Lacuna vs Lopez showdown looms in Manila | Inquirer Opinion
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Lacuna vs Lopez showdown looms in Manila

/ 04:00 AM November 23, 2021

Political pundits predicted a few weeks ago that it will be easy sail-ing for Mayor Isko Moreno’s heir apparent, Vice mayor Dr. Honey Lacuna-Pangan, to win and become the first woman mayor of Ma-nila. She has been ably providing backroom support for Moreno, who is now on provincial trips most of the time in this nationwide campaign.

But the election situation in Manila has taken an interesting twist with the emergence of strong new opponents after the November 15 substitution. I am particularly referring to businessman Atty. Alex Lopez who replaced his brother, Rep. Manny Lopez of Tondo’s first district, who withdrew from the mayoralty contest to focus on his third and last term in his district.


In RP Mission and Development Foundation’s survey (August 2021), they reported “a close contest” in Manila between Lacuna and Rep. Lopez at 40 percent and 38 percent, respectively. After Manny Lopez backed out, Lacuna emerged as the most preferred candidate with 68 percent against former police officer Elmer Ja-mias with 6 percent.

But the substitution changed the entire political situation. Alex will run under Partido Federal Party as the mayoralty candidate of lead-ing presidential-vice presidential “uniteam” Bongbong Marcos-Sara Duterte. PDP-Laban’s support is expected for him with brother Manny being the Manila party chairman. Other presidential candi-dates contesting Isko’s bid are also expected to align with Lopez. But on the ground, core groups of former Mayors Alfredo Lim and Joseph Erap Estrada and other multi-party politicians already joined Lopez’s campaign. In 2019, Alex ran as District 2 representa-tive and lost by a hairline, only 2,646 votes from opponent Rolan Valeriano.


Before the February campaign period, Alex promised that he would have a complete lineup of six congressmen, which includes incum-bent Rep. Manny Lopez and comebacking Rep. Carlo Lopez in Tondo’s two districts, Barangay captain Ramon Morales from ex-rep. Harry Angping in district 3, former Rep. Trisha Bonoan-David in district 4, and close adviser Bal Billanes of Ex-Rep. Sandy Ocampo in district 6. He hopes to seek an alliance with incumbent Rep. Cristal Bagatsing in the fifth district, with actor Raymond Bagatsing running as his vice mayor .

With the campaign period about to start three months from now, it will be very interesting to see the preparations being done by the opposing camps and how Manila voters will react once Bongbong Marcos and Sara Duterte raise the hands of their mayoralty choice, businessman Atty. Alex Lopez.

Indeed an epic battle to watch in Manila—Lacuna versus Lopez in the next five months.

QC Mayor Belmonte’s effective strategy vs COVID-19

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte continues to widen her popular support in recent poll surveys as she implements her nonstop social services and “whole of city approach” solutions for her more than 2.9 million constituents .

In reaction to “political noises”, DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano and OCTA Research’s Dr. Guido David both commended Belmonte’s pandemic response despite having the largest population and area in Metro Manila. The United States Agency for International Devel-opment (USAID) also helped in mobile vaccination and testing units seen as seal of approval in the city’s drive against COVID-19. The anti-pandemic infrastructure consisted of renovated hospital facil-ities, isolation facilities, molecular laboratory.

Quezon City is now classified as a “low risk city”, with a reproduc-tion number at 0.60 and positivity rate of 3 percent while incidence rate already dropped to 3.80 percent compared to last month. A total of 1,837,736 fully vaccinated individuals in the city or 108.1 percent of the target adult population achieving “population pro-tection”. Another 157,491 minors with or without co-morbidities also received their first doses. And as of Nov. 21, a total of 3,865,046 vaccines (first and second dose) were administered.


During the implementation of ECQ for the past two years , the city government has equitably distributed the national cash aid to 747,520 families, or 2,339,420 individuals, with minimal problems.

Latest surveys of the RP Mission and Development Foundation In-corporated registered Joy Belmonte at 60 percent, and opponent Party list Rep. Mike Defensor at 35 percent (Oct 17-26 survey) .

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