Cong. Floirendo No Comment Onstage During His Group’s Mass Oathtaking |“Rodney To Run for IGACOS Mayor”

Davao del Norte 2nd District Congressman Antonio “Tony Boy” Floirendo largely made no comment to any issue relating his rift with Speaker and 1st District Cong. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez when he spoke onstage during the mass oathtaking of Kusog Baryohanon (KB) party members Wednesday in the municipal gym of Carmen town.

In the opening of his speech, he though side-commented in jest and in so short jab about landgrabbing issue but quickly evaded talking about his issues with the Speaker.

Floirendo’s KB mass oathtaking followed the mass oathtaking of PDP-Laban led by Speaker Alvarez last Nov. 30 in Panabo City.

davao del norte congressman tonyboy floirendo

As Cong. Floirendo recognized the presence of his leader-partymates, in jest when he introduced neophyte Board Member Rodney del Rosario he said that per info he got wind of the latter is planning to run for mayor in the Island Garden City of Samal.

The congressman also introduced his two daughters Monica and Gabby, whom he said, in jest, he cajoled to run for congresswoman.

It is not yet known as of press time if the congressman made a press conference right after the oathtaking.

The Kusog Baryohanon event was attended by mayors still loyal to Floirendo, the four of the eleven mayors in the province, thus now a minority. They are BE Dujali Mayor Leah Marie Moral-Romano, Sto. Tomas Mayor Daniel Batosalem Jr., Panabo City Mayor James Gamao and Carmen Mayor Virgie Perandos.

Also attending were barangay officials and functionaries, and TADECO workers. They mostly wore white T-shirts in contrast to the red T-shirts of PDP-Laban members.

Floirendo is facing a graft case filed by Alvarez which is now at the Sandiganbayan, stemming from his involvement in the controversial Joint Venture Agreement between TADECO and the Bureau of Corrections. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)

 

Panabo Mayor Gamao Reasons Kalapatis Eti Why He Denied Speaker’s Request To Use Gym

Panabo City Mayor James Gamao said that there are kalapatis (doves) living inside the city gym and he does not want the doves’ poop (eti in vernacular) to land on Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and his group if they would hold the PDP-Laban mass oathtaking there, in what appears as pilosopo dig of the mayor at the Speaker.

First Gamao said there is an ongoing repair at the upper part of the gym near the Comelec city office that made him decide to deny the requests of Alvarez to use the city gym.

panabo mayor gamao

But in a confusing turn he admitted he was happy that the gym was not used at all by the PDP-Laban last Nov. 30 citing that he “might be politicized” if it was used.

Gamao spoke during the Kusog Baryohanon party members assembly of the District 2 in the municipal gym of Carmen town Wednesday morning.

Alvarez through his congressional staff first requested the mayor to use the big gym on Nov. 25 for the mass oathtaking of the PDP-Laban party but the mayor denied citing the repair activity, causing Alvarez to cancel the activity and reset it to Nov. 30.

Again Alvarez congressional staffers requested the mayor to use the gym on Nov. 30, but again the mayor denied it.

Denied of a big venue, the PDP-Laban mass oathtaking proceeded on Nov. 30 at the small covered court at Brgy. Salvacion as offered by its barangay captain and the city ABC president Jose Ralampagos.

There over 8,000 political leaders, barangay, municipal and city officials from Districts 1 and 2 were sworn in by the Speaker in a jampacked and  sun-scorched setting.

Gamao was castigated by several speakers for not respecting the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Alvarez in his speech said he himself had to ask the mammoth PDP-Laban crowd an apology for the mayor’s denial to use the city gym.

Gamao is a protégé of District 2 Congressman Tony Boy Floirendo. He belongs to the mayors still loyal to Floirendo, the four of the eleven mayors in the province, thus the minority. They are BE Dujali Mayor Leah Marie Moral-Romano, Sto. Tomas Mayor Daniel Batosalem Jr., Panabo City Mayor James Gamao and Carmen Mayor Virgie Perandos.

