Moving forward with hope
BAR NONE - Atty. Ian Vincent Manticajon (The Freeman) - May 21, 2019 - 12:00am

With the dust settling on last week’s midterm elections, the mixed feelings it brought me still lingered.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s loss to Vice Mayor Edgar Labella in the mayoralty race saddened me because I have always been rooting for the continuation of BOPK’s programs over Barug-PDP Laban’s promise of change.

But some major factors spelled the difference that led to Labella’s victory over the incumbent. Foremost among these are President Duterte’s strong endorsement and the intimidation and violence that targeted BOPK’s political machinery.

Still, Labella offers a promise and we should wish him well and look forward to what good programs he can offer the city.

In the Senate race, I was hoping (in vain) that a number of Otso Diretso candidates will make it to the Magic 12 in order to temper the authoritarian populism of the president. But the voters thought differently, and I hope that instead of insulting the common tao and each other for our choices, we must reach out to understand where other people are coming from.

In the days leading to the elections, I engaged myself in helping a collegemate’s clients in Zamboanga del Sur who were up against the long-entrenched political dynasty of the Cerilleses in that province. Yesterday, I was happy to learn that the team of gubernatorial candidate Victor Yu and Representative Divina Grace Yu captured all key positions in the province by a landslide, ending the long reign of the Cerilleses in the province.

There I had an up close and personal look at how the voters make decisions and why, something that can be best viewed and analyzed by first setting aside our own self-enclosed standards. After all, continuous engagement with the people is what defines democracy, not the glorious or tragic fate of parties and candidates during elections.

Another notable thing that happened in last week’s political exercise was the election of promising young candidates at the local level. Indulge me a bit when I talk about my friends or favorite candidates who won. Among them is councilor-elect Alvin Dizon who is making a comeback in Cebu City. We expect more progressive and people-oriented legislative measures in the city council from this unassuming and very hardworking legislator.

Poised to take the helm at the Talisay City Hall is outgoing First District representative and now mayor-elect Samsam Gullas. I’ve met Rep. Samsam a couple of times and he stands out for his characteristic Gullas humility and his charismatic ease and grace in front of people from all walks of life. Samsam has very good plans for Talisay City and I’m sure he is capable of navigating local politics and defining his own brand of leadership with profound erudition.

My Law school best friend Masbate Provincial Board Member Jason Arevalo is another young fellow making his mark in politics. Amid the intense heat of Masbate politics, Jason rose above traditional politics, held on to his principles, and chose to run as an independent candidate for re-election. Yet he emerged number one in the polls due largely to his solid track record, and by going directly to the villages and sitios and spending most of his time with the voters, listening to them.

Then there is Vico Sotto, son of actors Vic Sotto and Coney Reyes, who ended the 27-year rule of the Eusebio family in Pasig City. At such a young age of 29, he is just starting to get noticed by many people with his right words and his seemingly progressive views, which offer a stark contrast to today’s callous political climate.

TOMAS OSMEñA
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