Peter Laviña

The ABCs (Activities, Beliefs and Campaigns) of City Councilor Peter Tiu Laviña of Davao City, Philippines. This blog started on March 9, 2006.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Daisy vs. Gloria

South Cotabato Governor Daisy Avance-Fuentes was the latest of casualties in this unfortunate era of politicking rather than conciliation or development.

How many times have we heard from the Palace that monotonous refrain - we should unite, follow the rule of law, set aside politics and work for the country’s development?

And yet, here is the one who says we should follow the rules who herself violates such dictum and flaunts her power that emanates from the absence of the true mandate of the people.

In the MindaNews report from General Santos City featured in the Mindanao Times on March 2, we read that Gov. Fuentes was “unceremoniously” removed as chair of the Regional Development Council (RDC) of Region 12 covering the areas in South Cotabato, Saranggani, Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat and the cities of Cotabato, General Santos, Koronadal, Marbel and Tacurong.

The dismissal order was dated January 25 but received by the Governor only on February 28, or over one month to send a letter from Malacañang to Koronadal City. Accordingly, the letter cited “presidential decision” as the basis for the change in the leadership of the RDC.

This “Presidential decision” to me simply reads as “unpresidential politicking.” Gov. Fuentes belongs to the NPC but supported GMA in the 2004 election. However, she has distanced herself from the Palace since the Garci Tapes scandal broke out last year.

And so, Gov. Fuentes is RDC chair no more. But she should find herself still lucky because the Palace still offered her the position as Co-Chair of the RDC that looks to me like a consuelo de bobo.

Of course, Gov. Fuentes is no fool. She declined the offer.

Not because she was hurting. No. Nor was she angry. No. This feisty of a lawyer, former activist, and veteran legislator said she could not accept the position because it was contrary to the “rules” governing the organizational structure of the RDC. The position of the Co-chair belongs to the representative from non-government organization (NGO).

Gov. Fuentes unlike other politicians did not want to covet or “steal” that position.

So, here lies the crux of the matter. How can the Palace occupant who teaches us to follow the “rules” ask a provincial Governor to violate the “rules” of the RDC, the highest government planning body in the region?

Sanamagan! Plain politicking!

The Governor was truly admirable in protecting the integrity of the RDC. Not only did she decline because of the rules where she said she wanted to preserve the GO-NGO partnership which is the essence of development planning, but she also cited the fact the she and her replacement, Koronadal City Mayor Fernando Miguel come from the same area.

She defended other important principles in the RDC - that of promoting greater participation from, and equal opportunity for, the component areas of the region.

Sanamagan! Another “lapse of judgement!” by you know who.

In Malacañang, self-proclaimed leaders are a dime a dozen; in South Cotabato, we found one rare principled leader.

I would rather have one Daisy in this country than many Glorias.

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