Editorial: ‘Weder-weder lang’ at Capitol-A A +A
Friday, January 18, 2013
THE ride of the Sitoys in Cordova town can be considered a prime example of the “weder-weder lang” lang theory applied to our politics.
Provincial Board (PB) Member Arleigh Sitoy, son of Cordova mayor Adelino, used to be a lonely voice in the PB for two reasons.
One, he was in the minority in a legislative body previously dominated by Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s One Cebu party. Two, some of the measures that he sponsored in the PB were controversial and he could not get the other PB members to support them.
In the 2010 political exercise, Sitoy threw his lot with the struggling Liberal Party (LP), a decision that was fortuitous because its standard bearer, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, won the presidential race. The lonely politician, who was often dismissed as an afterthought in Capitol affairs, ended up becoming “relevant” later.
His father, meanwhile, chose to cooperate with the governor. That served to balance Arleigh’s posture in the PB, and obviously helped in preventing the governor from going all-out against him.
When Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale led the exodus of former Garcia allies to the LP, Mayor Addy also cut off links with the governor. The Sitoys thus formed a united front for the LP. Arleigh’s daughter, Leighna Katrina Sitoy-Abarquez, had earlier joined the party.
It was not surprising, therefore, that when PNoy suspended Garcia, paving the way for Magpale’s taking over the post of acting governor and the LP gaining control of the Provincial Government, the Sitoys would be at the forefront of the shift in political power. Arleigh’s voice, for example, no longer floats in the wilderness. He is being listened to.
Arleigh is now the PB’s majority floor leader and, coupled with his being head of the committee on culture and the arts, has become an important cog of the “reforms” the Magpale administration is putting in place at the Capitol.
Among Magpale’s initial acts after taking over in mid-December last year was to close Sugbo TV and Sugbo News and put off air broadcasters handling programs paid for by the province. It showed the importance Magpale and her group are giving to that aspect of governance.
Sugbo TV and Sugbo News are set to resume operations soon. To head Sugbo TV is Natileigh Sitoy. She may be qualified (she’s a graduate of De la Salle College-College of St. Benilde). But she is Arleigh’s daughter and her appointment follows the easing out of people perceived to be loyal to Garcia in Sugbo TV.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 19, 2013.