Several groups and personalities on Friday, July 20, launched the “Alyansang Bol-anon para sa Kausaban” (Abaka) to support President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration’s so-called war on drugs and corruption.
Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, Jr. likened the movement to abaca fiber, a plant which is natural resource of the Philippines, considered as the strongest natural fiber that is suitable for rope making.
“Kining ‘ABAKA’ o Alyansang Bol-Anon para sa Kausaban’ usa kini nga pundok multi-sectoral gikan sa laing-laing sector sa Bohol aron sa ingon niana,maghawiray kita sa atong mga kamot,atong buhi-on ang atong mga damgo sa kausaban.hangtud ang kausaban mahitabo sa atong lalawigan sa tukmang panahon,” Evasco explained.
The organic members of Abaca are Norris Oculam, as chairman; Donald Borja Sevilla, Boy Pernia, Leon Calipusan, Msgr. Jeff Malanog, Argeo Melisimo, Nonnie Orillosa, Dr. Lorna Rances, Joy Sevilla, Berting Datahan, Dr. Atup, Fr. Warli Salise, Jr., and Holger Horn, et al—as members.
The launching was graced by the presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara “Inday” Duterte-Carpio.
Even she figured prominently in surveys, Mayor Sara reiterated that she had no interest to run for Senate in May 2019 elections.
“My plan is to run for mayor of Davao City for the 2019 elections,” Mayor Sara told Bohol reporters during the launching of the Alyansang Bol-anon para sa Kausaban (Abaka) in which she was the guest speaker.
She said she felt she was still effective as mayor of Davao City, a good neighbor to other places in the country.
“I feel that Davao City can help other LGUs with all the years of best practices and all the years of good projects that Davao City LGU had produced. We think that and I think I can help more if I am mayor and ask everybody to come to Davao and look at what the local government has done for Davao City,” she added.
Mayor Sara told more than 1,000 participants of Abaka that the senate is not for her since she is a silent type.
“Feel nako wala koy buhaton sa Senado,” she said.
Abaka is the umbrella of the various political personalities and persuasions identified with President Duterte.
Abaka members want to continue the aggressive campaign on drugs and stop corruption in the province.
Bohol has been ranked fifth in the Philippines and first in Central Visayas in terms of barangay drug affectation percentage.
Last month, according to Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency provincial officer Nicolas Gomez, around 400 of 1,109 barangays in Bohol have been recommended by the provincial government and the PDEA to be declared drug-free by the multi-agency Regional Oversight Committee.
“This is not for 2019, Abaka will support leaders which we believed can help Bohol,” said Norris Oculam, chairman of Abaka.
“We are not relying on politicians. This is a movement of the people regardless of political affiliations,” he added.
Mayor Sara said since her political party “Hugpong ngPagbabago,” which was recently approved by Commission on Elections (Comelec) as a regional political party in Region 11, she sought alliance with other parties and movements such as Abaka in Bohol.
Also present during the Abaka launching were Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, Evasco, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernest Pernia, former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair Francis Tolentino , presidential spokesman Harry Roque, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar , PhilHealth board member Celestina Dela Serna, special envoys to China Carlos Chan and Fernando “Ding” Borja, and Philippine Sports Commission chairman William “Butch” Ramirez .
In Bohol, only Vice Gov. Dionisio Balite, 2nd District Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado, and at least eight mayors –Allen Ray Piezas of Clarin, Norman Palacio of Bilar, Jacinto Naraga of San Isidro, Casey Shaun Camacho of Getafe, Danny Guivencan of Dimiao, Juliet Dano of Sevilla, Jose Nicanor Tocmo of Corella and John Geesnell Yap II of Tagbilaran City, and some councilors and village officials, attended.
Businessman Lucio Lim, Jr, of Lite Shipping, DA 7 Regional Director Salvador Diputado and wife Alma, former Panglao Mayor Doloreich Dumaluan, lawyers Rain Calimbayan, Doni Piquero and Danilo Bantugan, University of Bohol Registrar Leah Tirol-Magno and hubby Art, Vanessa Cadorna-Aumentado, Booy village councilors Jun Telmo and Clement Ingking, Barangay Poblacion 1 captain Arlene Karaan, were also spotted during the event.
Cebu City Councilor Margarita “Margot” Osmeña and former Cebu Rep. Rachel del Mar also came to Bohol to attend the activity.
Other politicians and businessmen from Visayas and Mindanao also attended the launching.
Mayor Duterte also surprised the audience by formally endorsing former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair Francis Tolentino , presidential spokesman Harry Roque and Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar for the senate in May 2019 elections.
Those who were present cheered and reacted positively to Mayor Duterte’s endorsement.
“So, will have to wait and see. But they (Roque, Andanar and Tolentino) are testing the water if okay ba mudagan sila,” Mayor Duterte said.
Aside from Roque, Tolentino and Andanar, Mayor Sara also endorsed Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, Senators JV Ejercito, Sonny Angara and Cynthia Villar.
Roque humbly thanked the mayor for the endorsement.
“Ako po’y nagagalak and I am humbled by the endorsement of Mayor Sara. Importante po sa akin ang suporta ng paboritong anak ng ating president,” said Roque.
He said he would move forward knowing that God has a plan.
“At ako po’y pinasa-Diyos kung ano ang kinabukasan sa pulitika. Bahala na ang Panginon but I am very thankful sa endorsement. Nung ako’y aktibisita di ko akalain na ako’y magiging member ng kongreso, nung ako’y nasa kongreso di ko akalain na ako’y maging miyembro ng gabinete. Di ko alam what God has to offer me, but Thy will be done,” Roque added.
More than the launching, the movement is also looking for a real Boholano (Wanted Tinuod Nga Bol-anon).
“Matinahoron, mahigugmaon sa isig kaingon ug andam manalipod sa mga dinaogdaog.Kaliwat ni Dagohoy, sumpa sa mga kurakot ug mapahimoslanon. Mao kini ang TINOOD NGA BOL-ANON,” Donad Sevilla posted on Facebook.