Alvarez castigated Cong. Floirendo relating his involvement in the controversial Joint Venture Agreement between TADECO and the Bureau of Corrections.

He filed a graft case against Floirendo at the Ombudsman last year which is now at the Sandiganbayan awaiting decision. He also said he has an incoming plunder case against the Floirendo family relating to the same JVA.

He called on the people to end the control of one family in District 2 which the Speaker charged as the only one who has been deciding every election in the District and “not the people.”

The Floirendos through TADECO lawyers have been refuting Alvarez allegations relating the JVA as assailable.

Moreover, Mayor Gamao in the same speech also griped on those 16 incumbent barangay captains in his city who swore in the PDP-Laban mass oathtaking last Nov. 30, saying they better stick with PDP-Laban and not to go back to Kusog Baryohanon “kung didto ka didto ka ayawg samok-samok sa amoa (if you’re with their side stick there, and don’t bring trouble to us Kusog Baryohanon).

The defection of the 16 barangay captains to the camp of Alvarez has ostensibly stirred a hornet’s nest affecting the mayor, which pundits described as unprecedented political development in the city whose governance has long been controlled by the protégés of Floirendos. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)

Has independent Gov. AGR preempted the inevitable Alvarez rejection of his joining to PDP?

cha monforte hashtags brew column largest

Last Monday mid morning, Davao del Norte Governor Anthony “AGR” del Rosario called up more than 20 mediamen for a press conference inside his conference room at Mankilam Capitol. There he declared his independence from any political party. He announced he officially resigned as member of Liberal Party. But he is not yet joining the PDP-Laban party which in the province is led by Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez, the party’s secretary general, and the 1st District congressman who has a running serious rift with 2nd District Cong. Tony Boy Floirendo.

Gov. AGR’s announcement has created ripples across the province. What’s certain is that the Liberal Party in the province fell down and melted away with his decision, making casualties of political futures of LP incumbents such as the District 1 board members clinging still to LP.

I interviewed several political pundits and these are their impressions to the governor’s latest move of going independent, meaning partyless: 1. “He’s playing safe by going political loner”, 2. “He wants to create emotional situation so as to be seen pitiful, he’s engaging in sympathy building”, 3. “He goes independent so he can go to any side, without counting the partyline,  so he’s a political butterfly”, 4. “It’s his wisest move, a classic Del Rosario move, alam na this, but how’s the skeleton in the closet?”. 5. “It shows that the Del Rosarios have no end game strategy. The Del Rosarios are back now to zero.”

When he announced he goes independent, free from any political party, his act is first seen as a tactical maneuver to stave off what can be dubbed as a “Chiongkee threat”.  Well, senior Compostela Valley Board Member and ex-Gov. Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy has been rumored to be interested running for governor in Davao del Norte from what was first reported that he was eyeing for Tagum City mayorship. What buoyed up this buzz is when he’s reported to be already circulating himself in various places in DavNor “to dovetail with the DavNor people and get some feel of their pulses ” in the words of one highly placed source.  AGR said he thought his decision out for one and a half months.

“Stave off” as a phrase would mean “to stop something bad from happening, or to keep an unwanted situation or person away, usually temporarily”.

At the same time, Gov. AGR apparently wants to stave off the emerging powerhouse and formidable alliance of Alvarez, the Uys of Tagum City, Vice Gov. Alan Dujali, Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon and so far the mayors who go for PDP-Laban – Mayor Al David Uy of IGACOS, Kapalong Mayor Maritess Timbol, San Isidro Mayor Arnel Sitoy and Talaingod Mayor Basilio Libayao, and count New Corella Mayor Rhodora Alcoran, who pledged to be a new PDP-Laban party member just on Thursday in the mass oathtaking of the party in Panabo City.

The Uys of Tagum would mean senior Comval BM and ex-Gov. Chiongkee Uy and former Tagum City Mayor Rey “Cee O” Uy, who is still very much influential for having at least the supermajority of incumbent barangay captains in the city trooping under his leadership though he is non-incumbent at present.

