15 out of 17 NCR mayors/kins will be “sure winners” | Inquirer Opinion
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15 out of 17 NCR mayors/kins will be “sure winners”

/ 04:00 AM October 19, 2021

If elections were held today in Metro Manila, almost all of the incumbent mayors, their relatives and candidate best friends, will be “sure winners”. They are either running unopposed and have weak opponents.

These are Makati’s Abby Binay, Navotas’ Toby Tiangco, Las Pinas’ Imelda Aguilar, Pasay’s Emi Rubiano-Calixto, Pasig’s Vico Sotto, and Pateros municipality’s Mike Ponce. Also expected for smooth wins are Mandaluyong’s comebacking Benjamin Abalos Sr. (after daughter-in-law Mayor Menchie Abalos gave way) and San Juan’s Francis Zamora (after expected rival Janelle Ejercito did not file COC).

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Other candidates switching from congressmen to mayor, are also shoo-ins to their local city halls, namely, Valenzuela’s Rep. Wes Gatchalian , Muntinlupa’s Rep. Ruffy Biazon, , and Paranaque’s Rep.Eric Olivarez (after rival Rep Gus Tambunting ran for Congress). Malabon’s newcomer councilor Enzo Oreta is also poised to win even if his brother Lenlen Oreta completed his third term. In 2019, they soundly defeated returning opponent Jeannie Sandoval by nearly 45,000 votes.

In Quezon city, the hardworking Mayor Joy Belmonte is expected to win hands down. She is now target of a formidable opposition coalition of seasoned politicians called MalayangQC and their incessant negative politicking. Recent surveys indicate Belmonte will win big, due to her sterling governance and massive people support from its six districts

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In Taguig, comebacking Rep. Lani Cayetano, wife of former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, is the unbeatable candidate. Her brother-in-law, incumbent mayor Lino Cayetano gave way, and decided not to run. Facing them are former Rep. Arnel Cerafica and his wife as Vice Mayor.

In Manila, the awaited showdown between incumbent Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna and Tondo first District Rep. Manny Lopez who was performing well in surveys will not happen. Rep. Lopez decided to focus on his last term reelection in his district despite being named official PDP-LABAN (Cusi wing) mayoralty candidate.

As replacement, a multi-sectoral alliance are pushing for the candidacy of his brother, businessman-lawyer Alex Lopez for Mayor with actor Raymond Bagatsing as Vice mayor. This influential group counts incumbent Rep. Cristal Bagatsing, his dad, Amado Bagatsing, Former reps. Carlo Lopez, Harry and Zenaida Angping and Sandy Ocampo. They are hoping to install him as “substitute candidate” by either Kabaka or PDP Laban before November 15. If this will not push thru, then Vice Mayor Lacuna will become another sure winner.

In NCR’s remaining two cities of Marikina and Caloocan, very tight contests are predicted.  Much awaited is the face-off of incumbent Marikina mayor Marcelino Teodoro and former MMDA chair and mayor Bayani Fernando. Both are former friends but are now bitter enemies after Mayor Teodoro blamed BF’s project in the recent floods. Fernando denied the claim and is now challenging his protégé. As a result, Mayor Teodoro was ousted from NPC, and will now run under Binay’s UNA. BF is the NPC’S official candidate.

Another area to watch is Caloocan’s showdown of two legislators, first district Rep. Dale (Along) Malapitan, and second district Rep. Egay Erice.

In the 2019 polls, Dale won with 284,851 votes riding from the unopposed win of his father incumbent Mayor Oscar. Rep. Erice, on the other hand, also won by landslide in his district with 124,223 votes but political analysts predict a very close contest between the two.

Erice has the backing of the political families of Echiverri,Malonzo  while Dale  banks on his father’s bailiwick in the larger North Caloocan area.

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Elections are still 193 days away and official campaign period will only start in February.

Millions of possibilities can still happen. The official and final list of candidates will only be known in December and from that time on, we will choose who will be our next leaders. And to me top of mind criteria would be three things. First, track record of truly helping people, Second, pandemic response-SAP-relief-vaccination, and third, leadership with political will.

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