By NITZ ARANCON
A STAUNCH critic of the Emano administration would find himself campaigning for and alongside the very people he once criticized and even sued in next year’s elections.
Former councilor Ramon Tabor yesterday confirmed that the Padayon Pilipino and Centrist Democratic Party coalition would field lawyer James Judith as a candidate for councilor in the city’s 2nd District.
Judith himself confirmed that he was planning on running for councilor under the CDP-Padayon Pilipino coalition.
He said he was nominated by the CDP, the party led by former congressman Rufus Rodriguez. In another interview, he said he was only waiting for the decision of ex-mayor Emano if he would be accepted to the group or not, and that he was leaving the final say in the hands of the Padayon Pilipino founding leader.
“I have the nomination of CDP and has Rufus’s blessings on my interest to run for councilor. However, as CDP is in alliance with Padayon Pilipino of Dongkoy, gitugyan ko na niya ang akong pulitikanhong katuyoan kung iapil ako niya sa Padayon-CDP slate,” Judith said.
Judith was among the prominent critics of the Emano administration, and he even lawyered for those who sued the then mayor. One of the cases he handled against Emano and other former city hall officials was the on the controversial Scantel phone project of the previous administration.
He figured prominently in the unsuccessful campaign to oust Emano by way of a recall petition initiated by the Save CDO Movement. When Emano failed to win a reelection in 2013, Judith ran around Divisoria in his boxers to celebrate the Padayon Pilipino leader’s loss and fulfill a promise he made on social media.
If plans don’t miscarry, Judith would be campaigning for a city council seat in the city’s 2nd District along with former councilors Tabor and Alexander Dacer, Nazareth barangay councilor Jocelyn Rodriguez, and councilors Dometilo Acenas Jr. and Leon Gan..
Tabor said the Padayon Pilipino and CDP also agreed to field former councilors Lordan Suan, Dante Pajo, Adrian Barba and Alden Bacal, newcomer Joey Abbu, and former vice mayor Ceasar Ian Acenas for city council seats in the first district.
Tabor said the Padayon Pilipino-CDP would likely field Agriculture Undersecretary Jose Gabriel La Viña as standard bearer but if he decides not to, former mayor Emano would challenge the reelection bid of Mayor Oscar Moreno.
“Si La Viña na ang gihatagan namo sa higayon nga ma-oy magpili sa duha ka kulang candidates alang sa first ug second district,” Tabor said.
Tabor said La Viña would also be given a freehand in the selection of his running mate. But La Vina earlier hinted that it would likely be Emano’s daughter, Councilor Nadya Elipe.
The coalition would field ex-congressman Rodriguez for the congressional post in the send district. For the first district, the coalition is eyeing former councilor Ma. Lourdes Darimbang of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas.
“Pero wala pa gyud ma-finalize kay si Candy (Darimbang) gusto man modagan sa pagka–mayor,” Tabor said.
“Open pa ang option nga si mayor Emano magpa-elect kon dili pa maka-decide si La Viña,” Tabor said. “Ingon man gud si mayor Emano nga walay ilang kuwarta nga gastohon sa kampanya ma-o na nga si La Viña ang nasangpit nga ma-oy among mayor.”