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May 1,2013 12:48 AM

By: Peter G. Jimenea

The growing public perception that Cong. Ferj Biron is a strong contender for governor may be true.

This is precipitated by the repeated visits of Pres. Pinoy Aquino to Iloilo just to endorse the candidacy of the incumbent Gov. Arthur Defensor, Sr.

The President’s presence will let the public will know that the game’s prize is worth playing with his participation.

But if Cong. Biron is the weaker candidate between the two, why call in the President when they have DILG Sec. Mar Roxas and Sen. Franklin M. Drilon in tow?

The two have already organized a provincial party headed by the three political “warlords” in the persons of Gov. Defensor of the Third District, former Gov. Niel Tupas Sr. of the Fifth District and Cong. Oscar Garin of the First District of Iloilo.

If we look back at the history of politics in the province, these tree warlords were arch rivals for decades in the race for supremacy to govern the Iloilo Provincial Capitol, a building we fondly call Kingdom by the River because of its location.

On how the current administration convinced the three arch enemies to share an umbrella against the burning heat of politics, they have yet to say.

But critics raise their eyebrows to the grouping of three former adversaries.

Combining the three districts under the Liberal Party is enough to topple Cong. Biron of the Fourth District. But what compels the president to come over for the endorsement of their bet? It is the perception of a hollow alliance between Defensor, Tupas and Garin.

The hurting negative tirade received by Tupas from the governor in the latter’s previous SOPA has become a story that won’t easily go away. Gov. Tupas may forgive but what about his family members and political associates in the Fifth District?

In this case, uncertainty on the victory of Gov. Defensor in the fifth District is still hanging over their heads. The story of the three friendly actors in the film “The Three Idiots” is far different from the hollow alliance of Liberal Party leaders in the province of Iloilo.

This creates an impression that the governor may lose to Biron if not given the proper attention and Liberal Party’s full support. If Gov. Defensor loses to Biron, then Sec. Roxas’ dream will be a nightmare and he can only say “Goodbye, 2016.”

So today, there are six against one. Pres. Aquino, Sen. Drilon, Sec. Roxas, Tupas,  Defensor and Garin against Biron. Why do they fear the victory of Biron in this battle? Simple, the answer lies in 2016 ambition of the DILG secretary.

A plus factor is the “Cheaper Medicine Bill” of Biron. This feeds revenge in the heart of the DILG secretary who has a different version. Now, the PNP Special Action Force (SAF) then headed by Gen. Cipriano Querol Jr. deployed forces in Panay and Cebu only. On why, we don’t know.

Politics is dirty and contagious. It is a game of the wise and clever. I see no other way for the Liberal Party bosses to convince the warring Defensor, Tupas and Garin to join forces except the adoption of the Mafia’s strategy of unification - cooperation is better than competition.

But Cong. Biron may have already a mindset syndrome that the prize at stake in this war with the administration is worthy of the battle he is fighting for.

That’s it, so the battle cry is, si “vis pacem para bellum” - if you want peace be prepared for war!

 

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