Principled over traditional politics-A A +A
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Sen. TJ Guingona was in town last week and met with local Liberal Party leaders to whom he had a very interesting message. “We used to be only a few,” he told them during the dinner that former 4th district congressman Tining Martinez hosted at a restaurant in Lahug. “Soon, many will join us but we should take care of the original members.”
Guingona’s remarks came amid rumors that a number of politicians, many of them incumbent local officials, are set to join the LP.
So far, only the group of Danao City Vice Mayor Ramon “Nito” Durano has struck an alliance with the administration party in the local level but many more are supposedly set to follow suit and will take their oath as LP members when President Aquino, the party’s titular head, visits Cebu this Saturday.
If the reports prove to be true, the LP would be hard put trying to accommodate the new converts without displacing original party members. In Danao City, for example, the LP has to deal with its 2010 mayoralty candidate, Jesus “Don” Durano, who does not see eye-to-eye with his brother, Nito.
A source said that Don has been offered a position in a government-owned corporation. It remains to be seen whether he would accept the offer and, in the process, abandon another brother, Mayor Boy Durano, who is also Nito’s political opponent.
The Danao city mayor, as expected, has declared his support for One Cebu immediately after Nito announced Bakud’s decision to align with LP. Although Boy was never an LP member, the scenario could be replicated in many other areas in Cebu where the respective political plans of the new converts and the old members of the party make it impossible for them to unite. We should be seeing a lot of the game of musical chairs soon.
All these should be sweet music to the ears of One Cebu and its declared candidate for governor, 3rd District Rep. Pablo John Garcia. The loss of Bakud was undoubtedly a big one but Boy Durano’s declaration of support cushioned the impact.
PJ, as I have earlier written, has got some work to do to prevent his party from hemorrhaging but he will be pleasantly surprised to see that the LP’s raids of One Cebu’s ranks have also given birth to so many natural allies.
The lesson here is that in politics, as everywhere, you can’t win them all. Still, it would not hurt Cebu LP head Hilario “Junjun” Davide III and his own gubernatorial bid to take Guingona’s message to heart. It’s not even a question of gratitude. It is a matter of principled politics over the traditional politics of convenience.
He should take his cue from Sen. Koko Pimentel who broke away from the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) because he could not stand sharing the same stage with the man whom he suspected of benefitting from electoral fraud. Although he wants to win, he would rather lose, Koko said, than campaign with resigned Sen. Migz Zubiri.
Zubiri’s reaction was the epitome of traditional politics. It’s unfortunate, he said. Together, he and Koko could have given Mindanao more and better representation.
More, maybe but better? How can one be a good representative who, although he may not have directly participated in the electoral fraud, chose to benefit from it for a good number of years? He deserves some credit for resigning, yes but he has not given any satisfactory explanation for three years of not feeling the twinge of conscience.
Pimentel took a huge risk in quitting UNA. He could lose. But he shouldn’t. We cannot let a rare whiff of fresh air in a stale room vanish without a trace. We should not.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 03, 2012.