Proxy wars, bidding in De Oro polls

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/24 Oct) — The proxy war of big politicians is on as the voters troop to the city’s polling centers Monday.

In the biggest barangays in the city, losing candidates in the May 2010 elections are reclaiming their barangay chairmanship against candidates supported by the city’s political kingpin.

The Barangay Carmen leadership in District 1 is hotly contested between former Rep. Rolando “Klarex” Uy and incumbent City Councilor Annie Daba. Uy, who served in the House of Representatives for one term, narrowly lost to Mayor Vicente “Dongkoy” Emano in the elections last May. He was barangay captain of Carmen prior to winning the first district congressional seat in 2007.

The Uy-Daba tussle is also a rematch as Uy defeated Daba in the congressional race in 2007. Many observers say that Daba’s seeking a lower position now is fueled by a grudge on Uy. Barangay Carmen has the biggest number of voters at 27,715.

In the second district, Barangay Lapasan is being contested by former City Councilor Teodulfo “Bong” Lao and Emano’s anointed, Omar Labuntog. Lao narrowly lost his seat in the City Council last May. He was Lapasan’s barangay chairman before winning a seat in the City Council.

In the small Poblacion barangays and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) race, rumors of a money bidding war have become louder as election day nears. Vote buying is reportedly at the thousands of pesos already.

The smallest barangay in the city, Barangay 2 has only 125 voters.

The SK race is even getting ridiculous as vote buying and other forms securing votes like beach parties is getting hotter. With less than 20 voters in the SK in most poblacion barangays, the money game is getting hot, upping the ante to the thousands of pesos.

Other barangays cannot even have a complete SK council. Poblacion Barangays 2 and 16 have only four registered SK voters each, Barangay 38 has two and Barangays 6, 8 and 20 have six each.

Sr. Supt. Benedicto Lopez, Cagayan de Oro City Police Director, said that he expects the barangay polls today to be peaceful.

“We have to be happy that compared to other parts of the country, elections in the city are peaceful and the electorate matured,” Lopez said.

He added that police personnel will be deployed in the city’s 61 polling centers. (BenCyrus G. Ellorin / MindaNews)