Editorial: Political exodus starts-A A +A
Friday, September 13, 2013
CALL the developments in Lapu-Lapu City politics as usual. Or specifically, traditional politics as usual.
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza, Vice Mayor Marcial Ycong and members of the city council were sworn in last Thursday as members of the ruling Liberal Party (LP). This caught Efrain Pelaez Jr., who has yet to be ousted from his post as chair of the LP chapter in Lapu-Lapu City, off guard.
Pelaez lost to Radaza, who was then with Lakas-Kampi-CMD, in the May polls by a margin of only around 9,200 votes.
“We are protesting. For the last two elections we’ve been the official candidates of LP,” Pelaez said.
Pelaez, though, should have expected this turn of events the moment Lapu-Lapu City Rep. Aileen Radaza, Paz’s daughter, took her oath as LP member a few weeks earlier.
The result of the elections showed Pelaez’s group is gaining ground in the city’s politics. The only way to derail the Pelaez express was for the Radazas to shift to the administration party.
Between Pelaez’s team and the Radazas, it’s a no-brainer which of the party leadership will eventually choose. They call it equity of the incumbent; Pelaez will surely call it unfair. But the way things are going, he may have to accept the inevitable.
The LP is currently preparing for the 2016 electoral joust when party president and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas is expected to make a bid for the presidency. Roxas is doing a Joe de Venecia, who collected as many incumbent officials as he could when he ran for president in 1998 (he lost).
What is happening in Lapu-Lapu almost happened also in Talisay City, had the candidates of the LP chapter in that city lost in the May polls. Even during the campaign period, the LP leadership flirted with the then perceived to be formidable Eduardo Gullas. But Gullas lost.
Pelaez should be told that President Noynoy Aquino’s “daang matuwid” slogan does not apply to politics. The LP is not a principled party--no trapo-dominated party is--so it won’t have qualms throwing overboard party mates to gain political advantage.
Meaning that Lapu-Lapu City and Pelaez won’t be the first. Other areas where the LP candidates lost could also be vulnerable. That’s tragic but that’s how our politicians are doing their thing.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 14, 2013.