Who will dare to run against family dynasties?

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty Josephus Jimenez - The Freeman

There seems to be no more young idealists animated with passion, dynamism and pure love of country. Men like Raul Manglapus, Manuel Manahan, Soc Rodrigo, and Ninoy Aquino. This nation has become a virtual kingdom. dominated by a few wealthy and well-entrenched families, who control the people and government. Cebu Province is now a monolith controlled by the social, economic, and political elite. Every political dynasty is a mockery of democracy.

Who has the guts to run against the Gullases in the 1st District, the Garcias in the 3rd, the Salimbangons in the 4th, the Frascos in the 5th, the Lagons in the 6th, the Calderons in the 7th, the Ouanos in Mandaue, the Chans in Lapu-Lapu, and the incumbents in Carcar, Naga, Toledo, Danao, and Bogo?

At least Vice Governor Hilario Davide III is running against 2nd District incumbent Edsel Galeos. Galeos may have more money, better organization, and the advantages of being the incumbent. But Davide has the good name, respect, the love of the people, and a perfectly clean record in public service. It will indeed be another classic fight like David and Goliath. And David shall win to liberate his people. My hope and my prayer.

The name Gullas is very difficult to conquer because Congressman Eddie Gullas has established a record in public service very difficult to surpass, not even to equal. Mayor Samsam Gullas of Talisay City is reaping all the fruits of a good reputation, a name that has been trusted by the people for the longest time. And Rhia Gullas, by affinity, has shared in the glory the old man has built for so many decades of hard work, excellent public service, and proven high degree of performance in Congress. The Garcias in the 3rd District are also hard to conquer and there are no more viable alternatives with the demise of Sonny Osmeña as well as the Corominases and other political brands in that district.

The Salimbangons may be at risk with the reported alliance between oil and water; the Garcias and the Martinezes of the 4th District. If and when Governor Gwen abandons the Salimbangons and opts to switch support to the Martinez political dynasty in Bogo, then Janice Salimbangon, the incumbent representative, should start to paddle her own canoe. And without the great Benhur Salimbangun, her late husband, the widow and her children may not survive the combined forces of the Garcias and the Martinezes. In the 5th District, the Duranos shall continue to control only Danao City. All the rest of the district has shifted to the Frascos under the blessings and support of the Dragon Lady in the Capitol.

In the 6th District, with Mandaue removed as a standalone congressional district, the Lagons have a smaller turf to defend but they better watch out because there are many richer and more established names in Consolacion and Cordova. The Lagons are not yet proven and tested compared to the Sitoys of Cordova and the Pepitos of Consolacion. As of today, the Chans are very strong in Lapu-Lapu. Ahong and his wife have, for the briefest span of time, managed to ease out the Radazas from the minds and hearts of the Oponganons. No one would dare to run against the Chans, unless he or she has shiploads of money from China to conquer Mactan, to buy citizenship, and buy an election like how they infiltrated Bamban, Tarlac.

In the 7th District, no one would dare to challenge Peter John Calderon. He will be allowed to finish his last term and then it will be a free-for-all among the Garcias and Gicas of Dumanjug, the Librandos of Badian, the Cabarons of Moalboal, the Blancos of Ronda, or another brother of the Calderons of Samboan and Ginatilan. The same family names with the same faces. The people have no genuine choices.

It is still the same old story, the fight between guts and glory. It is a toss-up of money against money. The poor but brilliant wannabes will remain mere annotations in history. A political kiss is still a kiss of betrayals and alliances. And the best man may not win. It all depends on who has the bigger funds, the support of the governor and the president, and connections with those who could make magic by praying over the voting machines. Family dynasties shall continue to rule till kingdom come, and may God have mercy on our people and bring salvation to our land.

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