For Gwen, going down is not that bad-A A +A
Saturday, September 22, 2012
IT'S anti-climactic. I wouldn’t even call it news. For days, talks have swirled about Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia withdrawing her senatorial bid and settling instead for a run at the third district congressional post. No confirmation or denial from the governor. Pero mao na to.
In fact, the signs were obvious even months ago, especially after the Sandiganbayan started tackling the case against the governor for the controversial purchase of the Balili property in the City of Naga. Gwen became visible in the province again, and plans to launch a nationwide PR campaign for Cebu (and its governor) were shelved.
I said it before, and I would say it again. The biggest challenge for One Cebu party and the governor is in Cebu and not at the national level. It’s not a matter of whether Gwen can win in the senatorial election or not. The more important point is whether One Cebu and the Garcias can sweep through easily in the elections in the province.
If they can’t be assured of doing that, then the better option for them is to consolidate forces, not split it. That’s the reason why the governor is backing off from the senatorial race. It’s as simple as that.
With the load of a senatorial campaign no longer disrupting her focus, Gwen has since been able to use her advantage as an incumbent to prop up the candidacy of her brother, Pablo John Garcia, for governor. And if she makes good her plan of running for congresswoman in the third district, then that district will remain a Garcia enclave, which is good for PJ’s candidacy.
The latter point, however, is dependent on the reaction of Provincial Board Member Alex Binghay, who has already invested time, effort and probably money to introduce himself as a third district congressional bet. Will he give way to Gwen and lose the chance of making it all the way to Congress now and in the future (he’s already 70)?
A Binghay relative told me that the PB member is fiercely loyal to his party, which could mean he would give way to Gwen, perhaps grudgingly. Call him, if that happens, as “the best congressman the third district never had.”
Immediately after she won her first term as governor, Gwen climbed the roof of the Capitol building. I don’t know if her intention was to create symbolisms with that act. For all we know, she was just interested in knowing what could be found on that roof. But the fact remains that she did get a glimpse of the view from the top.
Having said that, let me introduce another symbolism to the ones already mentioned by some sectors before. One point shown by that climbing episode is that the governor knows when she needs to go back down. She now knows that, up there, the danger of falling down is real.
It’s good to look upwards from time to time, but one should know one’s limitations. If the roof is not your world, why bother staying up there for long? You have to go down and flourish at the lower level.
In this sense, I don’t think I can ridicule the governor’s decision to drop her senatorial bid. At least she tried standing on the ledge as one of the possible senatorial bets of the United Nationalist Alliance. Other Cebuano politicians dreamed of becoming senator but could not even make it to the nomination level like Gwen did.
The poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson has a line that can be applicable to Gwen’s case as in love: “’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 22, 2012.