On Moreno’s Capitol run

OPINION
By Susan Palmes-Dennis
December 19, 2019

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AFTER confirming his support to Rep. Rolando Uy of Cagayan de Oro City’s 1st district for the city mayoral race, I guess it was only a matter of time before incumbent Mayor Oscar Moreno made public his desire to return to the Capitol’s top seat in 2020.
 
The mayor’s confirmation came fittingly enough during a visit by Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Carlo Paalam to City Hall specifically at the Christmas party of barangay (village) leaders at the City Tourism Hall.
 
It was no surprise to anyone who keeps tabs on the local political landscape and even to those like me who may live in another part of the world but still tries to keep up to date on the latest political developments in Cagayan de Oro City and Misamis Oriental province.
 
And I say it’s a welcome announcement if only to give the province something to look forward to after nearly a decade of dominance by the Padayon Pilipino party which had lost its founder prior to the May elections.
 
To be clear, Moreno said he is thinking about a gubernatorial run and that it’s still too early to declare his candidacy eight months after the last elections when he won a third and final term at City Hall.
 
But knowing the other incumbent officials of the province who cast their eyes towards the City of Golden Friendship, I say it’s never too early for them to already map out their strategies for 2020, barring of course any last minute run for Charter change instigated by—surprise, surprise—Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City’s second district, who chairs the congressional committee on Constitutional Amendments.
 
I admit to welcoming a Moreno 2020 run for the Capitol seat on a purely personal note.  If Moreno runs and wins as governor, I hope that one of his projects would be to fix that dusty, craggy, crater dotted road at zone 20, sitio El Mundo in Barangay Natumolan, Tagoloan town.
 
That road is privately owned but considering that it is used by motorists and public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers alike for the past 50 years, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say it’s high time the government steps in, expropriates that road and repair it for their use and convenience.
 
Whenever my husband Ronnie would drive through that road, he would mutter cuss words and keep complaining about how he hated passing through that road since it would make him pee.  And I share his sentiment as I hated passing through that road in my youth at Tagoloan.
 
The Emano clan ruled over both Tagoloan and Misamis Oriental like their own personal fiefdoms for decades and I can barely count with my fingers any notable, enduring projects that they set up and built for either town and province.  And they did squat with that zone 20 road in El Mundo.
 
Let’s just say Moreno is my last hope, ang akong ‘huling baraha (my last card) so to speak when it comes to finally fixing not only that God forsaken road but also most, if not all, of what’s wrong in Misamis Oriental right now.
 
The incumbent Emano administration at the Capitol, which had been bragging about its canceled Misor Cares health program,  has yet to publicly list all of the programs and projects it had implemented in the past six to seven years other than through their praise releases and radio programs which are badly written and produced even by high school standards (yes I do monitor the programs at Facebook).
 
Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, the thought of another decade of an Emano dynasty in the province, let alone a return to the City of Golden Friendship, is enough to cause nightmares to both Kagay-anons and Misamisnons alike.
 
Enough of their rule and their allies/minions, it’s time for Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental to have leaders with a shared vision and strong political will to elevate them to metropolitan status and become the next growth center in the country.
 
PS: I met Atty. Irish Vertudes, who represented Gov. Yevgeny ‘Bambi’ Emano, at the wedding of Mark and Glorilie Vosotros the other day and here’s hoping I can interview him someday.  To be fair, Governor Bambi is still courteous and smiles at me even when I criticized his late father during his tenure in both the province and city.
 
Maybe, just maybe, he can leave a more enduring legacy to the Capitol in his final two years in office if he stops listening to his allies/minions and start making the right, even if unpopular decisions.

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