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CEBU: David Vs Goliath in Mandaue

OPINION






by Aries Lopez

It’s definitely David versus Goliath in Mandaue City’s political battle next year, with incumbent Mayor Luigi Quisumbing as the “Goliath,” and incumbent 6th District Rep. Jonas Cortes as “David”.

Why Luigi is the Goliath here? He is an incumbent mayor, and when you are in the position, you have all the city’s resources at your disposal. Also, Luigi has his rich family, the one behind the Norkis group of companies, who has more resources than most running for public office.

Jonas is the underdog David. He is also smaller in size like David in the Biblical story. Although also an incumbent official, his powers, being a congressman, are very limited as his office also has limited funds, not like the mayor whose funds of the city are at his disposal. Unlike in the past, the congressmen no longer enjoy the P70 million pork barrel a year, after it was removed by former President Noynoy Aquino. More funds may mean more projects you can distribute to the constituents; and no funds means you have to be resourceful if you want to deliver.

But remember the 2013 elections wherein the Davids beat the Goliaths of Cebu? In Talisay City, a virtually unknown candidate Johnny “JVR” V. delos Reyes defeated the giant, Eduardo “Edigul” Gullas. It was Gullas’s first defeat in his decades of running for various political positions in Cebu. Cebu also saw the first loss of Tomas Osmena, who, in 2013, was an incumbent congressman, and before that a mayor for three straight terms. He lost his bid to reclaim the city’s mayoralty post from his former vice mayor, Michael Rama.

So, will it be another “David defeats Goliath” scenario in Mandaue next year?

Let’s analyze the figures.

In the 2016 elections, Luigi won by 85,433 votes against Lolypop Ouano-dizon’s 65,055. In 2013, Jonas got 98,972 against Victor Biano’s 27,992. Jonas supported Luigi in 2016; however, the latter was still short of 13,539 votes from Jonas’s 2013 performance. While Jonas was able to increase his to 100,425 (against rival Paulus Cañete’s 38,139) when he ran for a congressional seat on that same year. Cordova and Consolacion may be a part of the 6th district, but Mandaue still enjoys the most number of votes among the three localities with 189,712 registered votes as of last 2016 elections.

Then there’s Lolypop, one of the Ouano stalwarts. From the figures, Lolypop also enjoys a vast number of supporters, which could be owed to the fact that she was a long-time barangay chief and a daughter and granddaughter of the late Teddy and Pedong Ouano, respectively.

She was an incumbent City Councilor when she ran against Luigi, then incumbent congressman, for the mayoralty position. It was quite ambitions for a neophyte councilor. She lost, but was still able to gain 65,055 votes under her name.

Lolypop got the highest votes, at 89,985, when she ran for councilor in 2013. Gunning only for the second top post, she can possibly get these numbers next year against Luigi’s running mate, Carlo Fortuna.

In 2016, Fortuna managed to get 81,479 votes against Toben Andaya’s 56,004. Andaya was Lolypop’s running mate. Fortuna was vice mayor when Jonas won as first-term mayor in 2007. He was easily defeated by Glenn Bercede, Jonas’ running mate in 2010.  

So imagine, if these two – Jonas and Lolypop – ran in tandem with one another. Granting Lolypop still has her 65,055 votes from her last run, and Jonas maintains his performance in the 2016 election, it’s safe to say they would gather huge turnouts that could win them both. In his three terms, it is also safe to say that Jonas was also able to deliver, as his successor, Luigi, easily won the seat he vacated, with his endorsement.

Let’s also not forget, Jonas came as a virtual unknown candidate in 2007, but surprised Mandaue when he won. He was never defeated in the succeeding three elections.

So, will 2019 be a “David defeats Goliath” scenario? Let’s grab our popcorns and see if it happens.

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