I smell a rat PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 21 November 2018 12:28

Looking In

By Rod Balbon


Second District congressional candidate Ka Lilia Nuño should better be very careful. The petitions that were allegedly filed by the three barangay captains of Landang Gua, Tumalutab, and Busay, all in Sacol Island, is an issue that will give her problems during the campaign period. Although the three barangay chiefs denied filing the same, when allegedly confronted by Congressman Celso Lobregat, Comelec Manila confirmed that these petitions were indeed filed in their office.

These barangays are the Nuño’s bailiwicks and the votes serve as their command/swing votes, big enough and crucial to cruise them to political victory. It is in these places where political opponents would get zero votes.

At first, these petitions didn’t arouse my curiosity, believing that such were an exercise of democratic principle that we must all respect. But these barangay chairmen denied that they have conducted any barangay session last October 21, 2018 and claimed that their signatures were forged. Landang Gua Barangay Chair Benjamin Abdulla revealed that they were instead made to sign a document which purportedly supports the implementation of solar and water projects for the barangay.

Who then convinced them to sign these documents? And to dig deeper into this issue, who is this bright guy who thought of asking and convincing the barangay captains to sign the documents without them knowing that these were to be used as petitions for their barangays to be included in the Bangsamoro jurisdiction? Despite the denials, Comelec Manila has confirmed that petitions were indeed filed with their office.

Remember the similar MOA-AD (Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain) which aimed to conclude the on-and-off peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)? This was about to be signed in Kuala Lumpur and witnessed by the presence of the lady American ambassador Kristie Kenny, ARMM Governor Mujib Hataman and then Congresswoman Lilia Nuño, among others. But this was timely declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Nipped in the bud and consequently, one of the casualties in that year’s election was Congressman Lilia Nuño, who was pictured as pro-MILF and in favor of the creation of the Bangsamoro territory—an issue which is reviled and rejected twice by the populace of Zamboanga City.

Thus, I personally believe that these petitions filed before the Comelec Manila and which will be decided in a plebiscite this coming January is nothing but a “hatchet job”, concocted by some bright election strategists to derail the candidacy of Ka Lilia Nuño. They realized that by picturing her as pro-Muslim, her husband being a staunch believer of Islam, was an effective strategy that besmirched and destroyed her person and reputation which they believe is still worth repeating now.

Moreover, these strategists see that these petitions will show that she has no more influence and control over these barangays long considered as her political bailiwicks.

This may sound crazy but wait when the election campaign starts.