By NITZ ARANCON
FORMER congressman Rufus Rodriguez has announced that he struck down plans for a coalition agreement between the Centrist Democratic Party and the Padayon Pilipino, Councilor Enrico Salcedo revealed on Wednesday.
Salcedo, one of the CDP’s winning candidates in the 2016 elections, said Rodriguez made the announcement before his supporters during a Christmas party the ex-congressman’s family hosted in December 2017.
Salcedo said Rodriguez decided not to pursue talks for a CDP-Padayon Pilipino coalition after his younger brother and successor in the city’s 2nd District, Rep. Maximo Rodriguez Jr., joined the administration PDP-Laban.
The younger Rodriguez earlier said he was seeing his political family reuniting with Mayor Oscar Moreno’s group.
Moreno and the Rodriguezes became bitter political enemies in 2016 when the elder Rodriguez challenged the mayor’s reelection bid. Another Moreno challenger that year was Padayon Pilipino founding leader and ex-mayor Vicente Emano.
Salcedo said, “Kadtong gihugon-hugon nga coalition sa partido ni Dongkoy (Emano) ug kang Rufus, wala na to.”
He said he was also expecting the Rodriguezes to join forces with Moreno’s group, including 1st District Rep. Rolando Uy and his son Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin Uy, because of their membership in the PDP-Laban.
Moreno, the Uys and members of the city council majority have been accepted as new PDP-Laban members and are scheduled to be sworn into the administration party this Jan. 27.
Former councilor Alexander Dacer, a Padayon Pilipino leader, said the planned coalition between CDP and Emano’s party was initially discussed right after the last elections. He said the elder Rodriguez and Emano talked about joining forces against Moreno’s group in the office of former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada in October 2016.
The Manila meeting was immediately discussed among Padayon Pilipino members as soon as Emano returned to the city, he said. He said he never heard about the coalition plan after that.
Dacer said many things could still happen between now and the 2019 elections like the likelihood of President Duterte establishing his own political party.
“Dili man PDP-Laban ang partido ni President Duterte. Gi-adopt man lang na siya sa PDP-Laban pero na-a may iyang kaugalingong partido ana sa Davao,” Dacer said.
Dacer said he was informed that the President’s daughter, Davao Mayor Sara Carpio, was strengthening the family’s political group in Davao. He said Duterte’s group could coalesce with the Padayon Pilipino.
“Hulatan lang nato kay dili pa man kini official, pero ako lang kini nga nadunggan, kay na-a man poy atong mga higala sa Davao nga mga kapartido ni President Digong,” said Dacer.