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Sunday, February 08, 2009
cha monforte blogs jan 31-1st week feb 2009

OPINION: Bal Sator reminisces (last of two parts)

By Cha Monforte

Former Davao del Norte Congressman Baltazar “Bal” Sator was the paper pusher in Congress during the time when the breaking up of mother Davao del Norte was underway. In the brood of four lead gerrymanders of the erstwhile big Davao del Norte, quite visibly it was Sator, a lawyer, who buried his neck into the thick of legislative paperworks than his counterparts in the old Davnor’s districts. Close to the eventful year of 1998, he held the chairmanship of the committee on revision of laws in Congress. He had had on his lap the important issue on re-districting of legislative districts demanded by many legislator-gerrymanders in the country. The cries of cityhood and provincehood across the country would seem to have started in later 90s following the enactment of the New Local Government Code of 1991.
So influential Sator with that post that he said even Senator Nene Pimentel called him up to divide a district in Misamis Oriental. In his fine recollection, both the present Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, a last-termer congressman of the old District 3 at that time, and today’s Comval statesman-provincial elder Prospero Amatong, also a last termer-governor of the old Davnor, separately reminded Sator to ensure the breaking up the mother province as they were already running out of time and- term.

Sator’s other counterpart- former Cong. Roger M. Sarmiento (“RMS”) of the old District 1 of Davnor earlier re-filed his father’s bill on the 7-town Comval (the mainland valley towns of Mawab, Nabunturan, Montevista, Monkayo, Compostela and New Bataan plus the highland Maragusan). The late Don Enchong Sarmiento, erstwhile politico-economic patriarch in the big province similar in various pedigrees of influence of the Don Antonio Floirendo Sr. (who was politically represented by Del Rosario at that time) had first thought of that old Comval composition for a new province but his bill did not saw passage in Congress.

Shortly there was already a running feud between Sator and Amatong over territories. It was then that Sator and a number of Tagum politicians chief among whom was then Mayor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio were much going after first and foremost Maco to become a part of the planned Tagum City, and by territorial proximity, the Mabini and Pantukan as part of the smaller Davao del Norte. But Amatong aside from the three coastal towns wanted even more the Laak and New Corella towns to become part of new Comval province since that a new smaller Davnor province could still be created even without the two. It could still comply with the requirements of land area, population and income and at the same time give more equity to the new Comval as Davnor has still the big IGACOS under it.

Sator recalled that his feud with Amatong over territories centered on the issue on whether the coastal towns would really have to be given to Comval. RMS subsequently joined, praying to Sator not to make the new Comval a landlocked province by giving it the towns with a sea. In a seeming compromise, Sator proposed for either to retain New Corella and Maco, or New Corella and Laak to Davnor. But the feud turned a controversy that already involved municipal mayors. Then a stalemate on the issue developed that Del Rosario mediated. The issue was inevitably thrown for a consensus with lesser gerrymanders- the mayors.

In the meeting with mayors called for the purpose, it was then that Sator knew to his dismay that only the New Corella mayor chose to be with Davnor. “I learned later that the rest of the involved mayors were each given earlier by Gov. Amatong a P1 million-worth of provincial government project,” he said.

The sub-plot of the story on gerrymandering was that the planned new Comval was first contemplated to have only one district but Amatong was persistent to Sator to break it into two districts. When the provincehood bill was heard by the Congress committee on local government chaired by Cong. Felix Alfelor, a one-district Comval was approved, moving Sator and his co-authors - prodded by Amatong- to seek for reconsideration before it was put in plenary. “The proposal to have the 2nd District in Comval was really first denied by Alfelor’s committee,” he reminisced.

The rest is history. Eleven years after we are remembering how the mother Davao del Norte was broken up by gerrymanders, and reliving the steps of the few who made a great impact to over a million populace who now live separately in two smaller provinces. This shows Sator as the thinktank-legworker-paper pusher combined, while Amatong was the leading moving spirit behind the division. Asked on whether the breaking up of mother province was such a gerrymandering act, the former congressman admitted in my interview without a second thought. Of course, the issue is moot and academic now. But history must be retold for history’s sake. Journalism, I should say, isn’t only “history in a hurry”, it is as much history coming out late. (For online edition, visit my blog at:, for comments and reactions, text 09069104553. Watch for my newscast in “Tagum Newsbreak” over WTV 11 channel in Skycable Tagum)

Filed under: baltazar sator, comval history, davao del norte history, propero amatong, rodolfo del rosario, roger sarmeinto, victorio suaybaguio , , , , , , ,

NEWS: 200 workers to lose jobs from Panabo City Hall

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News
Panabo new City Hall/photo by Rural Urban News

Panabo new City Hall/photo by Rural Urban News

Some 200 of the 700 workers in Panabo City Government will be losing their jobs due to the implementation of the ongoing reorganization scheme that already started February 1.

“For sure there will about 200 workers who could no longer return to work as we implement the ordinance on reorganization to make our government machinery work efficiently and effectively,” said city administrator Nemesio Rasgo.
City ordinance 43 enacted last year fixed only 400 posts to be filled up arising out from new organizational structure and classification of positions.
On last Monday convocation, the city administrator announced that contractual workers whose contracts ended last January 31 would have to stop working and wait for the end of the first quarter for possible re-hiring when the city government could generate additional income like the refund of the amount the city lost from Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) shared by the 16 cities that were classified back to their status as municipalities.
Those who would be displaced though are contractual workers who were employed on programs and need-basis, Rasgo said.
Last January 31 contracts of casual and contractual workers ended and the city placement committee headed by Rasgo is at press time renewing contracts of relevant positions.
He said that City Mayor Jose Silvosa Sr wanted to professionalize the city bureaucracy and “insulate personnel from politics”.
There is unwanted situation in local governments on workers being beholden to politicians in power and are therefore bound to work for the politics of the administration that they are in.
Rasgo said that permanent employees need not worry but he said there would be reassignments to fit personnel to work and eliminate the sight of city workers just sitting on their table without work.
“Way klaro ang mga tawo sa opisina (There’s unclear personeling in offices),” he said referring to the situation that the Silvosa administration inherited to the previous administration of former Mayor Rey Gavina.
“We want to have a lean and mean government structure that works,” he added.
On the other hand, in separate interview, Mayor Silvosa said that the reorganization was not his own making but by the legislative department of the previous administration.
He said that the present reorganization plan was started four years ago and the involved city councils including the present had thoroughly studied it based on civil service laws and and tapped various authorities as resource persons during its formulation.
“I am just here to implement the ordinance as a chief executive,” he said.
An undetermined number of casual employees, whose contracts are renewed every six months, especially those employed by the previous administration are reportedly expressing anxieties of losing their jobs.
City administrator Rasgo said that there are casual and contractual personnel in the city hall whose appointing authority is no longer in office, in obvious reference to Gavina, who had served as city mayor for three consecutive terms or nine years.
“Job order and even casual employees have not other recourse but work for the politics of the power holders so as continue working. It’s just okay for the permanent employees as they usually hide or go neutral during the campaign period,” a casual employee from the office of he city vice mayor said on the condition of anonimity.
Meanwhile, Councilor and ABC President Ferdinand Gocon said that the job order workers employed in legislative department are not included in the no-work order of the executive department.
He said that city councilors have usually five personnel staff, three of whom are co-terminus and two are contractual in employment status.
The city vice mayor’s office has reportedly bloated staff numbering over 20 personnel. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

