SHARP EDGES: Erap, Isko, Lim in Manila; Joy vs Bingbong in QC by: Jake J. Maderazo
Political battle lines are now being drawn among rival politicians nationwide, particularly in Metro Manila, as the start of the filing of certificates of candidacy in October draws near.
Manila will be seeing a three-cornered fight among incumbent Mayor Joseph Estrada, ex-Mayor Alfredo Lim and former vice mayor turned Social Welfare Undersecretary Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.
In 2016, Estrada won by only 2,685 votes over Lim, but the race is expected to be more intense with the entry of the popular Moreno.
For his running mate, Estrada is reportedly choosing between former congressman and ex-rival Amado Bagatsing and Rep. Carlo Lopez of the second district. As of today, Amado has the advantage since Carlo has reportedly chosen to sacrifice his political ambition and instead help campaign for his cousins—Alex and Manny Lopez.
Moreno enters the political fray with 21 incumbent councilors under his dominant Asenso Manilenyo party in 2013. He will partner with incumbent Vice Mayor Maria Sheilah Honey Lacuna-Pangan who won against rival Ali Atienza in 2016.
Lim, meanwhile, continues his Saturday meetings with local leaders and is expected to run as Liberal Party standard bearer. It is believed that he may get Rep. Sandy Ocampo of District 6 as his running mate.
Right now, only Moreno’s group will have a complete slate of 36 councilors and six congressmen for the city’s six districts. Estrada and Lim have yet to complete their lineups.
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In Quezon City, social media icon and entertainment czarina Kris Aquino and TV bigwig Willie Revillame expressed disinterest in “serious politicking,” paving the way for an interesting match-up between incumbent Vice Mayor and mayoralty aspirant Josefina “Joy” Belmonte versus Rep. Vincent “Bingbong” Crisologo of the city’s first district.
Belmonte is ready to submit a complete lineup of councilors and congressional candidates in all six districts, but she must resolve problems inside her multiparty alliance of PDP-Laban, NPC, LP and NUP.
In May 2017, she and her would-be running mate, Gian Sotto, (NPC) took their oath as PDP-Laban members before then Senate President Koko Pimentel. Recently, Belmonte established a friendship and political alliance with Davao City mayor, presidential daughter and Hugpong ng Pagbabago leader Sara Duterte.
Will Belmonte run under PDP-Laban, Hugpong or a new aggrupation such as “Serbisyong Belmonte Alliance?”
Her opponents, Crisologo and Rep. Winnie Castelo of the second district, are expected to be PDP-Laban’s bets for mayor and vice mayor, respectively.
Crisologo is the incumbent PDP-Laban Quezon City Council president. But after the recent “mutiny,” PDP-Laban’s future, in the wake of Hugpong’s sudden emergence, remains hazy.
As for the vice mayoral race, it’s a battle between Castelo and Sotto who are relatives.
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