SECTIONS
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
CEBU

Bzzzzz: Why two newbies made it and landed big in Cebu City Council race: Hontiveros is #1 in south and overall; Mabatid is #2 in north.

CEBU. Cebu City Councilors-elect Niña Mabatid and Dondon Hontiveros. (SunStar File)

PEOPLE are talking about...

* WHETHER KOKO PIMENTEL, #10 IN SENATE RACE, MIGHT BE DISQUALIFIED. Did Senator Koko Pimentel serve more than two consecutive terms already? He was elected in 2007 and reelected in 2013. But for the first term, he served only starting August 2011, or only for one year and 10 months. The cutting short of Koko's first term was not his fault; it was not due to a suspension or leave of absence. It just took the Senate Electoral Tribunal four years to decide on his protest.

* HE WAS 'INSULTED,' OUTGOING GOVERNOR DAVIDE SAYS. A letter from governor-elect Gwen Garcia cautioned the outgoing governor and incoming vice governor against "midnight" transactions. Not necessary, said Junjun Davide on the advice.

A similar incident recently happened in the US Senate. A witness to a Senate hearing complained to an American senator that he was "insulted" by the lawmaker's remarks. "Good," the senator shot back. No, Gwen did not react similarly; her response was not yet available at deadline.

Order of succession

Of the four new councilor-wannabes in the 2019 Cebu City elections, Partido Barug's Nina Mabatid, barangay captain of Mabolo, was the most widely known and had more resources and bigger experience in dealing with fellow barangay chiefs who would deliver the votes. She landed #2 in Cebu City north, next only to topnotcher Nestor Archival of BOPK.

The "numero uno," though, as highest vote-getter, is basketball celebrity Dondon Hontiveros, another Barug bet, who not only topped the south district councilors but the entire 2019 crop, out-polling the north district top-placer Nestor Archival by 36,881 votes.

Overall #2 vote-getter is BOPK's Dave Tumulak, who as #2 in the south, next to Hontiveros, piled up 156,755 votes, 42,847 votes bigger than Mabatid's. Tumulak also outranks Edu Rama and Tony Cuenco in the south.

Thus in the order of succession under the new leadership starting June 30, it will be Mike Rama, as vice mayor, then Dondon Hontiveros as #1 councilor and Dave Tumulak as #2 councilor.

Newcomers who failed

Other "newbies" who were speculated on as the most likely get into the magic circle failed: Ernest Herrera, Ramil Ayuman and Marlo Maamo in the north and Erik Espina and Rengelle Pelayo in the south.

Maamo placed #12, leading over Ayuman, #14, and Herrera, #15. Espina and Pelayo ranked #14 and #15 in the south, with two veterans and three other newbies above them.

The bright new stars in the campaign were Espina, son of the former Cebu governor and senator, and Herrera, a former Bohol mayor and also son of another Cebuano-Boholano senator. Ayuman had run before and should've performed better, if exposure to the electorate is the principal gauge.

All veterans

Check out the names of the winners occupying the 16 seats, eight from each district. They are all veterans, having run at least one race each, with the exception of Mabatid in the north and Hontiveros in the south. Yayoy Alcoseba is a returnee.

In the north: (in the order of votes polled) [1] Nestor Archival, 124,466; [2] Nina Mabatid, 113,908; [3] Joy Young, 112,707; [4] Lea Japson, 106, 218; [5] Bebs Andales, 106, 185; [6] Alvin Arcilla, 104,476; [7] Alvin Dizon, 102,911; and [8] Raymond Garcia, 101,578.

In the south: [1] Dondon Hontiveros, 161,347; [2] Dave Tumulak, 156,755; [3] Edu Rama, 141,716; [4] Tony Cuenco, 140,139; [5] Eugenio Gabuya Jr., 123,477; [6] Junjun Osmena, 121,884; [7] Yayoy Alcoseba, 117,991; [8] Phillip Zafra, 115,292.

Mabatid's disputes, access

Controversies that hounded Mabatid, a successful businesswoman who held Barangay Mabolo's top post, included an alleged work agency and visa scam (with the complaints raised in Tulfo broadcasts), her brush with hotel guards who mistook her for a sexual worker, and her fight against BOPK's Franklyn Ong over the ABC presidency.

The conflicts put her in the news and helped increase voters' "awareness" of her. But it must have been her heated campaign for the ABC presidency, which she lost to Ong, that connected her to the barangay chiefs on both sides. She could've used her money effectively in the 2019 race only if it went to the right middle-persons -- and apparently, from the results, it did. Her ABC bid enabled her access to most incumbent barangay captains from Barug and BOPK.

Still in BOPK hands

While two Barug councilors were top vote-getters, BOPK still controls the City 2019 City Council, 11 against seven, counting the ABC and SK reps who were elected in the last barangay and youth elections.

BOPK will control the committees and the vote on all questions, big or small.

***

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