Bzzzzz: Didn't happen: Gay Yapha filing COC for governor, Tomas subbing for Margot... Barug's initial choices: Bong Go and Sara; and for Senate, Digong, Roque, Binay. One Cebu pondering on 'What ifs.'

·4 min read

Barug picks Bong Go, Sara

ACTING Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama in one of two public statements Tuesday, November 16, announced that Barug, with its allied parties Kusug and Panaghiusa, has chosen Senator Bong Go as its candidate for president and Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as candidate for vice president. For senators, its initial three picks are President Rodrigo Duterte, presidential spokesman Harry Roque and former Vice President Jejomar Binay. For party list: Marino nominee Colin Rossel.

In endorsing the Bong Go-Sara Carpio duo, Rama, speaking as standard bearer, said the group's choice is whoever President Duterte anoints as his successors. It can be assumed then that Rama and his group believe that the president has already decided on Go and Carpio.

What if he'd change his mind, as he often does, about his bet for president? He might, and could easily order Go to withdraw for Sara's standard bearer, Bongbong Marcos. Too speculative?

Other theories, resting on thinner facts, turned into reality.

'Well after' November 15

One Cebu party may not release yet its choice of the presidential and vice presidential candidates it will support in the 2022 elections. Though it announced during the October 1-8 COC-filing deadline that it would decide after the November 15 deadline for substitutions, that didn't mean today, the next few days or even weeks.

Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, chairperson of One Cebu, said it would get first the consensus among House members and mayors and, tougher, the answers to "what ifs." The operative words, she said at the Monday, November 15, press-con at Capitol: "Well after." The "well" modifying "after" was hardly noticed last November 8 when the governor first disclosed One Cebu's schedule. An ABS-CBN story on that day said the situation was "very fluid" and the promise was a choice made "well after the 15th of November."

That, despite the facts that (a) One Cebu is allied with PDP-Laban, Cusi wing and (b) it is known to have supported the Dutertes, with Gwen's daughter Liloan Mayor Cristina Frasco as VP Sara Duterte-Carpio's spokesperson.

Speculation, based on those facts, is that One Cebu will support the national party that pushes the Duterte agenda. Manny Pacquiao looks like he's out, Isko Moreno is "being considered," and not mentioned are Leni Robredo and Ping Lacson.

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Pacquiao bet changed mind

Candidate for president Manny Pacquiao announced it last Sunday, November 14: former Pinamungahan mayor Geraldine "Gay" Yapha would file Monday her certificate of candidacy for governor under his adopted Promdi party. She did not file.

Gay told Eric S. Manait on dyCM radio's "Bara de Cabra" Tuesday, November 16, that it was a collective decision, by her family and Pacquiao, that she could do more for the senator's bid if she would not run.

Her chances of winning against front-runner Governor Gwen Garcia, who's seeking reelection against former tourism secretary Ace Durano, were not raised. That too must have been considered by Yapha, daughter of ex-congressman and Toledo City vice mayor Antonio Yapa, in dropping the idea of her running. In the 2019 election, Gay ran for third district congresswoman but lost to Rep. Pablo John Garcia, placing third, after former senator and ex-Toledo City mayor Sonny Osmeña.

Who then is the choice of Promdi for Cebu governor? Pacquiao will decide that, Gay said.

She made it clear she did give her word to Pacquiao and the senator was telling the truth. It was she who changed her mind.

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Still Margot, not Tomas

A Facebook public post Monday, November 15, ran in big heading type: "Withdraw Margot to run for councilor and Tomas run for mayor." One could ignore it if the deadline had already gone past; not yet, still hours away. Or if the person putting it out was someone who didn't have access to sites of power and information; it was Jun "Way Kulba" Alcover, former congressman and a former councilor, who lost in his 2019 bid and is now running for the same seat in the Cebu City Sanggunian.

Well, there was no substitution. But it was plausible at the time. Alcover prefaced the comment with question marks. BOPK chief Tomas Osmeña is known to do the job himself if he thinks the surrogate is likely to fail. Tomas must think Margot can pull it off or perhaps even do better than he.

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