I have also this one old Tagumenyo political turk who asked not to be named saying that the alliance of leaderships of Alvarez and Uys backed up by incumbent mayors with the vote-rich city of Tagum and the five other mayors who have switched sides to Alvarez camp and the plus factor of ex-Vice Gov. Baby Suaybaguio and his big Suaybaguio clan is a powerhouse dream team formidable enough to defeat the Floirendos and even with the Del Rosarios in the 2019 election.

“For one, it would be for the first time in the history of the province that the combined resources of Floirendos and Del Rosarios can now be matched with the combined resources of Speaker Alvarez and Uy,” he reckoned. That’s in electoral context.

Alvarez has been often talked about in rounds awash with funds because being a Speaker naturally enables him to have access to vast government resources under the congressional power of the purse, more so as he has a supermajority in Congress under his beck and call, thus making him as truly a President’s protégé Speaker.

I’m getting endeared to the President when he breaks the back of oligarchy in the provinces. One wag said that Gov. AGR is actually a constraint to this anti-oligarchy drive of Duterte administration if he becomes one of the allies of the Speaker. The wag said “tell it to the marines” when the former Gov. Rodolfo Del Rosario said that he’s solidly behind the leadership of Speaker Alvarez.  He projected that in the end after the AGR’s furlough of being independent he’ll support Floirendo simply because “blood is thicker than water.”

An insider source shared his A1 info that actually all the conditions of Gov. AGR were given as when he asked that he be formally invited to join the PDP-Laban. That would mean in written form, and then a protocol was followed that the invitation would come from national PDP-Laban President, in the person of Senate President Koko Pimentel.  The invitation reached the governor before the Aug. 28 mass oathtaking in Tagum City.  And when the time came when he was asked of his decision, the governor accordingly withheld his decision.

The Aug. 28 Tagum mass oathtaking was attended by Senate President Pimentel, and according to the source, the Speaker  had “a displeasure” over AGR’s apparent ambivalence to join PDP-Laban, so much so that there was a text message from a mayor sent to another mayor that belittled PDP-Laban and indirectly, ergo, Alvarez leadership. That text message inevitably reached to the Speaker’s  cellphone, the source said. So then AGR’s subsequent intention to  join PDP-Laban was already being cleared, thought out much by Alvarez, and AGR’s joining appears headed to be nixed by Alvarez, guessed the source, given the past charge of political lobotomy made by the Del Rosarios to Alvarez when they supported former Cong. Arrel Olano (against Alvarez in 2004, and against his estranged wife Emily in 2007 and 2010 polls).

Alvarez political affairs officer Rose Garcia said to the press last Tuesday a day after AGR announced his independence there’s no conflict between the speaker and the governor and that the speaker has not been heard to be closing his door to AGR’s joining to PDP-Laban. She said that the issue would be resolved at the national level of PDP-Laban.

Meantime, words “loyalty check” came up from AGR during his presscon last Monday. He said he is against to that loyalty check. He did not name names.

Now this quarter has this penultimate impression in query form: Has Gov. AGR just preempted the inevitable Alvarez rejection of his joining to PDP-Laban after the loyalty check when he declared he’s going independent and partyless for now to save face? That’s apart from staving off both the so-called “Chiongkee threat” and the fast emerging powerhouse PDP-Laban alliance and dream team in Davao del Norte. It seems I have three impressions here, guys and pundits alike.

Alvarez: Digong Doesn’t Stop Me in My Anti-TADECO JVA Moves

Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez bared to a mammoth crowd during the mass oathtaking of new PDP-Laban party members Thursday at Panabo City that President Duterte has never asked him to stop in his current moves to invalidate the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) between TADECO and the Bureau of Corrections (BoC).

He announced before 8,000 people under the sun-scorched mini covered court of Barangay Salvacion: “Ang atong Presidente wa gyod nagsulti nako nga ‘undanga na diha’. Wala nanghilabot si Presidente kay isip pod abugado kabalo siya nga may diperensya ang kontrata (The President never asks me to stop, he does not meddle because as a lawyer he knows that the contract (JVA) has infirmities). ”

speaker alvarez panabo mass oathtaking

“For long years they have been hiding the contract and when I became a Speaker and obtained a copy I almost painted,”Alvarez said in vernacular.

