“Digong Nasuko kay AGR” & No Pivot Back to Tagum Mayorship for Chiongkee

cha monforte- column news---

President Duterte was accordingly apprised by Speaker Bebot Alvarez on the action or inaction (depending on your bias) of Davao del Norte Governor Anthony del Rosario on the invitation of PDP-Laban President and Senate President Koko Pimentel. We knew that the governor had already publicly declared he’s independent now, free from any political party- neither Liberal Party from which he said he had already resigned as member, nor the now ruling PDP-Laban party of which President Duterte is the national chairman. That was Nov. 27. But of course, the President had to be apprised by the national secretary general, the Speaker. “Nasuko si President Digong kang Governor AGR,” said my highly placed source who got the info from the Speaker’s camp, A1. Bingo!

In my earlier column, I traced the chronology of Gov. AGR’s actions based on another highly placed source. That earlier source said that first the governor demanded he be given first an invitation letter from the PDP-Laban national directorate, and so the local PDP-Laban organizers scampered to go to Manila to get the formal invitation letter from Sen. Koko. It was secured and when Sen. Koko’s letter was submitted in his governor’s office at the Capitol, he was nowhere to be found. The letter was just left to his office after having a copy of it received. It seems the latter from imperial Manila was served to him like an aristocrat.

Despite that, the governor was still reached out through phone calls until the very day of the PDP-Laban mass oathtaking last Aug. 28. The subsequent info we received was that Gov. AGR withheld his decision to join PDP-Laban. But we have a vernacular word for Sen. Koko who attended the Aug. 28 event- napalaw. Pundits saw that as like indyanan na in the presence of two most powerful officials in the land (after the President and Vice President). Syempre, kinsay di malain ana?

However, congressional political affairs officer Rosenda Garcia was asked about it but she recoiled so diplomatic saying that the governor and the speaker have “no conflict between” them, or that the Speaker had never uttered something bad to the governor and that the matter of AGR’s joining can still be ironed out at the national level. But maybe, di lang seguro magpakita si Speaker sa iyang ginabati, but may ginabati gyod siya ata (my opinionated conjecture).

But maybe for that Aug. 28 event, it would just be OK to understand the younger governor as he has all rights what political party to affiliate with this time and given his blood relations with the Floirendos whom the speaker has conflict with stemming from TADECO’s Joint Venture Agreement with Bureau of Corrections. Naiipit siya. Or maybe the governor just can’t allow himself to troop under the leadership of Speaker Alvarez kay nabale na (reversed) ang sitwasyon (sa klarohay lang sa panan-aw nako).

But our latest source said that the governor was still reached out through phone calls for the second round until the very day of the mass oathtaking of PDP-Laban members for District 2 in Panabo last Nov. 30 until the governor’s phone snapped out shouting “sorry, the number you are calling is out of coverage area.” Apprised of AGR’s series of actions including his clear-cut declaration to be independent, “nasuko si President Digong kang Governor AGR,” the source said. Kamo daw Presidente nga Davaoeno, unsay bation nimo kung di tanang gobernador sa Davao Region wa nanumpa sa imong partido? Thus, it appears now that even the governor’s intention to join PDP-Laban was bound to be rejected by Speaker Alvarez.

Kamo na ang bahala diha mag-comment pa more.


There seems to be no pivot back for Comval senior board member and ex-Gov. Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy for mayorship to Tagum City than for gubernatorial run in Davao del Norte where he was first originally identified with. The “pakisama” ex-governor was first buzzed to be running for Tagum City mayor then he was subsequently reported to be circulating (in fact singing during affairs) in many places in Davao del Norte. Now another separate source from a barangay said that Comval Senior BM Chiongkee would have s hard time defeating Mayor Allan Rellon knowing the history of political choices of the people of Tagum. The source said that the fact is clear that since independence no mayor running for his last reelection did ever lost in Tagum. It’s not all money all there is in Tagum elections but your relationship with the people matters while Tagumenyos value good tested leaders (councilors included) they want to have their three terms finished serving them. But for  comebacking ex-mayors, they failed to recapture the mayoral post. That is gem of thought to the barangay pundit. And the third factor- Speaker Alvarez is bound to give vast finances for the city’s drainage systems and streets next year, 2018. How’s that? They- Senior BM Chiongkee and Mayor Rellon can’t just fight against each other in the political ring as they’re both PDP-Laban partymates now under the leadership of Speaker Alvarez.

But I say there are upset wins, meaning candidates running for their last or third term being defeated in many places in the country. That might be replicated in Tagum City. Let’s see. But hey again- how’s the powerhouse and formidable coalition of emerging super political kingpin Speaker Alvarez in the two provinces, the Uys, Vice Gov. Alan Dujali, majority of mayors in the province (and of course tangag na their ward leaders down to barangays, alam na this), the plus factor of big clan of Suaybaguios and others, the vote-rich Tagum, and the formidable challengers and big, popular names from town leaders against the minority mayors still clinging to Floirendo’s protege and ward control. It looks like a gubernatorial run for Senior BM Chiongkee is more a winnable option.

But what if- if it’s RDR (the old former gov patriarch) vs Chiongkee, and it’s AGR vs. Alvarez in the first district in 2019? Whaaat?

Ngilngig o kuyaw gyod ang eleksyon sa Davao del Norte sa 2019 that lower incumbent officials like councilors are constantly eaves-dropping, tiptoeing now, so careful of their moves and decision-making like when to ambak (partido), with whom to side for patronage kay basig masunog ug sayo. Ho Sano!