David vs. Goliath Showdown
8 contenders challenge
Yaranon for mayoralty
The coming elections can be considered a
David vs. Goliath story in this city as Councilor Jose Mencio Molintas of
the United Opposition (UNO) battles for the top position against incumbent
Rep. Mauricio Domogan, a very vocal ally of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
BY ARTHUR L. ALLAD-IW
Posted by Bulatlat
BAGUIO CITY – The
coming elections can be considered a David vs. Goliath story in this city
as Councilor Jose Mencio Molintas of the United Opposition (UNO) battles
for the top position against incumbent Rep. Mauricio Domogan, a very vocal
ally of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
In this city’s
election history, it was in the 2004 mayoralty contest that the daring
crusader Councilor Braulio Yaranon defeated then incumbent mayor Bernardo
Vergara, who was the administration candidate with exceedingly generous
resources for the campaign. Yaranon made history when he with his simple
conviction and limited resources defeated the incumbent by thousands of
votes, a never-before-seen event in Baguio's election history.
The basic issue being
raised for the congressional representation is the institutionalization of
a consultation mechanism for the city constituents on issues of public
Urban poor leader
Geraldine Cacho points out that the basic right of Baguio residents to be
consulted on various issues before deciding in their behalf in congress
has been greatly neglected.
Congress records show
that Representative Domogan voted in favor of the Expanded Value Added Tax
(EVAT) Law, and opposed the two impeachment cases against Arroyo as well
as the P125 across-the-board salary increase for private employees.
voted according to what was dictated by his party - the LAKAS-CMD – rather
than listening to the needs and views of his constituents,” said Cacho.
“In fact, he has failed to adopt legislations that would address the land
and housing problem in the city.”
Yaranon rests his
confidence of victory on his clean records and honest credentials in his
bid for reelection, though he was twice suspended by Malacañang for six
months each for allegedly abusing his power in moving for the closure of
The other candidates
challenging Yaranon for the mayoralty include two officials in acting
capacity: acting mayor Reinaldo Bautista (KAMPI) and acting vicemayor
Leandro Yangot (Liberal Party). Other contenders are: Virgilio Baustista
(Independent), Ramon Labo (KBL), Elmo Nevada (PRP), and Felipe Ramos
With the nine
candidates vying for mayor, votes from votes who can command their
membership can serve as a swing vote, an observer claims. The votes
include those from the party lists who can deliver votes based on
candidate/s position on issues.
The vice-mayoralty is
being contested by newcomers. Four lawyers and councilors are contesting
the position, namely, Faustino Olowan (UNO/PDSP), Edilberto Tenefrancia (LAKAS-CMD),
Elmer Datuin (Liberal Party), and Daniel Farinas (KAMPI/NP). The only
“oldtimer” is Datuin, who has already ended his third term as councilor.
vice-mayoralty candidates are Antolin Mascarenas (KBL) and former City
Police Chief Roberto “Bungo” Ortega.
If the Baguio voters
would vote based on their tribal affiliation, Olowan has an advantage as
all the other challengers are considered lowlanders.
Olowan belongs to the
Kankanaey tribe of Mountain Province, who are noted for voting solidly for
their kailyans(tribe mates). In the 2004 election, three councilors
whose ancestors originate from Mountain Province's Kankanaey tribe topped
the Sangguniang Panglungsod (City Council) race: they are Yangot (1st),
Rocky Balisong (3rd and
running for reelection), and Olowan (5th)
from the 12 member SP. Other Kankanaey trying their luck for the SP are
Patrick Dangatan Sr. (LP), Nicasio Aliping (LAKAS-CMD), Fred Bagbagen (UNO),
Jeannette Cawiding (LP), and Joseph Marero (UNO).
say that this election is a test of whether they can elect such a big
number of their own.
The 12 slots for the
SP are being contested by 50 candidates, Commission on Elections (Comelec)
lists in the city show.
Only four SP members
are vying for reelection: Balisong, Pinky Rondez, Galo Weygan and Antonio
Tabora. Balisong, Rondez, and Weygan are running under the Independent
Baguio Coalition with other three neophytes. Tabora is running under the
throw their hats into the ring bout for SP membership, namely, Edison Ang
(TV, LAKAS-CMD), Joaquin Carino (freelance print, UNO), and Jogin Tamayo
(Print, KAMPI-NP). The mother of ABS-CBN personality Elaine Sembrano is
also joining the contest under UNO. (Please see election corner for the
Lawyers too have
thrown their hats, namely Balisong, human rights lawyer Richard Cariño,
Bagbagen, former city prosecutor Erdolfo Balajadia, Nic Palaganas, Ronaldo
Perez, Rondez, Betty Tabanda, Richard Zarate, and Reynaldo Cortes.
Observers Cortes about his having accepted as his partymate Ortega,
allegedly involved in extra-judicial killings of suspected criminals in
the city during his time as chief of police in Baguio.
The sole movie
personality running for SP is Vinzons.
however say they are politically conscious at present and they are to vote
based on issues and not personalities. “We can vote for personalities who
can fight for our issues, like what we did in 2004 catapulting Yaranon and
defeating a rich politician, says Ignacio Pangket, an transport-sector and
urban poor organizer. “ I think we can do it now.” Northern Dispatch /
Posted by Bulatlat
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