He said that in the past while other companies such as Stanfilco, Dole, Soriano had their lease running from P500 minimum to P1,000 maximum per hectare per year, TADECO had leased only on measly P50 per hectare per year.

“Put*ng *na nganong di ka madato ana? (Son of a b*tch, how come you can’t be rich by that?” the Speaker charged before a roaring huge crowd, as he pointed out in apparent compare and contrast that the late Antonio Floirendo Sr only started as small-time dealer of Ford automobiles.

The Speaker also informed them he has already filed a case against Congressman Tony Boy Floirendo Jr stemming from what was said as disadvantageous JVA even as he cited positions of the Dept. of Justice, Solicitor General and Commission on Audit favoring the nullification of the JVA.

He added he is also coming up a plunder case against the Floirendo family as he charged them anew for “not thief but robbery” stemming from the JVA.

In apparent sarcasm delivered in jest, he dared Cong. Floirendo: “pagsugod na ug martsa paingon diha o, diha (pointing his finger to the west) diha ka isulod sa DAPECOL (start marching now going to… as you will be put there, there… inside the DAPECOL”, which is now named Davao Prison and Penal Farm, the biggest State prison colony in Mindanao.

Alvarez in his earlier speaking engagements and various media interviews have been making those accusations against Cong. Floirendo and his family, and his coming plunder case, which Floirendo and TADECO lawyers already refuted as assailable in various fora including the earlier Congressional joint committee hearings.

Alvarez also dropped sarcasm to the district leadership and to the city administration saying he himself had to ask for apology to the PDP people gathering in jampacked and sun-scorched situation at the small covered court in Barangay Salvacion.

He said he admired the bravery of barangay chairman and ABC city president Jose Relampagos for not cowering in fear to give space for the PDP-Laban event.

Panabo City Mayor James Gamao was hit by several speakers during the gathering for disrespecting the Office of the Speaker of the House into not granting the organizers’ earlier requests of using the city gymnasium near the Panabo City Hall.

Vice Governor Alan Dujali, in his speech, said that they requested to use the city gym or Freedom Park for the event supposedly last Aug. 25 but Gamao did not grant, so they postponed the event and rescheduled it to Nov. 30, leading to another request to use either the gym or Freedom Park, but “gibalibaran gihapon kay busy daw (the request was again denied for the reason that they’re accordingly busy).”

Vice Gov. Dujali called on the people in District 2 to continue fighting for freedom from dictates of one big family that have been swinging over in the district for the past five elections.

“On this historic day we planted the seed of change. We fought in the past, why should we stop when the President is ours now?” the vice governor challenged the massive PDP-Laban members.

Dujali was designated by Speaker Alvarez be his pointman for infrastructure projects in District 2 in view of the dismal lack of infrastructure projects in the district due to “absences” of Cong. Floirendo.

The vice governor has been groomed by Speaker Alvarez to be his congressional bet in District 2 comes the 2019 elections.

The side of the Floirendos as to the renewed digs and swipes of Alvarez made during the mass oathtakings is still being awaited to come out in the press as of press time.

The mass oathtaking of new PDP-Laban members right at Floirendo’s home turf city of Panabo was the third after the mass oathtaking events in Tagum City last Aug. 28 and in Babak, Samal Island last Oct. 14.

But the fourth mass oathtaking in the province for the ruling party under the Duterte administration came in shortly in the afternoon in Babak, Samal Island.

The Speaker then choppered to Babak for the mass oathtaking of more than 8,000 new PDP-Laban members from mostly barangay officials in the Island Garden City of Samal.

