Rama versus Garcia versus Ruiz, Archival and Daluz, et al

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Josephus Jimenez - The Freeman

Assuming that the Garcias (scions of both my esteemed Noy Pabling and Noy Jesus) will unite and put up Raymond to run against Mayor Mike Rama, I think that the incumbent will have a distinct advantage but the fight will be more intense than the contest between Mike and Margot Osmeña. Raymond is good but his time may not yet be in 2025.

If and when Mayor Tom makes good his threat to put up councilor Nestor Archival, that will even be good news for Mayor Mike. Why? His detractors and political enemies will be divided, with former councilor and incumbent MCWD Chairman Joey Daluz running for the City Hall as well as this guy, former PDEA Central Visayas Director and Bureau of Customs Commissioner Yogi Ruiz throwing his hat into the 2025 city political pintakasi. That will be the ultimate Machaivillian dream match when the enemies are divided and easier to conquer. But the worst nightmare is when Garcia, Archival, Daluz and Ruiz are united against Mike Rama, it will be a razor edge hell of a fight.

I do not know Joey Daluz and he does not know me from Adam. I have no knowledge or information sufficient to form an intelligent opinion about him. But to paraphrase Mayor Tom when she refused to endorse Representative Cutie del Mar: Cutie is not Raul. Cutie does not visit, Raul did care, even in small baptisms and big weddings. Therefore, using that line of wisdom, I would also say, I loved Inday Nita. I supported her fight against the dictator. I was jailed too as an activist. But Joey is not Inday Nita. The masses loved Inday Nita, but do they love Joey? I do not know about that. What I know is that the peoples' love and affections cannot be inherited by testate or intestate succession. The Cebuanos' love for Don Sergio might have been transferred to Serging and then to Serge and Tommy but we are talking of different generations.

Councilor Nestor Archival looks good and has a good reputation. Mayor Tom knows a diamond when he sees one.  Archival must have something that makes the former mayor choose him over all others in the BOPK. The former mayor likes Nestor to the extent of being decided to run as Archival's vice mayor. That being said, we interject a caveat that he is too fresh and may not be ripe yet for the mayorship. He should first run for vice mayor like what Raymond Garcia did. It should be recalled that Mike Rama started as a councilor for multiple terms. He was mentored by Mayor Tom well and he earned his right by sheer perseverance and durability. The good thing about Mayor Mike is that he always mentions Mayor Tom as his mentor. He never considers Tomas as his enemy.

Well, the way I see it Yogi Ruiz is firmly decided to run. He is recruiting the brother of the late Mayor Edgar Labella, Dr. Emmanuel Labella to run as his vice mayor. But my good friend, and fellow alumnus-scholar, Boy Labella opts to run for councilor for the north district. Yogi Ruiz is bullish on his Partido Cebuano and he focuses on his five basic services which he alleged and he believes are lacking in the city: peace and order, delivery of basic health services, traffic and mobility services, waste disposal and management, and flood control and drainage systems. Honestly, he needs to work very hard to make his candidacy viable.

The bottomline is clear. Mayor Mike has strong support from the grassroots. Most of the barangay captains are with him. Most of the incumbent councilors are with him. His only Achilles' heel is the results of his rightsizing program, which may result in massive loss of many votes. It may be the right thing at the wrong time.

He must ponder on this very deeply. As of today, he is leading. But if all his opponents come together, Daluz, Ruiz, Archival plus an unlikely Raymond Garcia shifting plans, and if and when some 5,000 employees who shall lose their jobs would jump to his opponents, he will be facing a very precarious 2025. Mayor Tom and Joey Daluz would be laughing their way to the City hall again. And that would be how the cookie crumbles.

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