By SHIELA MAE BUTLIG
and NITZ ARANCON
LOSING mayoral candidate Jose Gabriel “Pompee” La Viña spent the first two days after the elections liquidating his campaign expenses, and paying off debts, his liaison to the media said on Friday.
“Busy kaayo siya the past two days pag-liquidate sa mga nagasto during atong eleksyon,” said his aide Nicole Managbanag.
The explanation came the same day La Viña posted his first post-election message on his Facebook wall where he thanked those who supported his failed bid to unseat reelectionist Mayor Oscar Moreno.
La Viña’s one-paragraph post reads: “We honor all Kagay-anons who freely exercised their sovereign right to vote in the manner that the fathers of democracy and the framers of our Constitution envisioned that to be. We are forever grateful to the almost 90,000 voters who dared to dream of a new Cagayan, our Bag-ong Cagayan. The dream lives on.”
Managbanag said La Viña “seems happy” despite his crushing defeat in Monday’s four-cornered mayoral elections that saw him a poor second to Moreno. She said, “He looks good, he looks fine. Sigi siya’g smile.”
La Viña received 90,834 votes, a far cry from Moreno’s 159,172.
She said La Viña made sure to leave no debt even as she strongly denied a report in Rappler that the former Agriculture undersecretary has yet to settle some of his obligations.
After Monday’s elections, his known supporter Frederico “Ding” Gempesaw called on La Viña on local radio to make sure to pay off all his debts, particularly radio stations where he bought air time for his failed campaign.
Managbanag denied that La Viña owed radio stations where he placed political advertisements and bought air time.
She said that if there are still claims, these are obligations of the Padayon-Pilipino-Centrist Democratic Party coalition, and not La Viña’s.
“Coalition man gud nia naa kang Pompee sa Centrist Democratic Party, naa pud sa Padayon Pilipino. Kami sa among part, nakabayad na mi. Di ko sure sa duha (CDP and Padayon Pilipino), but for sure, if naay kulang pa, mabayaran ra na kay kamulo pa man mi liquidate,” Managbanag said.
Just like other politicians, a huge chunk of La Viña’s election spendings went to radio stations.
For Radio Mindanao Network’s station DxCC alone, La Viña spent some P650 thousand — he bought air time for his six-week program worth P600 thousand until March 28, and then spent another P50 thousand for a 30-second political ad that was aired daily for two weeks.
By Wednesday or two weeks after election day, La Viña paid his balance of P24 thousand to DxCC through Managbanag.
Managbanag said La Viña was still in Cagayan de Oro, and was planning on joining the national government again.
She said La Viña also has plans of establishing a foundation that would help people in the city by granting them assistance like scholarships.
“Sa iyang pakihalobilo sa mga tao nakita niya nga naa pa jud kulang sa Cagayan de Oro,” Managbanag said.