Joining the Speaker’s party were PDP-Laban regional chairman and 2nd District Compostela Valley Cong. Ruwel Peter Gonzaga and Bataan transgender Congresswoman Geraldine Roman. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)

Speaker Alvarez Designates Vice Gov. Dujali as His Infra Pointman for District 2

Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez in his speech during the mass oathtaking of new PDP-Laban members in Panabo City Thursday informed a huge crowd of over 8,000 people that given that there has been a dismal lack of infrastructure projects in District 2 he is designating Vice Governor Alan “Aldo” Dujali to be his pointman for infrastructure projects in the same congressional district.

The Speaker said that as the District 2 Congressman Tony Boy Floirendo has “always been absent” in Congress, the District suffers to have no project very much unlike to Compostela Valley which has massive infrastructures like highway six-lane widening and road concreting initiated by their congressmen.

speaker alvarez and vice gov alan dujali
Speaker and 1st District Cong. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez and Vice Gov. Alan Dujali lead over 8,000 newly sworn-in party members of the PDP-Laban during the mass oathtaking Thursday held at the covered gym in Brgy. Salvacion, Panabo City.

For this to be addressed, the Speaker designated Panabo’s son Vice Gov. Dujali to be his pointman, saying “si Vice Governor Dujali na ang inyong duolon, siya nay motrabaho, mag-estorya mi ani sa Kongreso kanunay with Comval Congressman Ruwel Gonzaga (you just approach the vice governor and he will work for it, we’ll always talk about this in Congress with Cong. Gonzaga), to the roaring applause of the crowd.

Dujali has been groomed by Speaker Alvarez to be his congressional bet in District 2 comes the 2019 elections.

As he crossed boundaries to serve being a Speaker of the House of Representatives, he also informed the huge crowd that beginning from the gathering District 2 constituents can now ask hospitalization assistance from his congressional office “charged to me” when they are confined in Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City. Free medicines would also be availed by District 2 constituents.

Also in his speech, the Speaker castigated anew Cong. Floirendo relating to the latter’s involvement in what was said as disadvantageous Joint Venture Agreement between his family’s TADECO and Bureau of Correction out of the low lease of the over 5,308 hectares of government land by the company since 1969.

Alvarez dropped sarcasm to the district leadership and to the city administration saying he himself had to ask for apology to the PDP people gathering in jampacked and sun-scorched situation at the small covered court in Barangay Salvacion.

He said he admired the bravery of barangay chairman and ABC city president Jose Relampagos for not cowering in fear to give space for the PDP-Laban event. For this, the Speaker would be allocating P4 million for infrastructure project of Barangay Salvacion.

Panabo City Mayor James Gamao was hit by several speakers during the gathering for disrespecting the Office of the Speaker of the House into not granting the organizers’ earlier requests of using the city gymnasium near the Panabo City Hall.

Most of the more than 8,000 persons and officials who took oath as new party members of PDP-Laban came from District 2 while the rest came from District 1 specifically those who missed the first mass oathtaking last Aug. 28 at Tagum City. The crowd included bigger delegation from New Corella led by Mayor Rhodora Alcoran.

The Speaker then choppered to Babak, Samal Island for the 2nd mass oathtaking of new PDP-Laban members there in the afternoon.

The Speaker also swore in over 8,000 persons and mostly barangay officials in the Island Garden City of Samal mobilized by Mayor Al David Uy, who earlier took oath during the Aug. 28 mass oathtaking in Tagum City.

Joining the Speaker’s party were PDP-Laban regional chairman and 2nd District Comval Cong. Gonzaga and Bataan transgender Congw. Geraldine Roman. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)

AGR’s Independence: A Tactical Move To Stave Off a Chiongkee Threat and The Emerging Powerhouse PDP-Laban Dream Team Alliance in DavNor

By Cha Monforte

The Alvarez-Chiongkee-Dujali-Rellon-Al David Uy-Timbol-Sitoy-Libayao-Suaybaguio Alliance

Local analysts are now rather seeing that the latest move of Davao del Norte Governor Anthony “AGR” del Rosario to go independent from any political party, neither with the past ruling Liberal Party nor with the new emerging ruling PDP-Laban party under the Duterte administration led by Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez is one tactical move to stave off what can be dubbed now as a “Chiongkee threat”.

