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A matter of survival

By: Ricky Poca August 30,2015 - 02:04 PM

The  political developments in the Liberal Party in Cebu province are getting more interesting especially in the  first district.

In his  recent visit to Cebu, Interior Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas was believed by some quarters to have  declared his support for Rep.  Samsam Gullas of Alayon as district chairman,  displacing a loyal LP leader, San Fernando Mayor Abe Canoy.

Based on Roxas’ body language, it was not difficult  to see  that the Liberal Party would end up supporting  the  plan of  former congressman Eduardo Gullas of Alayon  to run for Talisay city mayor, thereby  displacing   loyal LP  members  Mayor JVR and Vice Mayor Romeo Villarante.

Both JVR and Villarante already  announced their  intention to run for the Talisay mayorship next year. The political situation in Cebu’s first district  is going to be a headache for the Liberals.  The way I see it, there will be a breakup  in the first district because the recent development has resulted in some disgruntled members.

Gov. Junjun Davide  is placed in a difficult spot as he is  challenged to resolve the problem as  LP  Cebu province chairman.

Apparently, loyalty to the party has not been given a premium by the party leadership.  This  happened before when the party chose to support in Danao City’s mayoral race, Ramonito Durano of Bakkud instead of Don Durano, a loyal LP member.  Lito Durano was not even a member of the Liberal Party.

The same thing happened in Cebu City when LP  junked a registered member,  Mayor Mike Rama, in favor of former congressman Tommy Osmeña in the 2013 election.  The  rest is history.

I think the party places a premium on political survival in choosing the candidates it will  support.

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Customs Commissioner Bert Lina has implemented a new policy that requires  all balikbayan boxes of  Filipinos abroad to be opened for inspection for possible smuggled drugs and other contraband.

The policy  drew  a lot of criticisms from OFWs around  the world. After some legislators criticized it as well, President Aquino stepped in and directed  Commissioner Lina not to open the boxes.

Lina modified his policy by ordering that all balikbayan boxes go through the x-ray machines and if there are suspicious items, the  box should be opened.

Many Filipinos are against the opening of the boxes because they worry  that the Bureau of Customs would pilfer the contents. With due respect to the Customs Bureau, it has no track record of honesty especially when it comes to big-time smuggling.  People can’t understand  why the bureau is after balikbayan boxes packed with stuff bought with the   hard-earned money of  Filipinos abroad for their loved ones when the bureau can’t stop  massive smuggling in our country. Go after the  smugglers and leave the balikbayan boxes alone.

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I am hoping  Cebu doesn’t suffer the same  traffic chaos  in Metro Manila which  has  gone  from bad to worst.  The numerous flyovers there haven’t  helped ease traffic congestion.

I hope the bill proposing a Metro Cebu Development Authority authored by Rep. Luigi Quisumbing gets passed into law.  This would help local government units in Metro Cebu to work together, coordinate and come up with effective strategies to address traffic problems in Metro Cebu.

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TAGS: DILG, governance, politics

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