EIGHT individuals want to become Cebu City mayor as 55 others filed their certificate of candidacy (COC) for different elective positions in the city.
Those who filed their COC for mayor are Michael Matañoza of Abag-Promdi, Margarita “Margot” Osmeña of Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), Michael Lopez Rama of PDP Laban, Jose Carmelotes Layon of Reporma, and independent candidates Edgar Viola Concha, Juanito Bombase Luna, Crisologo Saavedra and David Tumulak.
The list of candidates for other positions is a mix of incumbent and former city and barangay officials, relatives of former officials, defeated candidates in previous elections, businessmen and a celebrity.
Among those running for vice mayor is urban poor leader and former city administrator Francisco “Bimbo” Fernandez of the Liberal Party. He will face City Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia (PDP Laban) and Kasambagan Barangay Captain and Association of Barangay Councils President Franklyn Ong, who also sits as an ex-officio member of the City Council.
For North District congressman, Rachel “Cutie” del Mar (NPC), lawyer Avenescio Piramide (CMD), City Councilor Prisca Niña Mabatid (PDP Laban), actor Richard Yap (NUP) and independent candidate Manuel Momongan are vying for the post.
In the south district, former mayor Tomas Osmeña (LDP) will face City Councilor Eduardo Rama, Jr. (PDP Laban), a former ally, and Michael Bantasan (NUP) in the congressional race.
A total of 22 candidates have filed their COC for north district councilor and another 22 filed their COC for south district councilor during the filing period, which ran from Oct. 1 to 8, 2021.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) Cebu City North District Election Officer Chaunsey Boholst said the filing of COC in the city was organized and orderly.
Among those who filed their COC on the last day on Friday morning was Councilor Joel Garganera, who is seeking reelection as north district councilor.
Instead of his party colors yellow and green, which his partymates wore to the Comelec office, Garganera came in a red shirt as a tribute to his original party, the Kugi Uswag Sugbo (Kusug).
“Twenty years ago, in 2001, I ran for city councilor under Kusug, that’s my party. So, I asked the mayor: Can I pay tribute to my original (party)? And he approved. Anyway, the Barug is a coalition of these different political parties,” said Garganera, who is running under the Barug, Kusug, Panaghiusa, PDP-Laban, and Marino coalition.
He did not join his partymates, who filed their COC on Friday afternoon, since he had meetings regarding the Covid-19 Emergency Operations Center, which he heads as the deputy implementing officer.
Meanwhile, Mary Ann de los Santos, who is running for north district councilor, vowed to continue being the “voice of the ordinary people” if she wins a council seat.
“I will champion the 93-1 (issue). I want that settled once and for all. That’s a very big issue that will impact especially the north district residents,” she said, referring to the row over Province-owned lots in the city that are occupied by Cebu City’s urban poor.
The candidates have until Nov. 15, 2021 to withdraw their COCs or file for substitution of candidates on the grounds that the aspirant either died or has been disqualified to run for the post, Boholst said. (WBS)