A GOOD LEADER inspires; he can always persuade people with desired effect and influence or sway those who are unsure.
He also has all the charisma to groom somebody who could represent him and the cause he’s advocating, or shall we say, promoting -- in a community where he needed people’s utmost support and cooperation.
That’s why when Liberal Party provincial leader, CamNorte Governor Edgardo Tallado, named William A Lim as the LP’s candidate for the vice-mayoralty contest in Jose Panganiban, a million pairs of eyebrows jumped.
What happened to the LP leadership in Jose Panganiban that it is fielding WaLim ONLY as challenger to current vice-mayor Ariel Non, and not to Mayor Ricarte Padilla, who is seeking a second term?
It was Tallado’s desperate move to keep the LP ship afloat at Jose Panganiban’s political waters, which is ready to unleash a tsunami of winning votes for Padilla whether an election is held today or next year.
And the infamous provincial governor is betting on WaLim to shore him up.
WaLim can surely trash Non in the vice-mayoralty contest -- hands down -- with help from his built-in “balwarte” of voters across the municipality; the reported on-going animosity that developed over the past three years among Parang residents towards Aye, who are their “kabaranggay”, is also helping to shave votes from his own stock.
Not to mention a number of Mayor Dong Loyalists who are willing to drop Aye from their ballots as they want to see another vice-mayor next year.
But against Padilla, it’s a foregone conclusion that WaLim would be bludgeoned.
And this is a slap across the face of Tallado, who has no love lost for the incumbent mayor but has no man who could help him save his face.
And as far as MWBuzz is concerned, Tallado is a failed political leader representing the Liberal Party in CamNorte.
He’s failure to launch a candidate of Ricarte’s caliber to slug it out with the current mayor in the May 2013 local elections loudly speaks for itself -- that his leadership in the province is wanting and that no viable and potential politician-to-be is convinced to carry LP in Jose Panganiban under his leadership.
It’s no surprise that Tallado has been a big joke as far as the other LP bigwigs in five other Bicol provinces are concerned.
While LP in CamSur, Albay, Masbate, Sorsogon and Catanduanes are gearing it up against their equality strong opponents in all levels of the political stairs in their respective provinces, here is Tallado fielding his man in Jose Panganiban in the person of WaLim who is forced to go one-rank lower.
The national leadership of LP would surely be dismayed to find out that its Kingpin in Camarines Norte – Tallado – has failed to groom and hone somebody in Jose Panganiban to challenge Padilla’s regime of “good governance and astute leadership”.
Because it only means one thing for the LP – it won’t get winning votes in this second class farming-and-fishing-and-mining municipality for its senatorial, congressional and provincial line-ups.
What could be Tallado’s problem as the governor of CamNorte?
There could be many.
But the most glaring infractions that he could have done as leader were related to a host of corruption allegations that have something to do with gold.
Over the past three years of his term as the governor, Tallado has been alleged to have indiscriminately issued out permits for small-scale-mining operations in Labo, Paracale and Jose Panganiban even after a ban on new permits was imposed.
The Department of Local Government had suspended issuance permits for small scale mining operations following deadly accidents in the small-scale mining districts in Mindanao.
One reason why the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo ordered a probe against the governor in July and sacked top police officers in the province for failure to stop illegal operations after a nationwide ban has been issued.
Tallado said while he discouraged illegal mining operations in Paracale, there was nothing he could do about it as gold provides a steady livelihood to more than 10,000 people in the province.
He was even quoted as saying “to stop them would be political suicide”.
The LP national leadership may praise Tallado for this stand for it assures the men running the party of rich votes for their candidates in CamNorte, courtesy of these gold miners – both legal and illegal operators.
But then, on the other hand, the party has no reason to be happy over his poor performance in selling goodwill for the party that would give them a winning edge in this municipality on May 2013 elections.
Jose Panganiban may be a small place with voters just numbering below 20,000, but the prospects of losing in this municipality owing to an inept political leadership is a painful option the Liberal Party has to accept for now.
- Alfredo P Hernandez