Filed under: former panabo mayor rey gavina, nemesio rasgo, panabo abc president ferdinand gocon, panabo vice mayor james gamao, panbo city mayor jose silvosa sr. , , , , ,

OPINION: Bal Sator reminisces

By Cha Monforte

There’s new revelation and now we have oral testimonies taken in journalistic way to document the gerrymandering acts of leading politicians in the breaking up of mother Davao del Norte. Well, this might be an initial offer for history as Tuesday I got the chance to talk with the one of the founding fathers of the division of Davao del Norte into two provinces- the 8-town smaller Davao del Norte and the 11-town Compostela Valley, and of the conversion of Tagum and Igacos into cities. He’s former Cong. Baltazar “Bal” Sator.
Quite visibly he’s aged now- 71 but for that he’s younger than Gov. RDR, 76, former Gov. Yayong, 74 and former Gov/Cong. Pros Amatong, 77. After that energetic opposition image in the 80s when I was just out from the university and became watcher to a daring Atty. Bal Sator onstage during opposition rallies, along with his early colleagues in provincial opposition- Cris Maniwang, Jess Albacite, Max Estela, Jose Silvosa, former Carmen Mayor Claudio, Atty. Romraflo Taojo (a human rights lawyer who was killed in his own home in Tagum on April 2, 1985, after he had been allegedly warned by the military about the nature of the cases he was handling, as cited in Ilagan’s doctrine). The famed Rolly Marcial and BM Tony Lagunzad came later after Ninoy’s death as they jumped ship from Marcos KBL, while Pros Amatong was also making his own opposition voices in Nabunturan and others of the old Comval numenklatura (Rey Castillo and other Compostela fellows).
But despite his age now, he dared anyone of my age for a long walk, perhaps that fatigue-ending walkathon. As a private citizen, he’s in the thick of pro bono lawyering that even RTC Judge Justino Aventurado called him and referred poor litigants to go to the “PAO (Public Attorneys Office) nga private”. Sator said it just like he went into vacation from the court bista when he had his 11 years of serving as Davnor’s District 1 congressman (2 years during Cory’s revolutionary time plus the three straight terms) and came back only to know he could not say “no” to poor litigants for pro bono legal service, which his better-half keeps on protesting. At one time his wife called him when he would ever bring his lawyer’s office table at their home for final retirement days he should spend as they’re most contented now for having small fishpond, small corn and coco farm given by his clients, “pang bugas ug sud-an”, for the couple to subsist on til the lights go off. (To be continued. For online edition, visit my blog at:, for comments and reactions, text 09069104553. Watch my newscast over WTV 11 channel at Skycable Tagum.

Filed under: 16504759, Atty. Romraflo Taojo, Bal Sator, Cris Maniwang, Jess Albacite, Jose Silvosa, Max Estela, RTC Judge Justino Aventurado, congressman bal sator, congressman baltazar sator, former Carmen Mayor Claudio , , , , , , , , , ,

NEWS: No Lakas decision yet on Ramil-Maricar toss up- Chiongkee

The Lakas party in Compostela Valley has not yet made a decision on who to anoint between Vice Governor Ramil Gentugaya and Boardmember Maricar Zamora-Apsay for the District 1 congressional post for the 2010 polls, breaking the party leaders’ pledge late last year that they would announce the decision by January 2010 after a party caucus.

In a text message, Comval Lakas party provincial chairman Gov. Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy said that “it is still too early” in reference as to when the party decision would be handed down to resolve the Ramil-Maricar row over who between them becomes the Lakas standard-bearer.

Vice Gov. Gentugaya in separate text message confirmed on Monday that no party decision yet has been made on the issue.

In a news report November last year Uy was qouted as pledging that the Lakas party would convene a caucus to resolve the issue that has already become a major party headache while there has been no competition among partymates in the District 2 congressional post currently held by neophyte Cong. Rommel “Bobong” Amatong.

District 2 Cong. Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora, father of Maricar, is serving his last term at present.

Both Gentugaya and Apsay have still one more term for reeelection in their respective posts.

Gentugaya is a kin of Uy by Chinese blood while Cong. Zamora has been a political ally of Uy.

Sources said that the issue has already tried to rock the unified Lakas party about two weeks ago during a meeting of provincial party leaders for the Uswag Comval, a local political aggrupation being pushed by the governor.

Sources said that at one time during the affair when Cong. Zamora introduced his daughter as the incoming congresswoman to affix her signature to support Uswag Comval, former Cong. Prospero Amatong stood up and said it would be Ramil as the next congressman of District 1.

The elder Amatong is a voting member-emiritus of the Comval Lakas provincial directorate.

Earlier, Uy said that both “stand in equal footing if the choice is baeed on the Lakas party rules”. He did not not enumerate the rules.

He said it would be the Lakas provincial directorate which would decide the official bet for the post. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

Filed under: chiongkee uy, comval news, comval officials, maricar zamora-apsay, ramil gentugaya , , , , ,

OPINION: The dark horse and the populist

By Cha Monforte

Boardmember Helario “Larry” Caminero has all the potential to be a congressman in the District 1 of Davao del Norte. At least that was one floated by others last week. But I say BM Caminero has first the qualifications- he came from the legitimate media, became a Kapalong administrator, councilor and now the PCL president in the province. He has also the winnability- only and only if all the municipal councilors will troop around him and dream they could produce a congressman of their own. Why not?
In the country’s elections, there are suprises and upsets. But it looks like these took place in different tempos. North Cotabato Greg Andolana, for one, had only little money from lawyering but he was carried by the waves of victorious opposition right after EDSA Uno uprising and had the backing of the Church people that made him a congressman. Andolana fought against an entrenched fortress of moneyed poliliticians in the late 80s and showed that with a galvanized people long revolted by the traditionalism and excesses of provincial power brokers one poor man could still win in a high public position. That was Andolana’s favorable epoch- similar to the springing up of Atty. Bal Sator as congressman then.

