By LITO RULONA
POLITICIANS from the Padayon Pilipino and the Centrist Democratic Party (CDP) yesterday figured in a word war started by a congressional candidate who called the group of Rep. Rufus Rodriguez a “political frog.”
Councilor Ramon Tabor criticized Rodriguez and his partymates, calling them politicians with no political loyalty.
Councilor Enrico Salcedo, who is seeking reelection under the CDP, lashed out at Tabor for his “frog” remark. He said Tabor was merely not used to group decisions because only one man calls the shots in the Padayon Pilipino.
Tabor, incidentally, is Padayon Pilipino’s congressional candidate for congressman in the city’s 2nd District, a seat that would be vacated by Rodriguez who is campaigning for the city’s mayoral post, and which is being sought by the congressman’s brother Maximo Jr..
Tabor said Rodriguez’s recent announcement that the CDP has chosen Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as its presidential candidate did not speak well of Rodriguez’s leadership.
“In one radio interview, he (Rodriguez) said he was for Mar Roxas of the Liberal Party, and he even chanted ‘RoRoRo’ or Rojas, Robredo, Rodriguez,” he said.
Tabor said that weeks later, Rodriguez’s brother Maximo Jr., Abante Mindanao’s representative and CDP’s congressional candidate in the 2nd District, allegedly placed a streamer of Sen. Grace Poe at their office in Barangay Nazareth.
“And then just last week, they declared that they are for Duterte,” Tabor said. “Mao ni sila ang gitawag nga bakbak sa politika.”
Tabor cautioned Duterte. “Naniguro kini sila kung kinsa’y kusog. Kung ako si Duterte, maniguro pud ko kung kinsa ba gyud ang akong supportahan. Asa ba gyud ang tinuod ani–Roxas, Poe o Duterte? Mao kini ang gitawag sab nga namangka sa tatlong ilog.”
Rodriguez’s partymate Councilor Enrico Salcedo hit back at Tabor, saying the Padayon Pilipino candidate did not understand the concept of consultations.
Salcedo said that in the CDP, decisions are made collectively, and not by one man.
Salcedo said the decision to support Duterte was a result of consultations from the barangay, candidates up to the top CDP leadership.
“Rufus is only following the majority rule. He admitted that he is personally for Roxas but during our selection process, he also declared that he would respect and follow the decision of the majority,” Salcedo said.
He said Duterte won by a landslide when CDP members met and voted.
“I used to be a member of the Padayon Pilipino, and then the LP. It’s only now that I am seeing a party leader bowing down to the wishes of majority of party members,” Salcedo said.
The majority, however, was only composed of 19 candidates and 23 district leaders. According to Rodriguez, 26 voted for Duterte, five for former interior secretary Manuel Roxas II, five for Sen. Grace Poe, two for Vice President Jejomar Binay and none for Sen. Miriam Santiago.