Bzzzzz: Still a surprise, if Tomas or Margot runs for top city post. Bimbo Fernandez to file COC for mayor or VM but not against Osmeña couple. Sara, Leni still have to speak up on final decision.

·3 min read

Surprise to Bebot, Ong supporters

THAT former mayor and Bando Osmeña–Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) chief Tomas Osmeña or his wife Margot might run for any of Cebu City’s top posts has long been speculated on early enough.

Tomas is known for keeping his cards to his chest, to the point of putting off the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) (but “still within the deadline”). The reason, he once told broadcaster Jason Monteclar, is that his rivals might poach his field of talents.

His supply of candidates necessarily includes himself and his wife.

There was this rumor getting stronger at weekend that Tomas or Margot might run for mayor or vice mayor. Which means one or both the handpicked bets -- Representative Rodrigo “Bebot” Abellanosa for mayor and/or Councilor Franklyn Ong for vice mayor -- would have to give way because of their deference to the Osmeñas and because within BOPK, Tomas calls the shots, “what Tomas wants, Tomas gets.”

The Sunday news was not the fall-off-your-seat kind of surprise but still a surprise, especially to supporters of Bebot and Franklyn.

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Bimbo to rely on Tomas moves

LAST Tuesday, September 28, non-government organizations under the umbrella of Alliance of Urban Poor (UP-ALL) announced their endorsement of Bimbo Fernandez, former local government secretary, as candidate for mayor in the next elections.

Fernandez, a city administrator under then-mayor Osmeña, said he’d accept the draft if he would not be competing with Tomas for the same seat. Also, he won’t run against Tomas’s wife Margot.

Bimbo told Bzzzzz Sunday, October 3, “I am definitely filing tomorrow (Monday) afternoon... If Margot or Tommy runs for mayor, I will run for vice mayor. If they won’t run for mayor, then I will run for mayor.” He said he was trying to reach them. He didn’t say if he could be told, or persuaded, not to run for any of the top posts at all.

On the chances that Fernandez’s bid might take away votes from BOPK, Bimbo said, “In the Philippines, it is not parties but personalities.” He will get votes from Bebot Abellanosa but he will also get votes from Barug’s Mike Rama.

Most voters in Cebu City, Fernandez said, especially the youth are not aligned to any party. “Most of those who are aligned come from the urban poor but I do not think most of them will abandon me.”

But, he repeated, “if Tommy or Margot runs, I will not run against them. Our agenda the past 40 years have been, more or less, the same.”

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Cliffhangers: Sara, Leni

The Sara-Bong Go tandem that President Duterte said Saturday, September 2 was already “a go” still awaits confirmation by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and, more definitively, by her withdrawal of the COC for mayor and filing of another COC for president. The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) Cusi wing has reserved the slot for her.

If Sara finally publicly acknowledges the Sara-Bongo tandem, the narrative follows the earlier flow of the story. Sara wouldn’t wish that her dad would run for VP. The filing of COC for reelection as mayor is believed to be a protest against the president’s move. He didn’t just back out of the VP race and put Senator Bong Go in his stead. He dramatically announced his “retirement” from politics.

The suspense over Sara’s decision is slowly easing. So is the Vice President Leni Robredo thriller. The news Sunday was that Leni has accepted the 1Sambayan draft. But the source of the story was a convenor of the opposition group, not Robredo herself.

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