By NITZ ARANCON
AGRICULTURE Undersecretary Jose Gabriel “Pompee” La Viña has disclosed that ex-mayor Vicente Emano is among those who have prodded him to challenge the reelection bid of Mayor Oscar Moreno, a claim that suggested that the erstwhile leader of the city was no longer keen on a “rematch” with the only politician who beat him twice in a row during his colorful political career.
La Viña on Monday claimed that Emano is among his friends who have asked him to run for mayor against Moreno who would be seeking his third and final office term as mayor of the city in next year’s elections.
“Ingon siya (Emano) sa ako nga if I run, then iya kong suportahan,” said La Viña.
La Viña’s revelation came even as he sang to a slightly different tune. Last week, he ruled out the possibility of him running for mayor. But on Monday, he said he was already considering it.
La Viña also disclosed that political groups such as the Padayon Pilipino and the Centrist Democratic Party have agreed to form a coalition, and that if he decides to run for mayor, Councilor Nadya Elipe would likely be his running mate.
“Yes, we will have a full slate. The coalition was kind enough to let me choose in that eventually. Nadya is vey qualified. In fact, she is more than qualified to be a mayor. I would be honored to have her as a running mate if I do run,” he said.
He said he reconsidered after he had a meeting with Emano at the latter’s Aluba house in Macasandig last week.
La Viña said he was assured of a full slate by Emano if he decides to challenge Moreno’s reelection bid.
“I will be making a final decision in the next few days. If I do decide to finally enter politics, it will have to be with one of the local parties and national party allied with Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago,” said La Vina.
He added: “Quite frankly, the traditional politics of money does not appeal to me. Nor do I have any to throw around. But I do love the City of Cagayan de Oro and have been deeply in love with its people and history since I was a child. It is for this reason that I am seriously considering running for the office.”
The filing of certificates of candidacy starts on Thursday until Wednesday, except this weekend.
At the capitol, Misamis Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano said the Padayon Pilipino was further strengthening its coalition with other political groups even as he confirmed that the party has endorsed La Viña as a candidate for mayor here.