JOSE Gabriel “Pompee” La Viña is planning to run again in 2022 elections. Too early to announce but it’s a free country anyway.
His platforms were not bad at all, basically covering what has been planned by economic pundits at the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) and the Regional Development Council (RDC) in store for the city and the region of Northern Mindanao as a whole. In fact, having a “city university” is quite promising, hoping it will materialize soon.
However, the problem with Pompee’s campaign is that while he came out fresh and promising, he brought some nasty strategies which did not sit well with majority of voters. He brought the grudges of the local party against rival Mayor Oscar Moreno, and became an attack dog instead of posing as a better alternative. It was more of a smear campaign against opponents rather than giving the public an opportunity to know “who is Pompee as a person who can deliver good governance.”
It did not also help being aligned to President Rodrigo Duterte, although majority of voters are supporters of the president, seeing Duterte raised Pompee’s hand (forcefully or not, who knows?) was less impressive.
It appeared, instead, that he was parroting the president - perceived as a toughie against corruption and irregularities - but it would have been better if he comes out as his own person.
What worsens Pompee’s campaign trail is his cabal of supporters and campaigners intoxicating the cyberspace, especially in social media. But let us be clear - even Moreno’s side also have their share of keyboard warriors hiding in fictitious accounts, commonly known as trolls.
It is through these aggressive movements of online trolls that became the deathbed of Pompee’s ambition to become mayor. All the while he has been accused by some Duterte critics that he is the enabler of the proliferation of fake news in the national scene, and having these local troll armies gave the impression that it validates the critics’ allegations.
And that is why, if Pompee intends to run again, he should ditch what went wrong in his 2019 campaign.
He can become a person of his own, less the mudslinging, although his opponents might throw some against him. While he is at it, he can use the next three years as an opportunity to have a better grasp at the landscape of Cagayan de Oro by being on the ground more often. But three years is still a long way, many things could happen and can alter the peoples’ perceptions. Good luck. (firstname.lastname@example.org)