Cebu News

For north district representative: No to Del Mar, yes to Hontiveros - Rama

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama confirmed that his team will not accommodate north district Representative Cutie Del Mar as a guest candidate in the 2025 midterm election but is instead fielding City Councilor Dondon Hontiveros.

Hontiveros’ name has recently been floated for the north district representative position in next year’s elections.

City Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera, in her Facebook account, recently posted a photo of her raising Hontiveros’ hands with a logo of the House of Representatives in the background and a caption, “My Congressman in the North.”

Hontiveros, however, has not made up his mind yet but Rama said the councilor is open to the idea.

“If his (Hontiveros) interest will ripen, he will be available in the north district as congressman,” said Mayor Rama in a report from the City’s People’s Progressive Media Network.

Hontiveros, the top councilor of the south, is currently on his second term as city councilor and could still opt for re-election. One of Cebu’s best basketball players, Hontiveros also served as vice mayor in the city following the death of mayor Edgardo Labella in November 2021.

Further, Hontiveros also often assumes as acting vice mayor, and sometimes as acting mayor when both Rama and Vice Mayor Raymond Garcia are out of town.

Currently, Hontiveros chairs the City Council’s committee on education, and has his hands full with the City’s preparation for the return of the Palarong Pambansa 2024 in July.

Apart from Hontiveros though, The Freeman learned that the names of City Councilor Joel Garganera and Jerry Guardo have also been included in a survey by the mayor’s camp as its possible bet for representative of the north district.

This came after city councilor Nestor Archival’s name had been crashed out from the lineup by Rama’s camp after he remained undecided on his election plans.

Former Mayor Tomas Osmeña later announced that Archival would be their group’s mayoralty candidate with City Councilor Mary Ann Delos Santos as their candidate for Congress in the north.

Mayor Rama, for his part, said he has struck out Del Mar’s name from his list because of her apparent role in collecting signatures for the supposed People’s Initiative to amend the 1987 Constitution.

“Cutie, I’m sorry, with all the congressional situation nga wala gani kaabot sa akoa. I am deeply sorry. The whole congressional picture has changed,” Mayor Rama said in a recent Ingna’ng Mayor segment.

Meanwhile, Commission on Election (Comelec)-7’s spokesperson Omar Mamalinta told The Freeman that in the case of Cebu City, since they have two districts, the candidate should also be a registered voter in the particular district that he intends to run for.

However, regarding disqualification cases, Mamalinta said it’s the Comelec en banc that is going to decide on it.

“Sa among end, ministerial lang gyud, igo ra mi mudawat. The Comelec en banc are the ones to decide regarding disqualification. — (FREEMAN)

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