Democracy threat seen in coalition

Not everybody is thrilled of the prospect that there will be a coalition between hitherto intense political rivals as they fear that it undermines democracy and transparency that may not serve the public interest but only of those in power.

Under the so-called One Vision, One Nation and One Visayas, no candidates will be fielded against will be fielded against the incumbent governor, vice-governor and congressmen. However, the posts of Provincial Board Member, mayors, vice-mayors and councilors will be declared free zones.

Some pundits argue that in a healthy democracy, a genuine opposition is necessary so that people will have a choice as to who they would want to govern them. But, in spite of a coalition there is no stopping any interested person, prompted by his or her genuine desire to serve the public to seek public office, only that they may find it harder to win against a unified and well-funded ticket.

After years of political animosity, Governor Roel Degamo and the three congressmen Josy Limkaichong of the 1st District, Manuel Sagarbarria of the 2nd District and Arnie Teves of the 3rd District have finally come to terms and decided that it would be better if they unify rather than spend their resources in defeating their respective candidacies.

Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, who was instrumental in brokering the talks until all the parties concerned have come to an agreement, lauded the unity coalition as a sure means to accelerate the implementation and completion of the projects to the benefit of the people.

Also an important actor in the unity is Negros Occidental 3rd District Cong. Alfredo Benitez, who hosted several rounds of talks and consultations so that a coalition will be forged ahead of the midterm May 2019 elections.

Actually this is a revival of the old political arrangements that ensured not only harmony but also for the incumbents to remain entrench in their positions or share power until they decide to switch once their terms are up.

For some, this is good for the province, but for others this accommodation stifles the growth and infusion of fresh and young blood to the provincial, congressional and local leaderships.