ROCKINGHAM, North Carolina—Why do I think that Congressman Rolando ‘ Klarex’ Uy of Cagayan de Oro City’s 1st district will become the next city mayor in the May 9 elections?
His journey to become the next city mayor took all of 34 years and during that time he slowly built his bailiwicks and paved the way to win City Hall’s mayoral seat. He almost made it in 2010, being the first local official to crack the entrenched Emano dynasty in the city and Misamis Oriental province.
It was 12 years ago when Klarex lost by a very slim margin of less than 5,000 votes against the late mayor Vicente ‘Dongkoy’ Emano. In fact there is a claim that Klarex or ‘Landoy’ as he is known to family and friends won the 2010 election based on the ballots found at the garbage dumpster days after the May 2010 election.
Still that loss didn’t deter him from his goal of one day becoming mayor. Like a builder, he slowly rebuilt his political career, endearing himself not only to his constituents in Barangay Carmen as their barangay captain but as congressman of the city’s first district. Now that he is on the cusp of victory, he is being bombarded with all sorts of political black propaganda by his desperate rivals.
Klarex not being a pure Kagay-anon? Yes, he wasn’t born in Cagayan de Oro City but since he arrived in the city by virtue of his marriage to a Velez, a native Kagay-anon, he served in barangay Carmen first as kagawad then as barangay captain and currently is congressman of the city’s first district of which Carmen is the biggest barangay.
Being a fixture in the city’s first district, Klarex is mostly present and ready to help the families affected by natural and human-inflicted calamities (typhoons, fire etc) and he and his staff are on the frontlines providing food, medicines and nearly all forms of assistance 24/7. During this year’s candidates’ fora, Klarex was criticized for not attending but he explained in a prior press conference that he was a man of action, not words.
And as evidenced by his message of gratitude to outgoing Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno in last Monday’s virtual flag-raising ceremony, Klarex is more comfortable (and maybe even more fluent) speaking the local Visayan language. And his constituents in the first district mostly likely didn’t mind him not showing up for the debates though the bigger concern would probably be the next elections when Congressman Rufus Rodriguez is rumored to be gunning for the mayoral post.
Anyway, his partnership with Mayor Moreno made it possible, as Mayor Moreno would put it, for them to help the city residents cope with the economically debilitating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even Klarex’s rivals like Rufus had to admit that Uy’s local staffs were on the ground distributing relief goods and water.
And compared to Klarex, his other rivals only show up during election season to lash out at him with putdowns and baseless accusations as mouthed off by his paid attack dogs in mainstream and social media. But they and their staff were never really on the ground helping city residents or if they did, they do so with government sponsored relief goods that they claim and pass off as coming from their office aka credit-grabbing.
One other asset Klarex has is his willingness to listen to others and knowing when to decide and take action. Oh yes, the drug allegations leveled at him which were refuted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). Even the death of his son, Barangay Carmen kagawad Roland Sherwin ‘Tawee’ Uy were not spared of malicious allegations. Through this tragedy, the partnership between Uy and Moreno remained steadfast as Uy thanked Mayor Moreno for his support.
More than what is said and will continue to be said about him, Klarex is a family man, whose passion is to help those who desire to get married as shown in his Kasalan ng Bayan program. In my last interview with him before the onset of the pandemic (in which he survived contracting the virus), Klarex spoke about his commitment not only to the program but to serving the people of Cagayan de Oro City.
Only God and time will tell how far and how long Klarex will serve in Cagayan de Oro City but based on what I’ve learned so far, he will win the city’s mayoral seat. And it’s high time he did.