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.
Former Tagum City Mayor Rey Chiong Uy said Edwin Jubahib would eat dust in his battle against Rodney del Rosario in the race for Davao del Norte governor in next year’s election.
“Bug-at kargahon. Lisod bitbiton” (Heavy to carry. Hard to lift), said Uy in describing his party mate Jubahib’s chances.
Uy is running for vice governor as Jubahib’s running mate under the Alvarez Wing bloc of former House Speaker abd re-electionist 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.
Uy’s double Bisaya lines in English mean, under the current political atmosphere heating up for the 2019 mid-term elections, that Jubahib, a former bus conductor, is hard to sell as a candidate.
Uy’s assessment dished out during an interview with Tagum City-based mediamen last week, comes as a big slap on virtual unknown Jubahib, who is up against a candidate backed by the formidable political machinery of Governor Anthony del Rosario and 2nd District Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr.
Rodney, member of the DavNor Provincial Board and older brother of the governor and cousin of Floirendo, runs under the banner of the Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP), the regional political party of presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
In next year’s race, Gov. del Rosario dumped a reelection bid to run against Alvarez, with Floirendo versus Vice Governor Alan Dujali of Alvarez Wing in the 2nd District race.
Uy, who is up against HNP’s outgoing Board member Joey Millan, had earlier applied to be vice gubernatorial bet of the HNP to avoid an encounter with re-electionist Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon, who is running for his third and final term. Rellon beat Uy’s son Oyo in the 2013 mayoral race and the come-backing Uy in the 2016 contest.
Before the deadline for submission of Certificate of Candidacy (COC), Uy joined the Alvarez Wing saying Del Rosario and Floirendo disregarded his request to be the gubernatorial bet of their group.
Del Rosario said, however, that Uy, his long-time political ally, could not wait for HNP to conduct a consultation to decide on its candidates.
Jubahib is given zero-chance against Rodney and Uy, a popular figure when he was Tagum City mayor, in the media interview, said he would not trade positions if the Alvarez Wing opts for a last minute substitution to pit him against Rodney.
Uy’s statement giving Jubahib no chance against Rodney was discussed by Davao City-based broadcaster Al Genoguin in his program Kontra Balanse on DXOW on Monday morning. Genoguin said his comment was based on Uy’s interview with the Tagum City mediamen.
BARANGAY CAPTAINS HIDING FROM CONSTITUENTS OVER ALVAREZ’S FAILED PROMISES OF FUNDS FOR BARANGAY PROJECTS
The approach to election is supposed to be a time when politicians, their ward leaders and supporters are most visible to the people.
Not in the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) in Samal Island in Davao del Norte.
Barangay chairmen in the tourist island, Mindanao’s Boracay, are in hiding from constituents because of former House Speaker DavNor First District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.
As then the sitting Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alvarez had lured the barangay chairmen to join his political bloc Alvarez Wing, with promises of P2 million worth of projects each for all the barangays of Igacos.
For this, the barangay chairmen joined the Alvarez Wing and announced to their constituents that many projects would be coming to their barangays courtesy of Alvarez and convinced them to join the Alvarez political bloc.
Funding for the projects had turned out to be empty promises.
Now constituents are pressing the barangay chairmen to answer their question: Asa na ang mga proyekto ni Alvarez?
Pushed to the wall, the barangay chairmen can only hide.
The Alvarez Wing would be fighting it out with the Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP), a regional political party founded by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, in the 2019 mid-term elections.
Alvarez’s reelection will be challenged by Governor Anthony del Rosario of HNP.
While Alvarez is running for reelection in the 1st District, his partymate virtual unknown, Edwin Jubahib, the Alvarez Wing candidate for governor, needs votes from the 2nd District in his fight against HNP candidate for governor Rodney del Rosario. Vice Governor Allan Dujali of Alvarez Wing is also contesting the reelection of Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr. of HNP, in the 2nd District Congress race.
This is the reason why he promised millions in projects for Igacos, which is under the 2nd District of Floirendo Jr.
As matters now stand, Alvarez’s projects could never come, so Igacos barangay chairmen will have to continue hiding.
Kung wala na mahatag ni Alvarez sa una, labi na karon nga dili na siya Speaker (If Alvarez failed to deliver on his promise before (when he was the Speaker), how much more now that he is no longer the Speaker),” said Vice Mayor Orly Amit, the HNP candidate for mayor against incumbent mayor Al David Uy of Alvarez Wing. Uy was a key player in the recruitment of the barangay chairmen to the Alvarez Wing.
Alvarez practically has been reduced to a non-entity in the House after he was deposed in July as Speaker by former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
While visible during the time when he was the Speaker, Alvarez and Jubahib, Alvarez congressional office assistant, are now no-shows in Igacos.
With the Alvarez Wing-allied barangay chairmen in hiding, Igacos constituents want Alvarez and Jubahib to come to the island and answer their question.
Amit said Alvarez and Jubahib are ‘aliens’ who landed in Igacos with false promises of huge financial dole-outs to local officials and millions of pesos in funds for barangay projects to get votes and not to serve the people.