At the same time, his move wants to stave off  the emerging powerhouse and formidable alliance of Alvarez, the Uys of Tagum City, Vice Gov. Alan Dujali, Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon and so far the mayors who go for PDP-Laban as of todate – Mayor Al David Uy of IGACOS, Kapalong Mayor Maritess Timbol, San Isidro Mayor Arnel Sitoy and last-termer Talaingod Mayor Basilio Libayao.

politial alliances in davao del norte

The Uys of Tagum would mean Compostela Valley senior Board Member and ex-Gov. Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy, who has been rumored to be eyeing to run for governor in the province where he is originally identified with, Davao del Norte, and former Tagum City Mayor Rey “Cee O” Uy, who is still very much influential for having at least the supermajority of incumbent barangay captains in the city trooping under his leadership though he is non-incumbent at present.

The elder Uy has been reported to be physically saturating himself in various places in Davao del Norte “to dovetail with the people and feel their pulses” according a highly placed source.

During the last Aug. 28, 2017 mass oathtaking of new PDP-Laban members that first took Tagum City by the storm of the fast-running PDP-Laban train pushed by Speaker Alvarez and Senate President Koko Pimentel, Mayors Timbol, Sitoy and Libayao (through the representation of his wife, his apparent political successor) took their oath as PDP-Laban members.

The activity area of the New City Hall was filled to the rafters with new PDP-Laban members out from elected officials from provincial down to barangay levels from District 1 areas where their mayors took oath including the massive number of officials from Tagum City who joined with Mayor Rellon, who became a PDP-Laban member two elections ago. The only board member from District 1 who took oath was Frank Remitar.

Also on that day, 99.8 percent of Compostela Valley’s elected officials took oath as new PDP-Laban members under the leadership of senior Board Member Uy and his son Gov. Jayvee Tyron Uy. The mass oathtaking in IGACOS followed, and this coming Nov. 30 the mass oathtaking of new PDP-Laban members in District 2 was scheduled right at Floirendo’s home turf- Panabo City.

The alliance of leaderships of Alvarez and Uys backed up by incumbent mayors with the vote-rich city of Tagum and the four other mayors who have switched sides to Alvarez camp and the plus factor of Suaybaguios is a powerhouse dream team formidable enough to defeat the Floirendos and even with the Del Rosarios in the next election, opined an old political turk based in Tagum who asked not to be named.

“For one, it would be for the first time in the history of the province that the combined resources of Floirendos and Del Rosarios can now be matched with the combined resources of Speaker Alvarez and Uy,” he reckoned.

Alvarez has been often talked about in rounds awash with funds because being a Speaker naturally enables him to have access to vast government resources under the congressional power of the purse, more so as he has a supermajority in Congress under his beck and call, thus making him as truly a President’s protégé Speaker.

The Speaker has also advanced his cases against Tadeco’s JVA at Sandiganbayan and at the Dept. of Justice and there have been talks that the Dapecol’s JVA area of more than 5,000 hectares would be reverted to the government soon and a large portion of it would be transformed into a biggest airport of the country.

“Chiongkee is a political threat and that’s the reason why AGR goes independent, with him bidding that the Chiongkee political threat will be defused by it,” the analyst said.

Another source from Tagum City Council earlier said that the governorship was actually “offered” by Alvarez to Uy, but the latter first said that he preferred running for Tagum City mayor than for governor, but that could bring trouble and disunity in PDP-Laban ranks given that Rellon is also a PDP-Laban member.

However, two weeks after that offer, there have been reports already that said that Uy had started to go to various places in Davao del Norte.

“Opportunity only knocks once, and that opportunity comes due to feud between the Speaker and Congressman Floirendo,” the old political turk said, adding that Uy has “more chances now” in his original province as when he first entered in politics “as a stranger” in Comval.

True enough, Uy first ran in Comval for Congress in 1998 against entrenched and legendary Cong. Pros Amatong. He was defeated with a narrow margin of only over 1,000 votes, surprising many.

