EXPLAINER: One Cebu Party's moves in 6th district, Mandaue City. Nene Alegado's fall on dance floor hardly presages 2022 outcome.

·3 min read

THE significant news event in the 10th anniversary celebration of Ako Bisaya Saturday night, May 22, was not the fall of Consolacion Vice Mayor Teresa "Nene" Alegado on a Lapu-Lapu City resort's dance floor even though, to social media, it was the top sidelight.

What created some political tremor was the announcement of Ako Bisaya Representative Sonny "SL" Lagon to run for the House seat in Cebu's sixth district, even as its incumbent congresswoman, Enmarie "Lollipop" Ouano-Dizon, reportedly would leave the sixth and vie for Mandaue City's lone district. The development indicated key plans of the ruling party One Cebu in that part of the province.

WHO ELSE WILL RUN. The next election campaign's salvo, fired by Ako Bisaya but casting light on preparations of One Cebu, in effect declared the local ruling party's choice of official candidates in that part of the province. It also told the public who'll be running for the other positions affected by Lagon's upgrade from the party-list ranks in the House, including:

[1] "Lollipop" Ouano-Dizon, incumbent sixth district congresswoman, who'll run for Mandaue City's virgin lone district, created by the law President Rodrigo Duterte signed last May 2019. At stake is not just a House seat but the title of Mandaue City's first lone district legislator. With little time to leave a sizable legislative legacy for the sixth, she'd have to concentrate in the 19th Congress on one LGU, Mandaue. Lollipop is a PDP Laban who allied with One Cebu in 2019; apparently, the relationship continues in 2022.

[2] Lagon's wife, Daphne Arias-Lagon, and current Consolacion Mayor Joannes "Joyjoy" Alegado will be the new nominees of Ako Bisaya in 2022. The wife, an ex-mayor of Tuburan, will succeed Congressman Lagon, while Mayor Joyjoy Alegado may take the second seat, depending upon the number of votes the party-list will get in competition with other party lists. The House comprises of 304 representatives with 243 from congressional districts and 61 as party-list representatives.

[3] The position of Consolacion mayor will be vied for again by Mayor Joyjoy's mom Nene. Nene Alegado was headlined "nahagba sa dance floor" in the May 23 SuperBalita Cebu news story but she is most likely to stand over her rivals for mayor in the 2022 competition.

SUCCESSION OR 'MUSICAL CHAIRS.' The "musical chairs" and the "moves" of the game, following Cong Lagon's entry into a regular congressional race, may look thus:

[] Congresswoman Lollipop leaves the sixth district seat for Mandaue's lone district seat. Representative Lagon moves from the party-list seat to vie for the seat Lollipop vacates.

[] Lagon's wife, Daphne, and Consolacion Mayor Joyjoy become two nominees for the seat the party-list congressman will leave and, "hopefully," one more seat for Ako Bisaya.

[] Mayor Alegado's seat will be filled by VM mom Nene again.

'STRIPPED' SIXTH DISTRICT. Why should the sixth district, stripped figuratively to the bone -- with its twin gems removed, Lapu-Lapu City in October 2009 and Mandaue City in May 2019, and left only with two towns Consolacion and Cordova -- still attract? [Seares: Stripping Cebu's sixth district, November 29, 2018] It is after all still a congressional seat.

Congressman Lagon can still seek the same party-list but, even with theoretically equal salaries and perks among all House members, the party-list legislators are virtually second-class. Their party-list, not the individual legislator, is the one voted for and elected. The legislator is just the nominee of the party, whose number of representatives (not more than three) will depend upon the size of its total mass of votes.

To "SL" Lagon, to be elected as One Cebu candidate in a regular district, would boost his stature as legislator. And rebuilding the sixth -- from only two towns now to become again the big district it once was -- would be a tough yet interesting challenge.

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