Eight months after then Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte thrashed administration bet Manuel Roxas III by over 5-million votes, some people in his province still could not forget about politics.
"Is there politics in your visit here?," a local radio reporter asked me. It was a question which actually caught me offguard because politics was never in my mind when I entered the acknowledged Roxas Country.
"No, this is not about politics. This is about delivering services to farmers and fisherfolks," I replied when I recovered my bearing.
I added that if the Duterte administration was thinking of politics, I would not have included Capiz in the Biyaheng Bukid sortie which started Wednesday and ends today because President Duterte lost heavily in the province.
That reporter and perhaps a few others were apparently the only ones who were still thinking about politics.
For the farmers and fisherfolks of Capiz, Biyaheng Bukid was an opportunity for them to present their problems to government.
As soon as I declared the start of the Open Forum, they formed a long line to air their problems.
Farm to market roads, grains dryers, tractors, power tillers, livelihood projects for fishermen and irrigation services were among the problems presented by the farmers and fisherfolks.
Right there and then I approved the requests which were readily deliverable by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries while those which needed engineering studies like requests for solar-powered irrigation system and water impounding projects were scheduled for inspection.
Sigma Mayor Christopher Andaya got what he had long wished - a concrete farm to market road which would connect the town's Muscovado Sugar Mill to the market.
A leader of fisher folks who travelled all the way from Roxas City who said his members had to contribute for his bus fare just to be in the Biyaheng Bukid forum in Sigma town got what he wanted - livelihood funds for them to survive during the times the seas are rough.
An old farmer who was using a cane shouted in joy when his group's request for a power tiller was immediately approved.
"Nabatian nyo? Approve dayon request ta!" he shouted to his group members who responded with a loud applause.
Almost everybody, except for a woman who asked for support for her garments project which is not covered by the DAF programs, went home smiling and happy.
What really surprised me was the sight of so many farmers and fishermen in the province of one of the most influential and powerful officials of the previous administration seeking for very simple and easily deliverable interventions.
But then again, people have a different interpretation of the word Politics.
For the Duterte Presidency, politics is all about providing for the needs of people to be able to wiggle out of poverty and it is done as a sense of duty and obligation.
Certainly, the delivery of services is done not in aid of election or reelection