Next Monday or this coming Monday Oct. 8 is open season for the filing of candidacies at the local Commission on Elections (Comelec) office for next year's elections.
As usual it is that time of year again, when the mood becomes unusually festive since every eligible voter will receive unusual amounts of attention from the candidates themselves.
At the VIP Hotel here in Cagayan de Oro City, I heard some whispers at the coffee shop about the names of the candidates to run for public office.
With some effort and discomfort I heard that the other party will have a female candidate for the city's mayoral post and this candidate will eventually give way to the real beneficiary through the election legal magic called substitution.
That's for Cagayan de Oro while in the province there seems to be a crowd of candidates waiting to file their candidacies. Interesting to say the least.
For now, political parties are meeting with their operators, handlers and media operatives for the Oct. 11 filing of candidacies. Trust me, it happened before and the same scenario will play out again especially on the last day of filing to enhance drama and attention from the public.
It's also that time of year when barangay officials are gathered to give updates on their respective constituents. This is where anyone with
anything to show aside from leadership and network building is given the opportunity to make their names known and presence felt.
It is also this time where leaders are made. Rarely do we see any born leader; it's not like they graduate from any school of governance.
More often than not, people follow those with money not with ability especially during these times of inflation and rising fuel prices. For voters, it's what these candidates can offer to feed their bellies and not their abilities that are more important.
Anyway newcomers in the political race will have to learn from Gusa barangay chairman Marlon Tabac who has mastered the course of “How To Win An Election 101.”
Allow me to congratulate Tabac for his mastery of the course. Speaking of which, this year's filing of candidacies won't be as exciting as three years from now, when either incumbent Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno or Misamis Oriental Gov. Yevgeny “Bambi” Emano would have finished their full nine years in office.
Either that or Moreno would throw his hat into the race for Cagayan de Oro's first congressional district and lend his support to Cong. Klarex Uy and his son Joaquin.
Or will Moreno return to the province? I don't think Moreno will run against the younger Emano for CDO's mayoral seat next year because of term limits.I can bet on pay per view it won't happen.
My best guess would be Moreno will run for a third and final term next year and anyone challenging him will be hard pressed to contest his administration's achievements like building schools, roads, hospitals and more.
There may be issues on traffic, garbage and the cases filed against him but as the mayor's information officer Maricel Casino would say “he got this.”
Governor Emano, who was born and raised in his father's political climate, is wise enough not to challenge Moreno next year and would prefer to wait for three years before throwing his hat into Cagayan de Oro's political ring.
That leaves us with other names like former second district congressman Rufus Rodriguez (again) who did really well during his tenure as he brought projects into the second district.
Rufus made the big mistake of challenging Moreno in 2016 since Moreno was still in his prime as the mayor. Still the city's political landscape is flexible and he can always redeem himself.
Former Cagayan de Oro mayor and Misamis Oriental governor Vicente Emano is best left alone as time, age and health had affected public perception of his capability to run the city.
Instead the elder Emano, who is president emeritus of his Padayon Pilipino party, can consolidate the resources under his disposal to push for a potential emerging candidate in his daughter Atty. Nadya Emano.
I can recall a few instances when I met Atty. Nadya in the past. She was with a group of lawyers under the Public Attorney's Office whom I interviewed during my Barangay S program.
The second was at Pryce Plaza Hotel where Padayon Pilipino held a press conference. She was cordial and courteous to me despite my daily criticism of her father's policies and I also found her to be smart and calculating.
I wonder if there is any truth to rumors that she may transfer to Tagoloan town, her family's political bailiwick or the province sometime soon?
Well, I still have a lot to share before Oct. 11. In the meantime, the filing of candidacies is a process well thought out and planned for every candidate to ensure maximum public attention.
When I see the horde of supporters gathering en masse at the Comelec office to witness their candidate file his or her papers I think to myself 'Oh my when did this start?'
There will be the usual meals to serve and Mass to be offered before or after the filing of candidacies followed by the distribution of T-shirts and election materials as well as loud band music.
It is undeniable that election politics is dominated by clans and political bosses and patronage is a persistent theme in every election season. But in this age of the internet and social media, things look a bit different.