FORMER mayor of Miag-ao, Iloilo and Provincial Board member General Gerardo Flores is the only creature gutsy enough to dare the Garins, considered the most powerful political clan that have been lording over the 1st District of Iloilo for more than two decades. Those who previously dared all disappeared into political oblivion.
Majority in the district prefer to be like the mythological three monkeys which see no evil, speak no evil and hear no evil. They believe playing blind, mute and deaf would spare them from living in fear and harassment. Don’t challenge this clan and you are assured of a harmonious life.
Recently, a scandal involving an ordinary cop threatened to spark some sort of political upheaval in the 1st District. Will it cause the clan’s downfall?
Meanwhile, General Flores – considered by the Garins as a political adversary – has never been interviewed by the main stream media. The former can make his own assessment of the situation and can contribute a lot by sharing his own experiences with the Garins. However, it appears that some media outlets deliberately ignore to get his take on the story.
Call this divine intervention: the Philippine National Police cancelled the gun permits of the Garins as an offshoot of the scandal involving an ordinary policeman.
Are we now seeing a diminishment of political terrorism in the district?
Former Department of Health secretary Janette Garin, on the other hand, has decided to run again for congresswoman despite the Dengvaxia anti-dengue vaccine brouhaha. She is clashing with General Flores.
Will the retired police general win? By some twist of fate he could. These recent unexpected developments appeared favorable to him.
But aside from these, General Flores is the better option because of his long experience in public service. Secondly, he has the moral authority in all aspects of governance; he has not been tainted with corruption.
Plus, he is a lawyer, too. His knowledge of the law will come in handy when he leads the district.
Last year General Flores had the chance to attend a consultative meeting with gubernatorial candidate Cong. Ferj Biron in Miag-ao. A fair arrangement beneficial to both was agreed – Flores would run for Provincial Board member with no rival at all in the district. In principle Biron found this fair. This, however, was strongly opposed by Janette Garin who has in mind somebody else as candidate for the Provincial Board.
Flores right away distanced himself from the group. He would confess much later he preferred working with people who are not corrupt.
And so he decided to run for congressman of the 1st District. He knew running against the Garins is an uphill endeavor. But like a true soldier and gentleman that he is, he prefers to face them fairly and squarely.
Who knows, he may be last man standing when the elections are over. ([email protected]/PN)