By NITZ ARANCON
IT rose to national prominence because it stood ground, fought martial law and a dictatorship over three decades ago, and dominated Cagayan de Oro politics until the 1998 elections when it lost big to the Padayon Pilipino. Now, the PDP-Laban is reclaiming its place in the city and establishing itself as Cagayan de Oro’s dominant political party again, this time, as a staunch ally of Malacañang.
Mayor Oscar Moreno, Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin Uy and Rep. Rolando Uy would lead most of city hall’s officials in taking their oath as members of the administration party before January is over, said PDP-Laban council chairman for Cagayan de Oro Marlo Tabac yesterday.
At least a dozen other city hall officials would be sworn in as members of the PDP-Laban, including its members who left the party to join other political groups before the 2016 elections.
Tabac said the new PDP-Laban members would be sworn in by Senate President Aquilino Martin Pimentel III at the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines gym in the morning of Jan. 27, a Saturday.
He said Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre III, and other ranking Duterte administration and PDP-Laban officials are expected to come.
Tabac said Rep. Uy, although a member of the House majority, has yet to formally take his oath as a PDP-Laban member. In 2016, he said, the 1st district congressman merely joined the group of congressmen that supported the bid of Alvarez to be Speaker.
He said members of the city council majority would also take their oath as PDP-Laban members. He identified the councilors as George Goking, Romeo Calizo, Zaldy Ocon, Reuben Daba, Jay Pascual, Ma. Lourdes Gaane;
Teodulfo Lao Jr., Enrico Salcedo, Ian Mark Nacaya, Annie Daba, Suzette Daba, and Edna Dahino.
Tabac said some of the councilors used to be PDP-Laban members who automatically lost their membership when they joined other political parties. He said it was decided that they would be admitted back to PDP-Laban.
Many barangay officials would also be sworn into the administration party, he said.
He said other politicians from Misamis Oriental and Camiguin would also take their oath as PDP-Laban members.
In effect, according to Tabac, Mayor Moreno and the other officials left the Liberal Party. Most of them won in the 2016 under the LP, and Moreno served as its chairman in this part of the country.
“Ingon na-a gyud ang mahitabo,” Tabac said.
Goking, one of the councilors, said the scheduled oathtaking would be the local officials’ way of showing their support to the Duterte administration.
He said local officials have been supporting policies and programs of the administration since President Duterte took over in 2016 even before they decided to be sworn in as PDP-Laban members.