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.
Congressman Peter Ruwel Gonzaga (2nd District, Davao de Oro) was expected any time to dump President Rodrigo Duterte to join the opposition party Reporma of his political ally former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
Reporma, chaired by Alvarez (First District, Davao del Norte), is fielding Senator Ping Lacson for president and Senator Tito Sotto for vice president in the 2022 election.
Gonzaga, still a member of the ruling PDP– Laban that Alvarez previously served as secretary general, was expected to bolt out of the ruling party chaired by Duterte, in his bid to take a crack at the Davao de Oro governorship in the 2022 election.
Gonzaga would be up against reelectionist Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy, a Duterte political ally.
Alvarez last year resigned from PDP-Laban and severed ties with Duterte, after attacking the administration of his long time political ally for alleged limp-wristed approach to the Chinese intrusion in the West Philippine Sea and the government’s war on drugs, among others. Alvarez is seeking reelection in next year’s polls.
Gonzaga has filed a Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for reelection, but has given hint his new bid for a Congress seat is not yet final sparking speculations he would take a last-minute switch, with substitution being allowed by Comelec up to November 15, and challenge Governor Uy of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP), the regional party of presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
A Comelec ruling says, substitution of candidates maybe allowed but the candidate giving up and the substitute should belong to the same party.
If Gonzaga would run for governor, he has to resign from PDP-Laban and join Alvarez’s Reporma. He could then be a substitute candidate of former barngay captain Franco Tito, a Reporma member who has filed a COC for governor.
Speculations say that Tito was an”advance party” to the governor’s race for Gonzaga, who already had plans to run for governor by substitution. The congressman has junked a covenant with HNP, headed by its regional chair Davao de Oro Board member Arturo Chiongkee Uy, to support a united slate in the 2022 Davao de Oro polls and has instead organized a separate slate, a mix of PDP-Laban and Reporma members, against the HNP candidates.