SO FAR there has been no significant movement or activity by any one or any group indicating that this and that person is posturing for candidacy, or a group or groups endorsing certain person to run for any local elective positions. That is, from the position of Congressman, Mayor, Vice Mayor down to councilors in Davao City.

     But we know of course that every aspiring politician is jockeying for endorsement by the political gods who are in complete grip of power in the city. Whoever gets their endorsement is either a shoo-in for inclusion in the ruling party’s line-up. If not, they will be given the authority to carry in their campaign the party that is presently in power. Meaning, these non-anointed candidates, even if they are not in the official line-up, can freely band around that they are with the party and that they could be good alternative to those in the official line-up who do not suit the voters’ taste.

     For the Congressional slots we are certain that only Districts 2 and 3 are likely to be contested. For now though no names have ever been brought to the open for a possible grab at the seat presently held by incumbent Isidro “Sid” Ungab ang Cong. Vincent Garcia. But in the third district though, whoever is entertaining such ambition should better be aware of how strong Ungab has built the foundation of his hold in the district. The very visible projects that Ungab has introduced in his district can very well speak for his strength as a political leader.

     On the other hand, the other district where challengers to its incumbent could be had is the second district. Yes, incumbent Congressman Vincent cannot be doubted as to his sincerity in serving his constituents. He also has several projects that would vouch for his performance. However, taking into consideration the number of years that the second congressional district has been under the hold of the Garcias with only a short interruption during former Congressman Nilo Maskarino’s time, there is no denying the fact that many are hoping a new brand of leadership in the second congressional district will come around. Moreover, a study in the history of the previous political contests in that northern part of the city will show that there were times when the Garcia’s rule was tittering. We do not believe though that these were because of less acceptable performance. Rather, it is our take that the people in the district want some new faces in their midst. They could be hoping for non-traditional projects instead of the usual politically-inspired ones. Times are changing and the needs of the people especially in the rural areas are changing as well.

     Meanwhile, we’d better forget about the positions of Mayor, Vice Mayor, and of course for Congressman in the first district. These are, for the moment, positions that could not be touched by a ten-foot pole or even longer. These positions are kind of “reserved domain” for the incumbents and only a Marcellano or an unknown Duterte namesake would dare challenge.

     What we are keenly looking at though are the slots for the councilors. Those vying for re-election in all the districts definitely have the built-in advantage. Not only that they have cleverly camouflaged their re-election campaigning with their supposed visits and consultations with the people in their district, those in their last term are able to bring their sons or daughters with them for introduction as “heirs-apparent” to the post they will soon vacate. Their ploy? Well, “Ipadayon ang kalamboan nga gihatag  sa inahan o amahan nga kasamtangang konsehal.” Oh, really?

     But wait, who and where are the new potential aspirants for congressman and councilors, specifically for the second and third districts? No new names have cropped up. We can possibly understand their predicament.  The earlier they come out and make their intention known the earlier and the bigger they will be spending for those who will offer their services for his or her run. So they’d rather concentrate on elbowing with the other wannabes for the favor of the local political gods. That way they might think they have a better chance of having their political ROI.

     Now, if we may venture to share our hunch as to who could be entertaining the idea of launching, or is having what it takes to launch a challenge in the second district based on their posturing, we hazard to say that business leader Joji Ilagan Bian is one. Also any one of the Reta’s might have it (plan) too, or one of the better-known families in the district the Bangoys. But as we said earlier these are hunches. It may or may not materialize.

     Meanwhile, in the third district the most likely is any of the former political top guns in the area, the Lopezes. That is, if they still want to do a financially risky political comeback.

     Or, it could be one from the perennial topnotcher family name in the council derby of the third – the Al-ags. or the Santos scion, Kaloy Bello, a former aspirant beaten to the ground by Ungab himself. All they have to do for now is pray that Ungab will have a falling apart with goddess Mayor Sara or get the endorsement of the over-all Gods, President Duterte. At least their chances of overcoming a political tussle with Ungab can be better. But that is of course a very long shot to achieve for the time being. Ungab has not made any sign of doing a Pacquiao.


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