The first election for Cebu City mayor
CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - February 22, 2019 - 12:00am

The post of Cebu City mayor under Commonwealth Act No. 58, signed on October 20, 1936 and officially inaugurated on February 24, 1937, was appointive. It was the president of the Philippines who appointed the mayor and the vice mayor of Cebu City.

The first Cebu City mayor who was appointed by President Manuel Quezon was Alfredo Jacinto of Gapan, Nueva Ecija. Jacinto served as Cebu City mayor from 1937 to 1938. The next to be appointed was Vicente Rama serving Cebu City from 1938 to 1940. When war erupted, Rama sought refuge in Carcar. There, he was appointed by the Japanese Imperial Army as wartime mayor of Carcar.

A year before the war, lawyer and newspaperman Jose Delgado (admitted to the Bar on October 15, 1923) was appointed Cebu City’s mayor serving Cebu City from 1940 to 1942. Delgado also became governor of Cebu from 1943 to 1944. Next in line was lawyer Juan Cerilles Zamora (a street formerly named as España Street was renamed in his honor on August 5, 1971 under City Ordinance No. 721).

Then there was Dr. Leandro Tojong of Ginatilan, Cebu (he was Cebu City mayor in 1945), followed by another doctor, Nicolas Escario of Bantayan, Cebu (the first president of the Cebu Institute of Technology, now Cebu Institute of Technology University), followed by lawyer Vicente S. del Rosario, then Dr. Luis Espina, lawyer Miguel Raffinan, Pedro Elizalde, Dr. Jose Rodriguez, and lawyer Pedro Clavano. All of them were appointed by the president.

The Cebu City Charter was then amended by Republic Act No. 1233 on June 7, 1955. The first election for the city mayor was held on November 8, 1955 (together with the Senatorial election). The first to be elected as Cebu City mayor was Sergio “Serging” Chiong Veloso Osmeña Jr.

His vice mayor then was lawyer Ramon Duterte (the elder brother of lawyer Vicente Duterte, mayor of Danao in 1946 and father of lawyer Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte). In 1957, Serging resigned as mayor to run for Congress, Vice Mayor Ramon became Cebu City mayor from 1957 to 1959. Mayor Ramon Duterte (a street in Sitio Banawa, Barangay Guadalupe, and a high school is named after him) had a son by the name of Ronald who also became a lawyer and also became successor Cebu City mayor in 1983 when his predecessor, Florentino Solon, resigned to become the director of the Nutrition Center of the Philippines.

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