Although candidates for local and national elective positions have until November 15, 2021 to make the necessary changes or substitution, it seems that the candidates in the local level, like in Cebu City, with the BOPK lineup of former Councilor Margot Osmeña as its standard bearer, and the Barug Party of Acting Mayor Mike Rama, who is gunning for the mayorship again, are already final and ready to rock and roll come the May 9, 2022 polls.
Mayor Edgar Labella, for health reasons, has decided to hang up his gloves in politics and I could sense that Acting Mayor Rama is now a happy man. You may recall that Rama wanted to run for mayor in the 2019 elections but he was prevailed upon for several reasons to run for vice mayor instead and he won.
Councilor Raymond Alvin N. Garcia of the Kusug Party is Rama’s running mate for vice mayor. Rama’s Barug, Garcia’s Kusug ang the Panaghiusa Party of former Councilor Joey Daluz have joined forces against the solid BOPK.
On the other hand, many were surprised that former Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, the founder of BOPK and the better half of former councilor Margot, chose to run for Congress in the City’s south district instead of facing Rama, whom he beat in the 2016 general elections, in the mayoralty race. Just another gambit of former Mayor Tomas?
Councilor Edu Rama, whose term will end next year, will run for Congress in the City’s south district. He will be pitted against former mayor Tomas. Supporters of BOPK, who perhaps could not say it straight to former mayor Tomas, believe that Margot, being a woman who has that contagious smile, is the party’s best choice to run for mayor that would somehow give a headache to Rama. Margot is paired with ABC president and Ex-Oficio Councilor Franklyn Ong as the party’s vice mayoralty bet.
The lineup of Acting Mayor Rama is running under PDP-Laban, the administration party, while BOPK is affiliated with the national party of Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino.
Perhaps unnoticed by many is the candidacy of Bimbo Fernandez, who filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for vice mayor of Cebu City under the Liberal Party (LP) but without a mayor and a slate for councilors. Fernandez was the city administrator during the term of former Mayor Tomas and he was later appointed undersecretary during PNoy’s term.
The candidacy of Fernandez, a cooperator, would work either way for vice mayoralty bets Councilor Garcia and ABC president Ong. While we did not hear anything from Ong on the candidacy of Fernandez for vice mayor, Fernandez could be a cinch to Ong’s desire to become vice mayor because the mass base support of Fernandez are also supporters of BOPK.
Said otherwise, could Fernandez’s situation as a BOPK member signing up with LP in his COC mean an advantage for PDP-Laban’s vice mayoralty bet Raymond Garcia? This remains to be seen until the elections are over and the winners are proclaimed by the Commission on Elections.