More lo­cal lead­ers join­ing Duterte

The Freeman - - FRONT PAGE - Gregg M. Ru­bio Banat News Copy Ed­i­tor Lor­raine Mitzi A. Am­brad Chris­tell Fa­tima M. Tud­tud Jean Marvette A. De­me­cillo

More and more lead­ers in Cebu are join­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s Par­tido Demokratiko PilipinoLakas ng Bayan (PDP - La­ban).

A mass oath tak­ing will take place in Cebu at the Plaza In­de­pen­den­cia on Fri­day, November 17.

In Cebu City, at least 65 barangay cap­tains and six city coun­cilors al­lied with Barug Team Rama will take their oath.

Coun­cilors Jose Daluz III, Ray­mond Alvin Gar­cia, Jocelyn Pes­quera, Joel Gar­gan­era, Eduardo Rama, and ex-of­fi­cio mem­ber Phillip Zafra will join the oath tak­ing this Fri­day.

Zafra said the barangay cap­tains have de­cided to join the mass oath tak­ing de­spite the pro­vi­sion of the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Code that of­fi­cials of the barangays have to be apo­lit­i­cal.

“The law says that barangay of­fi­cials should be apo­lit­i­cal but we are placed in our po­si­tions through elec­tions and it is clear that we have our lo­cal par­ties,” he con­tended.

Zafra said barangay of­fi­cials have the con­sti­tu­tional right to form and/or join an as­so­ci­a­tion or or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Be­sides, he said, the barangay of­fi­cials are one with the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion in the fight against il­le­gal drugs and crim­i­nal­ity.

Only Councilor Pas­tor Al­cover, Jr. who is a known critic of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte, will not join the band­wagon. He said he will re­main in­de­pen­dent.

“We have a very long his­tory ni Duterte. I will re­main in­de­pen­dent but I will re­spect the de­ci­sion of my group,” Al­cover told The FREE­MAN.

To re­call, House Speaker Pan­ta­leon Alvarez ad­min­is­tered the oath of Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgardo La­bella and coun­cilors James An­thony Cuenco, Daluz, and Pes­quera on Au­gust 27, 2016.

Dur­ing that event, in­stead of tak­ing an oath for party mem­ber­ship, 65 barangay cap­tains al­lied with Barug Team Rama signed a man­i­festo ex­press­ing their sup­port for the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion, es­pe­cially in the fight against il­le­gal drugs and crim­i­nal­ity.


Yes­ter­day, the Martinezes in the Fourth Dis­trict said they are bent on join­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion party but won't par­tic­i­pate the mass oath tak­ing.

Board Mem­ber Ce­lestino “Tin­ing” Martinez III said some may­ors in the fourth dis­trict have also ex­pressed in­ter­est to take their oath “but most would also pre­fer that it be at a sep­a­rate time and venue from that of the up­com­ing mass oath tak­ing.”

Tin­ing is the pres­i­dent of the Liga ng mga Barangay (LnB) in Bogo City be­ing the barangay cap­tain of Cayang and rep­re­sents the LnB Fed­er­a­tion in the Pro­vin­cial Board.

Tin­ing's other sib­lings are Bogo City Mayor Carlo Jose Martinez and Vice Mayor Ma. Cielo Martinez while all the city coun­cilors are also al­lies of LP.

“What­ever the de­ci­sion would be, we will do it as a group,” he said.

His fa­ther, for­mer Bogo mayor Ce­lestino “Ju­nie” Martinez Jr., led the Lib­eral Party in the dis­trict dur­ing the 2016 elec­tions.

The other LP al­lies in the Fourth Dis­trict are San Remi­gio Mayor Mar­i­ano Martinez, Medellin Mayor Joven Mondigo Jr., Santa Fe Mayor Jose Es­gana, and Madride­jos Mayor Jay River dela Fuente.

Fourth Dis­trict Rep. Ben­hur Sal­im­ban­gon who is al­ready a mem­ber of PDPLa­ban un­der the National Unity Party said vice may­ors and other town of­fi­cials will join the oath tak­ing.

Sal­im­ban­gon will join his al­lies in One Cebu led by Deputy Speaker Gwen­dolyn Gar­cia dur­ing the mass oath tak­ing on Fri­day.

