DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 24 October) – Supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo in this city, the bailiwick of President Rodrigo Duterte, are backing civil society leader Maria Victoria “Mags” Maglana who is challenging Presidential son Paolo Duterte’s bid for reelection as 1st district Representative.
Pablo Reyes, one of the organizers of “Mindanaoans for Leni” here, said the group will strongly support the candidacy of Maglana, a governance, peace and development worker and a much sought after facilitator in conferences of civil society and in government agencies as well.
Maglana, 52, has at least 30 years of experience in accompanying local governments and communities through capacity building, technical assistance and direct support, and has been involved in policy development and advocacy work to pass responsive legislation at the local, regional and national levels.
“We will support her,” he told MindaNews on Saturday after the “car mob” (caravan mobilization) in support of Robredo’s presidential bid in the 2022 elections.
Reyes said the Mindanaoans for Leni-Davao is open to alliances for various positions at the local level.
Aside from Reyes’ group, Maglana also enjoys the support of Konsyensya Dabaw and various sectors such as women, professionals, youth, LGBTQIA, informal settlers, workers, farmers, Lumads and the Moro.
Paolo Duterte, who has been Representative of the first district since 2019, is facing two opponents in May 2022: businessman Jamal Ranon Kanan and Maglana.
Maglana filed her certificate of candidacy (COC) as an independent candidate.
“Kailangan nang itapon ang lumang governance playbook ng Davao City na siyang ginamit for 35 years. Itinatali tayo nito sa mga sitwasyong ang interes ng iilan ang nangingibabaw (We need to throw out Davao City’s obsolete governance playbook that has been in effect for 35 years. For too long it has trapped us in situations where the interests of a few are gratified) at the expense of people’s rights and welfare and good governance,” Maglana, one of the convenors, and spokesperson of Konsyensya Dabaw, told reporters after filing her COC on October 8, the last day for filing of COCs.
In running for the city’s first congressional district, she presented herself, among others, as an alternative candidate to break the local political dynasty.
“We need an enabling environment that will allow us to get our acts together and step up. This will not happen if we continue to accept that our future is exclusively reliant on the same recurring family names and that all that we have to do as citizens is to be passive and compliant,” she said.
She noted that for citizens to “explore other and better futures, we need a shared vision and a commitment to make way for what is possible, rather than just stick with what we have gotten used to.”
The Dutertes have been holding sway in Davao City, Mindanao’s premiere economic hub, for decades.
Before Rodrigo Duterte became President in 2016, he served the city as mayor for 22 years. He also served as vice mayor and representative of the city’s first district, a post now held by son Paolo.
Paolo’s siblings, Sara and Sebastian are also seeking reelection, as mayor and vice mayor. Sebastian is running unopposed while Sara will be pitted against former 3rd district Rep. Ruy Lopez. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)