“Working hard and working smart sometimes can be two different things.” Byron Dorgan
By Alex P. Vidal
A VIDEO can be cruel if its entire episode is not seen.
The video of that ugly microphone-grabbing incident at the E. B. Javier Freedom Park in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique last Monday morning immediately elicited sympathies for ousted Antique governor Exequiel “Boy Ex” Javier after it looked like he was being bullied by supporters of newly-installed governor Rhodora Cadiao.
The scene where lawyer Kune Aldon forcefully snatched the microphone away from Javier’s grip was so distressing as Javier’s face suddenly turned pale like Winnie the Pooh frightened by the turn of events.
Upon realizing he was surrounded by Popeye, Bart Simpson, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Fred Flintstone and Wile E. Coyote, scared Winnie the Pooh obediently left the slaughterhouse after being whisked away by a lone aide.
Winnie the Pooh didn’t put up a resistance.
Aldon or Popeye later explained that he only grabbed back the microphone which Javier had allegedly taken away from Cadiao before the flag ceremony.
That scene where Javier allegedly grabbed the microphone from Cadiao was not seen in the video downloaded in the social media.
The incident would have been avoided if Javier only followed what ousted Laguna governor EJ Ejercito did.
Ejercito, who was also disqualified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for campaign overspending, did not anymore wait for the writ of execution from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Javier was disqualified for illegally suspending Valderrama mayor Mary Joy Roquero before the May 2013 polls.
Ejercito vacated the Laguna capitol after Manila mayor Erap Estrada, his uncle, convinced him to leave.
Cadiao was formally installed as the new governor after the DILG and Comelec served the writ of execution on February 3, after a week of leadership tug-of-war.
Javier is not actually doomed politically.
His ouster does not disqualify him from seeking another term for governor in 2016 which is 15 months away.
If Javier decides to run again, he will be up for a possible collision course versus Cadiao, who, by that time, must have already solidified her hold among barangay officials and municipal mayors.
It remains to be seen, however, if Antiquenos will revert back to the old politics that has stalled the growth of the province by electing Javier once again.
Javier has been in power since the post EDSA revolution.
Because of the memory and legacy left behind by his martyred brother, former governor Evelio, he cruised to an unprecedented three terms in congress.
His son, Paolo, has replaced Javier in congress.
Javier father and son have been lording over Antique politics like a dynasty.
Javier’s ouster as governor via disqualification was a bitter pill to swallow for a politician who has become a myth in his province.
Behind his mouth-watering winning streak as congressman and governor, however, was a protracted and unresolved conflict with the Pacificadors.
When Board Member Arturo “Turing” Pacificador died last month, Javier failed to put an exclamation point to their ugly political rivalry started by the late Evelio that dated back during the Martial Law years.
To compound the matter, Javier also had a falling out with former governor Sally Perez-Saldivar, who also became his arch-rival in Antique politics.
Despite his seeming invincibility, Javier is far from being a legend if we review the growing list of leaders in the province who have become dissatisfied and disillusioned with his brand of politics.
He is far cry from IIoilo Governor Arthur “Art” Defensor Sr., who still commands the respect of both his rivals and supporters even if he has been in politics before Martial Law.
As a former assemblyman, Defensor was already a national figure long before Boy Ex Javier became a by-word in Antique.
Defensor also became Boy Ex’s colleague in the House of Representatives, serving the third district of Iloilo from June 30, 2001 until June 30, 2010.
When Defensor first became governor in 1992-1998, he beat future governor Neil D. Tupas, Sr. in one of the hottest gubernatorial contests in history.
Like Boy Ex, Defensor also swept his rivals and was never defeated.
The only difference is Defensor was never hated as a politician.
Instead of waging an Armageddon against Defensor, his former political rivals admired him and saluted the political paradigm shift that he has introduced in Iloilo.