Nalzaro: And the saga continues

·4 min read

Politics, like a telenovela, is full of thrill, suspense and surprises. Last week, we witnessed developments in the political landscape both in the local and national politics. And the saga (long and dramatic story) continues today, Nov. 15, as the last day of withdrawals and substitution ends. We can still expect more surprises today.

In the local scene, former Cebu City mayor and congressman Tomas Osmeña withdrew his candidacy for congressman in the City’s south district. He was substituted by BG Rodrigo Abellanosa, son of outgoing south district Rep. Rodrigo “Bebot” Abellanosa. Tomas did not categorically explain his reason for withdrawing his candidacy, but this raised speculations that it may have something to do with his health. Another speculation is that it may be to appease Rep. Abellanosa, a close ally, who was disappointed because not one from his siblings is in the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) lineup.

This after Abellanosa backed out from the mayoralty race upon learning that he would spend a huge amount in the campaign. Abellanosa was initially groomed to be the BOPK’s mayoralty candidate but later on the party decided to toss former Councilor Margot Osmeña. A reliable source said that a councilorial candidate from the BOPK will also withdraw his candidacy today and be replaced by Jose Abellanosa, another son of Bebot.

Meanwhile, Talisay City Mayor Samsam Gullas has switched places with his wife, Rhea. Samsam withdrew from the first district congressional race to seek reelection in Talisay City. His wife, who was supposed to succeed him, will run for Congress instead. Rhea is already a sure winner because she has no opponent. What she needs is only one vote.

Samsam’s reason for the switch is because Rhea’s opponent, Vice Mayor Allan Bucao, has been engaging in mudslinging and below-the-belt campaigning. Being a husband and a father, he cannot just tolerate these kinds of personal attacks. He admitted that he was personally affected. Samsam, though, clarified that they are not afraid of Bucao because their in-house survey showed that, Rhea, a newcomer in politics, is ahead of Bucao in all barangays.

Well, whatever reasons Samsam has, it was a wise move to hold his political clout in the first district in general and in Talisay City, in particular. As I have said, Rhea is already a sure winner and Samsam will easily beat Bucao, a long-time ally. Why look for a headache? Kung sa mga sugarol pa sa sabong, ‘logro’ ning awaya in favor ni Samsam. Siete-diez.

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia is still searching for a formidable running mate. A certain Dr. Maria Therese Heyrosa has filed for the vice gubernatorial position under the One Cebu party. But maybe we will be surprised today. Sources said the One Cebu Party was negotiating with Balamban mayor Alex Binghay to be Gwen’s running mate. But the latter politely refused the offer saying he wants to retire from politics. He did not even seek reelection. His son, Ace, a former mayor, is the one seeking the mayoralty position with Ace’s younger brother, Alfie, incumbent vice mayor, as his running mate. Both are running unopposed. The One Cebu Party has also been negotiating with former Naga City Mayor Val Chiong but he also refused the offer. Their last option is outgoing second district Rep. Willy Caminero or maybe philanthropist Mariquita Salimbangon-Yeung.

In the national scene, the strategy adopted by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio is no longer surprising. The ending was clear. After she withdrew her candidacy as Davao City mayoralty aspirant and resigned from her regional party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago, she immediately joined Lakas-CMD. Last Saturday, she filed her certificate of candidacy (COC) as vice presidential candidate. Senator Bong Go, on the other hand, withdrew his candidacy as vice president but filed as a presidential candidate. Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa also withdrew his candidacy as presidential candidate of PDP-Laban saying it was a party decision.

What we will find out today is if President Rodrigo Duterte will push through with his plan to file his COC as vice presidential candidate. Presidential Communications and Operations Office Sec. Martin Andanar said Saturday that Digong will file his COC as vice presidential candidate today. Can the Filipinos expect a father and daughter showdown? I doubt it. Drama lang gihapon ni? Matapus na ni rong adlawa. Abangan.

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Another surprising development is the entry of retired PNP Chief Guillermo Eleazar to the political arena just a day after his retirement from the police organization. Last Saturday, Eleazar filed his COC as senatorial candidate substituting a certain Paolo “Pawee” Capino under Partido Reporma of presidential aspirant, Sen. Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson. Lacson said he has high expectations for Eleazar if he wins a Senate seat in 2022.

Lacson added that Eleazar is willing to continue his public service even after his retirement as PNP chief upon reaching his 56th birthday. Lacson said Eleazar shares the ideals and qualities of Partido Reporma in terms of tough and trustworthy leadership in public service. It was also a wise decision of Eleazar to join politics today as his popularity is still fresh, with his good leadership in the PNP. If he would run in the 2025 elections yet, he may already be forgotten.

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