(Part 2)

THE two major congressional candidates, Renecito Novero and Anthony Golez, are mostly dependent on the political machines of their partners, Monico Punetevella and Bing Leonardia respectively.

Novero however, has Bredco developer Sammy Palanca rooting for him. Aside from contributing heavily to Monico's and Novero's common campaign, Palanca is doing a separate effort for him.

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Palanca had reportedly placed many barangay officials, mostly from shoreline barangays adjacent to the reclamation area, on his payroll. Contrary to the Chinese businessmen's habit of betting on all the horses, Palanca has apparently decided to put all his eggs in just one basket.

Palanca's betting on only one horse is fraught with dangers, particularly to his multi-billion reclamation empire. Past and present city officials have taken turns in threatening his reclamation project's stability and he had reportedly shelled out many millions in order to eliminate these threats. Palanca must have been fed up with these extortions methods, hence his decision to have his lawyer, Renecito Novero, elected congressman.

Golez himself is not to be left behind. Aside from contributing heavily to Bing Leonardi's political organization, Golez took steps to assemble his own. Although almost all of his recuits come from Leonardia's campaign technicians, his effort at putting up his own campaign group is to be assured that the focus of these technicians would be on his candidacy rather than simply carry him as Leonardia's adjunct.

Besides, Leonardia has this reputation of abandoning his running mates to their own devices when the going gets rough.

Golez' own campaign apparently has multiple branches. One I was told is handled by Barangay 40 Captain Rocky Lizares and assisted by former radioman Rene de Asis and several barangay captains. Golez' wife, Muslim princess Soraya, not to be outdone, has organized her own campaign for her husband. Among Soraya's recruits are Monico's former trusted lieutenant, Eldy Cabañero. There are many stories surrounding Cabañero's fallout with his former boss, but all of these boil done to betrayed trust.

A number of Mayor Bing's people belong to this group, notably Destajo's rival for Bing's affection, Pulupandan port magnate Sammy Mondia. It is said that Destajo and Mondia nearly came to blows one time, obviously an offshoot of this rivalry. Anyway, instead of concentrating on Leonardi's campaign, Mondia now devotes his effort for Golez.

Cano Tan, on the other hand, started early. He was able to build his political organization mainly from barangay leaders to whom he had extended favors when he was a councilor up to the time President Macapagal appointed him to various positions in her administration. Having conceptualized his own political organization, designing its structure down to the precinct level, Cano Tan's campaign organization is now in place.

Leaving the management of his organization to his campaign manager, former councilor Baby Parreño and his own brother, Kaisek Tan, Cano is relatively free to conduct his daily visitations to barangays and puroks throughout Bacolod.

Wherever he goes, Cano is met by his CCC's (Cano campaign committees) that take care of the crowd he meets and the political leaders he has to pay a visit to.

Whose campaign organization will perform efficiently will determine the outcome of the 2010 elections in Bacolod? Plans, strategies and tactics are as good only as the people implementing them. And of course, on the candidate himself.

If selling the candidate is like selling pork to a Muslim, all these strategies will come to naught. In the end, the only question the electorate will have to answer is: Who among the candidates is trustworthy?