Amit expressed sadness over Igacos officials who were quick to jump to the ‘alien’ Alvarez-Jubahid camp, and forgetting leaders who had helped in the development of Igacos for many years.
If we have fathers who nurtured our growth, it is the del Rosarios (former governor Rodolfo del Rosario and son Gov. Anthony del Rosario) and Floirendo, he said.
Alvarez and Jubahid are aliens who have no contribution whatsoever to Igacos, the vice mayor said.
The junior of Davao del Norte’s veteran politician wants to surpass the performance of his father, Rodolfo “Dolfo” del Rosario, Sr.
As a first step, Rodolfo “Rodney” del Rosario, Jr. is gunning in the 2019 mid-term elections for the gubernatorial seat, among several government positions held by Dolfo in his long career as politician and civil servant.
Up against a token rival, Rodney is on his way to the Capitol and will have opportunity to prove himself as a politician and government official. Better than Dolfo.
Catching up with Dolfo, for Rodney, may be a tall order. But the son could try and beat the father.
Dolfo, 84, holds an enviable record wrapped up in his more than 30 years in government that started in the 70s: assemblyman, environment secretary, congressman and governor.
Other than being a prominent figure for decades in the political landscape of Davao del Norte, the now retired Dolfo was a mover in the province’s economy: He is a key actor and partner in the giant banana-growing Tagum Agricultural Development Company (Tadeco). Founded 60 years ago by the late Don Antonio Floirendo Sr., Tadeco is credited with helping transform Davao del Norte from an outback community into the country’s biggest producer of exportable Cavendish bananas. It is not debatable that Cavendish spurred Davao del Norte’s economic growth.
Running under the banner of the Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP), Rodney vies for the seat currently held by younger brother Governor Anthony “AGR” del Rosario, who will run against ex-Speaker re-electionist Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez in the First District congressional race.
Luckily for Rodney, Dolfo has crawled out from retirement, and will be the campaign manager of HNP, a regional political party organized by presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio together with the governors of the Davao Region.
Rodney’s rival is a virtual unknown, former bus conductor and public works contractor Edwin Jubahib of the Alvarez Wing of Rep. Alvarez. Without any background in politics, Jubahib is a shoo-in to be a member of the losers’ brigade when the dust of the electoral battle settles down after the May 2019 elections.
Coming political realities being that, it may be a waste of time and effort to discuss anything about an ambitious, trying hard and inconsequential dot in the political landscape of Davao del Norte.
So back to more serious business with Rodney, who spoke about his plans as the governor, during a press conference organized by Davao del Norte mediamen, a day after filing his Certificate of Candidacy (CoC)_ for governor.
He was asked: Are you prepared for the job?
Rodney said that in running Capitol, he would be backstopped by his extensive background in business management as a key player in the del Rosario family’s various business ventures.
I will run the government like a corporation, he said.
Rodney is also not a stranger to politics, being a member of the Provincial Board, winning the seat in the 2016 election. He is the chairman of the committee on finance.
In three years I learned how to be an effective politician, he said in the press conference held at Balai Restaurant and Café in Tagum City.
Why are you running for governor when you should be spending time for the family business?
Rodney says he is inspired by the performance in government of Dolfo.
The Del Rosarios are also in the business of politics to serve the people, Rodney said.
He said he was inspired to continue the public service of his father who worked hard for 30 years as a politician for the good of the people and province of Davao del Norte.
Rodney said he will continue the various programs of Dolfo and brother AGR and add more after public consultations.
Rodney also said he would adopt a participatory government and would run Capitol in consultation with various sectors.
What’s in store for the people of Davao del Norte?
Investment generation. Small business development. Employment opportunities. Manpower development through skills training. Focus on underprivileged. Health. Education. And more.
What about media people?
The Denora Ordinance, in honor of slain newspaper publisher Dennis Denora.
We are supposed to interview Edwin Gumahid, errrr, Erwin Jumabib, err Edwin Jumabib, errr Edwin Jumahib, the other candidate for governor, for the sake of balance, but Mr. Gumahid, sorry again, Mr. Jumahib is not available apparently his hands full packing paracetamols for the medical mission, and pushing wheelbarrows of gravel for the barangay gravelling project, of the Alvarez-Jubahib Team.
Mr. Gumahid, sorry again, could be thinking that distributing paracetamols and patching up barangay road with a few shovels of gravel are all that is needed to become governor.
COMVAL JOKE. It could have been a battle between a “Pikot” and a “Sigag Mata” if former Diwalwal barangay captain Franco Tito pushed through with his plan to run for governor against incumbent Tyron Uy.
Franco has changed course and will instead challenge Vice Governor Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora in the congressional race.
When he held the post of Congressman before his daughter incumbent Rep. Maricar Zamora, Way Kurat gained national fame when he planted vacant lots in the Batasan with lemonsito.
If he wins as Congressman in next year’s election, Franco is heard as saying that he would uproot YK’s lemonsito and plant instead boongon in the Batasan vacant areas.
Let us call the Way Kurat vs. Franco fight as the Lemonsito vs. Boongon Battle.