PERHAPS unnoticed by many, the recently concluded elections may have drastically changed the political configuration in the province of Negros Occidental. In Bacolod, for instance, the alliance between Leonardia and Golez has practically shut off the other political blocs in the city, and if this alliance holds, there is absolutely no other political group that can possibly break its stranglehold over Bacolod's politics. Monico Puentevella can try, but unless he succeeds in building a strong alliance against Leonardia, or unless he allies with Golez, as I was told Leonardia and Golez are about to part ways, it will be ages before Bacolod City can escape from this stranglehold.

The province, on the other hand, appears firmly in Marañon's grasp. The old blocks, such as the late Armin Gustilo's in the north and the Gatuslao's and Montilla's in the south, and the Yulo's in Central Negros, are all but dismantled. Although there is hope in the fourth district. Congressman Ferrer and Danding Cojuangco are in an uneasy peace, but a rupture is not farfetched.

If the Aguirre's of La Carlota team up with Ferrer and the mayors of the towns of the district band together, Danding's so-called "hold" in the 4th district may no longer hold waters. In fact a bird told me that former Congressman Charlie Cojuangco wanted to re-claim his old seat, which explains why there were moves in the past to have Ferrer run for governor instead. But I was told Ferrer threw cold water on it by publicly announcing that he is running for reelection, no matter who runs against him.

Aside from Cong. Ferrer and the alliance he can build, there is no political block that can challenge Cojuangco's dominance which he wields through his surrogate, Gov. Freddie Marañon.

The Third District congressional seat, which Kako Lacson had to relinquish after "graduating", is now firmly under the control of the Benitez-Palanca family. If Congressman Albee Benitez performs well, then this district will be permanently in his family's hands.

It is former 3rd district Congressman Kako Lacson's loss in Talisay City's mayorship contest that is truly heartbreaking. As congressman, he was practically unbeatable. After all, he had crossed swords with political giants like Alex Montelibano and former SRA Chair Dodol Gamboa, and he prevailed over them.

After graduation, Kako sat his sights on his home city's mayorship. He was mayor there for several terms. Taking back City Hall would have been relatively easy for Kako.

Until an obscure physician showed him that it is not as easy as he thought.

Talisay City had always been the prize in the endless tug of war between the Lizares and the Lacson clans. They ruled alternately. This explains why Dr. Saratan, an upstart in Talisay's political history remains the only man standing in the way of Kako's return, nobody thought the poor fellow had a chinaman's chance.

Of course, Saratan was backed by Lizares. But he was just a proxy in the endless political war between the Lizareses and the Lacsons, and proxies could never as strong as the principal. But when the smoke of battle was cleared, it was Dr. Saratan who remained standing.

Quo Vadis, Kako? After his humiliating defeat, he appears to be on his way into the sunset, and instead of bashing in the glory of a gallant warrior, bloodied but unbowed, he now seems bent and bowed by the burden of an inglorious defeat.

What a pity.

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Much of the explanation why Kako lost maybe found in the way the Lacsons and the Lizareses deal with the people of Talisay. The Lacsons, with few exceptions, never let their people forget who the boss is. Commanding and haughty, they make their own people feel as if the latter are second or even third class citizens.

Of course, they go out of their way to help their people. Kako himself will walk the extra mile to extend assistance to his political dependents. They are generous, in fact, even more so, than the Lizareses. Kako, particularly, is a dedicated public official who was untiring in visiting even the remotest barangays of the third district. And, unlike the other Lacsons, he has a warm and charming way of endearing himself to his constituents, particularly the elderly women who would unabashedly embrace him during his sorties to their remote sitios.

But the comparison between the Lacson and Lizares way of dealing with their people ends there. Where the Lacsons are overbearing, the Lizareses are soft-spoken, even appearing to be meek. The Lizares grand old man, for one, is so soft-spoken he conveys the impression that he is soft and harmless. Where Talisay residents deal with the Lacsons with trepidation, they deal with the Lizareses as a friend or a next door neighbor. Talisay's former mayor Batoy Lizares, Miling's younger brother, would even hobs with them in street corners.

This would easily explain why, in the seemingly endless election contests between the Lacsons and the Lizareses, the latter almost always wins.

The unkindest cut of all is in this election where a mere proxy in the person of Mayor Saratan, defeated the brightest star of the Lacson clan, Kako, and sent him packing into the political wilderness.