FINALLY the winning candidates for councilors in the three districts of Davao City have taken their oath of office. All of them have sworn to abide by the duties and responsibilities attendant to the position they are elected. We can only hope they can make good their commitment and not fall into the temptations normally present when one is in such a lofty and influential position in government.

A portion of the message of President Rodrigo Duterte to the new councilors detailing his frustration when he was still mayor of the city should serve as a timely reminder of the members of the incoming council. The President made mention of a previous council way back that had among its members a few “manigbasay.” Good thing that he sees the incoming Sangguniang membership as having none of those.

The word “manigbasay” used by the President to describe the said councilors is quite clear as to its literal meaning.  But to apply the same to members of the august body in the local government whose actions create an image for the body, or become part of the policies of the city, is something that connote extremely obnoxious meaning.

As a long time media practitioner in Davao City and having covered the City Council during those times speculations flew far and wide as to the identities of the ones who were described by President Duterte who was then mayor of the city.

The outgoing President expressed his elation that they were not anymore around and that he feels none of the newly elected ones will ever attempt to duplicate their style.

We hope they will.


Incoming Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio recently bade goodbye to her constituent-audience in her television program as she said she will be most of the time in the National Capital Region where she will be holding office as VP and as Secretary of the Department of Education at the same time. The outgoing mayor thanked her viewers for their support. She said her television program allowed her to reach out to the audience despite the restrictions brought about by the already more than two years of the CoViD 19 pandemic. It was through her program that she claimed to have regularly made her report to the people as to what she had been doing, what were done by her as mayor and what still needs to be done.

But even as the outgoing city mayor claims the program will be close at its local or regional level she is looking forward to replicating the same for her VP and DepEd offices because she believes it could be a good platform for connecting regularly with the people.

Yes, we strongly push the incoming Vice President to have such program because by having it she will remain in the consciousness of the Filipinos especially the learners and their families as well as her constituents as Vice President. Sara must make sure that the VP is not just the “President-in-waiting.” Instead she must make it really an important part of national governance and not the top critic of the administration.

And if the VP plays her card well, having a program on television with a national reach will surely be a built-in advantage for her when the next Presidential elections come.


May be now is the opportune time for us to express our personal wish for the councilors of either the second or third district. That is, that they find time to visit the entire expanse of the district they are representing.

We are making this wish because based on what we have personally experienced while working as the community relations man of Davao Light a few years back, and what we have read in the various posts in social media platforms by adventure-seeking bloggers who have trekked even to the remotest of areas in the city, there are still villages mostly in the uplands needing the local government’s attention.

The areas are hardly accessible and those living there, mostly indigenous people, are so impoverished and so much wanting in government attention. Most, if not all, accesses to these areas are far from being considered even a road. They are trails on top of the mountains with both sides having deep ravines.

If at all these areas are reached by adventurous individuals by not walking the treacherous trails these can only be negotiated through single motorbike used as “rural taxis” oftentimes charging the passenger exorbitant fares.

We are hoping that a councilor’s visit to these areas may bring some changes in their communities and subsequently in the lives of the residents.

At their present situation the people residing in those God-forsaken places are so vulnerable to the enticements of other ideologies.



Source: Mindanao Times (