REPORTS of groundswell for Albee’s mayoralty in Bacolod seems to overwhelm in the past two weeks at the kapehan, barbershops, and even in some popular hangouts in malls and markets in the city.
This is further boosted by a so-called radio survey last week claiming that Albee is leading Mayor Bing Leonardia among mayoralty probables in Bacolod, and recently by his son’s statement in Abang Lingkod party list project inauguration in a barangay in the city reportedly saying that his father is really interested in running for mayor in Bacolod.
Lending it a grain of truth, what makes Albee reportedly become an overnight mayoralty bet celebrity in Bacolod when he is not even from Bacolod, and just had to transfer voter registration last month in the city?
Has no records of significant development and upliftment of people’s quality of life in his own third district and its main urban center, Victorias City, according to some groups from there and some who know him?
Has no records of substantive and meaningful projects for the Bacolodnon, except some tokens of benevolence recently.
In most if not all talks in the city about Albee, nothing is said about his character, his track records in development work or legislative accomplishments that truly raised people’s quality of life, or have improved the urban and rural environment.
Maybe, there is really nothing to talk about.
But for people who begin to feel his name, they talk about him because he is perceived as a rich man, a billionaire with a "babyface," and no less a “Salvador del Mundo” for those who have been battered by the pandemic crisis, and where survival, to live or die tomorrow or next, remains the haunting menu of the day.
Politician losers outmaneuver each other to be close to him because it means getting a ticket to having a good war chest in the 2022 elections.
Opposition partisans and political operators are competing for best board work tactic and scenario making, hoping to earn good paychecks for their political sustainability and to some for their political war retirement.
Albee may or may not be aware of these varied interests within and around him. But whether he is oblivious about it or not, or likes it or not, it is his perceived billions, not his development track records and promised platform, that has created a rampage around him.
While some masa and the opposition partisans in the city seem to harbor excitement over the entry of the perceived billionaire’s man in the city, others especially the native Bacolodnon have an itchy feeling that some evil spirit seems to be threatening Bacolod to the threshold to diaspora, or worse, to perdition.
If this is so, and if this is what would dictate the coming elections in Bacolod -- money, money, money -- then I am sad to say this will be the beginning of an end for liberal politics in the city.
This will be the beginning of the bastardization of elections in the city, and the prostitution of the electorate.
This will be the beginning of the transition of the city to the threshold to a diaspora, worse, to perdition.
If Albee is to be truly sincere in his interest in vying for the leadership of Bacolod, it is my unsolicited advice that he whisks away all his wealth and possession, declare he has money only for his family needs, and start a crusade free of the companionship and influence of money-oriented politicians and partisans, and fully equipped only with sound and tested development agenda.
If he does so, I am certain he would be joining the league of legendary leaders in the world, and would even be truly appreciated by the Bacolodnon and the city leadership.
But the big question is, is he ready to be a true born-again servant leader? Is he ready to match the development agenda and participatory governance experience of Mayor Bing and Vice Mayor Elcid Familiaran and team despite all their imperfections, with the same?
Well, only God knows Albee’s heart and desire. Let us pray he discerns on God’s deepest desire and plan for him.