CEBU City Mayor Edgardo Labella wants his party Partido Barug to coalesce with Partido Panaghiusa, the party revived by former city councilor Jose “Joey” Daluz III after he left the ruling administration bloc last week.

Partido Panaghiusa was the party espoused by Daluz’s late mother, broadcaster Nenita Cortes “Inday Nita” Daluz. The party was organized by the late Cebu City councilor Antonio Cuenco and the late senator John Henry “Sonny” Osmeña, among others.

But even with the resignation of Daluz, who served as Barug’s campaign manager in the 2019 elections, Labella assured that the former will remain an ally.

Daluz, in an interview, said he learned from the Commission on Elections that Partido Panaghiusa is still an active party.

He used to head several bodies at City Hall and was considered one of Vice Mayor Michael Rama’s “most trusted lieutenants.”

He said he intends to form a coalition with Partido Barug in preparation for the 2022 national and local elections.

He said he will still support the mayor and during the 2022 elections, both parties will support one candidate.

“In fact, in 2013 and 2016, amo manang gisakyan ang Panaghiusa. That is the intention that we will support one candidate for mayor,” said Daluz.

Prior to his resignation, Daluz was vice president of Barug, according to Labella.

“Because he is the vice president of Barug and it would be somehow inconsistent if he is vice president of Barug, which is a regional party, and he will also be president of Panaghiusa regional party,” the mayor added.

Daluz is currently chairman of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District.

Labella told the media he will serve as the honorary chairman of Partido Panaghiusa.

Labella said the revival of Partido Panaghiusa is a welcome development, considering it’s better to have many regional groups as allies.

The current city administration is also affiliated with PDP-Laban, President Rodrigo Duterte’s political party, and with Kusog Party and Anad Party-list of former Cebu City councilor Pastor Alcover Jr. (JJL)