Editorial: ABC polls in province, city

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013


FORMER ex-officio Provincial Board (PB) member Ribomapil “Joeyboy” Holganza Jr. sure knows where the current political winds in Cebu Province are headed.

He didn’t run for reelection yesterday as head of the Federation of the Association of Barangay Councils (FABC), allowing Bogo’s Celestino Martinez III to run unopposed.

That means Martinez will now sit in the PB representing the province’s barangay captains. He is with the Liberal Party of Gov. Hilario Davide III.

The election for officers of the ABC in Cebu City, however, was hotly contested. This is expected considering the manner the elections for mayor of the city last May panned out. Mayor Michael Rama and his runningmate Edgardo Labella merely edged the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) tandem of Tomas Osmeña and Joy Augustus Young.

But some telltale signs of what the BOPK stalwarts were thinking in yesterday’s election of ABC officers, with the party fielding Capitol Barangay Captain Manuel Guanzon against Tisa Barangay Captain Philip Zafra of Team Rama. Former ABC head Michael Ralota, who is allied with the BOPK, didn’t show up to preside over the activity, prompting Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials in the city to take over.

That showed lack of confidence a BOPK ally would succeed him.

As of this writing, the count was still to be completed, although it seems like the Team Rama slate of diehard anti-Osmeña barangay captains led by Zafra and Tinago Barangay Captain Joel Garganera and Punta Princesa Barangay Captain Jose Navarro seems to be on the way to an emphatic win.

The FABC elections in the province and the ABC polls in the city reflect the changing political makeup in the two local government units. It also showed the intensity of the efforts of those who lost in the May elections to hold on to their advantage.

The One Cebu party of former governor Gwendolyn Garcia has no longer been contesting Davide’s ascendancy. That means Davide is given enough leeway in running the affairs of the province. That isn’t true in Cebu City where the BOPK has tried not to loosen its grip over its allies at the barangay level and has continued to make Rama’s rule difficult in the city council where it is the majority.

In a way, Rama’s situation continues to be more of a challenge than that of Davide.

The mayor cannot afford to lower his vigilance. As for Davide, he may not have a problem politically in running the province’s affairs, but the bigger challenge for him is to show that he is not just a straight arrow but is also a better performer than his predecessor.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 19, 2013.

Opinion

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