Espinoza: Who is running for Cebu City mayor in 2022?

Elias Espinoza

WE HAVE every reason to thank the Lord God for sparing us, particularly Cebu, from the wrath of typhoon Tisoy that wreaked havoc in northern Luzon and some parts of the Visayas. Our sincere sympathies to our brethren who were left homeless and those who lost their loved ones who were crushed along Tisoy’s path.

The good thing is that the collateral damage that Tisoy may have caused may not be that much because local government units (LGUs) have been ready for the calamity since Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, when the weather bureau Pagasa raised the alarm that it was expected to make landfall in Luzon.

In Cebu, Signal No. 2 was raised in the northern towns like Daanbantayan, which is along the path of most typhoons. In our interview Tuesday morning, Dec. 3, with Daanbantayan Mayor Sun Shimura over radio dyCM (1152AM), the town mayor was so glad and thankful that except for the heavy rain and strong winds there were no reported casualties in his turf.

Mayor Shimura was happy to report that his constituents, particularly those living near the shore were very cooperative. People who live near the rivers and the seas were evacuated to the town’s shelter without much problem, he said.

Under Republic Act 10121 that established the National Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), formerly the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), all LGUs have their local counterparts and they are required to have emergency shelters as part of their preparations for calamities. As predicted by Pagasa, more typhoons will be coming this month. So, let’s not be complacent.

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Political watchers cannot think of something else but suspect the cohesiveness of the party in power at Cebu City Hall. Recently, Councilor Niña Mabatid filed libel charges against her party-mates Jun Alcover and Ramil Ayuman, who did not make it in the last elections, allegedly on money issues.

During the ceremonial lighting of Cebu City’s Christmas tree Monday night, Dec. 2, Alcover and Ayuman were in attendance along with other councilors, including Mabatid. However, the two men were not in the same place where Mabatid was seated. Alcover approached Councilor Dave Tumulak, who was seated next to Mabatid, but it was as if the two didn’t see each other.

On the request of Alcover, he and Tumulak left Mabatid. Are we to understand that even Tumulak doesn’t want to be associated with Mabatid? Well, it could be understood that way because Tumulak and Mabatid were not after all party-mates since he only joined City Hall’s ruling party after he took his oath.

While all the councilors that belong to the party of Mayor Edgardo Labella and Vice Mayor Michael Rama all profess to support the administration of Labella, but with the present bickering among members of the party, many have expressed doubts that in the May 9, 2022 presidential and local election, the party of Mayor Labella and Vice Mayor Rama will split. It’s not even a remote possibility that Rama will run for mayor against.

Rumors have it that Mayor Labella will no longer seek reelection for reasons of his own. If that happens, perhaps Labella is eyeing to run for the Cebu City north congressional district because Rep. Raul del Mar’s term will end in 2022. I still recall Labella telling me when he was still the Visayas Ombudsman director about his desire to run for Congress. I frankly told him then that it would be an uphill battle against an incumbent.