Tight mayoralty polls in Manila, Caloocan, Marikina and Malabon
Less than two weeks away, at least 7 incumbent mayors and five new candidates in Metro Manila have comfortable leads in pre-election surveys, and barring unforeseen circumstances, will win next month.
They are Makati mayor Abby Binay, Quezon city mayor Joy Belmonte, Pasig mayor Vico Sotto, Las Pinas Mayor Imelda Aguilar, Pasay mayor Emy Rubiano-Calixto, Pateros Mayor Ike Ponce, San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora and comebacking former Mayor and Rep. Lani Cayetano of Taguig.
Also winning are replacement candidates outgoing Rep.Wes Gatchalian of Valenzuela, outgoing Rep. Eric Olivares of Parañaque, outgoing Rep. John Rey Tiangco of Navotas, outgoing Rep. Ruffy Biazon of Muntinlupa and former Comelec Chairman and Mandaluyong mayor Ben Abalos Sr.
Neck and neck elections are predicted in Manila between incumbent vice mayor Honey Lacuna against the rising from nowhere economist-professor-builder Atty. Alex Lopez, son of former mayor Mel Lopez. Being BBM’s official candidate , and his family’s Tondo district- bailiwicks, this billionaire candidate has the momentum . As of today, Lopez’s vice mayoralty candidate actor Raymond Bagatsing has a large lead over incumbent vice mayor Yul Nieto Servo. A large number of undecided voters, about 28 to 30 percent will decide the final results.
In Malabon, the political tide has turned in favor of former vice mayor Jeannie Sandoval who now leads by a single digit margin over Councilor Enzo Oreta, brother of outgoing Mayor Antolin Oreta III who beat Sandoval by more than 40,000 votes in 2019. Again, about 19-20 percent of undecided voters will decide on election day.
Caloocan is becoming a two-way race between former congressmen Along Malapitan and Egay Erice. The advantage of course,rests on the incumbent administration, Mayor Oscar Malapitan, Along’s father but the large number of undecided voters,27 to 30 percent, and the recent splitting of Caloocan into three congressional districts spawned hidden political alliances.
Marikina, on the other hand, remains a very hot spot between incumbent mayor and last termer Marcy Teodoro and comebacking Mayor, former MMDA chair and Rep. Bayani Fernando. Personal relations between the two went south after disagreements on Marikina’s flooding solutions. A former Fernando protégé, Mayor Teodoro was ousted from his party, the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) and is now running under the United Nationalist Alliance. BF is backing BBM, while Teodoro, a former Liberal, is withholding his presidential candidate.
People are eagerly awaiting Marikina’s electoral verdict on this personal feud. Will Bayani Fernando, who made Marikina a model city many years back, be repudiated by his own people and now prefer his protégé?
Meanwhile, the Vice Mayoralty contests in 10 of NCR’s 17 cities have become more interesting because of close margin among candidates. Almost sure winners are six candidates, former Mayor now running as Vice Mayor Menchie Abalos of Mandaluyong , incumbent Vice mayors Monette Lagdameo of Makati, Natividad Borja of Valenzuela, April Aguilar-Nery of Las Piñas, Gian Sotto of Quezon city , Ding Del Rosario of Pasay and former congressman Dodot Jaworski of Pasig.
The other vice mayoralty races are also very tight in the seven cities of Manila, Caloocan , Muntinlupa, Marikina, Malabon, San Juan, Navotas, Paranaque, Pateros, and Taguig.
Choosing twelve senatorial candidates has become a major problem for most voters, more so from my perspecteive as a print and broadcast journalist. I know everybody in this political business. I know their best and worst public actions. With a list of about 40 top candidates, I can only vouch for those who I believe will make good once elected.
Number one in my list is former defense secretary Gilberto Teodoro, next is Chiz Escudero, my media colleagues-Loren Legarda and Raffy Tulfo, Senator Dick Gordon, top cop Guillermo Eleazar, “Build-build build” Mark Villar, and Presidential spokesman Harry Roque. These candidates, I believe, would serve well in the Senate judging from their public declarations.
I am still trying to assess if I would include former Presidential anti-Corruption chairman Greco Belgica, former Agriculture secretary Manny Piñol, former VP Jejomar Binay, Alan Peter Cayetano, Risa Hontiveros, or former QC mayor Herbert Bautista.
However, these are my choices and I believe you also have your own. The most important thing is that we respect everybody’s opinion even if it runs contrary. Election day is a time of equality for all Filipinos, a one person-one vote situation, to make a collective decision to elect new leaders , and then support their good decisions after.