Election Scandal in Bohol

Editorial: Sunday Post
Something tells us the on-and-off affair of Lakas-Kampi with Gov. Erico Aumentado is not over. Earlier dumped by Lakas as official bet for his old congressional seat, Aumentado is back in the good graces of the administration party when his certificate of nomination and acceptance (Cona) was restored.

   In effect, Lakas also revoked the Cona issued to Trinidad Mayor Judith Cajes. This sets the stage for one of the most bitterly fought electoral battles in next year's elections.

   Of course, the interesting sidebar to this tussle was the manner in which Aumentado was nearly elbowed out by the combined forces of Rep. Edgar Chatto and Rep. Roberto Cajes. In spite of all their professions of innocence, there is no doubt about the part that they played in the whole drama.

   Granting that party higher-ups were the ones who lowered the boom on Aumentado, no one bit the canard that they were unaware of it. If they were unaware of the charges of disloyalty against Aumentado, they are one of two things: they are completely ignorant of local developments or they are downright stupid.

   Of course, the two gentlemen are neither ignorant of developing events nor stupid. This leads to the conclusion that they were the ones who cooked the virtual slap on the face of Aumentado.

   From the look of things, Mayor Cajes will pursue her candidacy. As to whether she will fight it out inside Lakas or run as an independent, only future events will tell.

   Aumentado emerged a big winner in this strange episode of betrayal among erstwhile inseparable party mates simply because he was the victim. He played his role well as a senior statesman stabbed in the back by the upstarts.

   The governor is also expected to parlay to his advantage the fact that Rep. Cajes is his virtual creation and that Mayor Cajes is coming out as an eager beaver who should give way to Aumentado who is riding into the sunset.

   Another big winner is Vice Gov. Julius Caesar Herrera who is expected to benefit from the negative publicity Chatto is getting in the aborted ouster of Aumentado. Herrera is expected to make his move and seize the momentum.

   The Cajes couple need to repair the damage done against them before the bar of public perception. With one daughter also waiting in the wings, the dynasty issue was already a major issue until this controversy came.

   It is too early to tell how far Chatto was affected in the row. It is safe to assume though that in the aftermath, he is left suffering from a credibility crisis.