“Rivalry doesn’t help anybody.” Peter Jackson
By Alex P. Vidal
NEW YORK CITY — By having mastered the political art of timing, Iloilo Governor Arthur “Art” Defensor Sr. made sure his two lawyer sons, Iloilo third district Rep. Art “Toto” Jr. and Lorenz Noy, won’t end up as Abel and Cain in politics.
By the time the older Toto Defensor graduates (completion of his three-year term) from the House of Representatives in 2019, younger brother Noy Defensor, who will surely be elected as third district provincial board member in 2016, is ripe to replace him.
Rep. Toto Defensor’s political career will definitely not end in congress.
When father Defensor retires from politics, Toto might “inherit” the capitol top post–barring unforeseen circumstances, political and otherwise.
If both Defensor brothers are already in power, other political clans in Iloilo province might find it hard to capture the capitol in the next 12 to 15 years.
Toto and Noy, both young and energetic, can switch positions alternately as a strategy to stave off the ascension of potential Benjamins from other clans, leaving their competitors eating the dust.
Because of the timeline in the launching of their respective political careers, there is no danger in sight for Toto and Noy–or their wives–to clash for either congressman or governor in the future.
Seniority will always play a big factor in case there is an impasse, which is improbable given the solid leadership and command of their father.
Two other powerful clans in Iloilo province are also jockeying for their main bets to capture and recapture the coveted capitol top post.
Because of their wrangling over who should be the next congressman in the fifth district, the Tupas clan’s best bets for governor in the future–Iloilo fifth district Rep. Neil “Junjun” Tupas Jr. and Vice Governor Boboy Tupas–are in danger of falling by the wayside if they can’t bury their hatchets in a soonest possible time.
Semi-retired former Philippine Coconut Authority chair Oscar “Oca” Garin Sr. knows that his clan’s best chance to inch their way to the capitol is for him to be elected as vice governor in 2016.
A political wizard, Oca Garin, an engineer and former Iloilo first district three-term congressman, can’t rely heavily on his wife, Board Member Ninfa and junior son, first district Rep. Oscar “Richard” Jr. to initiate the grand capitol invasion.
Daughter Christine, mayor of Guimbal, Iloilo, is another alternative for vice governor in 2016, but the lady executive may find the shoes of the gubernatorial slot “too heavy” in the most likely event given the age and health of Gov. Defensor (God forbid), who is still good for one term (2016-2019).
It must be the patriarch Garin who should start the trek to the highest mountain. The rest of the family will just follow suit.