It was so long after EDSA Uno military-backed civilian uprising that Grace Padaca of Isabela in 2004 and Ed “Among” Panlilio of Pampanga in 2007 respectively captured the gubernatorial post against long-entrenched and moneyed political clans, no less than in the President’s home province in Among’s case. While they lacked a party and a well-oiled machinery to run a campaign, there was a groundswell of support from the people, who desperately sought a change in leadership. The good political fortunes of Cong. Way Kurat Zamora, former Gov. Joecab, and Cong Olano were etched in queer political milieu and tempo, but these need a another essay or two to bare.
But if a tempo that local legislators, the councilors who comprise 98 percent of incumbent elected officials could be made and they rally for their own congressman, BM Caminero has a chance to beat today’s current aspirants for the post- Vice Gov. Baby Suaybaguio and BM Roger “Dangpanan” Israel. This is the key in setting up BM Caminero as the dark horse for the congressional post in District 1.
But at the end of the day, it is still the people who should be awakened for ideals for them to rally for a good candidate who truly represents their plight and aspirations.
Then and now populism- seen in the common tao’s cry “gikan sa masa para sa masa”- has been a leveler factor for poor candidates against those coming from the rich and moneyed. Even if it’s made and spinned as battlecry, in the likes of the hit rapped up by Erap in his presidential run, the dominantly poor electorate are won over for the sight that they have one of their own running for a public office. Ours is representative democracy, and we need true representatives, not the representa-thieves.
Former Davao del Norte Governor Yayong Gementiza quipped in my recent interview that he had only the fermented tuba nga bahal when he was still a jambolero, a street-smart broker of agricultural products, to feast on with the masa when he defeated a young, popular UM Tagum professor Nick Suaybaguio Sr. for Tagum municipal mayorship in 1967. For being with the unwashed masa, Yayong’s political career keeps on flickering- even now, I suppose.
Last-termer City Councilor Vicente “Enting” Eliot, the one teased (condescendingly?) during sessions by lawyer Councilor Joey Millan, has been in a life of odors, dusts and gutters as a magbobote, but being “Mr. Botelya” is one sight the great unwashed masa in Tagum has been visibly proud of. No wonder they voted “Enting Magbobote” for a long-reigning barangay captain and a city councilor for three straight terms, besides the various presidencies of Church organizations he served from the mandate of pastoral and laymen’s flocks (Name it, he has it). For over thirty years now since the early 70s, Enting does buy and sell of bottles, bakal, plastics and other recyclable saleables for a living, from which his brood of six children have succesfully earned their respective professions.
No doubt, Enting’s livelihood on scrap through the decades allowed him to talk and immerse with the masa. That makes him different to Millan, who lawyers for the few landowners. Enting is not annoyed of the sweat and brawn of the laborers, who compose the backbone of Tagum’s economy. The populism that has long come to associate to Enting Eliot by his trade is his most competitive edge in politics. That did him already through the years as a populist politician.
That makes him also a sure replacement to one of the four vacant slots for boardmember in District 1 of Davao del Norte. Sources said that only BM Tony Lagunzad will be left for reelection as two BMs are going back for mayoral comeback, one is graduating and another is running for Congress. Now if there’s already that Great Tug-of-War in the SP, with the moves of former Cong. Tonyboy Floirendos (will this ever come), the more a populist Eliot is given vacant BM slots for a good filler.
BLOG & BUZZ: Welcome Police Supt. Giusseppe Geralde for the Tagum City PNP chief post. His first name, from Italian name, is just pronounced “Joseph” and his family name pronounced “Heralde”. Today he would be conferred the rank of police supt from police chief inspector. He’s a PNPA graduate Class ‘98 and has gone serving as chief of police in Sulop, Magsaysay and Digos City in Davao del Sur before becoming the intel and operations provincial chief of Davao del Norte, his most recent prior his present assignment. The new COP is like Police Supt. Dario Gunabe- amiable, friendly to local reporters. COPs being civilian in character should know rudiments of community relations through the legitimate press….Who’s this rumored public officials (male and female) who went abroad to secretly meet there to rekindle past and present love affair? Just tsismis?
(For online edition, visit my site:, or email:, text 09069104553 for your reactions and commentaries. Watch my hourly “Tagum Newsbreak” over WTV 11 channel in Skycable Tagum)

Filed under: boardmember larry caminero, boardmember roger israel, councilor joey millan, plc president boardmember helario "larry" caminero, tagum councilor vicente "enting" eliot, vice governor baby suaybaguio , , , , , ,

OPINION: The admission

By Cha Monforte
The admission of leading congressional aspirant Anthony Rafael del Rosario (AGR) that he is afflicted with Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer- Stage 3 is fatal to his political career and specifically to his plan of running for the District 1 post. Like it or not, even if he survives from the debilitating disease, people will talk about his health and physical capacity to handle the post.
We are forced to research online and found in the website of the National Cancer Institute of the United States that Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer in Stage 3 development has this state: The lymphoma cells are in lymph nodes above and below the diaphragm. Lymphoma also may be found in one part of a tissue or an organ (such as the liver, lung, or bone) near these lymph node groups. It may also be found in the spleen.” The treatment requires chemotherapy or radiation therapy or both, good nutrition, and a lot of rest.
Hodgkin Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system and its symptoms include the painless enlargement of lymph nodes, spleen, or other immune tissue. Its symptoms include fever, weight loss, fatigue, or night sweats. The website tells of sure side effects of the treatment that include a weakened immune system “because chemotherapy and radiation therapy often damage healthy cells and tissues and the common side effects of cancer treatment are fatigue, pain, nausea, vomiting, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss, and mouth sores.”
Taking these literature, AGR’s cancer would really have an impact to his physique and gives great physical challenge to him in case he or his family still decides to still engage him in politics after his recovery from the treatment. We are 12 months ahead before a heightened electoral tempo of 2010, and if for the next 6 months his chemotheraphy is through and the next 6 months (July to January) he’s quite on track on rest and recovery, the early months of 2010 would all still be needed by him for mild physical activity considering that it is cancer and not a common disease that is afflicting him.
What Tagum pundits are saying that there is quite a doubt that he could withstand a bruising electoral campaign by March 2010 is thinkable speculation. As of this writing, we don’t hear yet that the Lakas leaders in Davao del Norte led by Governor Rodolfo del Rosario have convened purposely to tackle on who is the next in line after AGR for the congressional standard bearer although Vice Gov. Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio is now much talked of as the logical choice for the post.
But the governor could not indefintely put the issue on his hand considering the wrangling of Boardmember Roger “Dangpanan” Israel and the need for certainty in the political realignment with the seeming political exit of AGR. Also, with Baby’s shift for the congressional post, the vice governor’s post will become an open, vacant post and we expect further wrangling over for this from other Lakas party wannabes. Dangpanan for the VG post? What about the last-termer Cong. Arrel Olano? This has to be decided in consideration to the possible moves of the other factors outside the provincial political boardroom- City Mayor Rey Uy, former Gov. Gelacio “Yayong” Gementiza (who has said why not also in Congress? But he threw his indorsement to Baby), and as well as the Floirendos.
Things are just beginning to be both certain and messy with AGR’s political exit due to his health (For online edition, visit, ot, for comments and reactions, text 09069104553, or email, watch “Tagum Newsbreak” of WTV 11 channel over Skycable Tagum)

Filed under: anthony del rosario, baby suaybaguio, yayong gementiza , , ,

posted by Rural Urban News @ 8:19 AM   0 comments
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
NEWS: Yayong endorses Baby Suaybaguio for Congress 2010

“New City Hall is just a walking distance from my house”

