By Shiela Mae Butlig
FORMER Agriculture undersecretary Jose Gabriel La Viña yesterday responded to Mayor Oscar Moreno’s pronouncement that he would step down if his political nemesis, ex-mayor Vicente Emano, wins against reelectionist Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin Uy in the May elections.
“Dili mabalaka si Moreno kay dili man siya makadaug sa ako,” a confident La Viña said.
La Viña is the standard bearer of Emano’s Padayon Pilipino and the Centrist Democratic Party of ex-congressman Rufus Rodriguez. Emano is La Viña’s running mate while Rodriguez is working to win the congressional post in the 2nd District, an old position he once held and which his brother Maximo Jr. is leaving vacant.
La Viña said Moreno is facing the prospects of being disqualified because of graft cases but if the reelectionist mayor is not booted out, “Di siya maghunahuna nga moesign siya kay di siya makadaog sa ako.”
Former councilor Alexander Dacer said Moreno’s pronouncement against the Padayon Pilipino leader was cheap talk.
“Iya ra nang storya. Nakasiguro ba siya nga mudaug siya?” asked Dacer rhetorically.
Dacer said he believes that La Viña would win in the May elections because he thinks that the mayoral hopeful is enjoying “high ratings.”
Dacer failed to cite the basis for his ratings claim but he explained that he thinks that La Viña has the edge because “lumad nga taga-Cagayan,” “people see Pompee as the one who can bring change,” and “kandidato siya ni [President] Duterte.”
Emano’s son-in-law President Elipe criticized Moreno for declaring this early that he would not accept an Emano victory in the event that the city’s voters make him win as vice mayor.
“It’s good that he has stated that this early. He doesn’t care what the people think. He’s only after his personal interests,” said Elipe, an appointed provincial board member running for vice governor.