CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 9 Oct) – Former ABS-CBN Davao broadcaster-turned-councilor of Cagayan de Oro Joyleen Mercedes “Girlie” Balaba on Friday, pledged her loyalty to her close friend, President Rodrigo Duterte, and Senator Christopher Lawrence Go on Friday, a day after she filed her certificate of candidacy (COC) for reelection.
While Balaba joined the ticket of Cagayan de Oro 1st district Representative Rolando Uy, who is now running for mayor under the National Unity Party, she filed her COC under the Alfonso Cusi-wing of the PDP-Laban.
She said her teammates “know that my loyalty belongs to the President and Senator Bong Go, who is running for the vice presidency under the PDP-Laban.”
Balaba is known to have a special place in Duterte’s circle, and enjoyed his repeated endorsements during her 2019 campaign for a seat in the Cagayan de Oro City council. She is also known to have easy access to Duterte when the President comes here in Cagayan de Oro.
Their main supporter, Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno, filed his COC for governor of Misamis Oriental under the Cebu-based Progressive Movement for the Devolution of Initiatives (Promdi) that has Senator Manny Pacquiao as its presidential bet.
Balaba ended months of speculation that she is running for a higher post with Malacañang backing.
Balaba, who topped the race for city council seats in the 2nd district in the 2019 elections, spurned offers for her to run for congress against Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez or be the running mate of Uy’s rival, Jose Gabriel “Pompee” La Viña of the PDP-Laban Cusi wing.
“I am a person who knows how to pay forward and give back. If you accord me with kindness, I will give back kindness to you. And that’s what I am doing with my local team. They have accepted me as part of their team when I was just starting out. They helped me through and through and I won in the previous elections. And I intend to give back what they gave and showed me this 2022. But they also understand that I most value loyalty,” Balaba said.
Uy’s group picked Irene Austria-Floro as candidate for the congressional post against Rodriguez. Floro is a member of the People’s Reform Party of the late senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)