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cartoon editorialIN AMERICAN POLITICS,  the  President -elect is elected in tandem with his vice president. That is how strong the American political system is where the Democrats and the Republicans  are both courting the voting public on issues based on party stand -not personalities.

After our independence, the Philippines had a vibrant two-party system- bannered by the  Nacionalista Party (NP) and the Liberal Party (LP) and those who crossed party lines were sarcastically labeled as “political butterflies.” It was an exception rather than the norm, then.

The Dictator Ferdinand Marcos destroyed all that by ruling via executive fiats and appointing local officials and outlawed elections. Later on, he relented by establishing his own monolithic  KBL (Kilusan ng Baging Lipunan)  where everyone gravitated to and those outside it were bound to lose in farcical elections where the results were established even before election day. That aside.

The full blooming of political discourse and unbridled freedom in 1986 (post EDSA) gave way to many political parties with no really distinct stand or political clothing and therefore gave birth to  political animals changing  to different political colors like modern-day chameleons.


The curse of the multi-party system today finds its meaning as well in  today’s Bohol politics. “Instant” bets up to the gubernatorial level appeared out of the blue primarily because they were apparently left out of the party where they belonged  and  not given the respective CONAs they desired . Sometimes, the CONAS could not be issued for some flew to the other camps from their original party, thus their CONAs were given to other bets.

Last termer reelectionist Governor Edgar Chatto did not have illusions to run without a foe because 2016 is a presidential election  year. But the challenger was totally unexpected in the person of many -time Loay mayor May Lim-Imboy , an overnight opponent seething  with rage that her  town mayoralty protege  (daughter) was not given the CONA by the ruling LP.

There were town mayors in the 3rd district who egged Mayor Imboy to run for governor as they themselves were deprived of an LP CONA as they reportedly bolted from the “coalition” agreement by not supporting the LP_NPC bet in that district, the reelectionist Arthur Yap. It was confirmed that Rep Yap  has only now 9 of the 20  3rd district mayors with the 11 others joining his  opponent businesswoman Cheche de los Reyes.

As the deadline for the filing of candidacies drew near, they jumped into the PDP (Partidong Demokratikong Pilipino) as their official party chariot- a respected party founded by the iconic former senator Nene Pimentel  which in the past required rigorous orientation and immersion in their party charter before one becomes a member. Today, it seemed like a mere “birthday party” where the guests sort of invited themselves in  and became instant party mates.

Again the dreaded multi-party system is  responsible for making”Jumping Jacks”  out of local politicians these days.

In the 3rd district, it was easy for Rep Yap to become the lone LP-NPC coalition candidate.


But the big question today is why reelectionist Rep Aris Aumentado (an NPC) was not made the coalition candidate in the 2nd district. This was possibly engendered in the past by insinuations by quarters that come-backing Rep Roberto Cajes was  again staking his claim of the district as an LP member up to nearing the time of the filing of the COcs. He backed out, however, in the last minute.


In his stead came a NUP candidate Gerry Garcia (BM)  vying for the second district crown.Sources in Manila confirmed that Garcia  was named NUP candidate since a “certain mayor Yap” from LP Bohol allegedly called NUP headquarters in Manila batting for (Garcia)   him to be the NUP (official coalition ) candidate to combat the popular young Aumentado.

Mayor Baba Yap of this city  (being the only mayor Yap in Bohol)  vehemently denied the allegation and saying that since he was no longer a NUP member, he has no weight in pinpointing who the official candidate of the NUP would be in 2016. Aris, apparently, accepted Yap’s explanation during a meeting.

Because of this-  there is now “bad blood” between the Aumentado (as he was not appointed coalition bet as reelectionist solon)   and the ruling LP party leaders in the province which is all bad news for Governor Chatto.


Without a Cajes around, Aumentado has now full political hold over the vote-rich 2nd district and can turn this into an anti-Chatto district  vote. Chatto can no longer expect the same over 200,000 margin  that he won over his rival  De los Reyes , who is  ingratiating herself to the 3rd district voters mainly through “the funds of it.” It’s more funds in the 3rd district”, it seems.

Is is therefore the 3rd district that will become the battle royale of the 2016 poll fight between two moneyed individuals which can make the voters there “temporarily”  cash-rich before elections.  Cheche who is splurging money as if the elections were held tomorrow and buying the mayors previously belonging  to the Yap camp had bragging  that she can afford to buy all the voters in the district as she had allegedly bought some of the former LP- based mayors in their district; in fact, she famously  said that she can afford to pay any one  to vote in her direction.


The 3rd district voters, therefore,  will be the most “affluent”in the coming elections since Rep Yap, himself, is not by any means poor. He has established family businesses and is expected to bring his full-steel cash cabinet to contribute  a signficant part in the  battle against  financial difficulties of the constituents. The 3rd district will be “one bloody ” affair.

The possible “estrangement” of Aris (2nd district) and the ruling LPs and the close decision in the 3rd district between Yap and Cheche-could tilt the balance of the otherwise “walk in the park” stroll for Edgar into one where the margins in the gubernatorial race may not be too significant.

Is there time for Edgar to mend torn political fences these days? The repercussions of this political fault line will resonate way beyond the 2016 elections, we can see.

Otherwise, that means Edgar must win very beg in his own 1st district significantly in order to be able to whistle in the dark ,merrily.Instead, today as it is , it is the “call to Arms” anthem Edgar could be singing  as he prepares his troops for a long,interesting battle.

Because  aside from Cheche’s huge war chest, Mayor Lim-Imboy, for another, is not a petty cash type of candidate. They are an independently rich clan involved in  shipping, hotels, cement, Tv , salt making and other industries. They can mount a serious run for the Capitol without pestering the big parties. May’s husband is an elected Board Member for a long period of time already, as well.

Luckier then in that sense  will be  Rep Rene Relampagos (one of the trusted LP bigwigs)  who will waltz into victory with a lot to spare in May over relative lightweights (without meaning to demean them)  Crescencio Alturas (PDP-Laban) and Joahna Initay (UNA) for the 1st district plum.

In the city- a powerhouse tandem is on stage-a Baba-Toto (BaTo) Unity Party that will take more than a hundred sledgehammers to break politically.  Lurking in the shadow is of the course-the political “has been” former mayor Dan N Lim who is trying to mount a semblance of opposition in the ONLY  constituency he has the one  chance of ever winning- Tagbilaran City.

His favorite barangay captain Arlene Karaan will vie for the mayoralty race -though speculations are rife that DNL himself will substitute her  before the December 10 official day that  Comelec  announces all legitimate candidates for all posts.

Like a an aging war horse, Lim is trying to create an illusion that he still has the energy to do battle in the city. He will collect his marbles for the final show but what party will sponsor him? If reports are true , the Binay camp avoids him like a plague and the ruling party  and Grace’s  camps scorn him.

Sad exit for a man who once lorded it like a king of the city but is now- but just three years after his reign –   considered by many political pundits as “politically dead”, if not comatose.

Political intramurals aside,  we sincerely hope that the next president will make it one of the agenda for the country to be going nearer towards the establishment of a two-party system with true ideologies and make it financially and politically painful to become party turncoats for political expediency in the future.

We have seen so much evil in the multi-party system. It misdirects the country without ideologues fighting for assumed trajectories as party members. Enough.

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