A Political Coup de Grace
by Recto I. Vidal
The forging of the United Leadership Coalition in Aklan can best be described as crafty, methodical, and calculating.
It had the precision of a fine surgeon working a scalpel during surgery. It was akin to pulling off the improbable. Watching Tibyog’s work of art was almost a virtuoso.
The dream team comprising Aklan Rep. Joeben Mirflores, Aklan Gov. Lito Marquez, and Vice Governor Billie Calizo-Quimpo has got what it takes to become Aklan’s most formidable political force to reckon with: lock, stock and barrel. To say that it is the political tandem to beat in the forthcoming 2010 local election is an understatement.
Hearing the announce-ment from Tibyog’s founder, former Aklan Rep. Allen S. Quimpo himself, a cascade of mixed emotions raced through me as I witnessed a historic event slowly unfolding before my very eyes. It was simply stunning, scintillating, and overwhelming. Simply put, it was designed to shock and awe the political pretenders who cast a moist eye in the May 2010 pools, to say the least.
Still enjoying the afterglow of said unification, the three assured the local media during the media forum Kapehan sa Aklan held at Café Latte on Saturday morning, September 12 that they all decided to set aside politics and work together for the sake of progress and development of Aklan. A welcome development, one might say. Others dismissed it as motherhood statement, for all intents and purposes.
The casualties, collateral damage or one must say chess pawns in this political power play are still reeling and feeling the heartaches of a thousand after burns resulting from the fall out, whatever that means.
But those disgruntled made their intentions clear that they won’t get caught up with the hype and just be willing stooges. Unless one will make this as an excuse and buy this stunt hook, line and sinker, will it be for the best public interest?
No doubt, it was a tough sell. To the skeptics, it has the makings of a con job: a smart and calculated business maneuver. Un-believers branded it as nothing but a family affair designed to solidify the ties that bind so that political power can be further consolidated and confined within the favored few thus raising the spectre of a political dynasty.
We have it on good authority that lawyer Romeo Inocencio, former Aklan Sangguniang Panlalawigan member, forewarned that said political development poses a fear factor designed to "intimidate and discourage" other political wannabes from joining the political fray lest they would suffer disastrous consequences. "Nobody has the monopoly of competence and good intentions," he stressed.
The good solon and the workaholic vice governor, on the other hand, assuaged the fears and eschewed the notion that the time honored mechanism on check and balance will not be compromised. In that case, that would make me an avowed political atheist. Only a hypocrite would dare say otherwise.
But the nagging question remains: Will there be an opposition gutsy enough to pose a respectable challenge and face the onslaught of a political tsunami called the United Leadership Coalition ala Don Quixote chasing the windmills despite insurmountable odds? Can the opposition at this time finally come up with a blueprint to overcome and defeat the much vaunted well-oiled political machinery of a coalition whose leaders motivate followers by appealing to self-interest?
Is change forth-coming? Are the Aklanons ready for the passing of the baton of leadership to a new set of leaders in the province thereby changing Aklan’s political landscape? This is easier said than done.
Only the Aklanons can decide its ultimate fate or get lost in the swamp of Aklan politics. Otherwise, it may become a footnote in the province’s dustbin of history.
Sometimes, the road to perdition is paved with good intentions. After all, it has been said time and again: those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. /MP