Bzzzzz: Likely match in Cebu City north: Nina Mabatid vs Cutie Del Mar. At Capitol: 'why they don't want to be vice governor.'

·4 min read

SPECULATIONS have stepped up on who will run for congressman or congresswoman to fill the Cebu City north district House seat vacated by the late Raul del Mar. The congressman's ashes were brought home to Cebu City last Wednesday, December 2.

The initial bunch of speculations is topped by the published view of Atty. Frank Malilong (SunStar, December 3, "Who Will Succeed Del Mar?").

BOPK CAMP. In the camp of BOPK, which was Del Mar's local political party, Torni Frank mentioned the names of Councilors Joy Young, Noel Archival and ABC president Franklyn Ong, as probable alternatives to Del Mar's daughter Cutie.

Cutie is most likely to be picked, if BOPK extends the meaning of "equity of the incumbent" (the daughter of her father and having been a congresswoman herself) and benefits from expected "public sympathy" for the demise of a popular politician plus the advantage of having worked with her dad on their political machinery, with its network of campaign workers and volunteers and goodwill of voters nurtured for more than two decades.

BARUG'S BENCH. On the opposite bench, Partido Barug, Torni Frank ticked off the names of Richard Yap, the movie-TV actor whom Del Mar beat in 2019; and Councilors Joel Garganera, Raymond Garcia, and Nina Mabatid.

MOST VOCAL. Mabatid has been the most vocal and visible about her plan to run for the city's first district seat. As early as two months ago, she told Bzzzzz, a high official on the national level (whom she named) told her to run. She didn't say how firm was the promise and whether the official could bind Partido Barug.

A week or so ago, she came up with two reasons she would and should run: her talent would be a waste at the City Council ("kon konsehal lang," underscore "lang") and she couldn't be very productive at the local Sanggunian where they put a premium on seniority and not, ahem, on "talent."

THE CHOICE. In case of more than one aspirant, be it at BOPK or Barug, the top decision makers or party leaders usually favor the "more winnable" bet. If only person decides, as is reportedly the case in BOPK, vote-drawing power is usually used as argument for the choice.

Reasons they shun VG post

Jayson Monteclar's "The Not So Late Show" (Thursday, December 3, 2020 episode, "Ang Misa") Top 10 picks on the Cebu vice governor again, this time about on his work and authority or lack of it.

TNSLS's December 3 Top 10, titled "Nagnong Way Gustong Mag-gobernador," downplays the VG's kind of work by:

-- satirizing the size of the gavel ("makabughat"), sitting down to listen to board members in a pissing contest ("makasapyot sa lubot");

-- scoffing at the ordeal of walking up the stairs when the elevator breaks down to find there's no quorum because many board members don't show up; and

-- highlighting the generally drab duties of a presiding officer ("walay challenge" from the disparity in pay and the work).

The list underscores what Jason Monteclar sees as the absence of power and perks at the vice governor's seat: whatever the PB chair rules, the governor's will prevails ("gobernador gihapon magbuot"); he has no committee and cannot speak as a member ("bisan manghuyatid gidili, gawas kon mosugot si [Board Member] Glen Soco"; and "way pangartahan," not like "membership in a bidding committee."

Beyond dispute is the fact that the Cebu vice-guv -- unlike the second highest official in most of, if not all, the other local governments across the country -- is virtually gagged and tied to his swivel chair.

In VG Junjun Davide's case, by the Provincial Board's house rules, which the One Cebu-dominated board approved as its first order of business in 2019.

Unlike, say, Cebu City Vice Mayor Mike Rama, Cebu Vice Governor Junjun Davide cannot step down to participate in the discussion as a member; he does not head any committee or is a member of one.

If the public has not heard from Junjun for a long time, it's because of the gag. But then he can talk to his constituents, through the media, outside the session hall. Maybe another list will come out soon: "Nganong Di Motingug ang Bise-gobernador Gawas sa Session Hall."

P.S. The next vice governor won't suffer Junjun's fate -- as long as he or she will be affiliated with the ruling party. Things will radically change and the VG's seat will be more attractive by simply changing the House rules and giving the occupant more duties and powers.

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