Survey top choice John Geesnell “Baba” Yap and runningmate Ann Mariquit “Kit” Oppus filed their certificates of candidacies at the city Comelec office with a complete city councilor slate at 10 in the morning of the same day accompanied by key leaders and close to a thousand supporters who virtually turned the earlier planned simple filing only, into a show of force that spontaneously came up that day. Observers say that if elections is to be made today, the Baba Yap- Kit Oppus Pundok Panaghiusa would certainly be the ran away winners as supporters rise in phenomenal numbers each day, showing up even to the deadline of filing of candidacy Friday.
Businessman Johnny Enerio completed the last remaining seat to complete the 10-man formidable line-up for city council slate of the Pundok Panaghiusa team. The group attended first an early morning Holy Mass at the St. Joseph’s Cathedral with 7 priests celebrants led by Fr. Val Pinlac and Fr. Jose Sumampong. The candidates were joined by their families and leaders from all the 15 barangays of the city. The mass ended at about 9:15 after which the group immediately proceeded to the city Comelec office to file their COCs. All Pundok Panaghiusa candidates, except Charles Cabalit, got a Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA) from National Unity Party (NUP) signed by Reginald S. Velasco, Sr. NUP Deputy Secretary General. Cabalit was nominated by PDP-Laban.
NUP is a coalition of members of LAKAS-CMD-KAMPI, headed by Cebu Rep. Pablo Garcia. The coalition has forged an alliance with the administration of Pres. Aquino. The size of the crowd that gathered at the cathedral and even those joining the walk towards the Comelec office was comparable to the number of well-wishers who attended the wedding of Baba and wife Jane Censoria Cajes February last year. Mayoralty candidate Baba Yap expressed his gratitude and sincere thanks to those who joined the show of support even if there was no preparation or arrangement for such activity. Yap said Tagbilaran is a growing city and he strongly believes that the Tagbilaranons deserve only the best. The Pundok Panaghiusa candidates were chosen based on their qualifications, programs, passion for service and how their advocacies align to the Yap-Oppus platform of government that focuses on grassroots empowerment in the barangay.
The perfect combination in the Panaghiusa Team is composed of Vice mayoralty bet and active advocate for women’s and children’s rights Kit Oppus, while re-electionist Councilor Beben is to focus on accountability and transparency. Incumbent Barangay Kagawads Joseph Bompat and Tim Butalid are advocating for youth empowerment and environmental protection while media icon and incumbent Cogon councilman Jerry Pabe pushes for urban poor welfare; Cogon kagawad Charles Cabalit is for infrastructure and road networks. Former Congressman Adam Jala, a lawyer, is to champion social justice whereas civic leader Ondoy Borja would focus human resource development, peace and order. Current barangay Councilors Allan Real. a dentist and Salome Vitorillo, a retired school teacher is to strengthen community relations and family values. A survey made by the Holy Name Research Center, April this year, cited the Yap-Oppus tandem as the city voters’ top preference. The Pundok Panaghiusa team is also seen as perfect executive-legislative combination that would usher a new era of prosperity for the city under the incoming Yap-Oppus administration.