Meanwhile, it doesn’t mean the pro-Floirendo incumbents would have no rivals as given a challenger cum administration Alvarez-Uy alliance many formidable non-incumbent personalities could be awakened into running and forging strange-bedfellow alliances at their lower levels.

In the governor’s press conference on Monday, he confusingly said that because he has declared to be independent he would then simply advise board members “to join the group of Bebot Alvarez, our Speaker.” This would be addressed to Board Members Shirley Belen Aala, Enting Eliot, Joey Millan, all last termers, and to first-termer Alfredo “Ticque” De Veyra.

But for the five District 2 Board Members Rodney del Rosario, Hernani Duco, Erning Evangelista, Roy Catalan and Janet Tanong, they would surely troop under the leadership of Cong. Floirendo.

As of this date, four of the five District Mayors (except IGACOS Mayor Al David Uy) have continued to be with Kusog Baryohanon party led by Floirendo. They are Panabo City Mayor James Gamao, Sto. Tomas Mayor Jun Batosalem, BE Dujali Mayor and lawyer Leah Marie Moral-Romano, and most probably Asuncion Mayor and lawyer Yuri Dayaday, who said earlier that he considered himself an independent mayor.

Thus, when Gov. AGR declared independence and advised the four District 1 board members to join the group of Alvarez it is as if he is saying he has to complete the separation of the District 1 and District 2 board members- “five of them to each of their congressman”.

This as he distances himself away to be safe from being pulled to side with any of the two forces clashing against each other, while pledging that he would support all of the reelectionists regardless of their parties if he continues to be independent comes the 2019 electoral season. That is short of saying, “I will all support you so don’t support Chiongkee,” the analyst speculated.

Gov. AGR apparently wanted that all of them would support his reelection bid comes 2019, drawing up a sight that when he calls for unity he is actually pulling the rug out from under to stave off this early Chiongkee threat to his governorship.

This rather shrewd tactical move of Gov. AGR seems apparent when he said during his press conference on Monday that he hoped “people will step back and absorb (his) call for unity… hoping that our political leaders from congressmen down to municipal level and the citizenry that they will think back and hopefully absorb and join his call for unity”.

With the “Chiongkee threat” the governor appears to be panicky as he came up his decision to go independent after thinking it out for one and a half months and as he painted dark the horizon saying “grabe na kaayo ang tension dire. You can feel the tug-of-war between the two districts”, “there are people who are pushing the division of this province” and “there are a lot of intrigues that came up”. He added that “the tension is there” and “if it continues you can be sure that magkagabot gyod dire (trouble would really come in the province).

“Trouble? Who made and pictured them? Why the dark foreboding? Perhaps the governor needs to be reminded that we have democracy, and Davao del Norte is part of it,” the old political turk of Tagum added. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)
 

Due to Worse Tensions From Alvarez-Floirendo Rift, Gov. AGR Goes Independent|NOT LP, NOT PDP

Admitting there have been worse political tensions he could feel due to the running rift between the two congressmen in the province, Davao del Norte Governor Anthony del Rosario announced Monday that he has “officially resigned” from the Liberal Party and declared that henceforth he becomes “officially independent” and “not committed to any party.”

Del Rosario held a press conference Monday morning inside the governor’s conference room in the Capitol at Mankilam, Tagum City.

governor anthony del rosario

“I’m bridging a gap and I cannot do it if I favor one party, and it is therefore for this reason that I am declaring my independence from any political party. This careful decision is premised by my avowed commitment to put the best interests of our people over and above any personal and political interests,” the governor said, reading his prepared press statement.

He stressed his loyalty belongs to the Dabaonon people and not to any political party even as he called he called for unity of officials in the province, “to set aside differences… to accomplish projects for the depressed and underserved communities.”

After reading his statement, he answered several questions from mediamen.

He said he had not talked to anybody about his declaration to be independent except his father, former Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario. He said he has been thinking this for a month and a half.

As he made his declaration to be independent, he ascertained that other officials like the board members would call him and ask what they are going to do because of his being independent now. “I will tell them simple lang, you join the group of Bebot Alvarez, our Speaker.”

