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Column: An election issue
« on: October 21, 2016, 10:12:26 AM »
An election issue
By Atty. Alexander "Aleckoy" Lim

This early, the battle lines are drawn between Mayor Leon Calipusan and Vice Mayor Artemio Delfin. These battle lines are expected to be there until election day when the people of Loboc will decide who is right.

It is not difficult to understand the underlying but evident rift between the two. Calipusan had challenged former Mayor Cecilio Sarigumba, Delfin’s standard-bearer, and lost to Sarigumba’s well-oiled machinery.

Like any bride’s maid waiting for her time to come, Delfin looked forward to the day when Sarigumba will complete his three terms so that he will have his turn to bid for the town’s top post.

Unfortunately for Delfin, Calipusan was able to work an agreement behind the scenes that left the vice-mayor holding on to the empty bag. When the 2004 elections came, Calipusan became a consensus mayor among Loboc’s power brokers.

Loboc became one of a few towns in Bohol where the mayoralty candidate was unopposed, giving Calipusan the seat that he failed to bag the previous election on a silver platter.

Of course, that did not sit well for Delfin who is still nursing hopes to realize his dream to take his turn as town mayor. He was willing to step aside for one term but obviously he cannot wait forever.

This election, Delfin has to choose whether he will again give in or make his bold move. All indications point to the latter. It seems that, like many vice mayors in the province, the long wait is over for him. To Delfin, there is no tomorrow.

If indeed he will challenge Calipusan in next year’s local elections, Delfin has one issue that he can raise against the incumbent – the fees that the town is collecting from river cruise boat owners.

The increase in the charges has become a source of conflict between Calipusan and the boat owners who complain against the increase. The mayor however stands pat on the charges because he believes it is only proper that the town benefit from the tourism activity that has enriched many boat owners but leaves only loose change for the town.

If Calipusan has any consolation at this point, it is the fact that the issue is over a project that is intended to benefit the town. It is unlike issues hounding other incumbents such as enriching one’s self while in office and other excesses.

At the very least, the election will also determine whether the town actually benefits from the project as Calipusan wants it to appear. If he is able to convince the rest of the voters that the project is good for the town, he will be vindicated with their votes.

No doubt about it, this project will be submitted as an issue to the town.

Published on Oct 15, 2006 by The Bohol Standard Newspaper

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