By LaLaine Marcos
ORMOC CITY – Political saboteurs who have been trying to put a wedge between the Gomezes and the Locsins are in for a big disappointment. They failed miserably.
Mayor Richard Gomez, in a meeting with allied barangay chairmen this Tuesday (July 17), said that the Ormoc Development Team (ODT) are now readying themselves for the May 2019 elections.
“Lucy will run again for Congress,” he said, while he and Vice Mayor Leo Carmelo Locsin Jr. will run in the city, together with six incumbents of the ODT.
The mayor added that since councilor Mario Rodriguez is on his last term, ODT is eyeing his younger brother “Perok” would take his place. There is also Roilan Villasencio who will take over the spot of first councilor Engr. Roland Villasencio.
Atty. Jasper Lucero, city legal counsel, is also in the lineup. For the fourth slot, he said, it’s a toss up between ex-Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) cager Rey Evangelista or lawyer Joy Mejia-Romero. Evangelista has been assisting Mayor Gomez with his sports program actively, while lawyer Romero is his legal consultant.
The mayor told the barangay chairmen that there are talks of “No-El” or no elections on May 2019, but he said, “may eleksyon man o wala, kinahanglan andam ta.” (Whether there’s elections or none, we should be prepared.)
Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez is running for her last term. It is considered a “bonus” after her f irst term was invalidated when she was disqualified from the post days before her first term ended. The congresswoman remains popular in the 4th district, with her winning margin over the Codilla candidates widening every election.
In 2010, she won over congressman-in-waiting Winnie Codilla by 24,701 votes. In 2013, she won over Ormoc City mayor Eric Codilla by 36,000 votes, even in Ormoc City where he was 3-term mayor. In 2016, she won over Violy Codilla with a 53,000 vote margin.
Mayor Richard Gomez, on the other hand, is serving his first term. He first ran for Ormoc mayor in 2013 but lost to Ondo Codilla by 2,400 votes. In his comeback bid in 2016, he won over Ondo by 8,400 votes, the biggest margin ever in the mayoralty fight since 1992.
Vice-Mayor Toto Locsin, on the other hand, in his first term won by over 3,000 votes in a 3-way fight with his own uncle, Claudio “Dudy” Larrazabal, and Codilla’s running mate, Dennis Capuyan. On his second term, the vice-mayor won by around 14,000 votes over his opponent councilor Godiardo Ebcas, who is now a barangay councilor of Ondo’s daughter, Cogon barangay chairman Danda.