QC FACE OFF: JOY BELMONTE, CRISOLOGO AND REVILLAME – SHARP EDGES by JAKE MADERAZO
Sixty-one (61) days prior to the filing of the certificates of candidacy for the 2019 midterm elections on October 1 to 5, 2018, Quezon City politics is brimming with shifting alliances and backdoor negotiations.
There are four (4) unofficial candidates for Mayor, namely: First (1st) District Representative Vincent “Bingbong” Crisologo, Second (2nd) District Representative Winnie Castelo , Businessman-TV Producer-Host Willie Revillame and incumbent Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte-Alimurung.
Rep. Crisologo was appointed Chairman of the PDP-LABAN Quezon City this February, putting him in direct collision with Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte-Alimurung who was sworn in as a PDP-LABAN member by Senator Koko Pimentel in May 2017. Will there be a PDP-Laban Convention in Quezon City to settle this mayor issue? Or will they settle the matter via a political arrangement equally beneficial for both parties?
Rep. Castelo, on the other hand, is now on his final term in Congress and is reportedly being urged by senior political advisers to run for Mayor considering that his Daza-Castelo-Sotto family is well represented and has clout in all QC’s districts.
TV Host-Businessman Willie Revillame meanwhile continues to meet with political bigwigs and recently flew in via his private chopper over Barangay Bagong Pag-asa, where he reportedly plans to build his pabahay para sa mga mahihirap. He also visited Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte and Actress/TV Host Kris Aquino seen in recent Instagram photos. Willie is reportedly telling friends that he will run for Mayor if President Duterte asks him to do so. There is also serious talk between him and Bingbong Crisologo and Winnie Castelo for a possible alliance also within PDP-LABAN.
There were unconfirmed reports that President Duterte already “endorsed” Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte-Alimurung as PDP LABAN’s Mayoralty candidate in Quezon City during the One Mindanao Event in Davao City last March. Just last May, Vice Mayor Joy, together with Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano and Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte launched the Malasakit and Tapang Movement at the Trinity University of Asia in QC. And interestingly coinciding with the President’s SONA, Davao City and Quezon City renewed their 24-year sisterhood with Mayor Inday Sara visiting.
Right now, the mayorship is a cinch for Joy Belmonte, mainly due to the solid and inseparable backing of former speaker Sonny Belmonte and political son incumbent Mayor Herbert Bautista. The legacies of these two gentlemen in Quezon city’s continued progress and development is clearly a winning factor for Joy Belmonte.
For Vice Mayor, Senate President Tito Sotto’s son, Third (3rd) District Councilor Gian Sotto is groomed as Joy’s running mate. But there is also talk that Rep. Castelo might end up as the running mate of Belmonte come crunch time ,since he is a stronger candidate than Gian. There were two surveys being mentioned where Castelo is a cinch for the VM position.
Mayor Herbert Bautista is expected to run for congressman of the Third (3rd) District facing perennial topnotcher Allan Reyes, who is married to the powerful Lopez clan in Manila. But Herbert is not discounting the possibility of running for Senator after getting the number 12-14 position in a latest Malacanang commissioned senatorial survey even if he hasn’t announced any intention to run for senator.
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