Oca’s dilemma

Sun.Star Pampanga - - TOPSTORY! -

As the win­dow slowly nar­rows, for­mer con­gress­man and mayor Os­car S. Ro­driguez con­tem­plates the fu­ture of his po­lit­i­cal life. His ques­tion is un­like that of Shake­speare’s char­ac­ter, Ham­let.

In his so­lil­o­quy, Ham­let pon­ders on a clas­sic ques­tion: to be or not to be. In Oca’s case, the equiv­a­lent ques­tion is: to run or not to run. Ham­let is con­tem­plat­ing sui­cide. Oca prob­a­bly thinks about po­lit­i­cal obliv­ion, not oblit­er­a­tion.

I guess both weigh heav­ily in the mind of the fic­tional and real pro­tag­o­nists. The de­ci­sion does be­come heav­ier for any moral man like Oca, not per­fect, but moral, if po­lit­i­cal.

On the one hand, there is long, avowed, in­vi­o­lable friend­ship. Solomon said that there is friend who sticks more than a brother. Pol­i­tics though is no re­specter of re­la­tion­ship. The com­mon­al­ity among Oca, Ed­win San­ti­ago and, per­haps, even the au­da­cious and in­trepid Vilma Caluag, is friend­ship. The de­gree is rel­a­tive. This is a per­sonal and a moral i ssu e.

On the other, there is the end­less ca­jol­ing and net­tling call of friends and sup­port­ers to take the city hall be­cause it is emerg­ing to be a dif­fer­ent house now. This is civic, not per­sonal, just as moral.

If he chooses the “to be” part of the ques­tion, which is to not run, then he will opt for a no­bler mind. Mean­ing, as Ham­let puts it, to suf­fer the slings and arrows of ou­tra­geous for­tune. In Oca’s case, that may mean giv­ing up pol­i­tics al­to­gether and be con­fined, to use a cliché, to the dust­bin of his­tory. Six years of be­ing out of pol­i­tics is a long time, es­pe­cially in this time and age of speed where it’s faster to be ir­rel­e­vant.

Of course, no re­grets. His name is syn­ony­mous to good gov­er­nance, or to be­ing a vo­cal ex­po­nent of I, any­how. That shows in the many awards earned by city LGU un­der his and his suc­ces­sor’s watch, more on the lat­ter. Re­fer­ring to EdSa, the re­versed eponym of a moniker, that is.

If he chooses the “not to be”, or to run, that is, then he must be ready “to take arms against a sea of trou­bles”. That in­cludes op­pos­ing EdSa. For­get about Vilma Caluag in the equa­tion, in the mean­time. She’s not on equal foot­ing. A word of cau­tion though: she could be the Delilah to Sam­son, which is the mid­dle name of Oca.

The sea of trou­bles is po­ten­tially tragic. EdSa is not just a friend.

He pro­fesses to be a loyal one, and based on his last press, who re­spects Oca that much he is al­most un­will­ing to op­pose him. EdSa is Oca’s dis­ci­ple, in many sense of the word, may be not ver­ba­tim ad lit­er­a­tim. How do you han­dle a friend and dis­ci­ple on the other side of the fence?

Re­mem­ber pol­i­tics is con­tact sports, com­bat­ive, ad­verse and, in most cases, neg­a­tive. One must be ready to beat the other to the ground to win. It’s not un­like UFC matches. You’re lucky if you end up with blood­ied nose only.

I’m not sure if ei­ther or both are will­ing to throw mud at each other. If the an­swer is yes, as sure as the sun rises in the east and sinks in the west, it will be mu­tual de­struc­tion. Heav­ens for­bid, cans of worms, real or in­vented, will be par for the course.

In other words, if Oca de­cides to run, get ready to rum­ble.

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