Mother and father of the City

CEBU City Mayor Michael "Mike" Rama called himself the "father" and his vice mayor, Donald "Dondon" Hontiveros, the "mother" of the City at the City Hall flag ceremony Monday, December 13.

But wait. Didn't Mayor Mike's camp give MLR the title "MoM," which Margarita "Margot" Osmeña, his BOPK rival for the mayor's seat in 2022, first used in launching her candidacy last October 4? That would make Mike the Mom as well as Dad of the city.

MoM, the BOPK propaganda says, stands for "Margot our Mayor." The Rama camp counters, "It also means "Mike our Mayor." Maybe there's no legal infringement of acronym here but there's clear copying of the way MoM is displayed. Rama's group copied the depiction of the word "MoM," up to the capitalized two Ms and the color of letter "o."

Anyway on Mayor Mike being Dad or Papa when Vice Mayor Dondon is around, listen: Mike, who last Monday was introducing the VM to the audience of City Hall employees (a small barangay by itself), kidded his Mom Dondon, "Where's your bra?" Would he ask that to "Mom" Margot?

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Digong can still substitute

Just when most everyone thought there would no longer be any surprise after the November 15 substitution deadline, one happened: President Rodrigo Duterte withdrew from the senators' race.

On the same day, Tuesday, December 14, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go also formally dropped out as candidate for president. But he already announced that a month ago. The delay in the formal withdrawal set off speculation that some other move must be afoot, aside from shifting his bid for vice president to one for president. To clear the way for Bong Go, another great placeholder Senator Ronald "Bato" de la Rosa, candidate for president, exited from the race. Bong Go kept his word, 30 days late.

There's no stronger, more graphic illustration of the "mockery" of the rule on substitution than that provided by the trio of PDut, Bong Go and Bato. Not entirely their fault; the law provided the legal means for the exercise in trivializing the COC or certificate of candidacy. They haven't exactly lived up to the promise of their new party's name, Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan.

Digong Duterte had been swinging from active service in politics to retirement: filing a COC for vice president, then announcing he'd retire, only to drop out as VP bet and file a substitute COC for senator, and then quitting again.

Would his withdrawal from the Senate race end all that? Maybe but the law still allows him to substitute a candidate who has the same surname Duterte, if that candidate would die or get disqualified. The option is good until midday of May 9, 2022, election day.

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BOPK: Leni minus Kiko

How would Tuesday's developments in Manila affect local politics?

Most likely, it won't affect BOPK's decision to support Leni Robredo for president (but Tito Sotto for vice president). Robredo was in Cebu Tuesday, December 14. And visibly absent from the BOPK event was her running mate Senator Kiko Pangilinan. OK ra, said Leni, she was "still thankful" for the BOPK endorsement.

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One Cebu: mixed on Bongbong

The public awaits the decision of One Cebu, which has been wooed by various national tandems. The most recent responses from the party's leaders tended to indicate some feelings for Isko Moreno and Ping Lacson and a strong doubt about Bongbong Marcos's qualification. But, they insist, no party decision yet.

And the signals can get mixed. While Representative Pablo John Garcia of Cebu's third district sounds like he favors Isko Moreno, the Frasco couple (Liloan Mayor Christina Garcia-Frasco and Representative Franco "Duke" Frasco of the first district) said One Cebu is not supporting Moreno. And Cong PJ also expressed doubt about Bongbong Marcos's qualification as a candidate, now being assailed before the Comelec and, eventually, the Supreme Court. As a lawyer, PJ reportedly said, he cannot disregard the question about Bongbong's constitutional fitness to run.

Yet the Bongbong-Inday Sara team is the tandem the Frascos reportedly support. Mayor Christina is also Inday Sara's spokesperson.

Would One Cebu agree on one candidate for president and VP or would it be "zona libre" for its top leaders, mostly from the Garcia family, when it comes to the national race? Could they be united on the choice, which was One Cebu's announced reason for taking time to decide?

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