CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 13 Sept) – Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District) is running for mayor of this city in the May 2016 elections.
“Cagayan de Oro will have a three-cornered fight for mayor. They have to decide which one of us should lead the city,” said Rodriguez, who is on his third term as congressman.
Rodriguez, who gained national prominence as chair of the House of Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law, timed the announcement of his candidacy for the top post on his 62nd birthday on Sunday.
“We want to give the people of Cagayan de Oro a better choice,” said Rodriguez.
The announcement marked the end of his alliance with Mayor Oscar Moreno and Rep. Rolando “Klarex” Uy (1st District).
Rodriguez will run under the Centrist Democratic Party which, he said, will field a full slate – mayor, vice mayor, and 16 councilors.
He said the party will hold a convention here on September 27, where they will also announce the slate.
Among the barangay captains who already signified their support to Rodriguez is Barangay Lapasan Chair Omar Labuntog, who said at least 25 village chiefs are supporting Rodriguez.
Labuntog said he expects other barangay captains to support them.
Mayor Moreno was not available for comment but his spokesperson, Maricel Casino Rivera, said they understand the decision of Rodriguez.
“It was a political alliance. Something is bound to happen to it especially in the world of politics,” she said.
Rivera said they stand on the exemplary performance of the Moreno administration despite the unreasonable budgetary controls made by the PaDayon Pilipino-controlled City Council.
Former mayor Vicente Emano of the PaDayon Pilipino is reportedly going to run again against Moreno. Emano lost to Moreno in the 2013 polls.
Councilor Ramon Tabor, who will run as representative for the 2nd District of Cagayan de Oro under PaDayon Pilipino, welcomed Rodriguez’ announcement to run for mayor.
He said Rodriguez’s running will favor PaDayon Pilipino candidates because the voters loyal to Rodriguez and Moreno will be divided while those in their party will remain solid.
“Our supporters are solidly behind us while we see theirs being fragmented,” he said.
Emano’s political camp claims at least 54 barangay chairs on their side.
Cagayan de Oro City has 80 barangays.