Enemies turn allies. Northern Samar Rep. Emil Ong(left) and former Rep. Raul Daza, publicly announces their “principle of coalition” during a radio interview aired over DySM in Catarman. The two veteran politicians promised to work for Mar Roxas’ 2016 presidential bid. (PETER PAREDES) Caption page 1. Mayor Reny Celespara delivers his anniversary message during the culmination night of the 152nd founding of Bobon town. The mayor, joined by town councilor Pe Casinas, also handed out the cash prize to the winner of the street dancing competition.

CATARMAN Samar- In politics, even the strangest bedfellows could be one and united. And this exactly what happened between the province’ bitter political rivals, the Dazas and the Ongs. Their “principle of coalition,” was announced by Rep. Emil Ong and former congressman Raul Daza, both acknowledged political kingpins of Northern Samar. The unexpected coalition of the two political rivals was made during their joint appearance and radio interview over local station DySM on August 7, marking the first time that the Dazas and the Ongs are to unite.

Primarily, the two veteran politicians said that they decided to join forces to ensure the victory of former Interior Sec. Mar Roxas in next year’s presidential elections.
Daza said that this is the best chance for the Visayas, to include Northern Samar, to produce a President as he noted that all the past seven presidents of the country were from Luzon. Roxas is from Western Visayas. Ong belong to the National Unity Party (NUP) of which he is the provincial chairman while Daza is the current regional chairman of the administration Liberal Party (LP) which named Roxas as its standard- bearer in the 2016 presidential derby.

The NUP, majority of members like Ong were allies of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, is in coalition with the LP. While both Daza and Ong, who made a public apology to the former on whatever statements he uttered that could hurt him, admitted that while their main reason in forging alliance was to ensure Roxas victory, this could also lead for development of Northern Samar, one of the country’s poorest provinces. “We cross above and over our selfish interests. Waraon ta an mga diperensya. I am happy now of our coalition – magin ehemplo ito sa bug-os nga nasod nga an two warring factions nag tig-ub yana para sa kaupayan san Northehanon”Rep. Ong said.

Ong is the brother of incumbent Governor Jose Ong who trounced Daza’s son, Paul, during the 2013 elections. Daza himself was defeated by Rep. Harlin Abayon, a close ally of Ong, for the congressional race representing the province first district in the 2013 elections. For his part, Daza, who was once the national chairman of the LP, said that while there are still so much things to do on their budding political alliance, this could be a herald something good for the province.

“Dere pagud plantsado an iba nga mga bungto, pero tatalinguhaon namo ni Cong. Emil nga ini nga coalition in tikang sa igbaw tikadto sa ubos, waray lain nga tuyo an kaupayan san Norte San Samar, nga mabag-o an sistema san pinili-ay.We have common rules that have been agreed, wara no. 1, wara no. 2,” Daza added. Daza said that his decision to coalesce with NUP was a result of the series of consultations with his group in the local level for several reasons governed by the spirit of the principles of coalition and not for their own vested political interests as what have been perceived by some political observers.

“Coalition per se is a positive reaction of any activities such as in families, political, business and economics having join forces.Pareho san tindahan nga mag join forces, dako an kita.In the same manner, kon an mga politicians mag-arabuyon the province and municipalities will benefit from the coalition,” Ong said. It was learned that Rep.Ong, who is on his third and last term, will run for governor with his brother, Jose, taking his post as congressman representing the province’ second congressional district in next year’s elections. Vice Gov. Gary Lavin, will be Ong’s running-mate on his gubernatorial bid. Meantime, Daza will run again in the first district with the political future of his son, Paul, remain uncertain.

Both Ong and Daza are hopeful that Rep. Abayon will also make his own move and sacrifice for the betterment of the province and ensure their poll victory in 2016 elections. Political observers in the province welcome the coalition of the two saying this could lead for an ordinary candidate to now run. (PETER PAREDES)