Pompee La Viña running vs Cagayan de Oro’s ‘most anti-Duterte mayor’

Bobby Lagsa
Jose Gabriel La Viña is challenging reelectionist Oscar Moreno. The former agriculture undersecretary's running mate is longtime mayor and kingpin Vicente Emano.

CDO RACE. This photo shows former congressman and Centrist Democratic Party president Rufus Rodriguez (2-L), former Cagayan de Oro vice mayor Caesar Ian Acenas (L), Jose Gabriel La Viña (2-R), and former city mayor Vicente Emano during the last day of filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2019 elections. Photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Former agriculture undersecretary Jose Gabriel “Pompee” La Viña filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) on the last day on Wednesday, October 17, against reelectionist Oscar Moreno, whom he ha called in a Facebook post as “the most anti-Duterte mayor in the whole Philippines.”

La Viña, who is running for mayor under the PaDayon Pilipino-Centrist Democratic Party banner, arrived at the local Commission on Elections (Comelec) office accompanied by his mother, Inday La Viña, the first woman councilor of the city. 

His running mate is 75-year-old Vicente “Dongkoy” Emano, a former longtime mayor and local political kingpin here.

Prior to his COC filing, La Viña had been taking a swipe at Moreno, saying the latter may not survive the election period as he will be haunted by corruption cases.

But La Viña himself was accused of corruption during his stint as commissioner at the Social Security Commission, the governing arm of the Social Security System.

La Viña also took a swipe at former city councilor Candy Darimbang, who is running for mayor under the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas.

Darimbang said she is the official candidate of President Rodrigo Duterte. To this, La Viña said, “All I can say is, freedom of speech.” 

La Viña said that while some run for money and power, he is running for love. “Cagayan de Oro City is my first love, im running for her and the people,” he said.

His running mate, Emano, was accompanied by lawyer Francis Khu during his COC filing. The visibly frail and aging Emano arrived at 3 pm Wednesday.

When reporters asked him why he is running, Emano answered, “Mga yawa, wala ko kabalo ngano nia ko diri, gipugos lamang nila ako (The devil! I don’t know why I’m here, they forced me).” 

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Former 2nd district representative Rufus Rodriguez is seeking to return to Congress in 2019. 

Rodriguez ran for city mayor in 2016, but lost to former ally Moreno. He was all business during an interview with reporters on Wednesday. 

“We will continue our infrastructure projects, this is a good alliance with the PaDayon Pilipino,” said Rodriguez, who is also running under the PaDayon Pilipino-Centrist Democratic Party banner. 

If he wins in 2019, Rodriguez told Rappler, he would file resolutions for funding a feasibility study on urban flooding in the city.

“We will seek funds that will give answers to the floodings here. You cannot just dig around without hard data on where to put our drainage system,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez also said he would continue the Coastal Road project, which he started 12 years ago.

The 18-kilometer project runs from Opol, Misamis Oriental, to Barangay Gusa in this city. Rodriguez wanted the project to reach barangay Puerto, which connects to Sayre Highway that leads to Bukidnon and Davao City.

Rodriguez said he would propose the Puerto-Balubal-Gusa-Indahag Bypass road that will connect to western Misamis Oriental.

He would also also seek funding for the University of Science and Technology in Southern Philippines Laguindingan grand campus, and the Northern Mindanao Medical Center. 

Former Cagayan de Oro vice mayor Caesar Ian Acenas is running for 1st district congressman also under the PaDayon Pilipino-Centrist Democratic Party banner. 

Those running for 1st district councilors under the coalition are Councilor Lordan Suan, Joey Abbu, Meneleo Navarro, Al Legaspi Sr., Ronald Acenas, Adrian Barba, Alden Bacal, and Dante Pajo.

Also running for 2nd district councilors are Leon Gan, Dometilo Acenas, Alexander Dacer, Ramon Tabor, Adonis Arc Gumahad, James Judith, Jocelyn Rodriguez and Nanette Roa. – Rappler.com