Friday, April 25, 2008

Costly Political War

I should have immediately taken note of yesterday morning's breaking news of http://www.inquirer.net about the diving spree of PGMA in Apo Reef last Thursday, April 24, 2008. It was a day after she went to San Jose, Occidental Mindoro concerning, expectedly, the rice issue that's hounding not just her strong republic but more so the poor Filipinos.
So, what's the news about the president visiting the Apo Reef? Of couse, Apo Reef is famous across the globe as among the most beautiful diving spots.
Actually, it was not that the president took notice of Apo Reef that caught my attention. It was the information based on inquirer.net's breaking news that together with the president aboard the presidential yatch were Rep. Girlie Villarosa and Gov. Nene Sato of Occidental Mindoro. The internet news provider adds that the reason for the two political stalwarts' unusual getting together was to mend their fences.
In the first election that Gov. Nene Sato participated in, she ran as vice governor to the husband of Rep. Girlie Villarosa. Until... well, the more-seasoned politicians and "feeling-close-to-the-politicians" in the province could tell us more about how the two politicians started to part ways.
In 2001, Occidental Mindoro saw the head-on meeting of Sato and Villarosa for governorship -- which the latter miserably lost, and during which the former nearly met her death not once but twice.
I could only suppose that the ensuing political war between their two camps has been taking its toll on both of them. I mean, individually. Villarosa's murder case, as reasoned by the Quintoses, was politically motivated. Sato, for her part, had to endure a couple of ambushes. On the level of the personal, their political war has threatened and in fact grossly affected already the personal integrity of both.
I can only imagine the anguish of a man behind bars, and the fear that is known to anyone who had to crawl -- literally -- for cover as live bullets were very narrowly missing her head.
And, ... well, the president of the Philippines was reportedly trying to reconcile the two..
I would like to put forward that the costliness of their political feud is not limited to their personal or individual spheres. It spills over and drowns the province, actually. And it is the people of Occidental Mindoro who suffer more than they -- individually -- do.
While this is debatable, I would like to say that partly their political war is the reason for the absence of a long-term governance plan for Occidental Mindoro. The plan of action of the Capitol is dependent on who sits as the governor. Anyone who wins the election is expected to begin from the scratch as he/she would refuse to build on his/her predecessor's gains (and follies) and as the loser scrambles also to tear down what he/she has built on ensuring that his/her successor could have a rather late start.
If sustainable plan for governance is too abstract as a topic, let us take the case of the Capitol employees. Their's is definitely a more existential proof of my point. After every elections in Occidental Mindoro, the succeeding news to hear is about who's in and who's out in the Capitol. Casual employees are replaced, and even career employees are "floated".
Still, this is just the tip of the real effect on the people. The most crucible thing to happen to the people of Occidental Mindoro as a result of this political war is very poor service.
Occidental Mindoro is more than half-a-century old as a province; and yet the more than 200 kilometers highway from the northmost tip to the southmost municipality of Occidental Mindoro is still rough road. And this is very telling.
In the end, I can only await the outcome of the PGMA-arbitrated reconciliation between Villarosa and Sato. For one, it likewise tells that politicking in Occidental Mindoro (which is the microcosm of Philippine politics) is patronage, and is divorced from the real political animals -- the people.

6 comments:

Sacrum facere said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sacrum facere said...

nadale mo. yan talaga ang dahilan kung bakit ang nagbibiyahe sa pampublikong sasakyan mula san jose hanggang abra de ilog (o vice versa) ay parang kinalog na duhat ang pakiramdam pagdating sa hantungan. pati buntis ay delikadong mapaanak. tsk tsk tsk. half a century of rough roads = half a century of bad governance.
sana nga ay may maidulot na pagmumulat na hahantong sa pagbabago ang blog mong ito.
padayon, para sa ikasusulong ng occidental mindoro.

DIDASKALOS said...

Some time ago, a newspaper article was written on why Oriental Mindoro is more developed than Occidental Mindoro. The gist of the article points to just one explanation -- though incomplete -- that is, there is less politicking in the East of the island.

Richard the Adventurer said...

Yeah tama ka...

Buti walang nananakot sa iyo sa pagsusulat mo ng ganito??

Kasi ako sa Paluan... Naging controversial ang "Why I Sometimes Hate Paluan" post ko na ikinagalit ng maraming pulitiko... Pati na 'yung sa Imbestigador Issue na pang-aabuso ng mga Mangyans...

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lifeline said...

ha ha ha! great! It feels tooo good to laugh.... Thanks DIDASKALOS. At least I learned that the article were read.
Mga "sandugo", are you aware of Peter Alfaro and Randy Ignacio's situation? I can not imagine how a peace loving people like them would end up in jail. Politics? Sure, what else?