Prior to his declaration, there have been a lot of speculations about Del Rosario’s dilemma of joining the PDP-Laban party led by 1st District Cong. and Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez knowing of the the governor’s familial relationship in a clan with 2nd District Cong. Antonio “Tony Boy” Floirendo, Jr, whom Alvarez has serious spat with that already involved a Sandiganbayan’s case stemming from the questioned Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) between TADECO banana giant and the Bureau of Corrections.

One speculation from pundits said that in the end Del Rosario would have to support Floirendo as “blood is thicker than water” and considering the running reconciliation of the Del Rosario and Floirendo families for over seven years now, which resulted to political unification of political parties in the province for two elections already.

Another speculation has it that Del Rosario is “yet being screened by Alvarez for loyalty check” as to whether he has to be accepted in the PDP-Laban fold considering the charge of political lobotomy of the Del Rosarios against Alvarez in the early 2000s.

During the mass oathtaking of new PDP-Laban members in Samal Island two months ago, the Speaker in his speech strongly lambasted Floirendos for allegedly taking advantage of the JVA since 1969 owing to its low rent of more than 5,000 hectares of BoC’s Dapecol area as he made sniping against the Del Rosarios, mentioning that elder Rosario might be dragged in the JVA case.

Alvarez in various media interviews also said he is also preparing a plunder case against Floirendo family members over the same JVA issue, which the Floreindo and Tadeco lawyers already refuted as assailable in various fora including the joint Congressional committee hearings.

But during the press conference, the governor repeatedly said he is calling for unity and hoped that “because my being independent now I will be able to usher unity in the province”, adding that he then assumed that by being independent “it would be easier now to talk to both sides” than to be in the situation that he is with one political party. “How can I call for unity if I side one of them?”

He though acknowledged that both the congressmen and Floirendo family have contributed much for the good of the province as he vowed to continue supporting President Duterte.

He said his next move would still be dependent on the two congressmen, like if in the coming days they could have amicable settlement, “my next move is to think which party I go.”

“I will remain neutral. Grabe na kaayo ang tension dire. You can feel the tug-of-war between the two districts and I cannot allow myself to be pulled by these two forces. I have to stand my ground as a governor of this province,” Del Rosario said.

He added that as things unfold these days, “there are people who are pushing the division of this province” and “there are a lot of intrigues that had come up”.

He also questioned why should people be involved with the Alvarez-Floirendo rift “because whatever disagreements they have are just disagreements between the two of them.”

“I’m against to that loyalty check because at the end of the day my allegiance is on the people and not the political party, which is just a vehicle to be connected to an administration or to bring together people.”

He said that though the “disagreements” between Alvarez and his uncle Cong. Tony Boy have not yet really affected the province, but “the tension is there” and “if it continues you can be sure that magkagubot gyod dire (trouble would really come in the province).

“Basta I can feel it. The tension if this continues ang daming masakripisyo
and they will feel it also… I know a lot of people want to see disunity, because
if there’s disunity, there’s opportunity,” Gov. Del Rosario added.

He said that in his 15 years of being a public official it is only now that politics seems to come too early in the province.

The governor also bared that he plans to finish three terms as governor and support all the incumbent officials if they seek in the same capacity in the coming midterm polls by 2019, “regardless of the party they belong.”

As to the issue that the Del Rosarios would be dragged in the case relating the TADECO-BuCor JVA case, he said let the proper court decide for it while they just have to just continue serving the people.

But he said that “for as long as the two congressmen cannot settle the issues among themselves, I’m afraid I would have to remain independent” until the next election time.

Buzzwords have been swirling in the rounds for a month now that Compostela Valley senior Board and ex-Gov. Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy is training his sight to run for governor in Davao del Norte, which he is originally identified with being a Tagumenyo native son before his successful forays in Comval from the start of being a political stranger there.

A highly placed source said Uy has been physically circulating himself in various towns and cities in Davao del Norte “to dovetail himself with the people and know their pulses.” (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)