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Simple, accessible Uy is most logical choice for next CDO mayor

AS I wind down my months-long vacation here in Cagayan de Oro City,  I chatted with old and new friends about the local political landscape and not a few of them were in agreement that Rep. Rolando ‘Klarex’ Uy of the city’s first district has a better than average chance of becoming the next city mayor.

And it’s not just because he established a name for himself in the City of Golden Friendship as one of the most trusted political lieutenants of the late mayor Vicente ‘Dongkoy’ Emano but for his being outspoken and seeming willingness to chart his own political destiny with little to no hesitation and regrets.

Anyone who lived in Cagayan de Oro City at the time Uy ran and sustained a questionable loss to Emano in the 2010 elections knew that it took guts for him to cut his political ties with the then seemingly unbeatable political kingpin of Misamis Oriental despite him being a congressman representing the city’s first district which included the city’s most populated barangay (village).

Still the loss didn’t deter Uy from running again for the city’s first congressional district and not only did he regain the seat, he also established a crucial alliance with  now Mayor Oscar Moreno that remains solid to this day and may prove instrumental in his 2022 mayoral bid.

Moreno already laid bare his willingness to run anew for governor of Misamis Oriental  In 2022 and he and his people at City Hall have time and again endorsed Uy as the best and most logical choice to sustain the city’s gains and progress in the next nine years.

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So to those unfamiliar with Uy, what makes him the candidate to beat for Cagayan de Oro City’s mayoral seat? Aside from being an incumbent with a large constituency he also has a wealth of experience and wisdom in governance borne out of his years serving Barangay (village) Carmen as its chairman.

Granted that his stint in Congress may not have produced any landmark legislation in either the local or national political landscape but Uy was the kind of lawmaker who remained as unassuming and accessible to his constituents as during his barangay chairman days in Carmen.

When some families in Barangay Carmen lost their homes to a fire, not only did Uy visit and commiserated with them, he also helped and assured them that he will continue to help them rebuild their homes and their lives. Simple, really but quite effective in winning their trust.

Uy doesn’t make any claim to be a gifted speaker and he always speaks in Visayan to better communicate with his constituents and most, if not all of them are fine with it and actually prefer that he stay that way.  Like most Filipinos, they don’t need someone who speaks well but somebody who can get things done for them.

That Barangay Carmen has the most number of investors and businesses in their area even with its obvious geographical advantage speaks volumes about Uy’s leadership in that barangay, the kind of leadership that enabled his wire to serve as his successor for sometime now.

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That and with a son like Vice Mayor Joaquin Raineir ‘Kikang’ Uy who also has an unassuming, yet firm grasp of public sentiment and willingness to serve, the elder Uy is in a position to finally become the mayor of Cagayan de Oro City more than two years from now.

By extension, if Uy and Moreno stay the course and continue to forge their partnership, they can fulfill the long term goal to transform and elevate Cagayan de Oro City and its neighbors into Metro Cagayan de Oro, the country’s fourth urban growth corridor next to Metro Manila, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao.

I certainly hope that with its combined population and considerable resources, Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental and those local governments covered under Metro Cagayan de Oro can achieve similar, if not better growth than Cebu and Davao.

It’s a lot to dream about of course and I for one fervently pray to see the day that my husband Ronnie and I can fly straight from the US to Laguindingan airport which hopefully will be elevated to international airport status and open the doors for Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental to investors and visitors alike.

susanap.dennis@yahoo.com

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