Charlotte, North Carolina—There’s still five months to go before the filing of the certificates of candidacy in all elective positions nationwide in the May 2022 elections. But knowing the Pinoy’s penchant for all things political. even five months into 2021 and already we’re seeing a lot of jockeying and verbal tussles among looming potential rivals.
That’s the case in my hometown of Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental province wherein the incumbent Mayor Gomer Sabio and Vice Mayor Robinson Sabio are engaged in a verbal and policy war even on Day One of their term of office back in 2019 yet.
Their verbal exchange can also be seen on Facebook with old and new publicity hungry political personalities doing their usual grandstanding routines to remain relevant in the public eye. Remember the old adage that ‘bad or good publicity is still publicity.’
But I told myself that I will make every effort to remind my fellow Tagoloanons that a decade ago, there was this one young lawyer who attempted to make his mark before being forever forgotten in the dustbin of Tagoloan town’s local political history.
I’ve started to chronicle the political personalities in my hometown as some of these personalities ended up in higher positions in Cagayan de Oro City, Congress or at the Provincial Capitol or simply became popular.
One of these personalities even reached the International Court of Justice by filing a case against President Rodrigo Duterte before withdrawing the charges. I’m talking about lawyer Jude Sabio who recently passed away (may his soul rest in peace).
I met Jude Sabio 13 years ago. Some of his relatives told me that he was interested to run for Tagoloan mayor even if it meant challenging the strangehold of the Emano political clan. I could not recall now if it was him or me who initiated our meeting.
But anyway when we did meet we didn’t talk about politics but about the country and the pressing issues hounding it. After talking about some world personalities the conversation headed to Tagoloan town and Jude was emphatic about how the town had become stagnant under the Emanos’ rule.
He talked about how Tagoloan can become so much more than what it remains and he struck me as someone very smart, if we based it on his protruding forehead. and his answers to my questions.
The late Atty. Jude was the son of Filomeno Sabio Jr and Erlinda Lozano and a cousin to both incumbent Tagoloan Mayor Gomer Sabio and Vice Mayor Robinson Sabio. I recalled a big crowd in the 2008 Sabio reunion and Jude was credited with mobilizing the attendees.
I think I introduced him to Mindanao Gold Star Daily editor-in-chief Herbie Gomez which paved the way for him to write columns for that newspaper.
I won’t talk about Jude’s filing of charges and later recantation against President Duterte since I don’t have the facts. But it is what elevated him to public attention and his death due to COVID-19 complications also got a mention in the national news.
What I’m trying to say is that there are potential leaders in Tagoloan tow who have the skill, education, experience and attitude to serve just like the late Jude Sabio.
Now I heard that Mayor Enan Sabio will fight for his political survival in case Atty. Nadya Emano Elipe throws her hat to the Tagolosn political arena and the noise for her entry is getting louder everyday.
Nadya, a former three-term Cagayan de Oro City councilor, is said to be the top bet of the Padayon Pilipino party for Tagoloan’s mayoralty seat after they lost it back in 2019. More than usual, the Emanos took the loss personally because they built their political base in their hometown of Tagoloan.
Another Tagoloan mayoral bet is also looming as there would be three candidates for Misamis Oriental governor in 2022. The Covid-19 pandemic would only make the 2022 Philippine elections more intense.
I join those including Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno in condoling with the family of the late Patag Barangay Captain Maricor Calizo who passed away just days as she was showing signs of recovery from COVID-19 complications.
Based on the expressions of condolences that flooded the Facebook pages of her family including Councilor Romeo Calizo, it would be safe to say that she was a beloved barangay official whose solid rep in public service extended far beyond Barangay Patag into the rest of Cagayan de Oro City and that’s really saying something.
She was known as a proactive barangay captain who never shirked away from serving her constituents even with the COVID-19 threat, as Mayor Moreno described during last week’s press briefing. Her death would certainly impact on Patag’s political situation come 2022. Still her death highlights the urgency of fasttracking the vaccination campaign in Cagayan de Oro City and Misamis Oriental as well as the urgency for the public to contain the COVID-19 through stringent compliance to minimum public health standards.
Here in the US, some states have already allowed for limited small gatherings WITHOUT A FACE MASK so long as the people involved have already completed their vaccination. Thanks to the Philippines being a Third World nation, it remains dependent on the mercies of the World Health Organization (WHO) through its COVAX facility of free vaccines.