Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Editorial: Welcome to politics

Editorial Cartoon by Rolan John Alberto

MABOLO Barangay Captain Niña Mabatid is in an interesting situation.

Apparently, she still has to settle down after experiencing the high of winning the election. That high also propped up her decision to run for the top position in the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) in the city and tangle with Tisa Barangay Captain Philip Zafra and Kasambagan Captain Franklin Ong.

Mabatid wiggled into a setup dominated by the two dominant political parties in the city, the administration Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) and the opposition Barug Team Rama. Ong is the BOPK candidate while Zafra is Barug’s bet.

Barug has been mostly silent about Mabatid’s candidacy but Mayor Tomas Osmeña has expressed his displeasure because the Mabolo chief once was identified with BOPK and could split the BOPK votes between her and Ong. That displeasure turned into irritation when Mabatid claimed she has gotten the support of President Duterte and, obviously, his political group, PDP-Laban.

Osmeña has since officially disowned Mabatid as a BOPK member and warned barangay captains aligned with his party against voting for an ABC president bet other than Ong. Mabatid would later complain about the mayor’s action, most notably his creating in Mabolo a barangay mayor’s office headed by the opponent she defeated.

Then the controversy. Mabatid and her companion tangled with two employees of the Waterfront Hotel in Lahug following a misunderstanding. Mabatid claimed the employees mistook her for an “escort,” a mistake that she obviously disliked. The confrontation was caught on a CCTV camera and was uploaded on Facebook.

The subsequent public uproar over the incident obviously played into the hands of the mayor, who used it to further his intention to stymie Mabatid’s political ambition and further weaken her still short stint as barangay chief. But Mabatid cannot complain much. That controversy, after all, was of her own making.

To Mabatid, welcome to the world of Philippine politics. This one should be a learning experience as she continues to wade into the muck she has plunged into.