Thursday, May 10, 2012


The announcement via a live, phoned- in address by Dr. Primo Murillo to the delegates of the 8th Murillo Family Congress in Cagwait town last April 14 of his plan to ran in next year's local polls after more than a decade of absence from local politics may have raised a few eyebrows but the news did not really come as a surprise to many political observers here.  It was, in more ways than one, an announcement much anticipated and predicted as result of the changes and shifts in the local political power structure brought about by the rise of the Liberal Party under of the new administration of President Noynoy Aquino together with the exit from power of the Lakas Party associated with Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

With Prospero "Butch" Pichay, the Lakas stalwart and former Arroyo confidant, supposedly out of government and facing possible legal prosecution for corruption and other anomalous acts allegedly committed during his tenure as chairman of the Local Water Utilities Administration during the Arroyo administration, there are many here who feel that the Pimentel-Pichay alliance that has ruled the province for the past decade may have now been substantially weakened and that the Surigao del Sur provincial capitol in the capital city of Tandag may be ripe for the taking next year.

Of course, Governor Johnny Pimentel and Rep. Philip Pichay would probably laugh off such speculations as sheer nonsense.  The Pimentels and Pichays have been consolidating their hold on power over the province since 2001 and have successfully fended off all challenges to their supremacy since then.  Dr. Greg Murillo, the younger brother of Primo and himself formerly a three term mayor of Tago town, banking on the residual populist appeal of the Murillo name, had sought, in three local elections since then, to restore his family's political fortunes only be thwarted every time by the ruling powers' almost total dominance of the province.