P-Noy okays creation of new province Davao Occidental

Subscribe Now September 04, 2013 at 08:05am

President Aquino signed on July 23 Republic Act 10360 creating the new province of Davao Occidental, increasing to five the provincial governments in Southern Mindanao (Region 11).

The other Region 11 local government units (LGUs) are Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur and Compostela Valley.

Bartolome Sinocruz, Commission on Elections (Comelec) deputy executive director for operations, told local media that a plebiscite on the establishment of the new province will be held on October 28 to coincide with the scheduled Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.

Sinocruz said the proposed province will have the five municipalities of Davao del Sur, namely Malita, Jose Abad Santos, Santa Maria, Don Marcelino and Sarangani, while the nine towns of Padada, Bansalan, Malalag, Hagonoy, Santa Cruz, Matanao, Ramon Magsaysay, Kiblawan and Sulop, and the capital city of Digos will remain with the mother province.

Sinocruz said, “The people accredited to vote in the Barangay and SK political exercises will be the same persons who will participate in the plebiscite that will decide whether the creation of Davao Occidental is acceptable or not to electors of Davao del Sur, which has long been politically controlled by the family of former Gov. Douglas Cagas.”

Newly elected Davao del Sur Gov. Claude Bautista said it was his elder brother Rep. Franklin Bautista of the Second District who authored in the Lower House the division of the mother province into two.

Neutral observers claimed the split of Davao del Sur, now considered as Southern Mindanao’s biggest and most populous province, is expected to ease the long political competition between the Cagas family, which has long controlled the First District; and the Bautistas, who consider the Second District their bailiwick.

The same observers noted that political rivalry between the two prominent families had previously resulted in election outbursts, which included the 2007 killing of Malita mayoral candidate Isidro Sarmiento and his son Danilo, ardent supporters of current incumbent provincial executive Bautista.

Local newsmen Orlando Dionoy and Eldie Aguirre said Bautista was then running against Douglas Cagas, who eventually became governor and went on to beat Bautista again in their succeeding return bout.

In the May 13 local elections, Bautista finally captured Davao del Sur’s top post after subduing Cagas’s eldest son, former Congressman Marc Cagas.

Bautista expressed optimism that Davao del Sur electors would overwhelmingly favor the creation of Davao Occidental in the coming plebiscite because it will hasten the socioeconomic growth and development of both the mother province and its daughter province.

Source: businessmirror.com.ph

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