19 May 2007

'Somos' latest failed stab

PCIJ'S Alecks Pabico has the lowdown on how Mayor Robredo's Team Naga was finally proclaimed at around 1 am this morning, after a platoon of PNP Regional Mobile Group members suddenly grew to three truckloads yesterday afternoon.

Towards the right flank of the main City Hall building up to the fence, infront of the Sangguniang Panlungsod session hall where canvassing is taking place, placard-bearing partisans of losing Kampi mayoralty bet Jojo Villafuerte suddenly appeared by noontime yesterday.

When I did a quick round of the grounds, I saw losing Kampi sanggunian bet Emilio Aguinaldo, who has made a career of filing cases against Robredo after joining the Villafuertes, herding their partisans, whose placards contained the same tired issues raised by Jojo during the campaign, which the electorate soundly rejected last May 14 by a 37,000-11,000 vote.

Bicol Mail columnist Joaquin Perez, who has no love lost for Robredo, in fact castigated Jojo's camp for raising the citizenship issue, which only served to galvanize the voters and propel the "ubos kun ubos" administration ticket to its sixth straight win.

The Robredo faithfuls, on the other hand, positioned themselves towards the left flank, away from the fence and nearer to the main building and its left wing entrance. Three karaoke machines helped ease the tension the whole afternoon, with clueless RMG personnel even chuckling whenever a karaoke singer misses a note. Why, Helen, one of our CPDO staff, even reported that some of our UBC guests danced to some of the tunes on the way back to the hotel after wrapping up data gathering for their research!

At around 8:30 last night, I called up Lito del Rosario, chief of the Public Safety Office, to confirm Manolo's text message about the arrival of PNP riot policemen. His reply was quick and terse: "Tension was running high because of the development."

Before I left City Hall at around 6:30 pm, some of those preparing for the night vigil told me it was down to one single election return being contested by both camps, from 16 early in the day. As one of the many who are plainly getting annoyed by stunts being pulled off by the Kampi legal team and their loyalists in the board of canvassers, I though it was in line with expectations that everything is finally coming to a close; that was my exact sentiment when I replied to this anonymous comment asking for updates on the Naga canvass.

I can only surmise that when I called up Lito, the Kampi contingent has started to play out their last card: a petition seeking to postpone Robredo's proclamation until his disqualification case on the issue of his citizenship has been resolved by the poll body.

Fortunately, Comelec city registrar Maico Julia, a young stocky lawyer with a deceivingly gentle demeanor, firmly stood his ground against the Villafuerte loyalists in the canvassers' board. By walking out of the proceedings, Romeo Tayo -- the city prosecutor who sought reelection as city councilor, and lost all other attempts, under the Villafuerte ticket in 1992 and thereafter -- and Evangeline Palencia -- the new acting DepEd superintendent whose transfer to Naga in the middle of the local electoral campaign was engineered with Secretary Lapus's blessing -- finally laid bare their true colors.

I will not be surprised if Attorney Julia makes good on his word to retire from the Comelec in the aftermath of this tortuous journey: some Kampi overlords are certainly gnashing their teeth over their latest failed stab in Naga City.


baycas2 said...


looking forward to comelec en banc's reversal of the brawner doctrine...

everyone's got to rest...

Willy B. Prilles, Jr. said...

I assumed, wrongly, that Team Naga's landslide victory was the end of it, hoping that the Kampi slate would heed the electors decision with grace, and their dignity intact. Thus, the "getting on with life" mode right after the counting.

But to my mind, the succeeding events showed that (1) there was a script in place, starting with the resurrection of the citizenship case, and (2) even if certain assumptions under the script did not come to be, they had to give it another go, probably because of the fear of losing face.

It defies rationality, but then, to borrow Maryanne Moll's, ours is cuckoo country.