Businesses in Iriga happy amid intense poll rivalry
IRIGA CITY — If businessmen in other cities and municipalities are annoyed by the constant stream of solicitations from opposing candidates in this year’s elections, those in Iriga City are said to be having a different twist.
Apparently, feuding politicians here are careful not to offend the sensibilities of the business sector and have thus refrained from flooding local traders with requests for financial support, especially if they are already identified as supporters of the opposing camp.
This was learned from one Iriga-based businessman whose family runs a major construction company in Camarines Sur.
According to him, fundraisers from the respective political camps are more careful in approaching those they wish to seek additional funding in the face of the intense rivalry among the political factions that have developed in the locality.
The respective competing camps prefer to ask for some monetary aid from businessmen who are already known to be supportive to them.
Another hardware owner said that the various political camps involved have shown more importance to their friends in the business community being their benefactors and financiers.
The business community, on the other hand, is also watching out for their own interest by also donating to candidates that they may not personally favor. This is because the entrepreneurs wanted to obtain a certain kind of “protection” once the not-so-favored candidates get elected into office.
“Who knows? The winds could change direction and they (apparently weak candidates) could win,” an operator of a small printing press and photo copying center said.
“At least, they cannot say we did not also help them,” he said. Placing bets on all sides of the political battlefield appears to be a way for businessmen here to make sure they will not face disfavor from whoever wins the election.
Four groups are battling for political supremacy in this city. One is led by Engr. Ronald Felix “Ganggang” Alfelor (Liberal Party), brother of the incumbent mayor Madelaine Alfelor-Gazmen; another is bannered by Emmanuel “Nonokoy” AlfelorJr.(Nationalist People’s Coalition), son of the late former Mayor Manuel Alfelor (who happens to be the brother of the late and former Congressman Ciriaco Alfelor, father of Ganggang and Madeleine).
The other groups in this four-cornered fight are led by Jose “Jun” Villanueva, son of the late former Mayor Jose Villanueva, and Atty. Mariano Trinidad, a perennial candidate. jasonbneola