September 18, 2020

The Good Mayor

The Good Mayor

Television series by Alan Nafzger

A moral man and good mayor take the helm of a city in the Philippines that is overwhelmed by crime. Because of a weakened and corrupt police force, good citizens must take matters into their own hands and not by becoming vigilantes but by scheming. The mayor, medical examiner, and television mogul orchestrate a ruse to rid the city of its drug gang.

CHARACTERS

Danilo Durante (mayor)

Traumatized as a child by witnessing his mother’s brutal murder in a drug deal gone wrong, Danilo was adopted by Tito Durante, a policeman with the Davos Police Department. After finding out that young Danilo was feeding the neighborhood dogs and cats, Tito realized that the boy was non-violent and religious, and took it upon himself to train him to become a priest.

Danilo became a mayor on a beat that three campaign promises would be enough: a chicken in every pot, a gorilla for the zoo and a promise not to call his opponents “weird.”

A diagnosed insomniac, who refuses to take sleeping pills, nights, he observes the city and people who flaunt the law.

In order to mitigate the city’s powerful drug gang, the mayor with the medical examiner, and the owner of the local free television channel, orchestrate a ruse to trick the drug gang out of the city. They create a fictitious vigilante. It seems innocent enough, but the mayor is soon forced into backing it up with rhetoric. He is married and the ruse soon puts him and his wife, Jessa, and their children in jeopardy.

Nathanial Rizal (doctor)

Friend of Danilo Durante from their church and bible study group. He is also the chief medical examiner. He must deal with medical inconsistencies. The vigilante executions are not real.

Ulan Cruz (tv mogul)

Friend of Danilo Durante from their church and bible study group. He is also the owner/general manager of the local television station. He is instrumental in spreading the fear via the sensationalized television news.

Three officers (police)

Three police officers taken from entry level positions, who take orders from and are loyal to the mayor.

Mary Jo Dizon (clerk)

A mature woman in the records department provides a new identity for the criminals, who are escorted out of town into new lives.

Princess Aquino (police chief)

Danilo’s former girlfriend, she is the woman that caused him to reject the priesthood. Soon after, however, she rejected him as a suitor and becomes a police detective and then the police chief. Princess suspects Danilo’s “ruse” and feels conflicted about keeping it a secret. Further complicating her feelings is the fact that Danilo has promoted her boyfriend, Jose Zialcita, to a highly lucrative government position – chief of development.  The mayor, despite being married says of her, “she used to love me a lot.”

Jose Zialcita (political rival)

A corrupt and opportunistic government official, who derives his power from the mayor. As chief of development and building permits, he is in a position to extort not only wealth but political power from the wealthy Davos businessmen and builders. He is the boyfriend of Princess Durante and potential political rival to the mayor. Mayor Durante refuses to reel him in because he wants to appear magnanimous to Princess Aquino.

Brandon Barty (drug lord)

An Australian citizen who lives in Davos and heads a drug importation and distribution gang. Criminal rival to the mayor. He occasionally kills people who interfere with his business. Brandon is motivated by a desire for revenge against the new Davos mayor, who promised to “drain the swamp” and appears to be eliminating his men.  If the ruse is discovered, it will only embolden the criminal gangs.

Jessa Durante (wife)

Danilo’s wife and mother to Jacob and Rosa. Jessa is completely aware of Danilo’s double life, but she feels it is more of a medical condition. She is unaware of the bogus killings.

Jacob and Rosa (children)

Jessa’s son and daughters by a previous husband. Both older children have been traumatized having witnessed drug gang violence and both have narrowly escaped being killed. Danilo knows that they were subjected to a rough upbringing and promises his new wife to raise them with the same moral code that he was. The children are confused by the television reports that rumor the mayor’s (their step-fathers) participation or approval. There is potential for him to appear a hypocrite to his children and in the end, he may have to divulge the killings are not real, but staged. Diwa is an infant and the biological daughter of Danilo.

Primavera Tolentino (newspaper reporter)

Tenacious sleuth and investigative journalist for a print media, who is determined to expose the mayor for vigilantism. She is always on the verge of discovering that he is the one behind the executions.

Father Ramos (priest)

Catholic minister and confidant of the three men – Durante, Cruz, and Rizal. As the community’s religious leader, he must publicly denounce vigilantism, which inadvertently helps the men.

Themes

Vigilantism – The mayor and his compatriots create an atmosphere of fear on the part of the criminal gang. They are able to do this with bogus executions. With the help of the medical examiner, the mayor is able to intimidate the criminal elements.  Invariably the most useful tool in ridding the city of the drug gang is to eliminate them all.

Redemption – Typically, the mayor reaches out to the lieutenants and drug gang members and offers them a deal; if the criminal will simply disappear from Davos, they will receive a new identity and a second chance in a new city.

Revenge – the drug kingpin seeks to retaliate for the mayor’s apparent involvement and several attempts are made on his life. The mayor’s wife and children are also potential targets.

Search for bodies – For a confidence game like this to work, the three protagonists will need bodies. Some bodies are derived from natural sources – heart attacks and cancer. Other bodies are borrowed from other cities, for press exposure and bloody photos.

Secrecy among friends – Since the success of the ruse depends entirely on secrecy, great lengths are taken to keep the secret between the three men. Each of the men are tempted to leave the ruse, but fraternity wins out.

Scarce human resources – the ruse works so well the drug kingpin (Brandon Barty) has difficulty finding criminals to move his dope. He must increase his own participation and contract with other gangs. The ruse weakens Barty’s gang leadership and he faces a challenge inside the criminal world.