Bzzzzz: Mabatid gags self on City Hall 'witch.' 'Vampire' in Veco load. Be careful with Richard Yap's heart for the north.

·4 min read

'Phantom load' tagged the culprit

ONE of the causes identified by Veco for the increase in electricity bills of consumers is the "phantom load." No, it's not a phantom bandit wreaking havoc on the bills to make the individual user, household or business enterprise pay more. It's the electricity consumed by plugged-in appliances when not in use even when turned off or on stand-by mode.

It's also called "vampire" or "ghost" load or, less spine-tingling, "leaking electricity."

But what opposers are seeing in the Veco rates issue are not ghosts or phantoms, a city councilor told Bzzzzz.

End to 'witch' tale? Not quite.

After Cebu City Councilor Niña Mabatid first posted on her Facebook wall the accusation that an unelected and un-appointed person had been "dictating" councilors and other officials, making decisions that should've been made by others, and in effect corrupting governance at City Hall. Kons Mabatid is giving up hope that the person whom she famously or infamously calls the "ungo" or witch will ever be made to account for his allegedly illegal acts.

Wednesday, May 5, Mabatid said she wouldn't talk about the "ungo" anymore. Actually, she might have raised hands and surrendered sometime ago yet. In recent sessions of the Sanggunian, she had not shown any slight deviation from the party line. Two sessions ago, her answer to request by the presiding officer for a comment on the issue was, "I will abide by the party stand, Mr. Chair."

BARUG STRATEGY. Despite the furor her "witch" charge set off, Partido Barug has not publicly responded to Mabatid's accusation. The strategy apparently is to ignore it -- until the elections when its rival BOPK is expected to raise the juicy issue. With the exposure made by one of Barug's own (Niña placed second in the north district in the 2019 polls, one of only two survivors) and the evidence it must have dug up BOPK-style, it won't go away yet.

But for now, Mabatid won't talk about it anymore. She had talked about it in various media interviews and but this time, she is clamming up. Why? The councilor told Bzzzzz May 5, "Wa tay dag-anan kay gamhanan kaayo gyud, basin tangtangan pa ko sa partido." Could it be that there's not much truth to her accusation, since she has never presented any evidence, just relying on her being a party member and insider at City Hall?

ALL TRUE, SHE CLAIMS. "Tinuod man gyud to tanan but for the sake of the party, hilom na lang ko. I have to co-exist," she told Bzzzzz. "Lisod kaayong kontrahan." She claimed she has not been given any favor from the party leaders since she posted her accusation. All she told media then was that the party leaders told her they would "fix" the problem.

And she feared she might lose her party membership, which she might not want to happen after she defected from and lost her original party BOPK in 2019. And she has set eyes on the north district congressional slot early on, a goal seemingly firmed up by the November 16 death of multiple-termer congressman Raul V. Del Mar.

FIRST SURVEY. Any early indicator of her chances of winning if Barug gives her the slot? Mabatid said the first survey "nag-lead ko sa vice mayorship and sa Congress, kay kumbati mi ni Cutie (del Mar, former congresswoman of the district and daughter of Raul), so karon ni suroy nako sa mga barangay para mas mosaka (akong rating)." No details on who conducted the survey, the questions asked, when and where conducted, number of respondents, and methodology.

'Equity of the loser': Richard, Joy

TV actor Richard Edison Uy Yap reportedly was not pleased to find that two other Barug stalwarts are competing with him for Partido Barug's congressional slot in the north come next election. One of the two is Councilor Niña Mabatid.

Richard Yap, who ran and lost representing Barug in the race for the same seat against BOPK's Raul Del Mar in 2019, probably expects now that he has the better right to take a second crack at the formidable stronghold of the Del Mars, especially that the 2022 competition will no longer have the kingpin himself. Raul's daughter, former congresswoman Cutie del Mar, is talked about as BOPK's probable contender.

What do you call that, equity of the loser? It does make some sense, if you consider the loser's experience and investment in the past 2019 campaign, which may be deemed preparation for the coming 2022 campaign. Similar to the line pushed by supporters of former city councilor Joy Pesquera who lost in the last election to Representative Rodrigo Abellanosa. Term-limited, Kong Bebot can no longer run and his surrogate or successor could be less tough to take down.

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