Thinking Allowed – Davao City politics

by Nicasio Angelo Agustin

Now that the certificates ofcCandidacy have been filed by aspirants to key positions in the City, the show of force and strength for the local election in 2010 is on. Speculations some months earlier as to  who would be running for the top posts suddenly became a reality.
The Duterte-Nograles fight for the mayor  is an interesting one.  Sara Duterte, although a bit new in politics, has proven her capability as vice-mayor as well as acting mayor whenever  her father, the mayor, went on.  The tough job of running the day-to-day operations of the City has given her the  opportunity to establish her own identity for such a demanding job and in so doing buttress the Duterte name  in local politics.  One significant and interesting attribute of “Inday” Sara Duterte is her sensitivity to local issues balanced by her tough and decisive stance on various conflicting concerns not  evident among the older and more experienced members of the city council.  Just like her father, her solid and unshakable stand on controversies is admirable.  Undeniably, she has the poise and the traits of a leader.
The decision of Speaker Nograles to challenge the Dutertes for the highest post, and eventual political supremacy,  in the City had been expected all along.  After all, “Boy” as he is addressed  by  relatives and friends, or just plain “Nogie” by others out of earshot,  has gained wider perspective on what local development means and what it exactly implies.  His long experience in Congress has allowed him to serve to his fullest capacity and to fulfill his aspirations as a person and as a representative of the people.   His maturity as a politician and as a leader is beyond question.   While serving as the Speaker of the House (of Congress) and as the fourth highest official of the land, he has not only brought pride, honor and respect to Dabawenyos, but he has also delivered services to his constituents in various forms.   His desire to do more, to do better and bigger, and to make more impact might have been his strongest motivation to run for city mayor, as if his long service to the people is not yet enough.
The political showdown in the City is not confined to the highest post alone.  For the second highest position, we have two  able candidates – outgoing mayor Rudy Duterte and former mayor Ben de Guzman.  What Davao was during their respective terms could very well speak of how these two gentlemen  could make a difference in the City.  They had their day as public servants with different styles of governance,  although Duterte’s  reputation extends far beyond the city’s boundaries. 
What is good about Davao politics is that nobody’s an amateur in the fight.  The candidates are all qualified, and the fight will not be decided on qualifications alone — but on voter preference. 
This is the challenges for all of us voters.  We should choose the candidates who we think could represent our aspirations for progress, for growth, and for development.  Davao City deserves to maintain its status as one of the prime cities of the country.
By election time, we hope to get a good and honest count of people who believe which style, which opinion, and which position on issues affecting all of us.   The results would hopefully inspire us to believe that the winners would be our own strengths as we move on.
Indeed, the local election in 2010 promises to be very, very  interesting!
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