04 May 2007

Power outages: shape of things to come?

THESE intermittent brownouts are not funny anymore. Early today, an outage that lasted more than an hour greeted Naga and visiting former President Cory Aquino, who is on town to boost the candidacy of Sabas 'Abang' Mabulo in the first congressional district. Last night, power also went out from about 6-8 pm.

Of course, the extraordinarily hot weather might be a culprit but a number of people I met have already asked: is this a conditioning of sorts so that a power outage on May 14, especially when ballots are being counted, becomes par for the course?

Reactions to my previous post came swiftly.

Rizaldy Manrique, for instance, preaches vigilance here, clarifying at the same time that the Comelec en banc still needs to affirm the controversial decision reached by its division. Cris Jugo hopes the people of Naga would not take this lying down. Dave Oliva sees a Star Wars-like good-versus-evil battle shaping up, and offers a timely Yoda quote. Schumey sees it as another proof for his post on the Unfair Elections Act of 2007.

Last night, I also received info from a Manila-based contact that a Comelec spokesman denied that a decision has been made on the Robredo disqualification case. Early this morning, however, in an interview over RMN-DWNX, the mayor clearly cited a decision, where Commissioners Brawner and Ferrer were said to have admitted they were Rep. Luis R. Villafuerte's classmates -- for which the mayor's legal team sought their inhibition, albeit unsuccessfully.

Cebu and Manila-based Rene Sanapo also called me up to confirm the news, and couldn't reconcile with the decision that essentially says that Robredo -- whom he worked with since the early '90s when his mayor, Tommy Osmeña, was still president of the League of Cities of the Philippines -- is a chinese citizen.

Former congressman Sulpicio "Cho" Roco, Jr., who is contesting Villafuerte's bid to become the first successful reelectionist congressman of the 2nd district after EDSA '86, branded the development as "kausmakan" (a Bicol term for vulgarity with unhygienic connotations) being perpetrated by his opponent.

But what I think summed everything up is a comment made by Architect Juan "Chito" Villegas, the recently retired CPDO head of Naga, who dropped by this morning. Echoing comments made earlier by irate radio listeners, he said the issue has suddenly acquired a strong emotional dimension that can only be bad for those opposing Robredo. This is a unique case where a popular incumbent has suddenly become an underdog -- double trouble in any Philippine electoral contest. And I feel a voters' resbak is in the works.

Rizaldy is correct: vigilance has become paramount in these most interesting of times.

2 comments:

dave said...

Haha you preferred the Yoda-like quote? I personally like the second one, "babangon ang huling patak ng dugo." Though I think it should be attributed to Bong Villafuerte. Are Bong and Jojo one and the same person? I'm not sure, howell, I've been away for too long.

mschumey07 said...

It seems that the brownouts is a way of conditioning the people's mind. The regularity and timing runs smack on the time of counting.

I saw Mayor Robredo on TV yesterday. He finds the decision absurd, and so do I.