Support for spray ban blamed for lawmakers’ defeat

M29aerial (DAVAO CITY) – Councilor Nenita Orcullo of the city’s second district, attributed her defeat in the May 14 elections to her support of the passing of the city’s ordinance banning aerial spray ban.

Orcullo, who ranked 9th in the eight-seat slate per district, said those who tried to block the ban campaigned for voters to boycott her.

“True enough, the giants whisked their wrath of vengeance and pointed their fury only against me, being the proponent, by campaigning hard to boycott me,” Orcullo said in a privilege speech she read at the regular session of the city council Tuesday.

Most of the banana plantations affected by the ban are in her district.

The speech appears to be Orcullo’s swan song as she cited her legacy, exhorted colleagues and thank Dabawneyos for their support the people and Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for “giving me theopportunity to serve the people of Davao, who also taught me good politics.”

Orcullo said she underestimated the effect of the ordinance banning aerial spraying, which she first proposed in 2004 to her candidacy.

Leonardo Avila III, another pro-ban lawmaker, however, ranked second in the first district next to Ma. Belen Acosta. Avila chaired the environment committee of the council, which conducted hearings en route to the passing of the ordinance.

Orcullo accused the “giants”, whom she did not name, of allegedly demanding their plantation workers with their families, including non-workers living in their lands, to boycott her. She specified that allegedly even cargo laborers and port stevedores were asked to boycott her.

Orcullo said those who will vote for her were allegedly threatened to be terminated from work and shall be ejected from their lands.

“My politics was defeated, but my principle remains as strong and tampered like a hard rock on the grounds,” she said as she claimed the boycott pushed through catching her off-hand.

“But still it prides me to think that this body was able to exhibit a very strong political will by approving that very urgent environmental measure, despite the threat of boycott.


Orcullo said she had no regrets in any single measure she pushed and supported in the city council. She exhorted her fellow legislators not to be afraid and heed the call to preserve (the environment) and about the crucial role played by legislation.

She also said, addressing those allegedly threatened and forced for the boycott, that she has kept no grudge, adding she knew they believed her.

Orcullo told MindaNews earlier it was her who first pushed for the ordinance, prompted by an incident concerning one of her staff who one day arrived in her office complaining about experiencing skin irritations after hit by chemicals from insecticides sprayed from an airplane.

Orcullo is one of two in Duterte’s slate in the May 14 polls who did not make it to the winning circle. Bayan Muna’s Jeppie Ramada lost in the third district, but Duterte attributed it to the candidates lack of exposure, not on his being a member of Bayan Muna.

The 24-member Davao City council will have Duterte’s daughter neophyte Sara as presiding officer once its 15 th council opens sessions in July.

The city council will have eight women including Mabel Sunga-Acosta, Pilar Braga, Angela Librado-Trinidad, Susan Isabel Reta, Myrna Dalodo-Ortiz, Rachel Zozobrado, Teresita Mata follow ex-officio member representing the Sangguniang Kabataan April Marie Dayap.

The younger Duterte is the city’s first lady vice mayor. But her seat could be made vacant, whether shortly or for good is not yet known, following her father’s leave of absence for a surgical operation(Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)


About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

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