AS THE local campaign period begins, two local parties in Cagayan de Oro begin their strategic moves to woo the voters.
As early as 3 a.m., the coalition of Padayon Pilipino and Centrist Democratic Party (Padayon-CDP) led by mayoral candidate Jose Gabriel “Pompee” La Viña began the opening salvo in his birthplace in Cogon Market, waving his slogan “Bag-ong Cagayan (New Cagayan).” From Bulua in the first district, his party went to Bugo in the second district.
While the current local administration, the local Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino (PDP)-Laban, led by Mayor Oscar Moreno, made a low key first day. Instead, Moreno signed the deeds of sale in favor of the “Piso-Piso” beneficiaries of Macanhan, Calaanan and Deleon Alcantara Village (Padayon Pilipino Village), in Puntod. While other councilor candidates under the slate made early motorcades, or attended a singing competition event.
City hall spokesperson Maricel Rivera said that Moreno’s team will hold a mass on Saturday at the St. Augustine Cathedral and will walk towards the Divisoria for the rally.
In one of their sorties, La Viña dared Moreno for a debate, so he can ask him about issues on corruption, housing problem, economic growth, health care plan, among other issues in the city.
“But ok rako any topic nga (but I am okay with any topics as long as it is) important to Kagay-anons and I know corruption is one,” he said.
The coalition’s standard bearer said the support of the people to his candidacy has tripled because of his fight against corruption.
La Vina’s challenge also came in response to a social media post of a village chief who dared him for a debate.
“I am responding to a challenge of a barangay captain nga nag post sa (who posted on) social media but why should I debate him. I would debate with Moreno,” La Viña said.
He also said the barangay chairman is from District 2 and is closely allied with Moreno without mentioning his identity.
He said the Kagay-anons may likely be disappointed if Moreno will not take his challenge.
“It’s ok if he won’t take the challenge. I would call him facing reality because how can he answer corruption charges which I will ask him about. I think it would be disappointing for (the) Kagaya-nons if he does not debate (against) me. He’s a debater, lawyer and I am a private citizen called to service,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Padayon-CDP bets thanked various village officials, even those who are allied with the administration party, for allowing them to hold public gatherings to meet with the voting public.
Seeking a comeback in the House of Representatives after his defeat for city mayor in 2016, lawyer Rufus Rodriguez said there was never an instance where he was prevented to meet residents in the different barangays. He will be facing PDP-Laban’s Yam Lam “Alam” Lim, for District 2, who is currently the president of Association of Barangay Captains, sitting in the City Council.
“They are kind enough to allow us to go freely to know the problems of the people,” Rodriguez said.
Lawyer Ramon Tabor, who seeks a comeback in the city council also said the acceptance of the people in the bailiwick of their opponents would mean people wanted change.
“Sa among mga pulong-pulong nakita nato ang grabe nga suporta sa katawhan (in our community gatherings we still see a strong support of the people) and I think they already want change,” Tabor said.
“Sa amo sa first district wala pud mi gipugngan ug wala kami maglisod so we are thankful to people nga daghan gatambong nga walay hakot (In the first district, we were not hindered and we did not have any difficulties campaigning, so we are thankful to the people, who were many attended and no one was forced),” 1st district congressional candidate Ian Acenas added.