Lawmaker won’t challenge Oro mayor in 2016 polls

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Saturday, June 14, 2014


TO take out rumors that he was eyeing the mayoralty position against his political ally, 2nd district Representative Rufus Rodriguez made it clear Friday he won’t challenge City Mayor Oscar Moreno in the 2016 elections.

“Rufus Rodriguez… is not running for city mayor. We (Rodriguezes) are supporting Mayor Moreno,” he categorically announced in front of reporters and visitors during the blessing of the newly renovated Cagayan de Oro Press Club (COPC) office along Velez Street Friday.

As Moreno's political ally who he, together with 1st district Representative Rolando Uy supported in the 2013 local elections, Rodriguez said he is satisfied with Moreno’s performance as he rated the mayor an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 the highest.

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“Although Moreno is still in his first year, kita ko man naay development. Road concreting and construction of school buildings are ongoing,” he said.

“What he (Moreno) is doing now, (he is) trying his best in his limited capacity because the majority members of the city council is against him, but despite that, naa gyapoy nangahimo,” Rodriguez added.

He said the people of the Cagayan de Oro should give Moreno the chance to prove his capacity as the city mayor.

“I’m going to campaign for Mayor Moreno. Let’s give him a chance. The former mayor (Vicente Emano) spent 17 years in power, he (Moreno) is only on his first year,” he said.

Rodriguez, who allocated some P250,000 for the COPC office’s renovation, said he will focus instead on preparing the Centrist Democratic Party (CDP), of which he is the national president, for the coming 2016 presidential elections.

Although he is on his last term as congressman, Rodriguez said he is not keen on running for senator as he admitted the slim chance of winning a seat.

He said that out of the 66 persons who were listed in a recent survey who are mostly likely to run as senator, Rodriguez said he only placed at 44.

Rodriguez added it would not be feasible for him to try his hand at the senatorial race considering that those who will run, especially the incumbent senators, have bigger chances of winning.

The CDP, he said, will openly support a presidential candidate a year before the 2016 elections.

In the latest survey conducted by Pulse Asia, among those who were most preferred to run as president are Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senators Grace Poe-Llamanzares, Francis Escudero, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Ramon Revilla Jr., Panfilo Lacso, and Alan Peter Cayetano, and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary Mar Roxas.

Recently, the name of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte also surfaced as some sectors have shown their support for him to run as president in 2016, although Duterte has repeatedly been maintaining that he has no intention to run for the presidential post.

Of those personalities, Rodriguez said the CDP will look at the best presidential candidate who has the chances of winning, as it is useless to support a non-winning candidate.

Even though he is the head of the CDP, Rodriguez said he does not dictate on the party which will convene its national congress to deliberate on who the party will support in the coming elections.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on June 14, 2014.

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