THIS year’s election is one for the books for two reasons.

First, the counting of votes will be automated. Second, One Cebu supports a mishmash of senatorial candidates belonging to different parties.

Blame that on the multi-party system laid down by the current Constitution. Before martial law, only two political parties--Liberal and Nacio-nalista—were dominant and turncoats were ostracized.

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There are no more political butterflies in the present setup.

What we have instead are political opportunists. Support for a national candidate is no longer about party platform but for convenience and logistics.

On the lighter side, One Cebu supporting a hodgepodge of senatorial bets, some of whom could not even see eye-to-eye with each other, shows that the party can gather together candidates who are in opposite political fences.

But One Cebu excluded in its mixed slate of favored senatorial candidates three Cebuano senatorial bets – Lito Osmeña, Serge Osmeña and Dodong Maambong – for obvious reasons.

Balamban Mayor Alex Binghay was not amused. He considers the move of One Cebu to support senatorial bets other than the three Cebuanos as a big slap on the face. “Dili ka molaban sa kaliwat nato nga Cebuano ug Bisaya?” he asked. He added that he will support the Cebuano senatorial candidates.

The question now is whether town mayors belonging to One Cebu will toe the line in giving support only to the senatorial candidates that the party has endorsed.

There is a catch. One Cebu spokesperson Rory Jon Sepulveda said support for senatorial bets is still subject of discussion by the party. What is non-negotiable, he said, is the party’s support for presidential bet Gibo Teodoro.

Are we to understand that support for the senatorial candidates endorsed by One Cebu chairperson, Gov. Gwen Garcia, will depend on how fast they can deliver the promised logistics?

There is nothing for One Cebu to be ashamed of in admitting that it is supporting the senatorial candidates not for their genuine concern for Cebu but because they can provide the needed campaign funds.

The situation in Mandaue City is even worse after Rep. Nery Soon-Ruiz, who is running for city mayor, shifted from Lakas-Kampi-One Cebu to the Nacio-nalista Party of Manny Villar.

I don’t see this, though, as a sign that One Cebu is breaking up. It’s just a crack. Sepulveda will naturally deny this. It is likely, however, that One Cebu will end up being fragmented because each of its leaders has a favored national bet.

But while Ruiz signed up with NP and will soon tender her resignation from One Cebu, her vice mayor and councilors are still with Lakas-Kampi-One Cebu.

Vice Mayor Carlo Fortuna, the running mate of Ruiz, and the group’s slate for councilor that includes Lollipop Ouano, daughter of former mayor Teddy Ouano, must be in limbo at the moment.

Teddy Ouano is running for the Provincial Board seat in the sixth district under Lakas-Kampi-One Cebu. Is the Ouano clan still for Gibo? Or have they shifted to Villar together with Ruiz?

One Cebu is now without a candidate for mayor in Mandaue City.

I don’t think the party will go for Mayor Jonas Cortes because Cortes and his slate are under the Liberal Party and supports the Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas tandem.

This political confusion would not have been possible had lawmakers not twisted our election laws to fit the politicians’ vested interest. Also, Comelec does not have the teeth to enforce the said laws.

(elespinoza53@yahoo.com)