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Wednesday, December 19, 2018
CEBU

Bzzzzz: Soon-Ruiz and Cuenco, former House members, may run for city councilor

Nerissa Soon-Ruiz and Antonio Cuenco (SunStar File)

Scrolling down: Why the former veteran national legislators settle for city council seats... Comelec changes rule on substituting candidates by withdrawal. Cut-off date is November 29, no longer noon of election day... Senior Superintendent Lito Patay not living up to his name, if we believe General Sinas that the killings in Cebu are the work of a crime syndicate.

FIRST, Mocha Uson said she will run for Congress, without specifying whether she wants to be senator or House member. She'll have better chances of winning a party-list seat in the lower house instead of the tightly exclusive senators' club. Duterte said he did not fire Uson, saying she had "freedom of expression," over which he had no reason to sack her.

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News ticker: ex-solons for councilor

It's a downgrade, from Congress to local city legislatures. But Antonio Cuenco and Nerissa Soon-Ruiz, both former representatives, have slim chance of winning a House seat. So they slide to the next winnable post: as city councilor.

Cuenco will run for Cebu City councilor under the Barug camp while Soon-Ruiz will be among the candidates for Mandaue City councilor under the Jonas Cortes banner. Cuenco earlier admitted he can't win against Representative Bebot Abellanosa, what "with all his millions."

Soon-Ruiz has allied herself with the Cortes-Ouano coalition but the slot for House member is already taken by Lolypop Ouano-Dizon, which must be the big reason the Ouano scion took the bitter pill of working with Cortes, the incumbent congressman who will challenge incumbent Mayor Luigi Quisumbing. Nerissa will run for councilor, not vice mayor (as earlier reported), under Cortes's party.

It was Jonas Cortes who beat Jonkie Ouano in 2007, breaking more-than-two-decades grip of the Ouanos in Mandaue City. It was also Cortes who defeated Soon-Ruiz in the 2010 election and helped Quisumbing drub Lolypop in 2016.

Explained: date of substituting bets

Comelec earlier allowed substitution of candidates "due to withdrawal" until midday of election day, which would allow, say, Tomas Osmeña to be substituted by his wife Margot or their son Miguel up to that time. That was criticized by former Comelec chief Sixto Brilliantes Jr., saying it would create confusion and enable deception.

The new Comelec rule is that substitution "due to withdrawal" will be up to only November 29 this year for purposes of the 2019 elections. That will prevent dirty tricks by an unpopular candidate to be carried on the back of a popular bet who will withdraw at the last minute, at noon of election day, with the votes credited to the substitute.

The substitute should share the surname of the original candidate. No substitution is allowed for independent candidates.

What's Patay's role

Regional Police Chief Debold Sinas and Cebu City Police Chief Royina Garma are the faces of the police, especially in facing accusations of police involvement in the killings.

A Rappler news story places the number of killings in Cebu City at 32 six months before President Duterte launched his drug war in 2016 and compares that to the total of 69 in the same half year in 2018.

What's the role of Senior Superintendent Lito Patay who heads the CIDG group of Cebu province? None unless there's evidence that CIDG had anything to do with the illegal killings. The culprit in the Malibog five-person massacre, not counting two survivors, a woman and a habal-habal driver, who were shot at and shot, according to General Sinas is a criminal syndicate.

If Sinas is right, Patay, it may be said, is not living up to his name.

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