By Jun Ledesma

What Davao clique?

September 1, 2021, 9:39 pm

SOME senators have selective memory. In the Senate's current investigation, they were talking of prices of personal protective equipment medical commodities today and stonewalled how much were the prices of the same items when the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) declared pandemic later. 

Even the wise guys in the Senate were not even as perturbed about the threat of Covid-19  before as they are today trying to throw muck at anyone they perceive is close to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and their own colleague, Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go. The issue of over-pricing of purchases by the Department of Health was taken up before and now that the election fever has started to simmer it is again resurrected. They have a term for this: “investigation in aid of elections”. 

The issue which I too hammered before was the sluggish action of DoH Sec. Francisco Duque raises the red flag on Covid-19 which in turn resulted in the late purchases of protective vests and masks for our medical front-liners. In Davao, a group of concerned citizens pooled resources to buy PPEs for our front-liners at the Southern Medical Center when we heard they have to use hospital blankets to serve as their protective vests. From that time on, I always referred to Duque as the weakest link and even called for his resignation and dismissal. Up to now. 

Of course, the media establishments which had been complaining of the ‘suppression’,  are now busy churning out the propaganda to discredit the Duterte administration. The agenda is to diminish the trust and approval rating of the President. Digong is not a lame-duck which they wish he’ll be. He matters a lot in the 2022 Presidential campaign.

In desperation they dragged  Sen. Bong Go in the storm they stir in a teapot. Reviving the frigate deal by making a lot of fuss over a referral note which they interpreted as an endorsement. It was all a done deal from the past administration.  Blue Ribbon Committee Chair Dick Gordon belittled his fellow Senator Bong Go referring to him as a Presidential aide. He forgot that Bong was elected by the people. Dick must have some ascendancy over Bong and the rest of the senators, but he pales miserably in terms of performance compared to the neophyte senator.  I will not go into details for it might be tantamount to an insult to the man I once hope will become our President. 

Duterte’s Cabinet replete with Davao boys? Of the 23 Cabinet members who are Department heads, only two are from Davao. They are Executive Secretary  Salvador “Bimbong’ Medialdea and Finance Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez.

There are officials with the rank of department secretaries. Of the 22, only five are from Davao and they are Cabinet Sec. Karlo Nograles, Solicitor General Jose Calida, Presidential Management Staff OIC Melchor Quitain, TESDA Sec. Isidro Lapena, and Mindanao Development Authority Sec. Manny Pinol. 

So there. The senators who make the grandiose claim that this government is run by a Davao clique must be making a fool of themselves or think we are.  


About the Columnist

Image of Jun Ledesma

Mr. Jun Ledesma is a community journalist who writes from Davao City and comments from the perspective of a Mindanaoan.