Espinoza: No takers?

Free Zone
Espinoza Free Zone
Espinoza Free Zone

As early as two months ago, Cebu City’s politicians started making noise about the forthcoming midterm elections. But we have yet to hear from politicians in the cities of Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu and Talisay as to who would be running against whom in next year’s polls.

Are we to understand that the politicians in these three cities are no longer interested in facing off with the incumbents? In Cebu City, a three-cornered mayoralty race is already shaping up.

Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama is certainly seeking reelection for a third and last term in office. Incumbent Cebu City Councilor Nestor Archival was already endorsed by former city mayor Tomas Osmeña as BOPK’s standard bearer with Tomas running as his vice mayor.

A newbie in politics, Yogi Filemon Ruiz already made known his desire to run for city mayor of Cebu. Ruiz was a former director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7 and former commissioner of the Bureau of Customs. Ruiz’s posters are already visible in the city’s walls and posts. He even showed off his achievements while he was director of PDEA.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Ahong Chan, who will be seeking reelection for a third term, must be enjoying the possibility of running unopposed in the May 2025 polls since not one Oponganon so far has started to make noise. People in the know said Mayor Ahong has already amassed so much campaign funds that anyone running against him has no chance of winning.

The situation in Lapu-Lapu City could perhaps be the same in Talisay City since it appears that no one has that much armament, so to speak, to face off against the Gullases. Talisay City Mayor Samsam Gullas is the grandson of former Talisay City mayor and first district congressman Eddie Gullas.

But in Cebu’s first congressional district, however, rumors have it that City of Naga Mayor Val Chiong is entertaining the idea of seeking the congressional seat currently held by Rep. Rhea Mae Gullas, wife of Mayor Samsam.

Talks have it that Mayor Chiong had given way to Mayor Samsam to be the party’s candidate for Congress in the first district of Cebu. Chiong was allegedly not pleased when Mayor Samsam suddenly switched with his wife Rhea, who was running for city mayor, after survey results were not in her favor. Rhea ended up running unopposed for the district seat.

For a seasoned politico like Mayor Chiong, he is more than aware how games in politics are played. Perhaps, next year he will have his opportunity to run for Congress in his district that comprises the cities of Talisay, Naga and Carcar and the towns of Minglanilla, San Fernando and Sibonga.

In Mandaue City, is incumbent Mayor Jonas Cortes still running and seeking a last term? What I have gathered from the people around him is that he would complete his term. As to who would be his possible opponent is still not clear because lawyer Olin Seno, who ran against him in the last polls, seems to be not interested anymore.

But what would be interesting to know is if the talks that spread months after the last elections would be true that the city’s Lone District Rep. Lolypop Ouano-Dizon would run for city mayor. Does this suggest that their coalition was only good in the last general elections?

Well, the possibility is not remote because as they say there are no permanent allies or friends in our brand of politics. If it happens that Representative Dizon would run against Mayor Cortes, this is history repeating itself. A Cortes-Ouano duel in Mandaue City’s mayoralty race. Would it be good for Mandaue? That remains to be seen.

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