Bait and switch, and other po­lit­i­cal col­ors

Palawan News - - EDITORIAL -

The up­com­ing elec­tions slated May next year prom­ises to be a col­or­ful sideshow on the con­tin­u­ing ri­valry be­tween op­pos­ing lo­cal po­lit­i­cal play­ers in Puerto Princesa City.

On the cen­ter stage are in­cum­bent Mayor Lu­cilo Bay­ron, who will tan­gle for the first time with em­bat­tled vice mayor Luis Mar­caida for the may­oralty.

As in most lo­cal elec­tions held in the prov­ince, it is a strain to dif­fer­en­ti­ate the can­di­dates based on what they stand for, their re­spec­tive vi­sions and pub­lic agenda, or what ex­actly are their unique ad­van­tages over the other.

Bay­ron and Mar­caida were al­lies once ad­her­ing to one moth­er­hood agenda but even­tu­ally parted ways largely be­cause of per­sonal and po­lit­i­cal dif­fer­ences. When Bay­ron was sus­pended over a case of se­ri­ous dis­hon­esty, Mar­caida took over at the be­hest of the De­part­ment of In­te­rior and Lo­cal Govern­ment, in­fu­ri­at­ing Bay­ron who tried to defy the rul­ing.

As hav­ing been shown by past po­lit­i­cal ex­er­cises in the city, or­ga­ni­za­tion and fi­nan­cial re­sources hugely mat­ter in the out­come of the polls. It ap­pears Bay­ron has the ad­van­tage, be­ing the in­cum­bent and hav­ing formed ear­lier on a phys­i­cal mass based of warm bod­ies un­der its “bigkis” um­brella.

Mar­caida comes into the fray not only as a huge un­der­dog but also one who is sad­dled with a se­ri­ous case for il­le­gal drugs that could negate his vic­tory even if he emerges the win­ner. He was re­cently al­lowed bail by the Re­gional Trial Court and was qual­i­fied to run since he is yet to be con­victed.

Bay­ron, on the other hand, is petrified by his own po­lit­i­cal trou­bles. He is still fac­ing a po­ten­tial per­ma­nent dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion over a case of se­ri­ous dis­hon­esty. He had been con­victed by the Om­buds­man but only got a re­prieve from the Court of Ap­peals, and the case con­tin­ues un­til it is fi­nally re­solved in the high tri­bunal.

The pos­si­bil­ity of a per­ma­nent sus­pen­sion rulinig has prompted Bay­ron to em­ploy a fa­mil­iar bai­tand-switch tac­tic, field­ing her own daugh­ter Raine Bay­ron as an­other may­oralty can­di­date. Un­like the bat­tle for Makati’s may­oralty be­tween two Bi­nay sib­lings, the Bay­ron fa­ther-daugh­ter match-up is sim­ply an in­surance pol­icy. They both de­clined last week to ex­plain the move in can­dor, but the younger Bay­ron promised that one of them will even­tu­ally with­draw.

As this week’s dead­line for the fil­ing of can­di­dacy came to a close, there is a blur as to the values that each of the two con­tenders re­ally stand for. What con­fronts the elec­torate is the op­tion of per­son­al­i­ties thus far.

In the com­ing days ahead, it should be help­ful for the cit­i­zens of Puerto Princesa City to dis­cern the is­sues and con­cerns that prefer­ably should de­fine the out­come of this elec­tion, as op­posed to per­son­al­i­ties and their non­de­script prin­ci­ples.

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