ON MY way yesterday to One City Link, the V-Hire bus terminal along N. Bacalso St., I took a taxi from my place in Morales St. uptown in Camputhaw. The driver was unusually updated on developments in the city, as most public utility drivers do. The first thing he gloated about was the reported dismissal of 31 “kotong” Citom enforcers.
I told him that the number of Citom men up for firing were actually 48. But he immediately corrected me, saying that “Mayor Tomas had announced the firing of 31 traffic enforcers accused of extorting money” from motorists who were caught for violating traffic regulations. The amount allegedly involved was only P20 collected from the drivers daily, but still a good haul.
The driver was quite expansive about what Mayor Osmeña did, so I assumed that he was a true-blue Osmeñista. Since one reason I always sit beside the driver when I take a taxi is so I can pick his mind about what goes on in the city, I asked him where he was registered to vote in May. His reply was quick. He said he was going to vote, indeed, in the south district. Ah, so you are going to vote for Mayor Osmeña!
“No. I am going to vote for Atan,” the driver replied. When I asked why, telling him that I thought he was for Tommy, he told me that “I am for Atan because he is accessible to the poor, to the people like me. While Mayor Tom is good, it is very difficult to reach him unless you are de campanilla, someone who in his level, or in the level of his friends. Besides, he is sickly, and we are never sure…Georgia, his sister, unlike him, is friendly to people like me. I am thinking of voting for her, too.”
Of course, such thinking many weeks before Election Day is still subject to change. The opinion of the masses entails so many variables in the process of its odyssey through issues and political intrigues attending all election campaigns.
But the taxi driver, who I overpaid P10 for the P75 fare to the terminal, offered some kind of a lead, a sort of indicator of the public mind about the elections in the city’s south district.
I would have wanted to ask about what he thought of the political contest in the north district, but the trip was too short for me to pick his mind on Cutie del Mar, Mary Ann de los Santos and the other congressional candidates in the district. It would be a good future subject for me, when the opportunity arises.
At the moment, all I can say of the north is that the situation has not changed since the time I wrote of the city’s politics in general terms a couple of weeks ago. But the local campaign has not started yet.