An alliance that was rumored to exist eight years ago may just surface now and challenge the power that be at City Hall.
That is on time when mayor Benjamin Magalong said that he will not run for a national position and will seek his second Covid-19 infested term.
Former Rep. Nicasio Aliping, Jr. reconsidered on running for mayor against Magalong and will instead challenge the third term seeking Marques Go as he buckled down to make a return five years after losing the same seat.
“I finally acceded to manong Morris (Domogan) that I run instead for congress and he will run for mayor against Magalong,” Aliping told this writer Sunday night.
He is referring to former six term mayor and three term congressman Mauricio Domogan, the guy he was rumored to have formed an alliance with in 2013.
“It almost happened in 2013 but then there was mang Bernie (then Rep. Bernardo Vergara),” Aliping confirmed of the supposed alliance that never happened but still registered an upset win over the then incumbent congressman that earned him a ticket to Congress.
“If we seek the same post, mayor, then we might as well say goodbye to our bids. It is better if we now form an alliance,” said Aliping confirming that AliDom, short for Aliping-Domogan, is now in existence and will make this formal when they file their certificate of candidacy on Friday, October 8.
Aliping vowed to run for mayor in the May 2022 election and challenge the former police general but Domogan also said that he will seek the same post which he last held until 2019.
They were four of the strongest contenders against Magalong, along with former vice mayor Edison Bilog and former Youth Rep. Edgar Avila. But with four of them throwing their hats in the field, the chances of beating Magalong, who claimed a landslide victory in 2019, is dim.
“We might just cancel each other out, so I decided to instead run for Congress,” he added.
Go looks unchallenged as he goes for his third and final term that the only voice of resistance was made by a mayor wannabe Labio Calingayan.
“It will look bad if Cong. Go will run unopposed. I might as well file my candidacy for that position,” who lost in his bid for barangay chairmanship at Loakan-Apugan by a mere three votes during the last barangay election.
Calingayan actually sought the top post at City Hall last election and vowed to hire all his opponents to take key local government positions if he get elected – Magalong to head the Public Order and Safety Division as a former police general, Bilog as market head, Avila as legal officer and former councilor Leandro Yangot, Jr. to head urban planning and lot disposition to long time Baguio residents.
Domogan comes back from his short “retirement” apparently egged on by his supporters, mostly disappointed in the 29 stay of Magalong at City Hall.
Among their complaints against the former top intelligence officer of the Philippine National Police was his lockdowns leading to the prolonged closure of businesses, enforcement of removing illegal settlers despite the pandemic and widening of the two major highways forcing out long time occupants at the affected lands to be used for the roads.
“I wanted to run as mayor but then we need a united front against Magalong – and Go,” added Aliping, who will run against the incumbent representative for the fourth straight time, hoping that he could even the score. Go currently leads him 2-1 in their showdown.
Under the same ticket is former city councilor and human rights lawyer Jose Molintas, who once vowed to challenge Domogan in any post the latter would seek.
But the need to end Magalong’s stay at City Hall, and also of Go’s representation of the city to Congress, is now the paramount goal for the three local political big wigs.
Go is expected to run again with vice mayor Faustino Olowan, who will be challenged by councilor and barangay council chairman Michael Lawana. Lawana, who lost to Olowan in 2019, was among the first to file his certificate of candidacy when the Commission on Elections opened the filing at the Baguio Convention Center last Thursday.
Lawana is also the first high profile local politico to have filed his candidacy for the May 2022 election.