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Covering the Suarez-Talaga campaign

Tumbas Manipis
by John A. Bello

The election campaign for local candidates – from congressman, governor, vice governor, board members, city and municipal mayor, city and municipal vice mayor to city and municipal councilors – started on Mar. 29 and since then I have also decided to start monitoring about political caucuses and meetings among opposing political groups, specifically the Team Suarez-Nantes-Talaga and Team-Alcala-Malite with the intent to cover them for writing my news stories and opinion column.
As a journalist I have to cover both warring political camps, to get both sides of their stories in the unfolding election campaign enroute to the May 13 elections. If ever I am accused of straddling two opposing camps, covering both their events and activities, I have to claim my journalist’s right to get the middle ground, to be objective as much as possible and to be fair.
About two weeks had passed already as I am writing this Tumbas Manipis kolum and so far I have covered only three caucuses of Serbisyong Suarez-Aksyon Talaga Team and not yet for Alcala-Malite Team. The ones I have covered are those that took place in Welmanville subdivision in Bgy. Domoit, at the provincial capitol compound and at the barangay outpost in Bgy. 10 all conducted by the candidates of Team Suarez-Talaga.
It was at the provincial Capitol compound that I got to see firsthand the Suarez father and son tandem in the campaign stage – 3rd district Cong. Danilo Suarez who is running for governor and son, Gov. David ‘Jayjay’ Suarez who is running for congressman of the province’ 2nd district. Both are facing the Alcala brothers, Vicente ‘Kulit’ Alcala who is running for governor and Proceso ‘Procy’ Alcala who is running again for his old post in the 2nddistrict as congressman.
The Quezon voters are fired up with the election battle between the two political families who many say are really considered political dynasties with their own turfs. The Suarezes have the province’ 3rd district and of course they hold the reins of power of the entire province as one of them has been the sitting province chief executive since 2010; while the Alcalas have their 2nd district plus the province’ capital city, Lucena as their own political bastion.
At the provincial capitol compound rally, after the campaign speeches of Lucena city candidates led by ex-mayor Ramon Talaga Jr. with his team mates konsehales, Mike Dalida, JB Calamigan, Ramil Talaga, Nilo Villapando and followed by candidates for board member in the 2nd district Romano Talaga and Yna Liwanag, Gov. Jayjay Suarez let off a string of tirades against his rival, ex-agriculture secretary and ex-cong. Procy Alcala about the latter having a string of cases of corruption while he was still congressman and agriculture chief during the time of ex-Pres. Noynoy Aquino, particularly his being involved in the bawang cartel that jacked up the price of bawang to P420 a kilo.
“Sabi nila, wala daw kayang lumaban sa mga Alcala sa 2nd district, sira ulo lang daw ang lalaban sa mga Alcala sa second district. Pero nakatagpo sila kay Gob Jayjay Suarez ng sira ulo at sira ulo ako na lumalaban sa 2nd district,” said the confident young governor who first showed video presentation of his accomplishments since he assumed office as governor in 2010.
After the son Suarez, the father Suarez stood up to speak but also showed his short video presentation first which told of how he was a boy who shined shoes, cleaned toilets at Halina hotel and went to Lucena West 1 Elementary school and on to Quezon National High School and
summarizes his track records as congressman and his chairmanship of the House committee of ways and means and becoming minority floor leader. When the old Suarez finally stood up he dished out standard jokes first to amuse the audience before launching himself into his plans and programs if he gets to succeed as governor: he will intensify the use of health coupons even in private hospitals, water filtration for every town and will pursue the other beneficial development programs of his son for the next three years.
In the next succeeding kolums, I will write for the Team Alcala-Malite after covering their campaign rally to be followed by other independent local political candidates.
(NEXT: The Aksyon Talaga tirades)