoa) as congressman? Sila ba o ang katawhan? (Who voted me as congressman? Them or the voters?),” Alvarez said.
“No single person can put you in that position except the voters,” he adds.
While admitting he was helped by his former allies and benefactrors, Alvarez claims the help was not crucial to his winning.
“Ang support ok pero pila lang ka boto (There was support but it amounted to only a few votes),” he said.
I could not have won if people did not like it. Utang ko naa sa botante (My gratitude is to the voters),” said Alvarez.
Up against the formidable and tested political machinery of the del Rosario-Floirendo combine, observers are giving Alvarez and his Alvarez Wing no chance to make it in the coming polls.
Further, Alvarez’s fate appears to be sealed in doom, with Mayor Duterte-Carpio and the HNP throwing support to del Rosario and Floirendo.
The presidential daughter has called Alvarez an “asshole” and vowed to campaign against his reelection, after the then Speaker said HNP was an “opposition party” organized by Mayor Duterte-Carpio without the blessing of President Duterte.
It is reported that Mayor Duterte-Carpio was among those who were behind the ouster of Alvarez as Speaker, which was confirmed by no less than President Duterte.