Former Davao del Norte Governor Gelacio “Yayong” Gementiza Tuesday in an interview said that he liked to see Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio taking the crack for the District 1 congressional post which last-termer Arrel Olano is finishing to serve at present.
“Yes, I am endorsing him (Suaybaguio) for Congress,” he said.
Gementiza’s statement came close to what observers said as political exit of former Vice Gov. Anthony Rafael del Rosario who admitted last week that he is afflicted with Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer in Stage 3 development.
Gementiza opined that between Suaybaguio and the young Del Rosario the former has more winnability in District 1 saying that the latter “is more identified with the second district”.
He added that Del Rosario only established residence in Tagum City in a recent year “because he wanted to be a candidate”.
Asked on his political plan by 2010, Gementiza said “wala sa, kay layo pa” (none yet as the election is still away). “It’s still a nobody’s game,” he said.
But on the next breath, he said that the location of the new City Hall that is being fast-tracked for completion by Mayor Rey Uy at present at Apokon “is good that it is just a walking distance to my residence”, a seeming potshot to one of Yayong’s political options.
Gementiza though admitted that he and the present governor have been calling each other in phone saying in vernacular that “if it’s not me calling him, it’s he who gives a call”.
Gementiza, now 74, ran but lost to the governor in the last 2007 polls.
The young Del Rosario, known by his political nick AGR, was earlier so much speculated to be the inevitable Lakas standard-bearer for the District 1 congressional post given that he is the son and political heir-apparent of the aged Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario. The latter is already 76.
AGR announced last week that he would be undergoing chemotherapy treatment for the next six months and hence would be on leave from his present position as the provincial sports coordinator.
But observers speculated that with AGR’s disease there would be difficulties for him to stand the rigors of the bruising electoral campaign once he physically recovers, or he would be associated with an electoral issue on his health.
With Del Rosario’s political exit, Suaybaguio, known close to the governor, is now speculated to take the stead of AGR in the governor’s endorsement for the post.
But Gementiza commented that Boardmember “Dangpanan” Roger Israel, who is also aspiring for the congressional post, could not also be discounted citing that Israel has a record of landing as topnotcher for senior boardmember in three elections in the past. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)
Filed under: boardmember roger israel, gelacio "yayong" gementiza, governor rodolfo del rosario, vice governor victorio suaybaguio , , , ,
• 10:38 pm 0

NEWS: Investigation on alleged Sportivo overpricing scam in Davnor Capitol called on

BM San Juan asked for parallel probe

Davao del Norte Boardmember Artemio San Juan called on for a “parallel investigation” by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on the alleged Sportivo overpricing scandal being circulated in malicious text messages from still unknown senders.

Showing previous copies of a local Tagum daily, Sidlak and of a local Visayan daily which reported last week the spread of said text messages to among local mediamen, San Juan, chair of the SP’s laws and justice committee, moved in Monday’s session to refer the matter to the committee on good government chaired by Demitrio Maligro for “proper investigation parallel” to the one pledged by Governor Rodolfo del Rosario during a press conference.

A few interpellations were heard on the floor to clarify San Juan’s motion.

Boardmember Ely Dacalus stood up and asked for copies of the previous issues of Sidlak and a Visayan daily saying that he had not yet read the news items.

San Juan then made supplementary motion directing the Office of the Secretary of the Sanggunian (OSS) to reproduce copies of the issues for the rest of the boardmembers.
Floorleader Gregorio Facula wrapped up San Juan’s motion following clarificatory queries from senior Boardmember Janet Gavina, who was still presiding over the provincial board yesterday in view of the continued absence of Vice Gov. Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio.
There was no comment heard on the floor when Gavina asked for it before the motion was sent to Maligro’s committee.

Gov. Del Rosario Tuesday last week in the Kapihan sa Kapitolyo press forum at the Media Center in the Capitol compound pledged he would conduct his own inquiry-probe on overpricing allegations spread by text messages that tagged his provincial administrator Rufo Peligro and general services department head Sammy Sanchez.

He dared the unknown senders to come out in the open and bring out evidences to their allegations even as he swore on the integrity of the bidding processes at the Capitol.

The governor also decribed the text messages in one angle as political intrigue intended to sow disunity among political leaders adding that it came with 2009 being a political year already.
Menwhile, the vice governor is due to return office on February 2 after his over a month of vacation from the United States, said Nicandro “Nick” Suaybaguio Sr., brother of the vice governor.

He said that the vice governor also underwent medical checkup in the US for his minor arthritis ailment.

He said that the DILG provincial office made Tuesday a favorable legal opinion that the authorization of the vice governor to OIC Vice Gov. Gavina to sign papers as e-mailed last Friday is “valid in form and substance”.

“All’s well already so the SP casual employees could already have their salaries,” he said.
Reports said that casual employees in the SP have been already complaining last week over the delayed release of their salaries this month as their contracts have still to be renewed and signed by the vice governor.

However, staff members of the vice governor’s office told Sidlak that release of salaries for casual employees has always been rather delayed every contract renewal month of January and July citing the need to process working papers and requirements which would pass various departments in the Capitol. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)
Filed under: boardmember demitrio maligro, davao del norte boardmember artemio san juan, former vice governor anthony rafael del rosario, governor rodolfo del rosario, nicandro "nick" suaybaguio sr., vice governor victorio "baby" suaybaguio , , , , , ,
January 25, 2009 • 12:32 am 0

OPINION: Baby Suaybaguio, the logical choice for Congress

By Cha Monforte

The admission of former Davao del Norte Vice Governor Anthony Rafael del Rosario (AGR) last week that he is afflicted with Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer on Stage 3 development and that he is now on the way for treatment and rest for the next six months has given a new, big twist in the political landscape of the province.

Since shortly after the middle last year, the congressional post that the last-termer District 1 Congressman Arrel Olano is finishing to serve had then become fait accompli in the declaration of the governor’s son to vie for it. AGR’s declaration edged out early bird congressional aspirants from political warrooms in the province though it earned more audible verbal sniping from Boardmember Roger “Dangpanan” Israel over Radyo Ukay-Tagum, and flickers of thoughts from pundits on the possibilities of City Councilor Oyo Uy and even former Gov. Yayong Gementiza vying for the position. Blank blips were however were seen from the quarters of the two, while there was that little talk last week that former Cong. Bal Sator has been reviving his PDSP network in District 1. A source confirmed that before former Vice Gov.AGR made his declaration, Governor Rodolfo del Rosario had actually blessed first Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio to prepare for Olano’s post as he was his choice. AGR’s congressional plan was only prodded by a Kapihan questioning and earned subsequent bias interpretations even as he lay his bid that it was still up to the Lakas party’s decision (but who else can vote against a kingpin’s son). It was such declaration that preempted VG Baby’s subsequent moves in deference to AGR and true to his being a governor’s good soldier. Sator for being a Lakas outsider even if he is connected with Bert Gonzales PDSP, a minority ally party of the administration, has still to fend much for himself. He is a political has-been now, just like former Cong. Bebot Alvarez despite the unrepentant insistence of their respective political merons like that pondok sa purok.

Time’s a-changing really and the electorate is now looking for new, fresh faces in politics. Perhaps last-termer Councilor Joey Millan can cast his hat for the congressional post but it’s unlikely he’ll get the backing of City Mayor Rey Uy given that the known Suaybaguios- VG Baby and Councilor Nickel (include there the influential Nick Sr) are in ally with Uy.

