Family feuds in Davao Sur

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Saturday, May 4, 2013


THE same family names seek for positions of power in Davao del Sur as it had before: Cagas and Bautista.

But the Cagases are shuffling themselves around.

The patriarch, Douglas RA Cagas, will not be seeking a last term as governor as he is running instead for mayor of Digos City.

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It’s his son, incumbent representative Marc Cagas, who is running as governor.

Last termer board member of the first district Mercedez Cagas is seeking re-election.

The decision of the governor to be in the mayoralty race of Digos faces him with incumbent Mayor Joseph Penas.

Another Cagas family member, Josef Cagas, is running for the city council while John Tracy Cagas is seeking for a seat in the provincial legislative body of the first district.

All of them were running under the ticket of the Nacionalista Party (NP).

Another independent mayoral candidate in the city is Milio Lustre but not many recognize him for lack of machinery.

The Cagas family is known because all government equipment and facilities carry their name.

To date, one major structure – the Davao del Sur Sports Complex which started in 2008 remains unfinished.

The Bautistas meanwhile are members of the Nationalist Peoples Coalition (NPC) and Liberal Party (LP).

Claude Bautista is running governor to challenge Representative Marc under NPC while Franklin Bautista is seeking re-election for congressman in the province’s second district under LP.

In Malita, Davao del Sur, re-electionist Mayor Benjamin Bautista is running under LP. Facing him is former board member of the second district Princess Erum Parcasio of NP.

Poblacion Barangay Captain Bradly Bautista, son of Franklin, is also running for vice-mayor of Malita under LP against Alberto Baliota II under NP.

A relative, Estefanie Bautista is seeking a seat at the Sangguniang Bayan of Malita under LP.

Another known political family, although not in direct confrontation with either the Bautistas and the Cagases is the Mariscal family of Sta. Maria town. Instead, the Mariscals are challenging each other.

Incumbent Mayor Mila Mariscal Cabañero is facing her brother Vice Mayor Rudy Mariscal in the mayoral race.

The daughter of Mila, Chona Leah Cabañero, is in a race against his uncle, Councilor George Mariscal for vice mayor.

In the 2010 elections, Mila and Rudy were allies under the NPC but now she has moved to the NP.

Siblings Rudy and George are now running under LP.

Mila admitted that her relation to Rudy and George has been affected by politics.

Meanwhile, with Davao del Sur still considered as an area of concern for the coming elections, Edgardo Sadili, assistant provincial election supervisor, asked all the candidates to stand in the peace covenant that they have signed for a peaceful 2013 local elections.

Sadili also asked political supporters to stay calm.

Additional troops of policemen and military from the region were already deployed in the province considering Davao del Sur was declared as hot spot in the election watchlist.

The Police Regional Office-Davao (PRO 11) has identified Davao del Sur province as the only election hotspot among the provinces in the Davao Region.

Senior Inspector Rowena Jacosalem, PRO regional deputy spokesperson, said that Davao del Sur has been placed as under Category 1 in their election watchlist.

The watchlist has two categories. Category 1 includes areas where there is a high possibility of occurrence of politically-motivated violent incidents, while under Category 2 are those with serious arm threats posed by armed groups.

"Under Category 1, we only have eight barangays, four municipalities and one city in Davao del Sur," Jacosalem said during the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine National Police (AFP-PNP) Press Corps forum at the Task Force Davao headquarters Thursday.

PRO Superintendent Filmore Escobal, chief of the community relations division, said that one of the election hotspots in Davao del Sur is Malita, where a shooting incident took place in a previous election.

"Naa pud presensya sa mga lawless armed groups sama aning New People's Army (NPA) sa ubang probinsya sa Davao Region. Kining mga lugara, continuous pa ni nga i-validate sa atong Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Council (JPSCC) para ma-update ni sila (There are also the presence of the NPA in the other provinces of Davao Region. These areas are being validated by JPSCC so that the hotspots will be updated)," Escobal said.

With the hotspot area identified, the AFP and the PNP have already implemented preventive measures to ensure the security of the upcoming elections.

Escobal said they already have pre-deployment plans and have already identified the areas where they could focus the deployment of law enforcers.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 04, 2013.

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