In any legislature, if the opposition is less than half of the majority, you have what you call an absolute majority. Even if you multiply the opposition by two, it will still not defeat the majority. For example, if you have 80 versus 20 or 70 versus 30, 80 and 70 are absolute majorities.
That is not the case at our SangguniangPanlalawigan (SP). There is not just absolute majority, but no opposition at all. Zero. We do not make any moral judgments here whether that is good or bad. That is for intelligent voters to think about.
On paper, we are supposed to have four (4) opposition SP Members belonging to the camp of erstwhile Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco that includes Victor Balite, ElpidioJala, Lucille Lagunay and Mimi Boniel-Maglasang. But if voting records are to be inspected, they usually, or almost always, vote in favor of what Governor Art Yap or Vice Governor Rene Relampagos wants.
But what about Balite, you may ask, since every now and then it comes out in the news that he features in a conflict with the majority. The thing is, he is the current Acting Vice Governor in the absence of Vice Governor Relampagos. He presides the session and cannot therefore vote unless there is a tie, which is kind of impossible under the present circumstances.
We had been told by a Lady SP Member a few times that Donald Sevilla has jumped to the camp of Governor Art Yap along with his family friend, Mimi Boniel-Maglasang. But we have not checked this with Donald himself. Hence, as far as we are concerned, this is still a mere tale.What is evidenced by a voting pattern, instead, areLagunay, Boniel and Jala’s consistent support of whatever moves the Yap-Relampagos Administration wants done at the SangguniangPanlalawigan floor.
If we are to make a deduction based on this trend, there is a looming unification here reminiscent of the Aumentado-Herrera-Chatto merger decades ago that left Relampagos fending for himself for two or three election seasons. This begs the question, assuming that the unification happens in 2022, and Lagunay joins the Yap camp (by the way, her maiden name is Lucille Yap, pun intended), along with Donald Sevilla, who between AldnerDamalerio and Ricky Masamayor will be eased out? Your guess is as good as mine.
Masamayor has been allegedly heard by mayors many times criticizing the way Governor Yap has been handling the intelligence funds at the Capitol. Very recently, too, he has been the subject of an official condemnation by the local chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines owing to his zealous advocacy of police and military matters that led him to cross-swords with legal practitioners. To us, though, he is a friend.
We can surely overhear some side murmurs saying, “It’s too early to talk about politics”. Wrong. Politics, Economics and Culture are constant factors in society. That is precisely the point about the threefoldness of social life. After all, politics is not just about elections. Giving “inangayan”, este, relief goods, bought from the coffers of the government is part of politics, is it not? After Baba Yap made a shining example, every other mayor wanted to copy. Well and good. From our point of view, politics, like a sharpened knife, will not harm; in fact, it is beneficial, if you just use it to chop fruits and vegetables.