IN A SLEEPY Barangay Punta of Unisan, a fourth-class municipality of Quezon province long ruled by the Suarez political dynasty, the residents here are jolted with the construction of a more or less kilometer stretch of wharf inside the posh compound of former Governor Danilo Suarez.
Suarez, 80, was elected governor of Quezon province in 2019, succeeding his son David or “Jay-Jay”, who is now the representative of the second district of Quezon.
The elder Suarez ran for reelection in 2022 but lost to 4th district representative Angelina “Helen” Tan.
A staunch defender of political dynasties, an earlier report said Suarez rationalized the existence of political dynasties in the country branding it more as “destiny” while blaming the political term limit as the cause of the proliferation of political dynasties.
Oh well, although I detest political dynasties in general I admit that just like cholesterol which could either be good or bad, there are really good political dynasties just like the Malapitans of Caloocan City, the Barzagas of the City of Dasmarinas, and the Garcias of Cebu.
There is always an exception to the rule, so to speak, and I just don’t know with the Suarezes of Quezon.
I’ve also heard that Suarez is a committed environmentalist.
He reportedly opposed the Kaliwa Dam Project in Rizal province during the term of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
But to the residents of Unisan, many wondered aloud why a wharf is built inside the high-walled property of the Suarez family, just across one of its mansions.
Our sources who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal asked the following questions:
Were public funds used in constructing the seemingly private wharf?
How much did it cost?
If public funds were used, why not just connect it to the present public fishing port that has long been neglected?
Unconfirmed rumors said it could be public funds when the elder Suarez was still one of the leaders in the House of Representatives under then-Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Some residents have expressed apprehension that the “mysterious wharf” inside the Suarez property could be used for illicit activities.
They said the Quezon province has apparently become a drug haven with six big drug hauls since 2000.
365 kilos of shabu were reportedly seized in 2000.
503 kilos of shabu in 2001.
1,589 kilos of shabu in 2002.
70 kilos of shabu in 2008.
28 kilos of cocaine and 130 kilos of shabu in 2018.
8 kilos of cocaine in 2019.
Last Feb. 12, anti-narcotics operatives arrested two alleged neophyte drug traders and seized over P113,000 worth of shabu (crystal meth) during a buy-bust operation in Sariaya town.
Last Jan. 6, some 100 grams of shabu worth P2-million were seized and nine suspected drug peddlers including a high-value individual were arrested in three separate anti-illegal drug operations in Infanta town.
It can also be recalled that on March 15 last year, operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) seized in a dawn operation in Infanta town an estimated P11 billion worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu), considered the biggest drug haul in the Philippines history.
I think this could just be an overreaction.
In the spirit of fair play, we would like to hear the side of the former governor.
We always adhere to what French philosopher Voltaire once said: “I may not agree with what you say but I will fight to the death your right to say it.”
We are always on the level.