DAVSUR 2019: IF BATO RUNS, CAGAS NOT SEEKING REELECTION
By ROGER M. BALANZA
Davao del Sur’s Governor Douglas Cagas is not seeking reelection in the 2019 mid-term election if former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa runs for governor.
Dela Rosa, himself, said this in an interview Tuesday morning in ABS/CBN-Davao’s DxAB “Banat” program of anchorman Jun Bersamin.
The former PNP top honcho who now heads the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), said he personally met with Cagas to tell him about his political plan.
“Dili na lang daw siya modagan kung modagan ko pagka-gobernador, “ dela Rosa told Bersamin. But dela Rosa did not say when or where the meeting took place.
Dela Rosa’s name has surfaced as a possible candidate for the province’s top posts even as Cagas is reported to be warming up for the race for governor against outgoing Digos City Mayor Joseph Penas.
Dela Rosa said the governor told him he would look for “other options” if he (dela Rosa) takes a crack at the governorship.
Dela Rosa, however, told Bersamin his final political decision would be based on the wish of President Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte has expressed openness and support for dela Rosa, and SAP Bong Go, if they decide to run for senator.
Depende kay President, kung governor o senador, he said.
Dela Rosa’s name has also emerged high in surveys on potential candidate for senator conducted by the Social Weather Station and Pulse Asia.
But in the Bersamin interview, dela Rosa appears more inclined to run for governor.
I want to help my province in the best way I can, he said.
Dela Rosa is from Barangay Bato in Sta, Cruz town of Davao del Sur.
As one of President Duterte’s most trusted adjutants, dela Rosa, if he runs for governor, was expected to be supported not only by the President but also by the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP), a regional party organized by presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
HnP was founded by Inday Sara together with the governors of the Davao Region, except Cagas.
Dela Rosa told Bersamin that he had also talked with the Bautistas who vowed to support his gubernatorial bid.
The Bautista clan is headed by Governor Claude Bautista of Davao Occidental, one of the founders of the HnP.
Cagas and Bautista families were for decades in stiff competition over Davao del Sur politics but the rivalry simmered down following the creation of Davao Occidental, the Davao Region’s fifth province.
Old political wounds were expected to resurface if dela Rosa runs for governor with the support of the Bautistas against Cagas.