Ex-DC resident runs for mayor
|Posted by Manila Mail under Articles/Stories|
In a recent email to his scores of friends here, Doming tells of the uphill battle he is waging to unseat the Dycoco’s political dynasty that have ruled the place for four decades now.
(The Manila Mail is publishing his report because it gives one an idea of how hard it is for a new candidate to battle entrenched political clans in the provinces- Ed)
Doming estimates that for the mayoralty contest in the small town of Libon, he needs at least P50 million (a little over $1 million) in order to match what the incumbent dynasty is expected to shell out in order to remain in power.
He says he originally thought that a mere promise of good governance and more income for the town would be enough to raise campaign funds.
Not so, Doming said. He said money is needed if he expects to unseat the incumbent dynasty. “Sure you would need a good program and a solid organization, but most effective though is lots of money. A good portion of the voting population doesn’t care much of issues or programs; most of them are simply waiting for the highest offer. This, I want to rectify but I need to be incumbent first before I can do anything. Therefore, needless to say, I have to do what the ”Romans” do in order to make changes.”
He adds that the most expensive part of the campaign is the vote-buying which could run into P20 million, or so. “In addition, you need to establish some kind of a relationship with the rebels: the communist NPA (New Peoples Army). Though their monetary request could be much less in hundreds of thousands, the mere fact of contacting them is already hair-raising.”
Among the candidates for mayor are the incumbent, Agnes Dycoco and Dan Dycoco, a close relative of the incumbent and Doming. “Agnes and Dan are part of the dynasty that ruled the town for the past four decades. Despite the brief respite of the OIC’s instituted by Cory after the fall of Marcos, the clout of the Dycocos continued because of their ever growing influence. Agnes and Dan are now in collision course because both claim “ownership” of the town. Dan claims its rightfully his because his father was first to become mayor; Agnes claims it’s hers being the incumbent. Must be a great feeling owning a town with approx 40,000 voting population.”
Doming argues that the lack of progress in Libon since he left for the US in 1975 was very evident. “Libon was then comparable or even more beautiful than the neighboring towns like Polangui, Oas, etc. Almost 35 years after, I came back to the same town with very little progress, unlike the other towns. Health, education, and livelihood are abysmal. Health care is almost nonexistent especially in remote barangays, roads are unpassable, education is bad (as a candidate, get solicitations for blackboards, desks, chairs. Roofing materials, etc). Livelihood is seasonal which is very agriculture-dependent. It would only take the weakest typhoon to sap dry the livelihood of the town for the next 6 months.”
He states that corruption is prevalent in the town. The current administration, Doming adds, focuses on beautification and false presentation of prosperity like street dancing on fiestas and a new market that is almost empty because of unaffordable rents, a gymnasium that was supposed to be for public use and is now rented, etc.
Doming says the family of the incumbent was only renting an apartment when they took office. Now, he adds, the family allegedly owns a house in Singapore where the children go to school, rural banks, new cars, hardware stores, and others.
“Local elections are pretty exciting too. First, you need to have an organization that would plot, strategize, and do the dirty works.
Then, you travel all over town in order to get exposed and let the voters know that you are a candidate. Then you conduct semi rallies under the guise of innocently presenting yourself to the public but for all intent and purposes, these are political campaigns which are illegal at this time. Then you do the small things like facilitating new voters registration, going to wakes, again mostly for exposures, sponsoring baptism and weddings; heck, I even sponsored mass weddings, and jockeying with people who are taking advantage of the situation: people with solicitations ranging from a sick baby to sponsoring a beauty contest. Again, I was even duped (maybe willingly ) to sponsor a beauty pageant. But what the heck, it’s all part of the game, so I gathered.”
In closing, Doming said that “I expect to win my friends. With your support and prayers I am more than sure I will win this contest. See you all soon.”