It’s election season in the country once again. Let’s glance at certain areas of the benighted island of Palawan and the sordid cast of characters that want to run for office so they can lord it over the province.
For governor, the tree-hacking JC Alvarez with his billions of pesos, and the bumbling incumbent governor Baham Mitra are at it again. Three years ago, despite JCA’s millions, he lost miserably to Mitra, and his mayor allies, including Narra’s Clarito Demaala, went around their areas scolding their constituents for not voting for JCA. What arrogant bastards! Mitra may not be the cream of the crop---neither was his father, by the way, if one were to believe many Palawenos---but what worries me is that this early in the season JCA is showing the kind of abusive streak that only a megalomaniac despot who thinks he can buy everyone and everything can have. If this is how JCA behaves when he’s not in office, what more if and when he becomes governor!
By the way, though it was an unfortunate idea to lump Hagedornia—er, Puerto Princesa---and Aborlan into one congressional district, it was almost bound to happen. After all, the bigwigs over there are political allies, what with the Hagedorns in the Puerto and Jaime Ortega as the chief honcho in Aborlan---yes, the same political Ortegas to which the late Gerry Ortega belonged---see, I told you guys he wasn’t no frickin’ journalist---and with the logging baron JC Alvarez, and the faraway Quezon City-based Gina Lopez of ABS-CBN serving as Godfather and Godmother respectively---maybe the two of them should marry---why not join their respective areas as well as their respective forces?
At this juncture, let me freely admit I was wrong on one aspect. Two years ago, I was dead sure Hagedorn was gunning for governor of Palawan (see my March 7, 2011 post). Subsequent events since then have disproven my belief. But all things considered, the only reason Hagedorn didn’t run for governor was because someone bigger, badder and RICHER than Hagedorn---indeed, one of his biggest political backers---decided to go for the post himself.
To my eternal joy, this left Hagedorn struggling to run for, of all things, a national office as a senator of this miserable Republic, where he hasn’t got a snowball’s chance in hell. Looks like he’ll be cooling his heels in the Puerto for the next three years---if he lives that long.
But is that the end for Ed Hagedorn’s misbegotten political life? Of course not! For in the Hagedorn clan’s personal kingdom of Puerto Princesa City, soon to be known as Hagedornia, his wife Ellen is running for mayor against his brother-in-law, and his nephew Mark is running for vice mayor. His brother Douglas is going for congressman in that new third district of Palawan. All of them are under the banner of Danding Cojuangco’s Nationalist People’s Coalition. It seems birds of the same feather flock together.
In keeping with traditional Pinoy politics, Hagedorn’s wife Ellen, once elected mayor, will be keeping this seat warm for him until he can run for mayor again in 2016. For his sake, let’s hope the mayor’s seat isn’t the only thing his wife will be keeping warm for him in his old age.
Hagedorn will most likely be mayor of the Puerto until he’s so old and senile that they will have to dismantle the armrests from his mayor’s seat so they can change his diapers.
In any case, Puerto Princesa will be firmly in the grasping fingers of the Hagedorns for a long time to come. So much for any hope of redemption for Puerto Princesa City and its gullible inhabitants.
Now to the dysfunctional and backward town of Aborlan, which doesn’t seem to like any step toward progress. In a quaint way that would be nice, if only the town fathers would pay more attention to the town’s seemingly deliberate lack of basic facilities---something which its neighbor Narra doesn’t seem to suffer from, so distance from the main city of Puerto is no excuse for lack of progress.
Under the leadership of incumbent mayor Jimmy Ortega, the Ortega clan will duke it out against the rival Peneyra clan under Bobby Peneyra. I must confess I’m rather partial to the Peneyras since I used to know a woman Peneyra, who was unusually devoid of any airs and arrogance for a daughter of the then mayor of Aborlan. (Coincidentally, so was her father the mayor, whom I met once.) Besides, I’m so sick and tired of the Ortegas, and their cohorts the Hagedorns, Alvarezes and Gina Lopez figuratively carrying the corpse of the murdered Gerry Ortega, that I do hope there will be a change of administration in Aborlan, so that the town can carry on being quaint and old-fashioned.
Finally, there’s the progressive little town of Narra, which is nice and clean, and would be better still if they could only get rid of the perennial Demaala husband and wife tag team from the mayor’s office.
There seems little hope of that this 2013, what with Lucy Demaala once again poised to warm the mayor’s seat for her husband. The couple have been switching the mayor’s seat between themselves since time immemorial, and their main rival Omar Miguel, though backed by the President’s Liberal Party, may not command enough guns, goons and gold to wrest the Narra mayorship away from the conjugal dictatorship.
Clarito Demaala Jr. is DEFINITELY unfit for mayor of Narra, Palawan. He is the only mayor I have ever seen publicly browbeat, bully and scold his constituents because they did not vote for JC Alvarez as governor in the last elections. He did so in a large billboard (paid with his constituents’ money, no doubt) placed at the South Road-Panacan Pier intersection. This is definitely NOT the way a servant of the people should act. Clarito Demaala thinks he is the strongman of Narra, and thus his place in this world is where all strongmen like Hitler, Mussolini and Marcos should be---in the dustbin of history.
Take a good look at these pictures, citizens of Narra, Palawan. Would you vote for a man who, when he was mayor of Narra, talked to his constituents, the good people of Narra in this abusive, condescending and arrogant way?
He said " Ngayon, gusto mo bang magkaproblema?" E ano ngayon, ha? Porke ba naging mayor ka lang, ang yabang mo nang magsalita, lalu na sa mga kababayan mong naglagay sa iyo sa pwesto?
At porke lang ba na hindi sumunod sa iyo ang mga kababayan mo sa kagustuhan mong maiboto si JCA bilang gobernador, lalait-laitin mo na sila at susumbatan sa billboard mo?
Sabi mo, tutal naman dahil sa hindi nyo ibinoto si JC Alvarez, e di kay Baham Mitra niyo hanapin lahat ng benepisyong ibibigay sana ni Alvarez. E kung hindi ka pala naman g___, kaya ka nga ibinoto sa pwesto, e. Ke sinong nakaupong gobernador, trabaho mo bilang mayor na magdala ka nang ganansiya sa mga kababayan mo sa Narra.
Alam mo, Mr. Mayor Clarito Demaala, ikaw ay bastos, arrogante, at walang utang na loob sa mga mamamayan ng Narra. Sana matalo ka at iyong asawa sa eleksiyon na ito.