Bait and switch, and other political colors
The upcoming elections slated May next year promises to be a colorful sideshow on the continuing rivalry between opposing local political players in Puerto Princesa City.
On the center stage are incumbent Mayor Lucilo Bayron, who will tangle for the first time with embattled vice mayor Luis Marcaida for the mayoralty.
As in most local elections held in the province, it is a strain to differentiate the candidates based on what they stand for, their respective visions and public agenda, or what exactly are their unique advantages over the other.
Bayron and Marcaida were allies once adhering to one motherhood agenda but eventually parted ways largely because of personal and political differences. When Bayron was suspended over a case of serious dishonesty, Marcaida took over at the behest of the Department of Interior and Local Government, infuriating Bayron who tried to defy the ruling.
As having been shown by past political exercises in the city, organization and financial resources hugely matter in the outcome of the polls. It appears Bayron has the advantage, being the incumbent and having formed earlier on a physical mass based of warm bodies under its “bigkis” umbrella.
Marcaida comes into the fray not only as a huge underdog but also one who is saddled with a serious case for illegal drugs that could negate his victory even if he emerges the winner. He was recently allowed bail by the Regional Trial Court and was qualified to run since he is yet to be convicted.
Bayron, on the other hand, is petrified by his own political troubles. He is still facing a potential permanent disqualification over a case of serious dishonesty. He had been convicted by the Ombudsman but only got a reprieve from the Court of Appeals, and the case continues until it is finally resolved in the high tribunal.
The possibility of a permanent suspension rulinig has prompted Bayron to employ a familiar baitand-switch tactic, fielding her own daughter Raine Bayron as another mayoralty candidate. Unlike the battle for Makati’s mayoralty between two Binay siblings, the Bayron father-daughter match-up is simply an insurance policy. They both declined last week to explain the move in candor, but the younger Bayron promised that one of them will eventually withdraw.
As this week’s deadline for the filing of candidacy came to a close, there is a blur as to the values that each of the two contenders really stand for. What confronts the electorate is the option of personalities thus far.
In the coming days ahead, it should be helpful for the citizens of Puerto Princesa City to discern the issues and concerns that preferably should define the outcome of this election, as opposed to personalities and their nondescript principles.