CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – It's certainly the election season.
Some mayors from Misamis Oriental who are not members of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) apparently didn't want to be seen with Interior Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II for far longer than necessary.
On Friday, July 3, the LP stalwart was here to distribute 23 patrol jeeps to the province's 23 towns.
The mayors and their respective police chiefs were present during the turnover of keys.
But as soon as the ceremony was over, some of them left. They include Tagoloan Mayor Paulino Emano, Medina Mayor Ken Uyguangco, and a representative of the mayor from the town of Talisayan.
Emano, the brother of former Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Vicente Emano, did not even shake hands with incumbent City Mayor Oscar Moreno, who was with Roxas during the turnover of keys.
The Emanos are the ruling clan in the province and in Cagayan de Oro City with their UNA-allied PaDayon Pilipino – a local party with an acronym PDP, which is often mistaken for Partido Demokratikong Pilipino of the Pimentels, who also hail from this city.
Uyguangco, one of the youngest mayors in the province, also disappeared with his chief of police, leaving only a police officer to drive their new patrol jeep.
Talisayan Mayor Rommel Maslog, another opposition politician, did not show up but instead sent a representative.
Photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler
Roxas is expected to run against opposition leader Vice President Jejomar Binay in the 2016 presidential race.
Both have been visiting provinces and meeting with various sectors as a build-up to their campaign.
President Benigno Aquino III, is scheduled to announce his "anointed" one after his July 27 State of the Nation Address.
Jeeps, not politics
Roxas arrived at the police headquarters with several congressmen, Mindanao Development Authority Secretary Luwalhati Antonino, and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Governor Mujiv Hataman.
"You see, we never asked you about your political parties, we never asked you if President Aquino won in your town. We will give every town a patrol jeep," Roxas told the mayors.
A total of 1490 patrol jeeps are being distributed across the country as part of the PNP's Capability Enhancement Program.
The majority of the mayors did stay and meet with Roxas after the distribution.
Misamis Oriental 1st District Representative Peter Unabia, who is the LP's gubernatorial bet for the 2016 election, said that they will keep working with the minority regardless of their politics.
Unabia said that prior to the distribution of the vehicles, he called for a meeting with all the mayors of the province for the other logistical support for their jeeps.
"This is a boost to the police force of the province and this type of vehicle is more appropriate for the mountainous terrains," Unabia said. – Rappler.com