The may­ors al­lied with Sal­im­ban­gon are Tabo­gon Mayor Siegfred Duterte, Tabue­lan Casiano Rex Gerona and Ban­tayan Mayor Ian Christo­pher Es­cario.

Daa­ban­tayan Mayor Vi­cente Loot is an ally of Sal­im­ban­gon but is a mem­ber of United Na­tion­al­ists Al­liance (UNA). His coun­cilors will also join the mass oath tak­ing, Sal­im­ban­gon said.

Mean­while, the head of PDP-La­ban in Tubu­ran, Daphne Lagon, said she will ac­cept mem­ber­ship ap­pli­ca­tions from the group of her ri­val, Mayor Dem­ocrito Dia­mante, Jr. who will also at­tend the oath tak­ing.

PDP-La­ban pro­vin­cial pres­i­dent Nixon “Jojo” Di­zon said those who wants to join the party must un­dergo the Ba­sic Mem­ber­ship Seminar and oath tak­ing and must be en­dorsed by the pres­i­dent of the mu­nic­i­pal or city chap­ter.

“Pwede ko mo-ac­cept basta moagi sa ako, as maayo se­guro, de­pende nila kung moari sila sa PDP,” Lagon said.

Lagon clar­i­fied, how­ever, that she would pre­fer can­di­dates from her own group come 2019 elec­tions.

Dia­mante said he will abide by the de­ci­sion of the party. He is now on his third and fi­nal term as mayor.

The other day, no less than Gov­er­nor Hi­lario Da­vide III, the leader of LP in Cebu, said all may­ors in the Sec­ond and Sev­enth Dis­tricts who sup­ported LP in the 2016 elec­tions are mov­ing to PDP – La­ban.


In a state­ment yes­ter­day, One Cebu said it wel­comes the of­fi­cials who are join­ing PDP-La­ban.

“We fully sup­port the po­lit­i­cal mas­ter­stroke of Speaker Pan­ta­leon Alvarez, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of PDPLA­BAN, and Pres­i­den­tial As­sis­tant for the Visayas, Sec­re­tary Michael Dino, in con­sol­i­dat­ing all po­lit­i­cal forces that, af­ter the May 2016 elec­tions, have now seen the light and switched their sup­port from their old par­ties and loy­al­ties to the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Pres­i­dent Duterte and PDP-LA­BAN,” said Deputy Speaker Gar­cia, founder of One Cebu.

She said the party will come full force dur­ing the mass oath tak­ing.

Since the May 2016 elec­tions, One Cebu has been a coali­tion part­ner of PDP-La­ban in Cebu.

“This new­found unity can only be good for Cebu. One Cebu was founded in the year 2007 to con­sol­i­date the then un­prece­dented po­lit­i­cal unity in the Prov­ince of Cebu. One Cebu is hope­ful that this mass oath tak­ing will once again usher in a new era of po­lit­i­cal unity in the prov­ince,” added Gar­cia.

She said a “united force” will help in­sti­tu­tion­al­ize the pri­or­ity pro­grams of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte, namely (1) fed­er­al­ism; (2) the war against drugs and crim­i­nal­ity; (3) the war against poverty; and (4) the re­dis­tri­bu­tion of the na­tion's wealth to the Visayas and Min­danao through in­fra­struc­ture spend­ing.


In Lapu-Lapu City, Mayor Paz Radaza said she and her coun­cilors who have moved to PDP-La­ban would just wait for the de­ci­sion of Alvarez and Of­fice of the Pres­i­den­tial As­sis­tant for the Visayas Sec­re­tary Michael Dino on the protest to their mem­ber­ship.

Her ri­val in Lapu-Lapu, Rolando Patal­in­jug, and the lat­ter's group, have protested the mem­ber­ship.

“I'll just wait kung un­say feed­back ni Speaker Alvarez and Sec­re­tary Dino. We'll just take it from there… mao ra man (gi­hapon ila­hang) in­triga (ug) es­to­rya. Unya na nako en­ter­tain-on og grabe na kaayo," she said.

The man­i­festo of protest reads:

“In this re­gard, we are hereby for­mally ten­der­ing our protest to the mem­ber­ship of Mayor Radaza and com­pany who have not even pro­vided an iota of con­tri­bu­tion to the growth of our party lo­cally.”

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