IT’S happening already.
Three years ago as we witnessed the mass exodus of politicians to President Duterte’s PDP-Laban, I wrote that they will stay there only for as long as it will benefit them and predicted that there will be mass defections as soon as it becomes apparent that a new power center has emerged or was emerging.
“These people will abandon old alliances and friendships faster than you could say ‘hi’ if it is going to personally benefit them,” I said in my June 5, 2016 column.
Last week, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that 14 PDP-Laban congressmen broke party ranks to join the National Unity Party. Though well short of the 30 party stalwarts who were rumored to be jumping ship, the defection still worried PDP-Laban hierarchy enough to initiate a loyalty check. Last Tuesday, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that the party sent the following text message to its members in the House.
“Good day! The PDP-Laban NHQ is updating its official membership database in the House of Representatives. May we confirm your membership with the PDP-Laban? Thank you.”
It bears stressing that the NUP is a party to the majority coalition that is supportive of Duterte, so the movement in the House does not worry him. Besides, the President already told the congressmen in 2016 that he was not demanding any loyalty from them.
“Do not adore me... Pati yung mga congressmen na bumaligtad... You do not owe loyalty to me,” he said, addressing the procession of turncoats, during a press conference in Davao City shortly after the presidential elections in May 2016.
It would be interesting to know how many times the recent “bumaligtads” have already changed political parties so far in their career.
Mayor Edgardo Labella officiated his first ever marriage ceremony last Thursday. Quite interestingly, the groom was a high-ranking Cebu City official, but I am not at liberty to reveal his identity and that of the bride. Suffice it to say that there were not too many eligible bachelors among the city’s elective public officials as of that date.
Over in Talisay City, another neophyte chief executive is, like Labella, drawing praise for his resolve in the campaign to reclaim the roads for the public. Mayor Samsam Gullas also displayed political will when he shut down a factory for allegedly buying stolen coal and for its failure to comply with environmental regulations. Samsam lifted the closure order a couple of days ago after the company secured a clearance from the Department of Energy and signed an undertaking to address its reported deficiencies.
I must also mention Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Ahong Chan for deploying enough traffic enforcers to direct traffic up to late in the night. I saw them in action last Friday and although the flow of vehicles was slow, it was orderly, thanks to them.
Keep it up, sirs.