MARCH is Davao City’s anniversary month and this year’s 82nd celebration is another big event as domestic and foreign tourists come to witness the many colorful activities which the city government had planned. Each year is always an improvement of the previous and 2019 is expected to be another spectacle to behold.
The month-long celebration is always festive starting with day one ‘til end of March. We are done with the first half and excitement starts to build up since the 16th is the climax of the Araw ng Davao when street dancing and a grand display of colorful floats with ethnic touch from every tribal groups compete for the recognition and prizes.
Being election season, Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio had set aside partisan politics and invited every aspiring politician from various parties and ideological persuasions to join in the celebration. Her only appeal: no distribution of campaign paraphernalia. With an air of confidence she gamely assured her political adversaries of thousands of spectators who are potential voters. She also declared to cease firing pot shots at Leni Robredo even as the VP again became an object of ridicule when, in a repartee, she told an amused President Duterte that “rape happens because there are rapists”. Mayor Inday had scheduled “Women’s Summit” in the remaining days of March thus I don’t think she will venture to rub salt on Leni’s badly injured pride and dignity.
Davao City is home to the 16th President of the Philippines, Rodrigo R. Duterte. It’s a double celebration among Dabawenyos here because the Social Weather Station just released the result of its survey showing an increase of 15 percent in the President’s trust rating as 76 percent of the respondents said they were satisfied.
“The Palace considers this increase in satisfaction rating as a vote of public confidence and a demonstration of the people’s unshakable trust to the present administration, which the survey firm classified as ‘very good,’” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.
Still on the survey, the highest marks received by the administration are on the following subjects: promoting women’s rights (+71); building and maintenance of public works (+70); helping the poor (+68); protecting human rights (+62) and reconstructing Marawi City (+60).
These results eloquently argue against the bitter critics of Duterte and his administration. The women made a very resounding vote of confidence and I want to believe that this is anchored on the President’s unrelenting campaign against illegal drugs and all forms of criminality. Women folks are the most threatened sector and it is assuring to note that these days law enforcers are up to their job.
Since we are in the midst of election season another way of looking at this is that senatorial candidates who are personally endorsed by Duterte have the best chance to make it to the magic 12.
Here in Davao, this sends shivers to ousted speaker Bebot Alvarez who is making a bid to return to Congress. President Duterte had requested for a photo session where he raised the hands of Anthony del Rosario who is running against Bebot and did the same for Rodolfo “Rodney” del Rosario and Tonyboy Floirendo who are running for governor and congressman (2nd District) of Davao del Norte respectively. Later the Duterte asked that his endorsements be done also on video.
The only politician who seemed to believe and still going gaga over Alvarez is Sen. Koko Pimentel who, this week, made public his personal choice of Bebot as Speaker of the house the second time around, this despite the indubitable fact that Duterte who Chairs PDP-Laban has openly endorsed Hugpong Ng Pagbabago’s Anthony del Rosario as Representative in Davao del Norte’s 1st District instead of Bebot.
The biggest hurdle is winning the race. Secondly, Pimentel’s memory seems to be impaired as he apparently forgot that the huge majority of those running for congressional seats are re-electionists. They are the same lawmakers who jettisoned Bebot as Speaker of the lower chamber. Anyway, Koko’s announcement is pleasant to the ears of Bebot but as to whether it pleases the President and Mayor Inday Sara who was instrumental in the ouster of Alvarez is another story.
But as I said, neither Mayor Inday Sara nor President Duterte will not indulge in politics for now. Araw ng Davao takes importance over the rest. We will see however what will happen on the 29th when the real political combat in the local election starts. I heard Inday, who, along with her party mates are running unopposed in her home turf, is looking for a house to rent in the Tagum City where to mount her campaign for the Hugpong Ng Pagbabago candidates.
In the meantime, welcome to Davao as we celebrate it’s 82nd Anniversary as a chartered city. It’s the Most Livable City in the Philippines, Most Child-friendly, Most Competitive and proudly Most Peaceful.
Oh well, there’s a bit of inconvenience to motorists these days as the City is embarking on the massive underground cabling engineering works which will make those ugly mess of communications and power lines a thing of the past. What you will see in Davao next is a New City!