Editorial: We can’t blame the barangay captains

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

LAST Saturday, a big group of barangay captains and their supporters pushed through with their rally calling for Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte to run in the presidential race in 2016 even as the mayor threatened to resign if the barangay captains will not stop what they are doing. Have the barangay captains just defied the mayor’s edict?

If they did, we cannot blame them.

The early birds to the presidential race are already making their presence felt, and it is in recognizing their presence that we understand where the desperation of these barangay captains and their supporters are coming from.


The Visayans have the best blurb for it, “Pwera gaba.”

While literally meaning “dispel bad karma”, pwera gaba actually takes on a whole different meaning when spat out by those who speak it. It says a world of negatives against the topic or person it is spat out at. But that is the most appropriate phrase to describe the choices we are seeing, so far.

Are we truly scraping the bottom such that we have to force someone who is comfortably ensconced in his city and enjoying the good life that we Dabawenyos are enjoying to join a race he does not relish to join (not unless maybe when we truly drag him screaming and scratching)?

We hope not. There’s still two years before 2016 elections, let us hope and pray that those truly worthy of leading a nation will take the jump and battle it out with the politicos who are at this very early period are already lusting for power.

This early too, let us check out even those not in politics, to see who have presidential potentials. With the crop of politicians we have been entertained with the past decades, we cannot continue to treat the presidency as an entertainment choice because… look what we ended up with.

But, indeed, we cannot blame the barangay captains if they are panicking over the choices we may be forced to take. We have had four years of a leadership that has all the good intentions but have very little to show when it comes to those close to his dear heart, the quick-time march required of a true leader when providing solutions and actions, and the vision of the future beyond his presidency. Sabaw. As the young ones would say. Diluted. Warm in the tummy but not much to feed the hunger.

Now, from what we are seeing, the early wanna-bes are worse. No wonder the barangay captains are panicking.

If indeed, Mayor Duterte cannot be convinced to get out of his comfort zone as he approaches retirement years, then let us pray that this desperation being felt by the barangay captains be also felt by those who have the capacity and the heart to lead, step up the plate, so that there will be no room for those who, this early, have already made their plans known.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 31, 2014.


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