BABY FACES POLITICAL SUNSET
Davao del Norte’s veteran politician Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio, Jr., could be seeing his last political derby in the 2016 election.
Up against the province’s political kingpins, Suaybaguio is fighting a lonely battle for the governorship, a post he had long coveted.
Suaybaguio is running under the banner of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) against Congressman Anthony del Rosario (AGR), son of outgoing Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, as standard bearer of the administration Liberal Party.
In his battle against AGR, Suaybaguio faces a formidable machinery headed by the province’s political giants: Gov. del Rosario and former Congressman Tonyboy Floirendo.
For decades, the Del Rosario-Floirendo business/political bloc ruled Davao del Norte’s political landscape, it’s influence anchored on the pioneering Cavendish banana growing and exporting giant Tadeco (Tagum Development Corporation).
Tadeco was founded by the late Don Antonio Floirendo, also known as White Hair who was considered as the province’s political kingpin during his time), together with brother-in-law Gov. del Rosario.
It is an open secret that Suaybaguio’s political career was nurtured by the Floirendo-del Rosario power bloc.
There is a painful sore that preceded the coming Suaybaguio-del Rosario collision that rattled the province’s political weather.
A political ally of the Floirendo-del Rosario combine for decades, Suaybaguio parted ways with his Liberal Party allies at the last minutes of deadline for filing of Certificates of Candidacy (COC) in mid-October last year.
The split fired the starting gun for the clash with AGR and his former political allies that may have opened the exit door for Suaybaguio’s political career.
Given the strong influence of the Floirendo-del Rosario power bloc, Suaybaguio is facing the sunset of his political life without even the slimmest chance of winning his last political battle.
Not PDP/Laban standard bearer
Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio has claimed he is the official candidate for Governor of the opposition Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) against the ruling Liberal Party (LP) bet First District Congressman Anthony “AGR” del Rosario in the Davao del Norte gubernatorial race.
Suaybaguio’s claim if true could have posed an acid test to the leadership of outgoing Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, father of AGR.
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.
Unfortunately, the claim of Suaybaguio was a dud. The PDP said that it is not supporting a candidate for Governor in Davao del Norte.
The denial also shot down claim by Suaybaguio that he was endorsed by Duterte.
Suaybaguio presented as proof of endorsement a photo of Duterte raising his hand.
The camp of the Del Rosariox disputed this saying the photo was taken before Suaybaguio split with the Liberal Party to join PDP/Laban.
Accordingly, Duterte thought then that Suaybaguio had been agreed on by the del Rosarios and the Floirendos as their candidate for governor.
Months ahead of the filing of Certificates of Candidacy (COC), the Liberal Party in the province announced it is fielding AGR instead with Suaybaguio agreeing to run for Congress.
At the last minute, however, Suaybaguio resigned from the LP and joined PDP-Laban and filed his COC for governor to lock horns with AGR.
Suaybaguio’s bid for the province’s top post is generally seen as a futile effort.
The Del Rosarios and the Floirendos are Davao del Norte’s political kingpins. Suaibaguio will not have the slimmest of chances even if he is supported by PDP/Laban.