THE DURIAN BEAT: Inday Sara Wing versus Alvarez Wing in 2019
Alvarez Wing sinking way, way ahead of the 2019 election
BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Politicians planning to run in the 2019 mid-term elections suffer from delusion and are holding empty bags if they think they are hitting a jackpot in House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez promising full support of the administration Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
Alvarez, the secretary general of the party of President Rodrigo Duterte, has been going around the country in a massive recruitment binge, promising heaven and earth and financial support of the PDP-Laban to politicians eyeing seats in next year’s mid-term election.
In his Davao del Norte home base where he would be seeking reelection as congressman of the First District, Alvarez has started organizing what is now called as the “PDP-Laban Alvarez Wing” for the upcoming mid-term election.
FLASHBACK: Alvarez first won a seat in Congress in 1998 and was a sitting congressman when he was plucked out by President Arroyo to be the transport secretary of her administration where Alvarez was linked to a controversial multi-million peso contract in the Manila airport development.
After Arroyo exited, Alvarez returned to Davao del Norte and lost twice in his bid to recapture the First District congressional seat.
In 2016, he run again for Congress at the same time hitching a ride on the Duterte for president bandwagon of which his long-time friend and political ally Second District Congressman Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo, Jr. was a major financial contributor. Floirendo is said to have also funded Alvarez’s congressional run and helped him win the election to rise up from his political grave sealed by two previous electoral debacles. Floirendo is said to have also lobbied hard with President Duterte for Alvarez to be the House Speaker.
You cannot fault Alvarez if today he acts like he is the political kingpin of Davao del Norte. After all, as Speaker of the House of Representatives, he is the No. 4 most powerful man in the country.
Alvarez, indeed, has a gone a long way, since winning in the 2016 election.
But Alvarez has a problem. The speakership has made him power-drunk.
We will not say that Alvarez is a snake in the grass but you be the judge.
Today, by his body language and public pronouncements, Alvarez’s fangs are on the attack biting the hand that helped him rise from the grave.
He is forming a line-up that would battle it out against the camp of Floirendo, his erstwhile benefactor, and his cousin Governor Anthony “AGR” del Rosario and his father former governor Rodolfo “Dolfo” del Rosario.
Long before Alvarez, the Floirendos and the del Rosarios were already considered as the political kingpins of Davao del Norte. Their influence are also deeply felt in the local economy through the Floirendo-owned Tagum Agricultural Development Company (Tadeco), one of the province’s biggest employer and tax payer.
Before the 2016 election, where he was helped by Floirendo win as congressman, Alvarez was an inconsequential dot in the Davao del Norte political landscape.
Alvarez as a two-year congressman against the 50-year legacy of the Floirendo-Del Rosario tandem?
There are no windmills in Davao del Norte but Don Quixote is alive in the Speaker.
With the established political machinery of the Floirendo-Del Rosario combine and the loyal politicians that gravitated around them for decades, we can imagine what a formidable political force Alvarez would be up against in 2019.
Adding to the woes of Alvarez would be Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Alvarez has created a Damocles Sword hanging over his head by picking a fight with the presidential daughter.
If you want to visualize what kind of war Alvarez, and his “PDP-Laban Alvarez Wing” would be facing in 2019, take a cue from how Inday Sara called Alvarez: an asshole and a liability to the Duterte administration.
On top of that mouthful of verbal dung, Inday Sara also vowed to campaign against Alvarez’s reelection.
Inday Sara went ballistic against Alvarez after the Speaker described as an opposition party the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP), a regional party that she organized together with the five governors of the Davao Region.
Reports have it that Inday Sara will also organize a region-wide slate of the HnP, that would battle it out with the PDP-Laban Alvarez Wing.
At this point in time, it would be premature, if not preposterous, for Alvarez to say that the PDP-Laban Alvarez Wing would be the official slate of the PDP-Laban come 2019.
For all his braggadocio, Alvarez is not the PDP-Laban and cannot impose his will on the party. The PDP-Laban Alvarez Wing may all be a dream to be thrown out as unauthorized and unrecognized by the PDP-Laban central committee.
Our fertile imagination foretells hell for Alvarez and his Alvarez wing in the 2019 Davao del Norte election.
At the launch of HnP. Inday Sara said that HnP is only a regional party and members are free to join any national party, that should include PDP-Laban.
Which brings us to another scenario: HnP can align itself with PDP-Laban to create another political animal – PDP-Laban HnP Wing or the PDP-Laban Inday Sara Wing.
Faced with this dilemma, can Alvarez muscle President Duterte and PDP-Laban to outlaw the Inday Sara wing and force the party to recognize only his PDP-Laban Alvarez Wing line-up as the official slate of the party?
If you were President Duterte, which would you choose: the Alvarez Wing or the HnP Wing? Going farther, if you were President Duterte, who would you choose, your daughter or an asshole?
The first thing to do when a ship is sinking is to abandon ship and jump.
My advice to politicians fooled by the Speaker’s promises of support from PDP/Laban is to jump now, before it is too late.
The Alvarez ship — PDP/Laban Alvarez Wing — is sinking way, way ahead of the 2019 election.