How did Magpale and Davide defeat Garcia in Dumanjug?

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

I do not want to exacerbate the brewing infighting between our incoming governor and incoming vice governor. It has been reported that the new capitol leadership has sent another letter to the outgoing governor, instructing the latter to stop the ongoing construction of the resource center. But I need to share with you some explanation why there is really bad blood between the two camps. Last midterm polls, the Garcias lost in their turf, Dumanjug. Sometimes destiny plays a cruel joke on politicians.

Politics is really a cruel game. It can hurt and hurt deeply. It can ruin one's reputation, damage one's self-esteem, inflict serious anxiety and wounded feelings, not to mention the sleepless nights, the stress and the burdens, and the limitless expenses as well. Politics can destroy friendships, pit one family member against another, ruin marriages and unduly disturb the harmony, peace, and bonds among close relations and friends. Politics makes people rich, famous, and influential. It can also send people to jail, to death, and to ignominy. They say that only people with thick wallets and thick faces should join politics. The meek, the pure, and the cowardly should stay out of this foolish human preoccupation. Let us consider what politics did to the Garcias, the Magpales, and the Davides.

While governor-elect Gwen Garcia and Salimbangon inflicted serious wounds on Magpale by defeating her in the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth District, we should hasten to point out that the outgoing vice governor and outgoing governor Davide also hurt Garcia somehow deeply by defeating the incoming governor in the latter's own turf, Dumanjug. It was just a crazy 14 votes plurality but a win is a win even with only one vote. Magpale and Davide also wounded the Garcias by making Peter Calderon win over Gwen's brother, Nelson Garcia, both in Dumanjug and also in the whole Seventh District.

In Dumanjug, the birth town of Gwen's father Noy Pabling Garcia, the Garcias’ candidate for mayor Cesar Baricuatro lost heavily to the incumbent, very young Gungun Gica. The Garcias’ bet for vice mayor, my good old friend, Tatang Noli Famor lost to Wado Gica, brother of Gungun. All the eight candidates of Gungun, except only one, won over the lineup of Baricuatro and Famor. Nelson Garcia was badly beaten by Peter Calderon in Dumanjug. And Junjun Davide won big in Dumanjug too, thus demonstrating that the Garcias could not make their candidates win in their own backyard. That could have been very painful for Gwen considering that the Garcias had done a lot for Dumanjug when she and her dad were sitting as governors, respectively. It is also painful that Gwen's own cousin, the barangay captain of Bitoon, where Noy Pabling grew up, was working hard for the other side.

While Garcia won in the northern districts, and even in the Second and the Seventh District, people would, of course, whisper about their defeat in Dumanjug. Their political enemies would taunt them and make a mountain out of a molehill. The much-talked-about supremacy of the Garcias in Dumanjug is already a thing of the past. As long as the Gicas are dominating Dumanjug, it will be very hard for the Garcias to regain their lost hometown prestige. The Garcias, if they are really experts in politics, should not react to such a development with anger and spite. They should reflect deeply and come up with a long-term solution to this problem. The Garcias should develop a local talent who is strong enough to challenge the Gicas. As of now, I see no one.

Dumanjug is the hometown of my late father. I lived there and studied in the Little Flower School for a year. I know the place like the palm of my hand. I have climbed its mountains and crossed its rivers. I have plenty of friends and relatives in the town. I know the solution to Gwen's problem, but I won't reveal it if no one is asking.

* * *

Atty. Josephus Birondo Jimenez was awarded yesterday at the New World Makati Hotel as Centennial Awardee of the Rotary Club of Manila for being a Regional Opinion Writer of a daily column in The FREEMAN entitled "What Matters Most". The FREEMAN, celebrating its 100th year, is the country's longest-running regional newspaper. On the other hand, the Rotary Club of Manila, which is also celebrating its 100th year, is the oldest Rotary Club in Asia.

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