Sunday, May 5, 2013

Iligan's Political Landscape for the May 2013 Elections

Election season is hot season. Summer's heat adds the real heat while the election campaigns add the wavering temperatures that spice up the discussions for the local election.

Among the positions up for grabs this election is the ever contested mayoralty seat of the city. With an incumbent administration plagued with issues regarding Sendong related cash donations from all over the world, it is also plagued with a startling challenge from the opposition ranging from the former mayor running back to the post and a newcomer in the former police director who aims to discipline this city from the ever vices that is happening around. As elections is nearing the home-stretch, the heated arguments are getting hotter, the mudslinging is getting stickier, and, the issues thrown are getting bolder.

In this hotly contested time, I think it is rightful to interact about the ranging issues behind these candidates that are aiming for positions in the city. I shall be going up mainly for the mayoralty seat since this is where the main battle is going on. For the congressional seat, I don't think there is a hotly contested issue here since there is no tight contender that can go against the lone district congressman citing his political machinery, grasp of project related activities and the advantage of the CDF (pork barrel).

Why the mayoralty seat, and not the congressional seat or the council? Because in the mayoralty seat is where the executive is, to see where the city is going: in re-electing incumbent leader, a former mayor and a new comer former police director. Not only that, the position is hotly contested because the congressional seat being with Varf Belmonte is nearing its "homestretch". If he may win this term as his 2nd, he will have a hard time when he graduates in his 3rd term as a "switch" or "swap", that is, a switch or swap for his party with him running for congress in transition to run as the city's next mayor so that his co-party mates can run up for the the lone district congressional seat. Which means, his future career as a coming back congressman after the 3rd term will be depending on how his colleague fares in the mayoralty seat who is the head of the Chinese Chamber of Iligan, the current vice-mayor, Henry Dy.

Henry Dy

As he is the current vice mayor of the city, under the leadership of Mayor Lawrence Cruz, Dy is the heir to the throne if we talk about the Liberal Party. It can be remembered that they were members of the opposition party together with the congressman against Arroyo's administration ticket. Being the same party members, this group jumped from one ticket to another, depending on where the spoon is, joining the bandwagon to where the advantage is. Well, the reality in local politics, where the big chunk of the budget is, join to your advantage which also shows why our place is dealing with the most sloppy of all leadership among the LGUs here in Mindanao if not the whole country. Back to Henry Dy, he is dubbed as the "schoolbuilder", in fact I have seen these school buildings he put together with the Chinese Chamber not so many in numbers but they were a quite help for our schools lacking rooms. But I have to take note that not all schools need buildings, they need more teachers, books, and technology. On an education related field studies, since we had three, we observed that some buildings where of no use. There is no lack of students but lack of manpower and adequate materials. I commend Dy for his dedication to this post from 2004, he has been more open as far as talking is concerned and his command in English is improving over the years. But I have to zero in to his ability to lead. As he is packed with "advises", I would have to see how he leads with his own idea despite being the presiding officer of our Sangguniang Panglungsod--that is to address every necessary problem of the city without needing to listen to anyone, or read a script to answer all the queries. The only minus about Henry Dy is his inability to touch the hearts of the masses and the administration scandal about Sendong Funds especially that a case was already filed against them in the Ombudsman. There were past comments of his not so open gestures in the halls of the city government down to his own personal home.

Franklin M. Quijano

When Franklin won as mayor in 1998, I have to say that our family was for former Mayor Alejo YaƱez and in 2004, I went as one of Lawrence Cruz campaigners. But despite being him against to whom we supported, I have to commend also Quijano because during his time as mayor, I was very "laag" and roamed around the city to the wee-hours of the morning. His men roamed as special task force to go against people who may have knives or firearms with them. People could see the dedication to the city's security and discipline among all levels of the city government. We go separate ways with my mom who works for the city government because she is for the administration while I go on another. This one here is one of those whom I can think of can lead the city very well--with good experience, grasp of know-how, and good command of rules and regulations--as far as making rules work, making memorandum run in their true form.

Col. Celso G. Regencia

When I heard of a police director wanting to run as mayor leaving his post as a colonel in the police force, I said, that man has good determination. If one leaves a position that has high pay not to mention, one no longer needs to go to the first line to deliver his job, so, it is a very risky choice to leave behind a career in the police force with a high position. In the field of the political arena, as far as Iligan is put into scope, there is always backlash in everything for Col. Regencia. One, he is referred as a non-Iliganon although Quijano was also referred to as in 2004. Two, his experience in the political arena is nil (zero). Three, his up and coming leadership is dubbed as "the next Mayor Duterte of Davao" which to some groups is very much against the acts of a peace and orderly civilization. Plus, the human rights would greatly go against this kind of leadership. But his advantage is being able to carry cudgels of his leadership as a former police director, his tactical knowledge of being a special force leader would be used as far as the decisiveness  in the intricate organization of the government system. I just hope he has the organizational skills to enact policies in the city hall and the real grasp of dedication to eradicate vices in the city.

Who among who?

I would say my choice is on the tip of my pen. I give former Franklin Quijano an edge in leadership versus Dy and Regencia. Plus the advantage of the former mayor is that he already have the experience in leading the city. On the other hand, In dedication to his promise in his platform, I give Quijano and Regencia good edge over Dy. And in view of the ability to grasp among business-groups, I have to give Dy and advantage although I can see Quijano and Regencia can do that as well. Whoever you will choose, there is such as thing as a winner. I hope in the coming elections, we will vote to our conscience and when the election ends, we go back to zero and work as one--to help our city back from the ruins.

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