>> Sunday, November 29, 2009
BAGUIO CITY -- Baguio’s political landscape for the 2010 polls will be a labo-labo. No it is not that politicians would be joining the party of former mayor Ramon “Jun” Labo, the popular faith healer who has not yet signified his intention to run.
Rather, aspirants for elective positions in the city have taken more interesting positions in times of political parties or affiliations.
Wednesday morning, the line up of Sen. Manny Villar’s Nacionalista Party filed their candidacies making the congressional, mayoral and vice-mayoral races here.
Councilor Rocky Thomas Balisong filed his congressional bid Thursday at the Commission on Elections office here making the lone legislative seat an eight-cornered fight.
Incumbents Mayor Reinaldo Bautista Jr.’s (Independent), councilor Nicasio Aliping and pastor Abet Quilala (PDP-Laban), filed their bids for the congressional seat last week.
The mayoralty would be a six-cornered battle between Councilor Antonio Tabora Jr. of NP who filed Thursday, third-term Rep. Mauricio Domogan (Lakas-Kampi) who had not yet officially file his COC and former councilor Jose Molintas of LP.
Also joining the mayoral derby are businessman-friend Mark Go and incumbent Councilor Elaine Sembrano.
The ruling coalition’s local bets here are congressional bet Bernardo Vergara (NPC) and Domogan who have not officially came out with their lineup.
Their trusted lieutenants like former councilor Edilberto Tenefrancia (earlier rumored to be the vice-mayoral bet of the team) were reportedly jumping over to the Liberal Party led by former councilor Leandro Yangot who is gunning for Congress.
This however gave Lakas-Kampi here a blessing with the return of Councilor Lourdes Tabanda (who was orphaned by Bautista’s turning independent) and former Councilor Elmer Datuin (who was LP head Yangot’s vice mayoral teammate in 2007) back to their coalition.
Expectedly like Benguet, Baguio will also become a numbers contest between Benguet-Kankanaey and Ibaloi aspirants with minority lowland voters as plus factor.
Samuel Dangwa (Lakas), Benguet’s three-term congressman is said to be not too old to become governor again.
He is will be be slugging it out against incumbent Gov. Nestor Fongwan (Kampi) if the Lakas-Kampi coalition won’t work in Benguet.
The Liberal Party has also organized its forces in Benguet headed by former Aksyon Demokratiko stalwart and former congressman Ronald Cosalan vying again for his former post.