Girlie Balaba asks Duterte to lead oathtaking rites

CAGAYAN DE ORO. In this file photo, President Rodrigo Duterte raises the hand of Girlie Balaba, who is running for City Councilor in Cagayan de Oro under Mayor Oscar Moreno's political party. (Photo grabbed from Girlie Balaba's Facebook page)

AFTER a surprise top spot win in the City Council seat, newly elected Councilor Joyleen Mercedes "Girlie" Balaba has asked President Rodrigo Duterte to lead the oathtaking ceremonies for her and her partymates.

Balaba said Duterte already knew that she won and said that he was happy about it.

"Kabalo na si presidente nga kita nakadaog sa piliay ug dako iyang pasalamat ug nalipay siya sa suporta nga gipakita sa katawhan kanato kung aha affirmation pud nga suportado sa katawhan si President Duterte," Balaba said.

(The President knew that I won in the election, and he was thankful and happy to the support shown by the people to me, which is also an affirmation that the people also supported President Duterte.)

She said Duterte agreed to take her oath, but it is still subject to his schedule availability.

Balaba was a former TV journalist in Davao City but a native of Cagayan de Oro. It was during her stint as a newscaster when she and Duterte became close friends.

She ran for councilor for the second district under the administration party of reelected Mayor Oscar Moreno.

Duterte has been endorsing the candidacy of Balaba in the city. The President often talks to Balaba during campaign sorties in Cagayan de Oro.

The neophyte politician grabbed the first spot in the city's second district councilors with 73,612 votes.

Balaba said the endorsement of Duterte and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio could have contributed to her victory.

She said she did not expect that she will get the first spot, but she vowed that she will not fail the Kagay-anons and she will make good of her promise during her campaign.

She also said she will work closely with the administration in bringing the programs and services of the national government to the city.

Balaba wants to handle committees that would look into the welfare of women, senior citizens, persons with disabilities and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual community.

Other than Balaba, Duterte also endorsed the candidacy of aspiring councilor Rhona Canoy, congressional bet Yam Lam Lim and opposition's mayoral candidate and former Department of Agriculture undersecretary Jose Gabriel La Viña, but the rest of them lost in the election.

Canoy was on the 17th spot, while Lim lost his bid to comebacking congressman Rufus Rodriguez with a wide margin of 35,212 votes.

La Viña also lost to Moreno with a difference of 68,080 votes.

Balaba's top spot victory in the Second District was a close fight between her and incumbent City Councilor Ma. Lourdes Gaane, which had a vote difference only of 782.

"I will not disappoint the people. I consider myself now as government worker," Balaba said.

"I will pursue my campaign promise and will not disappoint the people of Cagayan de Oro," she added. (With PJ Orias)


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