Tumbas Manipis
Tumbas Manipis

Political virus

Part 1

Oct 6, 2021, 12:21 AM
John A. Bello

John A. Bello

Writer/Columnist

THE political virus is here with the Commission on Elections schedule of the filing of Certificate of Candidacy from Oct. 1 to 8 (I am crafting this column on Oct. 2, the 2nd day of the filing of the COC) but in the Philippines, has it ever disappeared?

The filing of COC for political aspirants in the entire country from the presidency to the municipal councilor signals the beginning of political contamination and frenzy but with the deadly but invisible corona virus still stalking and raging all around, the political version of contamination for the May 9, 2022 general elections perhaps will be much subdued and downplayed in contrast with past electoral exercises.

The Comelec this time is ensuring that policies and guidelines are in place for the overall safety of all the candidates and voters against Covid-19. It means all the health and safety protocols and measures will be observed and enforced – wearing of face mask, physical distancing and hand washing of alcohol - from the time of the filing of the COCs to the start of the political campaign period in January next year and up to the election day itself and up to the end of the election period.

This is an entirely different political ballgame for everyone in the whole country with the backdrop of Covid-19 threat and the grim statistics staring everyone in the face. The Dept. of Health said on Oct. 1, there are 15,566 new Covid-19 cases adding to the total of 2,565,487 hit by the deadly virus in the whole country. It also listed 199 deaths on that day, with new recoveries at 23,483 making the total active cases at 130,268.

In Quezon province also on the same day, the Quezon Public Information Office listed 155 new cases for a total of 25,618 confirmed cases, 22,335 recoveries, 1,262 deaths resulting to a total active cases at 2,021.

The community quarantine in Calabarzon region has placed Lucena city under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine from Oct. 1-15 alongside the provinces of Laguna, Cavite and Rizal. Quezon province is placed under General Community Quarantine with heightened restrictions from Oct. 1-31 together with Batangas.

Now let’s take a potshot at the political horizon in Quezon province. Who are in the running for the top posts in the province and in the 2 cities of Lucena and Tayabas and the 39 towns of the province’ 4 districts?

It’s still too early to tell and I have not yet visited the provincial and city election offices for a tentative look and observation but in the past several months already, these are what I have gathered so far:

For Quezon provincial governor, it is readily assumed that the incumbent Gov. Danilo Suarez and his son, 2nd District Rep. David Suarez will be running for reelection in their respective posts but many are already speculating that they will be switching posts, with the son reclaiming the post he has completed for 3 terms, while the father running for the son’s post as congressman in the 2nd district. Or the old man Suarez will be back in his former constituency in the 3rd district where the political family runs supreme and mostly unopposed.

No matter if either of the son or the father Suarez is running for governor, 4th district Rep. Angelina ‘Helen’ Tan, is definitely gunning for it and has been going the rounds beginning even before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in the middle of 2019. By 2020, when the deadly virus hit the country and when it was placed under health emergency, the lady legislator simply went out of her way to reach out and hit near and far-flung places of the 4 districts of the province to deliver needed basic health and social services for her kababayans.

Quezon 4th district Rep. Helen Tan is ending her 3 terms as representative in her district so it is but right for her to spread her wings further to bring her own brand of public service that has clicked so well with her constituents in her own backyard in the 4th district.

Somebody who is a very reliable source texted me the day before that the ‘Doktora ng bayan’ is going to file her candidacy for governor on Oct. 3. So there.

No one else, so far as I know, plans to contest the gubernatorial post which in past elections saw several aspirants but in the May 2022 elections, it seems it will be a one-on-one fight to the finish for the top post in the province.

 (To be continued)


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