In Davao del Norte, there is no debate over the fact that the Floirendos and the Del Rosarios have strong and unquestionable influence over the province’s political landscape.
The torch of that political dominance — initially given muscle decades ago by the late Don Antonio “White Hair” Floirendo Sr., founder of the giant banana producer and exporter TADECO, and brother-in-law Rodolfo “Dolfo” del Rosario— are being held today by Second District Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr., son of White Hair, and Governor Anthony G. “AGR” del Rosario, son of former governor Dolfo.
Like White Hair and Dolfo, Tonyboy and AGR are today considered as the “political kingpins” of Davao del Norte.
It is a given that, due to their influence and dominance of Davao del Norte’s politics, no one would dare to engage them in a political battle.
Except, House Speaker and First District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.
Alvarez, secretary general of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino/Lakas ng Bayan (PDP/Laban) is challenging that dominance by organizing his own political bloc, Alvarez Wing, for the coming 2019 mid-term election.
He will be defending his reelection against come-backing Dolfo.
Alvarez is also fielding against Tonyboy, Vice Governor Allan Dujali, who like him owed their political life to the Floirendo-Del Rosario combine. Alvarez has broken ties with the Floirendos and Del Rosarios, once his political allies who bankrolled his past electoral battles, and is now fighting his former benefactors.
Without a candidate to pick against AGR, Alvarez is grooming an unknown to battle it out with the governor: Edwin Jubahib.
JOKE OF THE DAY: UNKNOWN VS. AGR
Who is EDWIN JUBAHIB?
In its recent issue, in the front page headline story, the rabidly pro-Alvarez weekly Mindanao Sun Chronicle published by Cha Monforte, tells the tale of the man that Speaker Alvarez wants to be governor of Davao del Norte.
“KUYA NG MASA” EDWIN JUBAHIB IS PDP MAYORS’ GUB BET
The Speaker’s right-hand man Engr. Edwin Jubahib is PDP-Laban mayors’ choice as they endorsed him to be their gubernatorial bet in the coming 2019 midterm elections.
Time ticks so fast for another political cycle and with the filing of certificates of candidacy by October 2018 people by then could already know the May 2019 election candidates.
Engr. Jubahib, Personal Assistant to the Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez, was earlier introduced to be a fitting gubernatorial standard bearer during the mass oathtaking of winners of the recent barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan candidates under the Team Alvarez last Independence Day celebration in New Tagum City Hall.
Thursday last week, in an interview with reporters in Tagum City, he admitted that he was endorsed by mayors belonging to PDP-Laban while he is also being prodded to run for governor by many councilors, barangay captains, kagawads and even purok leaders, but he was coy to their idea, saying: “wa nako balibari, ako pang sigeg hunahuna kung angayan ba gyod ko nga modagan, kay akong gihunahuna basig may mas maayo pa nga tawo nga makahatag pod ug mas maayong serbisyo sa atong probinsya.”
(I’m still thinking it through if I’m fitted to run for governor as I’m thinking that there might be somebody better than me who can give better services for our province).
But Jubahib’s name being the Personal Assistant to the Speaker (PAS) is fast catching fire as the one much sought-after “Kuya ng Masa” who delivers massive projects and services 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, even at midnight or dawn, in behalf of the Speaker, who is much preoccupied and busy in the prolific House of Representatives that he leads.
Engr. Jubahib has simple, ordinary man persona whom common people can easily identify with as “approachable, one whom many can’t be shy or be afraid to approach to,” said teacher Mariz.
But who is Kuya Edwin Jubahib?
He was born and grew up in Barangay New Visayas, Panabo City, thus a true native of Davao del Norte. He graduated his elementary and high school in New Visayas Elementary School and Panabo Provincial High School, respectively.
He came from a poor family. With that, poor young boy Edwin knew how hard was life then to struggle and diligently study in valuing education and hard work as the key to alleviate from one’s woeful plight. In college at University of Mindanao in Davao City, he went working for odd jobs while studying to help his parents.
He had worked as bus conductor then as inspector of the Bachelor bus company. Then being hard-working and honest worker, he was promoted as assistant operations manager in Davao City office of the bus company. In all, he had a stint of 10 years working in the known Bachelor bus company.
In 2003 he got an opportunity to work and study in Japan for three years and it was there that he passed the Japanese government’s licensure exams as technical engineer. He went back to the country and in 2008 he started as small contractor first starting to construct a concrete waiting shed in Panabo City. The rest is history as he went on constructing school buildings, roads and bridges and other infrastructure projects.
It was during the 2010 presidential elections when Senator Manny Villar ran for President under the Nacionalista Party that he met House Speaker Alvarez. He helped Alvarez in campaigning for Villar throughout Region XI.
After Villar lost in the polls, his friendship with the Speaker continued and blosoomed into closeness with him treated like almost the younger brother of the Speaker.
Starting on the pre-campaign period of the last 2016 presidential elections, he and the Speaker went all-out campaigning for Mayor Duterte’s advocacy on federalism nationwide.
As the present confidante, trusted man Personal Assistant to the Speaker he draws no salaries from the government. He is not considered a government employee.
But as a contractor and for delicadeza sake and to avoid conflict of interest, Engr. Jubahib said he has not contracted projects in the Speaker’s legislative turf- District 1 of Davao del Norte.
At present, Engr. Jubahib is called either “Gov or Cong” by PDP-Laban mayors, Vice Gov. Alan Dujali and other officials for effectively handling as representative heart and mind of the Speaker.
Recently, even the indigenous people like the Ata-Manobo rebels in Talaingod led by legendary Datu Gibang Apoga have started knowing Engr. Jubahib as their choice to negotiate with if the Speaker is not around as a trusted and sincere man to talk with and deliver responses to meet their demands for surrender like the Speaker.
It turns out that before the negotiations for surrender “Kuya Edwin” has been talked about as name by many tribesmen in Talaingod as many of them who have gone to the Speaker’s legislative office in Tagum City have been helped for their needs and emergencies and healed of their sickness by the intensive medical and hospitalization assistance services that their Kuya Edwin has been unselfishly giving to them. (MSC/Cha Monforte)