Strange Bedfellows

Finally the presidential race is clearer with the announcement of Senator Grace Poe and SenatorFrancis Escudero last week of their intention of taking over the reins of power in Malacañang. This brings to three the number of candidates who will be vying for the votes of the Filipinos in the 2016 national elections.

How will this impact the local elections especially in Palawan? Will incumbent officials join the bandwagon and join Poe possibly in a Nationalist People’s Coalition- led political aggrupation?

Many local officials in Palawan are with the ruling Liberal Party. But local politics have a different dynamics depending on the localities, interests and personalities involved.

A classic example is Palawan. Governor Jose Chavez-Alvarez is LP but his bitter rivals the Hagedorn’s and Baham Mitra, are also LP. During the recall elections last June, JCA supported Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Bayron, who is with the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice President Jejomar Binay and a bitter rival of former Mayor Edward Hagedorn.  Mitra is the LP provincial chairman but he is not in good terms with JCA.

JCA leads a local party the Partidong Pagbabago ng Palawan (PPP). Most of the mayors in the province are also with PPP.

As one governor said “all politics are local” and “politics is addition.” With the recent events in the national political scene and with barely a month before the filing of candidacies, more calisthenics will still happen, it is still “fluid.”

We may still see scenarios with “strange bedfellows.” where once rivals are not party mates and once allies are the fiercest rivals. Another much abused political cliché here, “In politics, there are no permanent enemies and friends, only permanent interests.”

Right now, politics is like the Aldub phenomenon. Its “nakakakilig”because you know what will happen next in the story line.


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