Okey. We, Filipinos, in general, and Capiceños, in particular, have very short memories. We easily forgive and forget. But will this kind of mentality work in favor of former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn “Jocjoc” Bolante, believed to be the architect of the P728-millon fertilizer scam, when the controversial Capiceño from Dao, Capiz finally decides to throw his hat into the political ring?
As of presstime, the buzz was that Bolante is all set to run for governor in Capiz in next year’s election. Should this happen, he will face the likely candidate of the powerful Roxas clan — incumbent Gov. Victor Tanco, who is expected to seek a second term under the Liberal Party. Of course,Tanco alone could make himself win the election. Though he is popular and has charisma, still it boils down to such factors as enough campaign funds and greater political influence. And this is where the role of Sen. Mar Roxas ll and his mother, Judy Araneta-Roxas, comes in.
Bolante’s latest saga could actually be interpreted as a challenge not to Tanco but to the leadership of the Roxases in Capiz. Which means that any Bolante victory could be seen either as an insult to or a repudiation of the Roxases’ political hold in the province. Thus, this is something that the Roxases will never allow to happen.
Okey. Bolante has plenty of money. That, I think, appears to be his only “credential” for seeking public office.
We have seen in several instances in the past of how the Roxases had flexed their political muscles when pushed to the wall. I think even Bolante is very much aware of such “political realities” in Capiz. If so, why is he running?
I suspect that Bolante’s plan to enter Capiz politics has other purposes other than winning an elective post. Does he see his running for public office– regardless of whether he wins or not –as a vindication of sort for his alleged role in the fertilizer fund scandal?
Besides, Bolante is seen as less of a politician. Is his desire to run really a passion… something that is coming from is heart and dictated by his clean conscience and not a matter of political survival?
If he runs, does he have the charisma and appeal like those of his opponent? Besides having figured in the multi-million peso fertilizer fund fiasco, very little is known about him and his accomplishments, although some who know him swear that he is really a jolly good fellow. And the $64 question is: Will Capiceños go for him during “judgment day” considering the fact that once they have voted for him, they (Capiceños) will be seen, more or less, as his (Bolante’s) reflection?
In short, are the people of Capiz ready to “gamble” on him?
Bolante maybe innocent of the charges being leveled against him but must concede to the fact that the fertilizer issue is something that will haunt him not only during elections but for the rest of his life!
The only people, I think, who will benefit from his political plan are those who will handle his campaign funds. I can foresee that some of these people will be laughing all the way to the banks after the election period.
But again, since we are in a democracy, we can only welcome Bolante’s plan to join the “political fray.” Who knows? He may yet turn out to be the kind of leader that we all have been desperately looking for….
by: Gerry T. Pagharion, Editor-In-Chief – The Capiz Times
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