MANILA, Philippines-SPARE A THOUGHT FOR SABAS ABANG MABULO, the three-term mayor of San Fernando, Camarines Sur. Last week, the United Opposition named him its candidate for congressman of the first district of Camarines Sur, against the President’s second son, Diosdado “Dato” Arroyo.
It won’t be an easy run, given that President Macapagal-Arroyo’s considerable resources, especially those of the persuasive kind, will undoubtedly be placed at her son’s disposal. But it is a necessary candidacy, because the people of Camarines Sur must be given a choice.
We are happy to note that Mabulo is highly qualified for the post, with his proven popularity and a reputation for competence and performance. But even if he weren’t, the fact that he is contesting the post against the President’s own son should be acknowledged and recognized.
In the first place, Dato Arroyo is—to use a resonant term of the political art—a carpetbagger. He hails from one place, grew up in another, but now presumes to represent the citizens of a third. Secondly, he is, indubitably, a dynast—a member of the country’s most powerful dynasty, seeking a free ride to public office, to join his brother-congressman in Pampanga, his uncle-congressman in Negros, and, of course, his mother in Malacañang. How else explain his decision to seek political office, in his own name, in another vote-rich region?
Finally, he is the product of machine politics—that is to say, his still unannounced candidacy is the result, not of extensive consultation with political partners or of a groundswell of public support (as measured, say, by public opinion polls), but of an areglo, an arrangement entered into by the powers-that-be.
Here's a very informative post from Willy Prilles: ‘Abang’ Mabulo dares to dream
But who is Abang Mabulo? To help address this information asymmetry, I googled his name and only came out with the following:
(1) He is Bikolandia's most outstanding municipal mayor in 2002, making him an automatic finalist in the Local Government Leadership Awards (LGLA), then being managed by the DLSU Institute of Governance. The LGLA is to outstanding mayors and governors as Gawad Galing Pook is to outstanding local government initiatives. Its growing list of winners can be found here.
(2) He is a trustee of the Ateneo de Naga University, joining the likes of Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo, City Councilor Miles Raquid-Arroyo and corporate whiz Monico Jacob. No wonder, the Ateneo community is solidly behind his candidacy, in spite of the fact that Dato earned his bachelor's degree from the same institution after transferring from Ateneo de Manila in the late '90s.
But yahooing it yielded this gem, a circa 2004 article by the Inquirer's Juan Escandor who allows us a peek into his public career and NGO background, which should explain why he became Bicol's best mayor a few years back. Renee Gumba of the Ateneo Institute of Politics said they are coming out with a better profile of the man that dares to dream the politically impossible.
More from Prilles on Abang.
THE INQUIRER editorial on San Fernando Mayor Sabas "Abang" Mabulo's bid against Diosdado "Dato" Arroyo, Jr. dominated last week's airwaves as well as the front and opinion pages of local papers.
For all indication, Mabulo's longshot candidacy is tapping into a powerful emotional wellspring that defies conventional thinking: whether it is powerful enough to overturn the wishes of Camarines Sur's political gods, all the way to Malacañang, remains to be seen.
Read the whole thing.
PDI: GO presents bet vs Arroyo’s son, Dato
B&W Leah Navarro is also asking for your help to raise funds for Mayor Abang's campaign:
We are raising funds for the success of his campaign! For his campaign is one of the icons of our black and white listing campaign!
On April 16, Monday, 6-8 pm, we are calling on all supporters/campaigners/Bicolanos to a fund raising dinner for Abang at Conspiracy Garden Cafe, 59 Visayas Ave.
Please come and share one thousand pesos for a good dinner and company of black and white listers! We need all the resources at our disposal to win in the battle of D1CS!
Pls call Conspiracy ( 02-4532170) for reservations.
Volunteers for Abang
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