Early politicking | The Daily Guardian


IT IS often said that the early bird catches the worm. What is not asked is what happened to the worm for being early. It is truly said that advice of this nature often does not see the other side.

Politicians are learning to see the two sides of this early-bird, early worm syndrome. So now while most people are concerned about their daily lives, politicians and their propagandists are busy with politicking. The early worm got picked, beaten with hammer and tongs in nightly radio commentaries.

The only one so far left practically untouched by negative comment is Rep. Alfredo Benitez. He is being floated to be a candidate for senator in 2019. He admitted that he is offered a slate in the present administration’s senatorial ticket and is inclined to accept. Governor Alfredo Marañon immediately expressed his support.

The governor who is ending his full nine-year term still carries a lot of political clout so that his endorsement is a boon to Benitez’ quest. With that Occidental Negros will, in all probability, solidly rally behind the congressman’s candidacy.

There is much bases to support the man. It has always been argued that Occidental Negros lags behind Iloilo because we do not have a senator from this province. This thesis is debatable but it is good political propaganda and in a sense bites with the electorates. We can thus expect that this line of campaign will be pursued to its maximum benefit.

We know for a fact that being a candidate, a native of Negros does not automatically make for the winning. We had candidate Negrosanon candidates but they did not get even close to the winning position.

Last year we had one of the most well-known names on the country’s political landscape and one of the most active in terms of progressive legislation but the local politicians did not rally behind him. Whatever happened to the “he is from Negros” rallying cry?

Congressman Neri Colmenares comes from a family that had served this province long before the Benitez, Bantug and Zubiri families came into the fore. But he was of a different mold and traditional politicians cannot accept anybody than their own kind.

While being “aton” is a plus factor, the voters and political leaders have different parameters in their choice. Cong. Benitez and his leaders should therefore beware from being trapped in this mentality. The point is simply that they should present him to the electorates on his own merits because he has plenty of it and deserves support. But the Philippines is not Negros or the 3rd district. There is much work to be done.

That he is endorsed by the ruling party is no guarantee of victory. That has been proven time and again although that is a plus factor.

Another early bird came into the local media with a lot of bang, but the explosion is not of endorsement but “new revelations”. Don’t ask me what those are but time will tell.

The point at this stage is the report that Cong. Stephen Paduano, party-list member of Congress representing Abang Lingkod, had expressed interest to run for mayor for Bacolod. Anybody can desire to aspire for a higher or a better position. But he made a “slip of the tongue” though we know it is a fact. He was reported saying he would run “if Cong. Benitez will allow him” or words to that effect.

That was a disaster and the local commentators grabbed him by his political neck and lambasted him. He is not his own man, etc. Other expletives need not be written here momentarily. The main thrust of the attacks against him revolves on his “total” dependence on Cong. Benitez. That being the case, will he serve Bacolod or will he be the surrogate or proxy of the congressman? Will he be dependent on the coat tails (or pocket, as one gag intoned) of Cong. Benitez?

There are even questions what his party list is or what it represents or his competence other than being loquacious. Surely he can explain these questions, after all he is an articulate man and he can make a lot of promises.

Most likely there will be barangay elections in October. There are already alignments and realignments to this forerunner of 2019. Will Grupo Progreso take the main bulk of the winners? Early worms and birds are getting into gear.

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