EDITORIAL: Political Gambits



With almost a year still ahead, incumbent elective officials gunning for reelection or another position are now behaving as if the May 2022 election is soon to happen. Not to be outdone, political wannabes have already made known their ambitions, with some finding difficulty in choosing the camps they wish to join or would take them in.


Some, cleverly or naively, pretend to leave their options open. Such stance makes certain quarters feel jittery given that whatever their chosen bet decides, will certainly affect their own political plans.


This holds true to 2nd District Congressman L-Ray Villfuerte and former 1st District Representative Rolando Andaya Jr. In L-Ray’s case it is obvious that he is desirous that Vice President Leni Robredo runs for president, not without ulterior motive, so that their political aspirations may turn into a walk in the park.


This also means an easier congressional fight for him in the 2nd District and for Migz Villafuerte in the 5th District. L-Ray’s assurance that he will provide unconditional support to Mrs. Robredo’s presidential bid is highly doubtful. Andaya’s supposed massive support to V P Leni is also not with crystal clear intention or motivation. Note that he is publicly endorsing the presidential bid of presidential daughter and incumbent Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.


By endorsing VP Leni for governor, Andaya is masterfully clearing the way for Sara’s presidential ambition. Neither L-Ray nor Andaya are with clean hands. For this reason the electorate has this early to be very cautious in taking sides with either camp. Their loyalty is punctuated with a very large question mark .


Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda is at it again. At the moment he professes support for Inday Sara. His words however cannot be relied upon. It is therefore more practical to take his pronouncement with a grain of salt.


In this regard, Salceda needs to be reminded that two major infrastructure projects in the region which were already at the pre-implementation stage before President Duterte started his term, remain until now unrealized. They are the Bicol International Airport located right inside Daraga town that forms part of Salceda’s district and the Philippine National Railways.


The Albay solon should have realized now that his penchant for playing patintero or solitaire does not bode well for the region. In fact he does not seem to be taken seriously by his peers in the higher echelon of political leadership nationwide.


Locally, certain personalities who have reached the stage of political irrelevance are now itching to reacquire political significance. Take the case for example of former governor and congressman Luis R. Villafuerte who must admit that he is, with all due respect, already a super senior citizen and must have learned lesson from a series of political debacles.


Yet, here he is playing a political gambit slyly. If the story of twice defeated mayoral aspirant Tato Mendoza has to be believed, the old man, before endorsing incumbent Naga City Mayor Nelson Legacion, had previously talked to Tato Mendoza who claims the former invited the latter to a political group , the identity of which is strangely absent.


Mendoza claims that he politely rejected LRV’s invitation, because he wants to remain independent. According to him the former master tactician probably decided to endorse Legacion after Tato rejected his offer.


Tato even revealed that he asked LRV what benefits would bring him anyway once he decides to join the Grand Old Man. The latter offered none but cited the prospects that some politicians aspiring for national positions might deliver campaign funds, which would probably entitle Mendoza to a share. Everybody is playing a political gambit.