(5th column)

FORMER mayor Joy Valdez is trying very hard to earn her keep. Sammy Palanca’s allowance for her to serve as campaign manager for the MONO team (short for Monico-Novero tandem) must be quite substantial, otherwise she wouldn’t move heaven and earth to “dismantle” MOCA, the movement outside of the MONO organization that is working for the mixed ticket of Monico Puentevella and independent congressional candidate Cano Tan.

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It is beyond debate that the MOCA is to Monico’s advantage. It is composed of Monico’s supporters who simply cannot bring themselves to support Novero also. They would rather have Cano Tan to represent them in Congress.

               

They are not part of MONO precisely because they detest Novero. 

               

So, what must Monico do? Reject their support, as Joy Valdez would have Monico do?

               

What Valdez fails to understand is that MOCA just do not like Novero. As already said, they detest him. Were Monico to reject their support, they would rather support another mayoralty candidate, than be forced to go for Novero. Anyway, Bing Leonardia is just waiting in the wings. Or even Vladi.

               

Valdez, as campaign manager of MONO, should be able to see this possibility. She must realize that even if MOCA ceases to exist, which it will not, Novero will not gain anything from it as its dislike for Novero is its reason for being.

               

On the other hand the demise of MOCA will be to Monico’s great disadvantage.  As already stated MOCA leaders will simply find another mayoralty aspirant to support. No way will they support Novero because Valdez says so. Or even because Monico says so. They do not owe Valdez or Monico their bread and butter.  In fact, they will resent Monico’s pressuring them, as they now resent Valdez’, for voting someone they find horribly detestable.  Pushed to the wall, they will even reject Monico himself, as they did when he insisted on Valdez in 2007.

               

He nearly lost because of that, remember?

               

Is that what Valdez wants?

               

Come to think of it, is Valdez protecting Novero more than she does her mayoralty candidate, such that she would rather that Monico loss the votes that wouldn’t go to Novero anyway?

               

Or might Palanca’s bankrolling MONO (with emphasis on Novero, Palanca’s anointed) have anything to do with her desire to dismantle MOCA?

               

In fact, maybe I need not wonder. Valdez does not want Monico to support MOCA, even if the latter does it with his own funds because the common fund he shared with Palanca is under her control as campaign manager.

               

Surprisingly however, Valdez doesn’t mind if this common fund is used to finance the handful of Novero barangay leaders who are supporting BINGNO, another group working for the mixed ticket of Novero and Leonardia. Poor Monico. He is spending for the Leonardia leaders who are Novero supporters, and Valdez is simply playing deaf and blind. More so because these handful of leaders were for her own leaders during her incumbency. But she is all up in arms over MOCA, which does not draw a single centavo from this common fund.

               

And Monico, like the cuckolded husband, pretends that he is unaware of this treachery.

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That Valdez raises her skirts up for Novero is beyond me. Her own experience with Novero is not at all pleasant. Only two elections ago, when they were still a tandem, Novero had his own special operations based at the Reclamation enclave of Palanca. At Palanca’s expense, of course. Novero won the vice-mayorship, while Valdez lost miserably. The rumor was that right after that elections, Art, Joy’s husband, confronted Novero the Father about this alleged betrayal and fists almost flew around.

In fact, had the recall of Leonardia pushed through in 2005, it was Novero, then the incumbent vice-mayor, who would have run against the former, over the copious tears of Joy Valdez.

               

Why? Because Palanca would have bankrolled the recall election as he did bankroll the recall campaign. And Novero, as he had always been, would surely be Palanca’s anointed leaving Valdez holding the empty bag.

               

Valdez would have been Novero’s campaign manager in the recall election.