By ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ
IT SEEMS, Walim, aka William A Lim, has fallen from grace with Edgardo Tallado, the governor of CamNorte.
Tongues began waggling after Talllado was seen somewhere in Mambulao with two Mambulao LP members who are candidates in the SB this coming election, minus Walim, the former three-term mayor.
Apparently, the governor was doing some pre-election campaign recon in the municipality of 27 baranggays to take stock of his chances among Mambulao voters.
And the SB members were said to be giving him some crucial insights and information on the picture of his forthcoming blitz in the municipality starting March 30, the official start of election campaign as per Comelec directives.
And this time, Walim was not needed.
His input as the LP top guy in Mambulao was of no importance.
MWBuzz was told that the chief of the Liberal Party in CamNorte has been disappointed, to say the least, about his party’s debacle in Mambulao.
It’s only in Mambulao in the entire Bicol region that the LP has failed to groom somebody to take on the incumbent mayor.
What has happened to LP-Mambulao?
Having received flak from the LP’s national leadership, being their kingpin in CamNorte, Tallado was really pissed off.
Who won’t be?, quipped one political observer who has begun taking notes of the goings-on in town, particularly on the movements of core members from both sides of the political fence.
Tallado has been disgraced by the fact that his political party, whose titular head is DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, had failed to launch a candidate to challenge the incumbent mayor, Dong Padilla.
Seeking a second term, Padilla is riding high on the back of his popular cemented roads that are now snaking across off-town baranggays that included the economically depressed Larap, the second biggest in terms of population and voting force.
It also clearly showed that Walim’s credibility as a political figure has failed to attract individuals who could be groomed to challenge the incumbent mayor.
But this is understandable, because the present political buzz in Mambulao indicated that Dong Padilla has become a wall of concrete, one which would be hard to knock down, hard as his concrete roads.
Even Walim knows this and he therefore, views the circumstances with high regards.
So, he is keeping the road clear for Mayor Dong to cruise the remaining six years – or two more terms -- allowed by law to stay in office and deliver what he promised to Mambulaoans in July 2010 when he assumed the office of the mayor -- something which he (Walim) failed to do during his time.
To keep his political vessel afloat and cruising under the sail of LP, Walim opted to downgrade his stature as a political leader in Mambulao by taking on a lightweight like Ariel (Aye) Non, the incumbent vice-mayor.
Walim, a three-term mayor until 2010 before moving up one notch in his political sortie by running as candidate for vice-governor, and lost, is confident of beating Aye in the May elections.
That was his hunch sometime ago.
He was banking on the goodwill he built during his time as the mayor and on the “balwarte” of supporters across Mambulao, which he cultivated during the nine years that he stewed himself at the mayor’s office.
But then, the recent demeanor being shown by Tallado whenever he was in town sent Walim some pin-prick sensations, hinting him of his being “weaned” from the governor’s patronage.
Is Walim being junked by no less than the titular head of the LP in the province?
The implication could be that worse.
He may not receive a full financial backing to run his campaign for the LP Sangguniang Bayan candidates.
This would jeopardize his plot to dislodge four of Mayor Dong’s men from the next municipal council after the May elections.
Currently, the SB is dominated by Dong’s men, 6-2.
Walim’s grand plot is to win the post of the vice-mayor, make four of his SB candidates win and control the affairs of the municipal council starting July 2013.
If there are four LP in the municipal council, their number could easily neutralize the voting on crucial measures, especially those that are geared towards development spending.
And with him as the presiding officer, Walim would simply break the deadlock by voting for his men.
Simple but brilliant.
But this scenario suddenly drew clouds after Walim supporters were reported to have abandoned ship to back the eight SB candidates of Dong Padilla.
For Tallado, this is migraine burning out its fuse -- to explode.
With Mambulaoans going for Dong’s men, their support for CamNorte Representative Renato Unico – Tallado’s challenger in the post of governor – is a foregone conclusion.
Up to now, Tallado has not indicated if he was pouring campaign money to back the local LP headed by Walim.
With lesser funding or no funding at all to oil the LP machinery, its candidates could bite the dust because Mambulaoans are leaning towards shutting out LP’s entire slate in the May elections.
There’s a slogan circulating on Facebook community hosted by Mambulaoans: “Go go ocho go, ocho go ocho go … Go go ocho go, ocho go ocho go … Ocho derecho the only way to go for progress to progress.”
It refers to a straight vote for the eight SB candidates of Dong Padilla. It also refers to “ocho derecho plus 2 = 10”.
This time, it includes Dong himself and Aye.
Of late, the “vote straight, vote eight” shibboleth began to catch fire.
Walim and Tallado should be forewarned.
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