Millan may as well join in the fray to the one open District 1 boardmember’s slot to be vacated by last-termer Macario “Bong” Bermudez, but the lawyer councilor would also be facing his co-equal last-termer councilors, chief among whom is the populist Councilor Enting Eliot.

But BM aspirants have also stopper scenarios coming: if last-termer Olano does run least dignified when he chickens out from squaring off with Uy in his mayoral option, or if City Vice Mayor Rellon isn’t shoved out from his last term to take instead for the BM’s seat if Oyo is positioned ala Sara Duterte by 2010 for his eventual mayorship by 2013, the year when the mayor will possibly gun for governorship, his ultimate pipe dream.

But then when Vice Gov. Baby becomes now a logical choice to take the place of Olano by 2010 the vice gubernatorial post is not only left much open but also much sighted by 2013 given the fast retirement age of Gov. RDR and the absence of a politico kin from his family now with AGR’s exit. The post is just a spit away to governorship.

There are also big variables in the political equation that Olano has to contend with- former Cong. Tonyboy Floirendo (and the grand old man “White Hair” Don Antonio Floirendo, and who knows Cong. Anton Lagdameo’s political lollipop is taken back by his tito and he’s positioned for VGship), Mayor Uy and former Gov. Yayong Gementiza. On where Tonyboy and Uy stand and relate to each other and on RDR’s political and familial considerations lie the next political fate of Olano.

But for VG Baby Suaybaguio? It looks like his political star is ever smiling now. Ok, there’s no “equity of the incumbent” Lakas rule for an open post. But what other yardsticks which could then be the bases of choice for the congressional standard bearer? Surveys, popularity, seniority in present position, Lakas years of membership and lastly but most importantly- the vote of the kingpin that partymates nevertheless have to follow. Certainly, VG Baby has all these even if BM Dangpanan sings “it’s now” than “never” or Yayong sings in refrain “you’re loser to me”.

AGR’s recent political exit has sprung up a new, big twist in the province’s political landscape that first made VG Baby Suaybaguio as the logical choice for Congress. (For online edition, visit my blog at: http://cha4t,, for comments and reactions, txt 09069104553, e-mail: Watch “Tagum Newsbreak” over wTV 11 channel in Skycable Tagum. Coming up “Ang Lungsod” over DXPA 103.2 FM)
Filed under: AGR, anthony del rosario davao del norte, davao del norte, rdr, rodolfo del rosario, tagum city, vice gov baby suaybaguio davao dedl norte , , , , , , ,
January 23, 2009 • 2:25 am 0

OPINION: Political year

BLOGISTABy Cha Monforte

We’re definitely on political times down the road. Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario said it so Monday during a Kapihan. On the broadside, he described the spread of malicious text messages on the alleged Sportivo overprice scam as one political intrigue, even while he dared the unknown cabal to come out into the open and then prove and substantiate allegations. Veteran and seasoned Igacos politician, Boardmember Artemio San Juan has no reservation in saying that this year is when intrigues will fly thick and fast.

Good for Gov. RDR and BM San Juan. They said what should be expected. Recalling back during the gubernatorial reign of Joecab in Comval, this is the same time of his last term term when he got an ultra-filibustering and obstructionist majority of boardmembers led now Gov. Chiongkee Uy. Joecab’s executive budget was re-enacted for the majority’s intentioned failure to approve. On a hailstorm of allegations vented by Joecab’s oppositionists over the media, new budget approval was snagged while the issue of pork barrel for direct disbursement by the legislative department landed on COA’s frying pan. The cooked menu was named disallowance.

That was history though but preluding Joecab’s electoral defeat. The lesson learned is that towards halfway of a term is already a political season and politicians have to start politicking in the open. It’s now time to cast that phrase out, “malayo pa ang eleksyon, trabaho muna.” It’s no-no now. Such is good for the last year. The pundits are after all right. If outsiders and challengers could not make a dent in the public mind later this year, they could not break even with the incumbents considering the latter’s administration advantages. January 2010 is time for premature electioneering already.

So with this, the choice of Comval Lakas to make this month, January as the time to decide whether the congressional standard-bearer is Vice Gov. Ramil Gentugaya or congressman’s daughter Boardmember Maricar Zamora-Apsay is just right and fitting. At least the one who is left out by the party has still the time to jump to opposition’s ship and dovetail with the national opposition presidentiables and senatoriables. That way he or she could still have plenty of time to organize a districtwide or provincewide political structure and machinery.

The case of former Davao del Norte Gov. Yayong Gementiza is an exemption. He was shoved out from Lakas on the rather eleventh hour, two months before the 2007 elections, while he was the sitting governor. When he jumped to United Opposition, it was not late as he had all the provincial activities and government manpower and logistics served for his reelection. But RDR had more logistics, men, media, bailiwick, techniques and organization than what a personalistic Yayong could muster for a win.

The Big Ramil-Maricar Problem of Comval Lakas is different. If it’s BM Maricar now, then VG Ramil is shunted out from provincial-sponsored activities and mass gatherings from this month up to the election ban time as it would be a duty of of Gov. Uy in the tandem to expose and promote Maricar as his runningmate. VG Ramil could still invoke his inclusion being a VG to whatever provincial activity but it would be a sneaky one, if not a cat-and-mouse affair- he’ll appear first onstage while Maricar is still away and coming.

But that’s still an iringan win-win solution while VG Ramil holds his ground as a Lakas member banking on the possible free zone stance or lobotomy of Uy on the last hour. But it’s better for VG Ramil to jump ship to the opposition on this scenario as he has his own logistics and two mayores and the people’s opposition temper on the waiting to favor him. But a longstanding-Lakas member Ramil to the opposition? It’s too unlikely, but just maybe.

On the other hand, if the choice is VG Ramil, the same scenario would hold true to the provincial activities except that BM Maricar is a lesser political mortal for constant isolation. The big problem is that she has a card, in fact a wild card who could throw a money wrench to Lakas in Comval Uno- Cong. Way Kurat Zamora, a stage-, propa- and gimmick-savvy and most popular politician in Comval, while he has three mayores at his side. Which could trigger a chain reaction to District 2, and voila- provincewide! Being that, Cong. Way Kurat is good opposition material and a potential regional opposition chairman, from whom funding flows in the likes of Joe Tesado during Erap’s presidential running in 2001 elections.But a Way Kurat to the opposition? He who delivered over 13,000 votes margin to GMA over FPJ in 2004 elections and who consistently participated in slaying the four impeachment complaints against GMA? It’s still likely since GMA has already been repaid by Way Kurat’s votes. Bayad na. A plain citizen Way Kurat could have the best potential of becoming a cabinet member, chairman or undersecretary of a national agency under a new President coming from the opposition. On this good scenario, Way Kurat has nothing to lose even if Maricar loses. But he has more to gain if Maricar wins. (For online edition, visit my blog at:, for comments and reactions, text 09069104553, e-mail:
Filed under: alleged sportivo scam in davao del norte, boardmember artemio san juan, comval, cong way kurat zamora, davao del norte, gov. chiongkee uy, governor rodolfo del rosario, tagum , , , , , , , ,
January 17, 2009 • 9:30 am 0

OPINION: Sigh of relief

By Cha Monforte

Davao del Norte Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio until this writing is out of town. In his absence since last week, senior Boardmember Janet Gavina took the helm of presiding the provincial board, that was well known last year of its legislative vigilance, I should say. BM Gavina is spirited in steering on the provincial board. Maybe it’s due to the good stuff that the body is made of while the Great Tug-of-War has not yet come (Or will it really come?).
Well, for the last year’s feat, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan junked two controversial city ordinances- the Nickel Suaybaguio-authored Urban Poor Ordinance and the legally infirmed Purok Ordinance.

