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From minority to majority party

/ 02:24 AM May 24, 2016

THE BANDWAGON mentality of Filipinos is clearly at work among congressmen from different political parties who are now flocking to presumptive President-elect Digong Duterte’s PDP-Laban.

Its candidate for House speaker, elected Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez, is making little effort to raid the other parties.

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But the exodus to PDP-Laban continues, turning it into the majority party as a result of the mass defections from the Liberal, Nacionalista, Lakas-CMD and Nationalist People’s Coalition parties.

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One of the congressmen from the Visayas bloc now singing the praises of PDP-Laban was a staunch supporter of presidential candidate Grace Poe.

He contributed hundreds of millions of pesos to Poe’s campaign fund but left her when the surveys showed Duterte surging ahead a few weeks before Election Day.

The Visayas legislator is just being practical; he has to protect his e-bingo and casino business.

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After President-elect Digong named him incoming agriculture secretary, former sports columnist and broadcaster Manny Piñol has been going around the country asking farmers about their needs and concerns.

The diminutive Piñol—who stands barely 5 feet tall—wants to know how the Department of Agriculture can bring “available and affordable” food to the table of every Filipino.

His program, when he takes over the agriculture department, is massive food production and poverty alleviation among farmers.

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Born to very poor parents in North Cotabato, Manny became more exposed to poverty when he was elected governor of the province in 1998 and served for nine consecutive years.

He didn’t have any graft case in his three terms as governor.

In a Facebook post, Manny said that his “field exposure as a local government leader made me realize the problems affecting the country’s farmers and why, in spite of the fact that we are endowed with so much resources, the country could hardly produce enough food for its growing population.”

Piñol raises free-range chickens, hybrid goats and sheep in his farm.

He says he plants organic rice, corn and vegetables.

The very tanned Piñol claims to till the field using a carabao-drawn plough in his spare time.

My compadre looks every bit  a mag-uuma (Visayan for farmer), probably the first secretary of agriculture to look and act like one.

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Sen. Cynthia Villar, mother of incoming Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, defends her son’s controversial appointment.

She says her son is very much qualified to hold the position since he is a graduate of a US university.

The senator misses the point; it’s not her son’s qualification that is in question but delicadeza or propriety.

Since their family is in the real estate business, there is a clear conflict of interest.

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Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, who lent Digong his plane and helicopter during the campaign, feels bad that he has been left out of the selection of officials for the incoming Duterte administration.

Quiboloy and other close friends of the Davao City mayor should understand that Digong is no longer the person they once knew: easily accessible, having a lot of time to spend with them and very accommodating.

Digong no longer owns his time; he has an entire nation to look after. His decisions are now based on national, instead of parochial interests.

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TAGS: Manny Piñol, Mark Villar, Metro, news, Rodrigo Duterte
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