The Negros Chronicle is a weekly publication published in Negros Oriental province, Philippines, vigilantly featuring the latest news updates around Dumaguete City and Negros Oriental since 1973.
  DUTERTE DRAWS THE BIGGEST CROWD! Even before this presidential campaign is over, it can already be said in all candor that the crowd on the April 4 rally of presidentiable Rodrigo Duterte at the Freedom Park is definitely the biggest crowd that can ever be mustered by any single candidate campaigning in Negros Oriental for the rest of the 2016 election campaign season.  
  APRIL 10, 2016 EDITION  

      North to decide race for governor    

The race to the governorship will be determined by the victor in the first district because the two other districts are bailiwicks of each of the two strong rival gubernatorial candidates.

Each of the two rivals for the governorship is tagged as having their own bailiwicks, namely Cong George ARnaiz who claims to dominate his second district; and Gov Roel Degamo takes charge in the third district, both with an expected slim margin from each other.

Therefore, the determinant district for the final victor will be the first district, said local political analysts, where both candidates do not claim any majority .

Allies of former Governor currently 2nd District Cong. George Arnaiz expect him to narrowly lose in the 3rd district where incumbent Governor Roel Degamo hails from, particularly from the town of Siaton.

Arnaiz will compensate his loss among the towns and cities in the 2nd district known to be his bailiwicks, except Dumaguete City and San Jose where he will be neck-to-neck with Degamo.

Nevertheless, Dumaguete City Mayor Chiquiting Sagarbarria predicts that a big win in the 1st District by a margin of almost 30, 000 votes will firmly secure an Arnaiz comeback as Governor...



What makes the news is what is not usual. Last April 4, in a place where not a few people congregate like the Freedom Park, turned out to be a sea of warm bodies that filled the park to the brim , which nobody even the organizers expected at all.

But surprise of all surprises, the star of the afternoon became subjugated to the CROWD which became the star instead. For local residents will swear that they have not seen such a big crowd at the Freedom Park such as the one at the Duterte rally last April 4.

People were so mesmerized that they could not believe what they saw as an overflowing sea of warm bodies. One judge who was not there said that the ideal crowd is four people per square meter. What we saw was a crowd of six people per square meter standing breast to breast with each other not minding the afternoon sun. (see page editorial on page 16)

So, what is the meaning of this crowd so big when Dumaguetenos are not known to be gracing political rallies unless it was the People Power Revolution of 1986, or the arrival of Cory Aquino after the revolution, or the launching of the PNoy presidency in 2010 when the Freedom Park was full packed.

We agree with some local analysts who say that the People are in desperate need for a determined, aggressive, law abiding and relatively a corrupt-free leader. Mayor Digong Duterte happens to fit the people’s longing for a strong benevolent leader.

Duterte is a history of a poor family. He is determined in the sense that he has shifted the balance of crime and passion in Davao city; law abiding in the sense that he was long time a prosecutor or a fiscal in the Dept. of Justice; and corrupt-free in the sense that he was not accused of any graft. HE is among the longest running mayor in the country.



Even before this presidential campaign is over, it can already be said in all candor that the crowd on the April 4 rally of presidentiable Rodrigo Duterte at the Freedom Park is definitely the biggest crowd that can ever be mustered by any single candidate campaigning in Negros Oriental for the rest of the 2016 election campaign season.

Not even or any of the most popular local party could muster such crowd magnitude. So what does it all mean?

It means that the voluntary crowd that gathered at the freedom park last April 4 was an expression of the people’s DISGUST and EXASPERATION of our rotten and corrupt system of government, full of political patronage, full of nepotism, laziness in government services, and most of all the corruption in almost all levels or what Duterte said 64% of our money is sunk into the pockets of corrupt people.

But this is the biggest challenge:

Will the Duterte crowd be converted into votes? Will Duterte be true to his words of curbing criminality and corruption within his term? We don’t know. This is also the risk that those who will vote for him will take. Life is always a gamble. So if the nation will gamble with Duterte, there are only two possibilities that could happen, one, that the people will be prov en right or, that they will be proven wrong. Only the results of the May 9 elections can tell.


It is futile to look
back with regrets; it is
FAITH to look ahead
with rejoicing.



Sometime late last year, I surfed the internet and scrolled Negros Chronicle for news updates about Dumaguete City. The name Ipe Remollo jumped out of the electronic page, conjuring a lot of memories about when he was mayor of this university town and his vision to transform this City of Gentle People into a modern day home.

I remember during his time as mayor, Ipe opened the Looc-Hibbard Avenue road, negotiated a new site for his proposed government centre, and opened a new southbound bus terminal among others. The projects were part of the master plan or blueprint to develop growth centres and spread development into the countryside. Outside of the plan, he strengthened the city’s housing program and converted the Candau-ay dumpsite into a Galing Pook national award-winning ecological park.


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