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MANILA, Philippines – Manila mayor-elect Honey Lacuna took her oath of office on Wednesday, June 29, shattering a glass ceiling by becoming the first ever woman to sit at city hall’s top post.
Her close political ally, outgoing Mayor Isko Moreno, swore in Lacuna and vice mayor-elect Yul Servo in a ceremony at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros.
In her speech, Lacuna thanked Moreno for letting her “shine” as his vice mayor. At the height of the pandemic, Lacuna, a registered physician, became Moreno’s point person on coronavirus-related matters, coordinating with health directors in the city.
“Not once did I feel that I was only a spare tire,” Lacuna said of Moreno. “He treated me as a sister and partner in all city government activities.”
Now that she’s city hall’s number one, Lacuna vowed to provide better health and social services for Manila residents.
“Expect that we will continue the quality service for our elderly, persons with disabilities, solo parents, students and teachers, public schools, police force, government employees, and ordinary citizens,” she said.
First Lacuna as Manila mayor
Lacuna won the elections in May with a landslide victory, garnering 534,595 votes. Her closest competitor, Alex Lopez, only received 165,551 votes.
In her bid for the mayorship, she defeated three children of three former mayors: Alex, son of Mel Lopez Jr.; Amado Bagatsing, son of Raymond Bagatsing Sr.; and Cristina Lim Raymundo, daughter of Alfredo Lim.
With her election victory, Lacuna said she is finally fulfilling the dream of her father, former vice mayor Danilo Lacuna, who once hoped their surname would ascend to the top of city hall. The older Lacuna ran for mayor in the past, but lost.
“Because of you, I persevered to put an end to the belief that Lacunas are only good for the vice mayorship,” Lacuna said in an emotional dedication to her father.
Her father was present in Wednesday’s event. Danilo has been wheelchair-bound since he suffered a stroke in 2016.
“I wish that even for just a day, your mind will be aware of the fact that you now have a child who is mayor,” she said. “Promise, I will make you very proud.”
The incoming mayor knows the ins and outs of the Manila city government like the back of her hand.
Before she entered politics, Lacuna worked from 1995 to 2004 in the city health office. From 2004 to 2013, Lacuna served as a city councilor. She was vice mayor from 2016 to 2022. – Rappler.com
* All quotes translated from Filipino to English