Cebu City barangay election bets file papers early-A A +A
Saturday, October 12, 2013
THE first day of the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the barangay elections was filled with colorful personalities in Cebu City, including a mayor’s former chief of staff, a driver, and a septuagenarian who just needs a job.
There are 640 positions up for grabs in the 80 barangays in Cebu City.
Before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Cebu City offices opened at 8 a.m., candidates and their supporters were waiting outside the offices.
But it was Jacinto Cambonga who first filed his COC for councilman in Barangay Pahina San Nicolas at 8:05 a.m.
Comelec Regional Director Temie Lambino expects close to 29,000 candidates to file their COCs in the entire province, which has 2,598,521 registered voters.
Cebu Province has 1,203 barangays. With eight positions each — one barangay chief and seven councilmen — there will be 9,624 positions that candidates will vie for on Oct. 28.
“Between 85 and 90 percent of the registered voters are expected to vote considering that it’s a barangay election,” Lambino told Sun.Star Cebu.
The expected high turnout is because of the interest of the people, explained Lambino.
Cebu has 7,602 clustered precincts and 1,181 voting centers. This means that 24,024 teachers will serve as board of election inspectors.
Candidates have until 5 p.m. next Thursday, Oct. 17, to file their COCs. In the last elections, candidates had until midnight to file on the last day.
Close to 100 aspiring candidates in Talisay City filed their certificates of candidacy (COC) on Friday, the first day of the process.
Mariella Remorosa, Talisay City election assistant, said that out of 98 aspiring candidates that filed their COCs on Friday, nine are running for barangay chief.
Five aspiring barangay captains and 32 aspiring councilors filed their papers with the Comelec in Mandaue City.
In Lapu-Lapu City, the Comelec received COCs from seven aspiring barangay chiefs and 73 aspiring councilors.
The first day of the filing of COCs in the two cities went smoothly, Comelec officers said.
One of those who filed their COC in Talisay City was radio blocktimer Apolinario “Jun” Arigo, who is attempting to get elected village chief of Barangay Lawaan 1.
Three opposing candidates for village chief of Barangay Lawaan 3 also filed their COCs on Friday.
Incumbent Lawaan 3 chief Dehlia Ybanez filed her COC along with her candidates for councilor Friday morning. Her opponents, Joel Nacor and Frederick Marababol, also filed their COCs with their groups.
Former Barangay Cansojong councilor Restituto Seville also filed his COC Friday morning. He will be running for village chief of Cansojong on Oct. 28.
In Cebu City’s north district, reelectionist Kalubihan Barangay Captain Carmilo Millan was the first to file his COC at 8:10 a.m.
But it was Philip Zafra, the chief of staff of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama until recently when he resigned, who showed up with the most supporters, wearing a green shirt with a Z in front. The Z looked like the one in the movie “Zorro”.
The supporters joined a motorcade from Barangay Tisa where Zafra is a candidate.
Sun.Star Cebu chanced upon Rodolfo Laconza, 72 (but his COC says 68, which he explained was due to an error in his identification card), who was hoping to succeed in his election bid this time around. He filed his COC for barangay captain of Barangay Lahug.
He ran for mayor in 2004 and 2007 and lost both times to former congressman and mayor Tomas Osmeña.
“Just like Talisay City Mayor Johnny V. delos Reyes, my motto is, run and run again until you succeed,” said Laconza.
He believes he already has his own set of followers because of his previous mayoral bids.
Laconza described himself as a board member of the Freedom from Debt Coalition, which is why his platform of government is pro-poor with the advocacy of lowering the cost of living for his constituents in Barangay Lahug.
While most candidates want a change in government, 75-year-old Ricardo Adlawan said he merely wants a job.
He went to the Comelec north district office around 11 a.m. with a bag worn over his head. He walked with a cane.
Adlawan told reporters he used to be a second mate but was never successful enough to board an international vessel.
“Fishing vessel ra gyud ko kutob so I’m always peso and not dollars,” Adlawan said.
Recently, he could no longer get a job because of his age and his wife is getting antsy. This is the reason he decided to file his COC to run for councilman in Barangay San Roque.
When Comelec offices closed at 5 p.m. Friday, there were 95 candidates for elective posts in Cebu City north district barangays and 98 in the south. There were 12 individuals vying for barangay captain in the north district and five in the south.
Meanwhile, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza and Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes vowed to distance themselves from the election campaign, even if incumbent officials running for reelection are their allies.
Cortes, in an interview with reporters, said he will not attend pulong-pulong or sorties.
He said he may be attending an event together with a candidate but he will never raise their arm as a show of support in front of the crowd.
He said there is no need for him to campaign for incumbent officials, especially if they have shown good leadership. “Action speaks louder than words,” he said.
Cortes said he will welcome any candidate, ally or not, who wants to pay him a courtesy visit at the City Hall.
Like Cortes, Mayor Radaza said she will not join any campaign activities.
“Dili ta mutuboy og kandidato kay ma electioneering ta (I won’t campaign for any candidate, or else I’ll be accused of electioneering),” she said in her press conference last Wednesday.
Why so early?
She said she will leave it to the voters to decide who they want to serve their barangay.
Radaza added she is willing to work with barangay officials even if they are not her allies. “Everybody is welcome to serve the people,” she said.
Cortes also said he is willing to work with a new set of barangay officials.
Loloy Villarampa, a Mandaue Comelec staff, said some went to their office yesterday lacking certain requirements like documentary stamps, which they need to get from City Hall.
One of the “early birds” was Bakilid Barangay Chief Dionesio Villamor.
He said he filed his COC on the first day to show to his constituents that he is eager to serve them on his third and last term.
“If I file my COC at the last minute, people might think I will also deliver services at the last minute,” he said.
Villamor said he will finish the construction of the barangay gym and continue drainage projects if he gets reelected. The barangay has 8,700 residents and hosts malls, hotels and other big establishments.
Comelec offices will be open today from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to accept COCs. They will also be open on Tuesday, a holiday. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 12, 2013.