DOLFO’S LEADERSHIP FACES ACID TEST
Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio is the official candidate of the opposition Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) against the ruling Liberal Pasrty (LP) bet First District Congressman Anthony del Rosario in the Davao del Norte gubernatorial race.
This was revealed on Monday, January 25, by radio broadcasters in a morning public affairs program on DXUM’s Radyo Ukay in Davao City.
PDP-Laban, chaired by Senator Koko Pimentel, is fielding as standard bearer Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who was expected to support Suaybaguio being the official candidate of the party.
The LP of President Benigno Aquino has former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas for President.
According to Tagum City-based broadcaster Bogart Salyot, and King Quimpan, Roger Bantilles and Jun Ledesma, Suaybaguio will lead the PDP-Laban in the province in the May elections.
Suaybaguio has resigned from the LP and joined PDP-Laban to lock horns with the son of outgoing Governor Rodolfo del Rosario. The 2016 election would be the first time that
the del Rosarios’ stranglehold of Davao del Norte politics would face an acid test, and a from a former political ally at that. The governor is the chairman of the LP in the Davao Region.
Suaybaguio, according to the radio broadcasters, had been issued a Certificate of Nomination (CoNa) by the PDP-Laban and was recently proclaimed as official candidate for governor by Jun Sera, the party’s Davao Region chairman.
Bantilles, the Davao City PDP-Laban vice chairman, confirmed Sera’s status as the top official in the Davao Region of the party.
Suaybaguio, an LP stalwart, had hoped that he would be picked as LP bet for governor with Del Rosario bowing out of office in 2016.
“As a loyal ally, I was the most logical choice to be governor,” Suaybaguio said.
LOYAL POLITICAL ALLY
But his hope to become governor as the LP candidate was a roller coaster ride that suffered hitches and ended in a split with the party and soured relations with the del Rosarios and the Floirendos — his political allies for decades – who are acknowledged as the province’s political kingpins.
The first crack in political relations first appeared middle of last year when Del Rosario announced that his son, Rodney, would succeed him when he retires.
Suaybaguio reacted strongly to the announcement and called for the ouster of Del Rosario as Davao Region chairman for making party decision without consultation with party members.
Del Rosario’s choice of Rodney also met negative public reaction forcing him to pick Suaybaguio as his successor.
The issue had practically been resolved but the conflict resurfaced after Del Rosario changed his mind and announced a month later that his final choice for governor is his other son, Congressman Anthony del Rosario.
This sparked another protest from Suaybaguio. But the vice governor would make peace with Del Rosario by agreeing that he would run instead for the First District congressional seat.
All was well when lightning struck the LP in mid-October at deadline for filing of Certificate of Candidacy (COC).
Minutes after filing his COC for congressman in the First District, Suaybaguio would return to the Commission on Election (Comelec) office to withdraw the COC and file another for governor.
He would announce his split from the LP accusing Del Rosario of treachery. Suaybaguio claimed that Del Rosario also fielded former Congressman Arrel Olaño, a political ally of the governor, in the First District congressional race.
Suaybaguio said the treacherous act of Del Rosario to field him as a candidate nut supporting a rival was aimed to make him an “irrelevant” figure in the Davao del Norte political landscape.
UPRISING VS. RDR
The rift had apparently taken its toll in the Sanguniang Bayan (SB), where Suaybaguio presides and has the support of Del Rosario’s allies.
Recently, members of the SB lambasted Capitol for jeopardizing operation of the SB.
In privilege speeches during a regular session, Senior Board Member Shirley Belen Aala and her son, PCL provincial representative Tristan Royce “Bong” Aala slammed delayed processing of payments for their office supplies and salaries of contractual workers assigned to their office.
The act of the Aalas was seen as a challenge to Del Rosario’s leadership and a show of support for Suaybaguio.
With the 2016 elections drawing a wedge between Suaybaguio and Del Rosario, the SP members think they are now being treated as “second class citizens” by the governor and Capital officials.