But on the same year, the body’s policy confirmatory authority was somehow belittled if not undermined when City Hall enforced its Flexi-Fare Ordinance even while the measure was not yet confirmed at the provincial level.Somehow the hurried pre-implementation of the flexi-fare measure was just a revenge of sort for what the SP did to the first piecemeal P7-to-P10 tricycle fare measure when they evidently put it in suspended animation while the gasoline prices were still up and only let go off the increase when gasoline prices had already decreased thereby putting the City Hall red in cheek reeling on the shadow of irate tricycle-riding housewives.

Nevertheless, the year 2008 ended well with City Council and the SP declaring sort of ceasefire. But it was not really a joke when four lawyer city legislators hopped on at the Capitol’s SP conference hall to advance the merit and worth of their Purok Ordinance only to know after that the measure was returned to the sender. But now here’s one proof of democracy, while the city remains a true component of the province.But for those two stones, the City Hall made even with the Capitol at the year’s tailend with that hurried implementation of the Flexi-Fare Ordinance (as if the provincial board didn’t exist at all). When the SP would say negative, we would stop enforcing, City Legal Officer and CTFRB chair Roland Tumanda offered though a caveat. But who among the SP could junk the fare measure when the gasoline prices were decreasing last Yuletide Season and P1-fare saving was the first thing wanted by Tagumenyos as a Christmas gift. The City Hall felt vindicated, and more so last January 2 when it gave a New Year’s gift of another P1-fare saving to the city’s riding public. We pray that gasoline prices nowadays could hit the range of P20 to P29.99 so the tricycle fare can be adjusted down to P6, and what a forthcoming sigh of relief.

BLOGBUZZ: But Councilor Joedel Caasi on Monday’s session expected an uptrend of gas prices and reported about cases of arguments breaking down between tricycle drivers and passengers over whether the fare is still P8 or P7. Time to mount an electronic billboard for fare advisory infront the City Hall…. It’s almost mid January. Time flies so fast. We have a half month more of waiting on who should be the Comval standard-bearer for the District 1 congressional post. Is it VG Ramil or BM Maricar?…. A bubuwet said that Senator Chiz Escudero, a presidential wannabe, secretly went to Tagum City last week and met with someone who has a good record of electoral cheating. Intriguing lie?…. A pundit tipped us that a Davnor congressional dreamer is changing color and repackaging himself. From a social drinker, he’s now fast becoming a drunkard, if only to cast away his old image of being unreachable un-makamasa. He was last seen drinking til the wee hours of the night with a town priest. Who is he? (For online edition, visit my blog at:, for comments and reactions, e-mail:, text 09069104553)
Filed under: davao del norte, davao del norte boardmember janet gavina, tagum officials, tagum tricycle fare, vice gov. victorio suaybaguio , , , , ,
January 7, 2009 • 2:01 am

OPINION: Nasty virus
By Cha Monforte
jan 6

The long holiday vacation of government officials and workers has also given us in the media a break. Without much government beat to cover, while this month the Ramil-Maricar row over the issue on who should be of the two congressional wannabes would be chosen by Lakas party in Compostela Valley (yes it’s electoral time now), I also got a splendid time to revisit the ways of the techies and geeks in computer and web world.

My PC at home has long been infected by this nasty huelar browser virus that leads to the porn site of redtube, while my flash disk we commonly call as USB has long resided by this Cool USEP virus. In preferring to get and write news since late last year, I ended up letting my patience go on with slow speed and often interrupted online PC. I also didn’t mind inserting my USB to any PC in internet cafes I dropped by to send my news and views. Anyway, I always thought, the cafes have technicians to repair virus-infected PC. It’s part of their business and getting virus, worms, trojans, etc and spreading them isn’t intentional. When you’re Internet-engaged, think it normal, don’t panic.

But really this redtube virus is snapping my patience’s limits. I tried reformatting my PC for two times over the weekend, and awhile after in each successful reformat the huelar redtube virus was re-launched, and there, it wanted that the porn redtube site would be your only site to browse on and nothing else. This worm stops other programs, disallows other installations and disables the PC administrator.

I downloaded a lot of free anti-virus and installed them on the third reformat, before the redtube virus crept in to the PC’s system, but a little while the redtube site again flashed onscreen. I thought of the boot sector being infected by this nasty virus, but online sources said it is the PC’s task manager and registry editor being disabled by it. Either, it’s not the orgasmic site that launched it. The naughty virus maker just chose redtude as the site to where all your clicks lead to. But maybe he/she wanted infected PC owners to get horny first before becoming mad at this virus. Anyway, until this writing I’m still searching for solution and has posted help in various online forum using another uninfected online PC.

For this virus variant alone, I’m saying now that nastier virus, worms, trojans etc could still come ahead of us to test patience, wreck time and money of PC owners and those engaged online. But not to worry, virus makers are humans- we know that among them are engaged in business of selling solutions for the virus they created to amass monies worldwide. This is one big paradox in the era of the Internet and computerization. Who knows multi-billionaire Bill Gates is one among them? But this is a techie reality we have to live with.
As to the Cool USEP virus that infects removable disks, it still resides in the USB I’m using. Online sources said it is made from the Philippines. My two-cents worth guess since last year is that USEP stands for University of the Southeastern Philippines. Maybe a computer geek from USEP’s School of Computing made and unleashed it, ala the Love virus years ago that hit even the Pentagon website. Maybe we now have our own Davaoeno IT genius. Looking at it liberally, the Cool USEP virus shows of the latent wizardry of the Filipinos in the field of information technology. Why does our government fail yet to seize this opportunity for good use and realize leap-frogging of our computing and software industry to the level of India. They say we have also a braindrain of our IT talents.

