CHARLOTTE, North Carolina—Until now the residents of Tagoloan town in Misamis Oriental, in northern
Mindanao, Philippines are hoping that the camps of Enan Sabio and Yoyoc Yap will unite for next year's elections.
Both are gunning for the town's mayoral seat and supporters of both candidates hope that they agree to choose
between themselves who will run for the post before the substitution deadline allowed under the Election Code on
Quite a number of fellow Tagoloanons have wished for this according to my reporter/source that I would rather not
name. Enan Sabio is running for mayor of Tagoloan under the Liberal Party while Yoyoc Yap is running under the
PDP-Laban/Nationalist People's Coalition.
Enan Sabio or Gomer Ferdinand Sabio is the incumbent barangay chairman of Natumolan and the son of the late
Aristotelis” Teling” Sabio who made a fortune in sawmill and other business interests.
He has done a lot for the people of Natumulan, even using his personal money to help those in need. Sabio caught
the ire of the incumbent mayor who happened to be a classmate and good friend of his father when he signified
interest to run for mayor a year ago.
Since last year the relationships have soured that even the garbage or trash of the Natumolan residents have not been
attended to by the municipal government.
The garbage from Natumulan has to make the long trip to Villanueva town, Misamis Oriental. Sabio isn't collecting
his salary as barangay chairman or village chief, yet he feels that he is ready to run for mayor.
While Yoyoc Yap is a lawyer by profession who lost to incumbent Mayor Paulino Emano in the 2013 elections. The
loss didn't deter Yoyoc from helping fellow Tagoloanon residents despite their political affiliations.
I can see his posts of his community works at his Facebook page every now and then. Yap is also the Parish Finance
Council President. Providing water to all constituents and inviting investors are priorities for him if elected as
mayor. Yoyoc was the vice mayor when foreign firm Hanjin did not push through with its plan to put a plant in the
town. Many believed it did not push through because of Emano's attitude towards the Koreans.
The third mayoral candidate is Heckert Vega-Emano, an incumbent Provincial Board member representing Misamis
Oriental's second district. He is the first cousin of Misamis Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Emano. Heckert's father, well
known surgeon Dr. Hernando ”Nandy” Emano is the elder brother of former governor and former Cagayan de Oro
city mayor Vicente Emano.
Heckert will run under the former mayor's Padayon Pilipino party. The fourth mayoral candidate is Dr. Serena
Ranizez Emano, ex-wife of the incumbent Tagoloan mayor.
The good doctor is said to be running after she was disappointed that her son with Mayor Paulino Emano wasn't
picked as his successor. It was whispered to me that the decision was made by Paulino's brother and Padayon
founder Vicente Emano.
Many have tried but failed to end the Emanos rule in Tagoloan. One person I can remember trying was the late
Ignacio Totong facture who was really a good mayoral candidate.
Some are already dead while others are still alive but have lost their voice or kept their frustrations in their heart.
Others already joined them but there remains other people who wish to end the five centuries rule of the Emanos.
Tagoloan town remains the bailiwick of the Emano clan and they would do everything to hold their fort. Before
becoming governor, Vicente Emano ruled Tagoloan for three terms of three years each, while his son Yevgeny
Emano also ruled Tagoloan for three terms.
Paulino “Oloy” Emano ran Tagoloan for six three-year terms or 36 years. This doesn't include the rule of their
grandparents Mayor Antonio Cosin and Tecla Cosin.
Not that they aren't good people, they have done a lot for the people and the town. It's just that I am sure that there
are Tagoloan residents who want new faces, not another Emano in office.
Public office isn't a monopoly but the Emanos have kept a tight grip on Tagoloan for all these years. It's up to the
Tagoloan residents if they are satisfied with the service done by the Emanos.
I don’t want to judge because that would be another story. But the time will come when the people will get tired and
vote for someone else to lead them into the next decade.
When Vicente Emano lost in the mayoral elections in Cagayan de Oro in 2013, it signaled to the Tagoloan residents
that the Emanos are mortal after all and can be defeated.
Many believe that next year's elections will signal the end of the Emanos if Yoyoc and Enan would unite against the
Inside information I received that there were attempts for the two candidates to meet with the presence of some
The same source told me that Enan already begged Yoyoc to give him just one term as mayor while he runs as vice
mayor so the Emanos won't stay in office one minute longer.
From another source I learned that Yoyoc is amenable to the idea but it's his father Sergio Yap who isn't agreeable.
Both men would be at a disadvantage, say my source, as Heckert would have the solid votes from the Emanos. If
Tagoloan residents decide that they are tired of the Emanos and want a change in leadership then Yoyoc may be the
But based on my source, Tagoloan town is still ruled by clans and that would favor Enan who comes from the vote-
rich Sabio clan. Still, many Tagoloan residents still believe that Enan and Yoyoc will join forces.
And I couldn't blame them since it's still a long way to go until December 10.
PS: I would like to greet and thank Lorna Maandig of Pag-Ibig for reading my columns at Mindanao Daily News.
(Susan Palmes-Dennis is a veteran journalist from Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, Northern Mindanao in
the Philippines is now employed teacher assistant in one of the school systems in the Carolinas.