The early bird catches the worm. For this, politicians in the province of Camarines Sur are already busy alligning and re-alligning themselves as if they are the colors of the Rubik’s Cube. According to a source, a confidential political caucus was held a few days ago in the City of Legazpi to iron out political differences and identify the posts political stalwarts close to sitting president Gloria Arroyo are going to occupy come July 2010.
Of course, it is already given that the presidential son, Datu Arroyo, will seek re-election as a CamSur Congressman. Power is like wine. The more it is drank, the more it tastes sweet. Besides, the Arroyos have interests to protect. If there will be no constitutional change and the sitting president steps out of office, problems will surely arise. Thus, the presence of Arroyos in Congress is not a matter of luxury but of necessity.
Second, it is also acknowledged that Datu’s 2007 entry to Congress is, in part, courtesy of the Andayas. The political clan gave way to Datu and even lent him its political machine. In return for the clan’s “generousity”, Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya Jr., was appointed as a Secretary to the Department of Budget and Management. For 2010 elections, since Datu will be seking re-election, Nonoy is being groomed to replace L-Ray Villafuerte as the provincial governor of Camarines Sur. Arroyo’s political party, KAMPI, is all out to support Nonoy and this had been clearly expressed by Cong. Luis Villafuerte, the party president and father of L-Ray.
But where will L-Ray go considering that he is only on his second term and that by law, he is still allowed to seek re-election in 2010?
It is public knowledge that the Villafuerte father and son are not in good terms so most likely, Luis will publicly support Nonoy the way he did with Eddie Pilapil during last year’s election. But since blood is thicker than water, Luis will do something to avoid a political bloodbath. The most logical is to convince his son to give up the gubernatorial post in exchange for something. A cabinet post is most likely either in tourism or trade as L-Ray was able to prove his worth when he came up with flying colors in marketing Camarines Sur. The problem here is insurance. Mrs. Arroyo’s term will end by 2010 and there is uncertainty as to who will be the successor. The most feasible offer for L-Ray, therefore, is the Congressional post currently being occupied by his father. If this will be the offer, it’s either that the elder Villafuerte will rest for a term or seek a senatorial post. Given the publicity he is having right now, however, the elder Villafuerte’s track is more towards the latter.
The Alfelors of the Rinconada area are also amenable to these political arrangements. As a matter of fact, instead of fighting the Villafuertes horn to horn the way they did in the previous elections, the political stalwarts of the Fourth District will join the Andayas and the Villafuertes hand in hand by 2010. Third termer Cong. Felix “Nancing” Alfelor will even be the running mate of Nonoy while Manny Alfelor, the once contender of L-Ray for governorship, will return to his political fiefdom of Iriga City.
Replacing Nancing will be Sal Fortuno who will be “dislocated” from the Vice Governor’s seat.
While there will be re-allignments in the three districts, not much movement is seen in the Partido Area. This simply means that the hold of the Fuentebellas to power remain strong. But, just like before, token candidates are always expected to arise.
The 2010 elections are still two years away. Even then, it appears that all is set in Camarines Sur. Well this is just a consistent behavior of the local politicians in the area – a behavior that can even be called a virtue especially if one considers the Filipino adage “Daig ng maagap ang masipag”. But whether this virtue is translated into good governance, only the people of Camarines Sur can tell. The only thing sure is that these politicians are early birds. Hopefully, their constituents are not the preyed-worms.###