Looking the state of the tech-voc schools in our provinces, there’s still a large lack of governmental support to IT development. Sadly, our tech-voc schools are left to fend for themselves- operating under inadequate learning facilities, lack of computers, instructors- absence the State subsidies, and as to the IT development, they are left to rot as certificate mills for poor-caliber computer technician graduates. In Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley, a number of voch-tech schools are offering computer technician courses while standing alone without being even connected with the Internet, which is a basic aid of any computer technician worth his salt. Paging our congressmen- pogi points can be more earned if you set aside a budget from your pork barrel for the puchase of computers and Internet connection of these schools. (For online edition, visit my blog at:, for comments and reactions, text 09069104553, e-mail:
Filed under: Uncategorized , , , , , , , ,
• 1:53 am

OPINION: The year that was in Davnor and Comval
By Cha Monforte

The year that was in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley was politically gruesome. At least it was not yet economically gruesome when gasoline price decreases had the Tagum City tricycle fares decreased twice by total of P2, and by Friday the third P1 decrease took effect, compliments from the city’s flexi-fare ordinance.
This good tiding for Tagum’s riding public isn’t however true to most of the poblaciones in the two provinces as tricycle fare remains to its early last year’s increased rates despite the many instances of gasoline decreases. Oil price volatility on the downtrend hasn’t unnerved most our local chief executives to call for fare decreases for perhaps seeing that pedicab drivers are political threats to their political career when they initiate for such.
More than ever, most if not all incumbent officials in the two provinces, in the year that was, were dreaming that riding on the Lakas boat was the best thing for their political career’s sake even if the Lakas or the purportedly merged Lakas-Kampi party is now the party much hated by the Filipinos that is almost having the image of Marcos KBL.
Wanting not to be left out of the political blue, losing Kampi bets in 2007 polls and now the out-of-office politicians were also dreaming to be like rats wanting to ride in the Lakas boat as replacements of last-termers not knowing that the Lakas and Kampi parties are now the most hated political parties for moving heaven and earth in covering the heaps of scandals and ripoffs of the Arroyo administration.
For giving a blind eye to their democratic obligation to locally oppose in Davnor and Comval, and take the cudgel of the legal opposition in the call and temper of the times, potential oppositionists wanting to ride the Lakas boat themselves buried last year democracy in this part of the country.
The politically gruesome in the year that was comes with the politics of opportunism and patronage, and the politics for one’s political career’s sake nurtured by the odorous administration parties of Lakas and Kampi, while its germination started right late last year in the making of Comval’s Lakas unity and the unstated yet standing Lakas-Kampi unification in Davao del Norte even if Governor Rodolfo del Rosario and former Congressman Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr. could not yet see eye to eye.
But these supposedly Lakas-Kampi vassal provinces are pretentious and much more so in the coming of the year that will be when the effects of international financial crisis start to pinch on us. It has been so in 2004 and 2007 polls when Davnor and Comval voters consistently chose the opposition senatorial bets than those offered by the Palace and despite the unification of the provincial political stalwarts in 2004 and their division into Lakas and Kampi in 2007. Different dogs with the same admin collars.
In 2004, GMA lost to FPJ in overall count in Davnor, and if not of Cong. Way Kurat’s 32-0 bluffing campaign FPJ could have won in District 1 towns even if there was no party campaigning for him as he won over GMA in Maco, Mabini, Pantukan and Maragusan. It is still farcical to claim that Davnor and Comval are Lakas-Kampi Country unless they undo the placing of foremost the still jailed Senator Antonio Trillanes IV in the Top 10 tallies in both the provinces (and so with most of the present opposition senators). It was always during election year that the polarized character of the two provinces showed the true opposition majority in this part of the country, despite the latest phenomenon of massive vote-buying (and massive vote-selling).
Perhaps the year that will be when the world’s financial crunch has truly reached ashore in us, when cavendish bananas are affected- great heaven’s forbid- and when cries and hues of the people become so louder, there comes in a new politicians’ season characterized by political turncoats and butterflies, the balimbings, from what else - but the opportunistic and selfish Lakas and Kampi parties. (For online edition, visit my blog at:, for comments and reactions, e-mail:, or txt 09069104553)
Filed under: cong. tonyboy floirendo jr., governor rodolfo del rosario, lakas kampi comval, lakas kampi davao del norte, mabini comval, maco comval, pantukan comval , , , , , , ,
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008
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cha monforte blog december 3rd week 2008

NEWS: Duterte to formally announce when to retire soon

Sara to serve as mayor before 2010 polls

dec 23

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has clarified yesterday on his earlier statement that he would hand in the reins of mayorship to his daughter Vice Mayor Sara Duterte before his current term will end.

He said that he would soon make a formal announcement on his planned retirement that would cut his current term citing that due to his age he wanted to rest.

In a talk with city’s members of the press yesterday, the mayor said that he would not just go out from the city in the days following his retirement.

But he added his plan of retiring is depending yet on the state of things in the city saying that he wanted that the peace and order situation in the city would remain to be fully secured before he would have Sara served as mayor to complete the rest of his current term, a radio report said.

The mayor’s statement though has fueled anew speculations that he is preparing Sara for her mayoral bid in 2010 polls.

Duterte is now on his last term.

Under a provision of the Local Government Code, current local elected officials would end their term on June 30, 2010 following the May 2010 polls. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

OPINION: The three-corner fight for Comval gov scenario

By Cha Monforte

It’s likely that the national opposition will have again a split with the reported plan of Erap to run for President in tandem with Senator Loren Legarda for Vice President. If Erap does, Senator Manny Villar and Senator Roxas will most likely do the same, being also today’s front-running presidential bets from the opposition. Just like Davao del Norte Boardmember Roger “Dangpanan” Israel and Comval Vice Gov. Ramil Gentugaya, “it’s now or never” for them not to vie for President (for congressman for Dangpanan and Ramil).

Local politicians know well that if three or more parties tangle in elections in the national level, provincial and municipal levels take similar if not the same political transfigurations. Lakas party in Comval despite its much-ballyhoed unity as far as its drum-beaters are concerned is still standing on so fragile grounds with the still unsettled Ramil-Maricar row over the standard-bearer issue for the post that last-termer Cong, Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora is finishing at present. Meantime, January is fast approaching when the Lakas-Comval honchos will announce who should be the choice between Way Kurat’s daughter Maricar and Ramil, son of known big businesswoman in Comval mainland.

With this potential opposition configuration of having at least 2 opposition wings against 1 Lakas candidate, there’s that earlier report that the province’s potential gubernatorial bets would be three- reelectionist incumbent Gov. Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy, Cong. Way Kurat and former Gov. Jose “Joecab” Caballero.

The report said that Cong. Way Kurat, for being a tested administration ally when he delivered over 13,000 votes’ margin to President Arroyo over Fernando Poe in his home district in 2004 polls and voted hell and water to contribute in killing the impeachment bids of the opposition could potentially get the Palace backing if he decides to run for governor. It said that when it comes to the protecting the Palace’s national interests, the GMA’s advisers would go for a tested ally who could deliver and secure the votes for the administration candidates. But that’s also if Ramil, a kin by the Chinese blood of the governor, gets the choice as standard-bearer for the Lakas District 1 congressional post. Naughty pundits now say that in that scenario it’s Way Kurat who’ll break the so-called Lakas unity.

