DOLFO DEL ROSARIO SAYS HE IS RUNNING AGAINST ALVAREZ
Ex-Speaker up against “Big Four”
By ROGER M. BALANZA
Former Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo “Dolfo” del Rosario will run against First District Congressman Pantaleon Alvarez if nobody runs to contest the reelection of the ex-Speaker in the 2019 mid-term elections.
With the veteran politician throwing his hat in the political derby, Alvarez’s reelection is practically doomed: the ex-Speaker would be up against the combined political machinery of the powerhouse team of Governor Anthony del Rosario, 2nd District Representative Antonio Floirendo Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
This early, observers are describing next year’s polls as “Massacre 2019” with Alvarez chopped up in a political slaughter than could send him to permanent political retirement.
Del Rosario, who had served Davao del Norte for 35 years as assemblyman, congressman and governor, is coming out of political retirement to contest the reelection bid of Alvarez whom he accused of destroying the political unity in the province.
Right now, I am praying to God to give me good health in the coming election, said Dolfo to send the message that he is serious about his return to politics, during an interview with Al Genoguin in the radio program Kontra Balanse on Davao City-based.
We will be fielding a full slate so if nobody runs against Alvarez, I will run against him, said Dolfo.
By “we,” Dolfo is referring to the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), the regional political party organized by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Dolfo’s son, Governor del Rosario, is one of the founders of HNP that Duterte-Carpio said will field a full regional slate in the coming polls.
HNP would be up against the Alvarez Wing, the political bloc formed by Alvarez as his political vehicle under the banner of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino/Lakas ng Bayan (PDP/Laban). Alvarez is the secretary general of the party.
Speaking in a mix of English, Tagalog and Bisaya, the come-backing veteran politician said he was willing to run against anybody in the Alvarez Wing slate who have no opponent in the HNP.
I am the fill-in guy who could even run against Mayor Alan Rellon,” Dolfo said.
He said he wants to dispute Rellon’s boast that nobody could beat him in the mayoral contest in Tagum City. Rellon is a political ally of Alvarez.
“Tingnan natin yong hambog niya,” Dolfo said.
Dolfo admitted that his running against Alvarez is borne out of both personal and political grudge.
He said that before Alvarez, there was unity among politicians in the province.
He said he announced his retirement after the 2016 elections after Alvarez won with his political and financial support and that of Floirendo, his nephew.
I went on a long vacation in the US thinking that there would still be political unity in the province, he said. He said that it was Floirendo who asked him to support his long-time friend Alvarez.
I was surprised that when I returned, Alvarez was already fighting with Floirendo, he told Genogin in the phone interview.
The long friendship of Floirendo and Alvarez was shattered when their girlfriends quarreled in public, a few months after Alvarez was named as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The spat became more ugly with Alvarez filing a graft rap against Floirendo in the Ombudsman in connection with a land deal between the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and the Floirendo-owned Tagum Agricultural Development Company (Tadeco) involving the reservation area of the Davao Penal Colony.
Alvarez would also initiate a House inquiry into the Tadeco-BuCor Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) allegedly for being “illegal and disadvantageous to the government.”
This even as the initial and renewal of the five-decades old JVA was approved by Congress and the Office of the President.
On top of that, Alvarez reportedly scrapped development funds for Davao del Norte and the district of Floirendo in the national budget.
Since he broke ties with Floirendo, Alvarez had launched a massive smear drive not only against Floirendo but also against Gov. del Rosario and Dolfo, accusing them of not bringing economic development to the province despite decades of their rule.
In the 2019 polls, Alvarez and his Alvarez wing candidates would not only be up against Floirendo and the Del Rosarios.
Sara-Duterte has vowed that HNP would put up a full slate against the Alvarez Wing.
She has described Alvarez as an “asshole” and also promised to personally campaign against Alvarez, who had accused the HNP as an opposition party.