INITIAL reaction of a few watchers of the Cebu political scene to the talk that Sebastian Duterte, the youngest son of President Rodrigo Duterte, is interested in the mayor's seat in Danao City is surprise, then disbelief.
Baste's interest has been sports and television. Go into politics in 2019? Baste, 29, once said that "too much politics is going on in my family right now." His sister Sara, 38, is Davao City mayor and is likely to run for senator. His brother Paolo, 41, was the vice mayor until he resigned when he was embroiled in a controversy over alleged drugs smuggling. But he is also rumored to be going back, maybe as mayor this time.
His dad, who likes to give parental advice in public, had called out Baste for not spending enough time with his two children. The President calls him "a lover boy."
Baste, 29, engages in surfing, dabbles in a TV-5 travel show called "Lakbai" and holds a Facebook and Instagram account that is said to have 403,000 fans.
And he wants to be mayor in one of Cebu's cities? One clue is that he has bought or leased a house in Danao. Maybe not enough.
Nito vs Baste
And why in Danao City? Why not in Davao where he and the rest of the Duterte family are known to have resided?
Sitting as mayor since 2013 is Ramonito Durano III. (From 2010 to 2013, it was Ramon "Doy" Durano Jr.) On his second term, Nito still qualifies for a third stint next year.
If Baste would push through with his bid, he'd face the political giant in Danao who got 76.6 percent of the vote (as against rival Michael Enriquez's 28.4 percent) in 2016 and 36,217 votes (versus Ramon "Boy" Durano's 19,680) in 2013.
And Nito is the President's second cousin.
But then even father battled son in Danao politics. In 1988, Ramon Durano Sr. (the patriarch who died at 82) defeated his son Thaddeu for mayor.
So a Baste-Nito match wouldn't be out-of-the-ordinary. But running in Danao instead of Davao would be.
The President may have an ax to grind against the Duranos, Nito particularly. They and Bakud did not support Digong in the 2013 race. Not only that. They allegedly made it difficult for Duterte campaigners to do their work in Danao. For one, they were allegedly not allowed to wear Duterte t-shirts inside a large industrial plant. And they have not joined even as allies of the ruling party.
The hole in that theory is that it assumes (1) Digong to be a vengeful politician who wouldn't spare even his relatives and (2) Baste to be a willing participant in the hitting back.
Whatever, the subject has provided interesting fodder to the local rumor mill.
P.S. to the shooting
GUNFIRE AT ARCHBISHOP'S HOUSE. In the area at the grounds of the Archbishop's Residence (it used to be called "Palace"), along D. Jakosalem St., Cebu City, there were several cars of priests who were then having a meeting inside the main building. News reports didn't say how many vehicles were damaged. At least one priest who works with the youths said he had just come out of the rest room and was about to go to his car when shots rang out. He said his vehicle had a number of bullet holes. Who'd pay for the repair?
SPIRITUAL COUNSEL, WITH A GUN. The man, identified as Jeffrey Cañedo, reportedly wanted to seek spiritual advice from Archbishop Palma. Cañedo must have been mentally unhinged as he talked incoherently and carried a gun. But was he able to fire his firearm? There was no showing that he was given a warning shot. These days, police may have already abandoned the protocol; they don't take, or give, chances.
Tell us about it.