We don’t wish for that to happen as it would open a floodgate for Joecab to run for governor. That’s self-explanatory: when Lakas political gods and fans are divided, Joecab might win.
Although really a three-corner gubernatorial fight is worth watching and most exciting given that Uy has logistical and administration advantages, Cong. Way Kurat is a most popular Comval politician now and gimmick-savvy, while Joecab is still a maverick, charismatic politician, this scenario is not likely to happen in the event that Cong Way Kurat will make true his earlier political gambit - of retiring from politics to concentrate as the Lakas provincial campaign manager. Well, there seems to be that Big If- that is if Maricar gets January’s choice of becoming the Lakas congressional standard-bearer. In this scenario, provincial elder-statesman Pros Amatong will most probably gravitate towards Cong. Way Kurat for governor, pundits say.

Meantime, the regional Lakas boss Davao del Norte Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario, one tested Lakas partyman and Malacanang’s player, would also gravitate towards a Way Kurat gubernatorial candidacy if the home scene in Tagum City is spoiled on the scenario that City Mayor Rey Uy, the governor’s brother, has something in his cards for the good of his own city turf that won’t jibe with the cards of Gov. RDR.

Again, we don’t wish for this to happen as it’s easy for Lakas-Kampi local bets to win under a unified ticket, that is if a strong local opposition will not emerge from the boondocks out from the splintering of the national opposition. But this would never happen as there are really local opposition contenders, chief among them are the Lakas shoved-outs, jumpshippers and Kampi out campers who would have at least two opposition parties waiting for their ride. When people rue for victory of national opposition bets in 2010 egged out by the corruption scandals under the Arroyo administration, gee, there’s still that exciting political scenario in Davao del Norte and Comval by 2010. And we’re only 9 days to go before the electoral year 2009 sets in.

Happy Holidays! (For online edition, visit my blog at:, for comments and reactions, e-mail:

OPINION: Like copra price today

By Cha Monforte

dec 22

If Tagum’s flexi-fare ordinance will be followed to the liter, err letter, the fare cut of P7 should have been effected sometime a month ago. On Saturday, Mayor Rey Uy and the City Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board officers led by Atty. Roland Tumanda agreed in a meeting to effect the P7 minimum fare from the latest P8 by January 2. That’s still within the Holiday and classes will resume by January 5, Monday. It’s good enough and it’s still one big Christmas gift for Tagumenyos.

The flexi-fare ordinance is now showing to be novel piece of legislation that relates with the changes of the world, particularly the international oil price that has been affecting Filpinos since then. Tagumenyos are also worth for their due if oil prices are falling. It’s a legislation with built-in reflex mechanism adjustible to the workings of the market.

It appears now that the City Hall is putting up sort of implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the flexi-fare ordinance. While it chooses the CTFRB as the fare setter, the chief executive being the man on top of all City Hall layers and bodies has the final say and Saturday’s meeting is right process, to consult also the affected sector, the pedicabbers. After that, the corresponding CTFRB board resolution is a foregone conclusion to legally implement the second fare cut. What about the habal-habals? They have been adjusting by P2 to P5 over the tricycle fare in the two fare movements. When the tricycle fare was increased to P10 from P7, habal-habal drivers also increased and collected P15 from their usual P10. Today’s P8 fare is countered by habal-habal fare of P10. Sineswerte talaga ang mga colorum habal-habals. But it seems the usual market force determines the habal-habal fare rates in the city.

Without the de facto IRR on the flexi-fare ordinance, the order of the day under this flexible regime could be riotous. Fare decrease or increase isn’t automatically dependent on current gasoline rates after all. But such could be remedied possibly if the City Hall mounts electronic billboard in strategic corners in the city informing the current gasoline prices and the price average as a yardstick, as well as the City Hall-set tricycle fare. I don’t know if the jacking up of crude and gasoline prices in gas stations in the city above the levels in Panabo and Davao City has been addressed already by Councilor Mylene Baura. Or her probe was just for media op?

Anyway, the unsolicited advice to make the flexi-fare fully operational and automatic is a mounting of electronic billboard, like the basketball scoreboard, stating the fare akin to the copra buyer’s notice on his buying price with words “COPRA PRICE TODAY:P__”, no resecada. In the Tagum City Hall case today, this would be: “TRICYCLE FARE TODAY: P8″. Perhaps Councilor Rey Salve could be a devil’s advocate for this.

BLOGBUZZ: The Panabo legislative department, they say last week, is too over security conscious. During sessions, in its door, there’s that bully who flag down and ask visitors of their purpose in entering the gallery of the session hall. Inside, there’s one sitting cop and a sergeant at arms who watches the faces of entering visitors. Inside the gallery, there’s another who hangs on and looks over the crowd with suspicions. Mediamen are prevented from taking photos of the session inside but only in the glass-enclosed gallery. People entering the Panabo City Hall are earlier thoroughly checked by the security guards and SCU at the front main gate. They say na-OA na ang security details for Panabo session hall during sessions. Such SOP is driving the public from listening the session and getting public records in its rawest verbal forms. We don’t know yet if Vice Mayor James Gamao throws this OA security details intentionally. It’s only in Panabo and not found in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley and elsewhere. (For online edition, visit my blog at:, for comments and reactions, text 09069104553, e-mail:

NEWS: P7 fare to effect January 2

dec 22

Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy has approved to implement a reduced tricycle fare of P7 starting on January 2 next year.

In his meeting on Saturday with the City Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (CTFRB) chairman Atty. Roland Tumanda and other board officers, the decision was reached to effect the second fare cut from the latest P8 since that the current gasoline pump prices already hit within the P30-P39.99 range in a general matrix provided under the city’s flexi-fare ordinance.

If the minimum fare is P7, students and senior citizens would only have to pay P5 for the regular tricycle ride.
However, the CTFRB will still have to formally make a corresponding board resolution for the new fare cut this week, Atty. Tumanda, also the city legal officer, told Sidlak.

The city has now its flexible mode of charging tricycle fare due to the flexi-fare ordinance which provides a bracket on tricycle fares depending on gasoline pump prices.

The City Hall already ordered for fare reduction to P8 fare from P10 last November 18.

When the reduction was effected on that date, gasoline prices were already observed to be diving below the P40 per liter mark.

There was then a fare increase from P7 to P10 approved by the city
council which effected last September 19.

But a week after due to growing complaints of riding public as gasoline prices were decreasing then when the increased P10 fare was implemented, Uy backpedaled and pushed
the flexi-fare ordinance as a novel way of skipping the tedious and long legislative process of enacting an ordinance in view of the volatility of oil prices.

The ordinance’s bracket provides that if gasoline prices per liter
(gpl) range P20 to 29.99 it will have P6 for regular fare and P4 for
student or senior citizen; P30 to P39.99 gpl- P7 regular fare, P5 student/senior citizen; P40 to 49.99 gpl- P8 regular fare, P6 student/senior citizen; P50 to P59.99 gpl- P9 regular fare, P7 student/senior citizen; P60 to P69.99 gpl- P10 regular fare, P8 student/senior citizen; P70 to P79.99 gpl- P11 regular fare, P9 student/senior citizen; P80 to P89.99 gpl- P12 regular fare,
P10 student/senior citizen; P90 to P99.99 gpl- P13 regular fare, P11 student/senior citizen; and P100 and above gpl- P14 regular fare, P12 student/senior citizen. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

posted by Rural Urban News @ 3:07 PM   0 comments


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