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Manila Standard : Joyfully Joyless

News & Interviews
10 January 2022

By Charlie V. Manalo | Manila Standard

“Will there be a shakeup at the Quezon City Hall?”

If the results of the survey conducted by The Issues and Advocacy Center or The Center holds true, Quezon City might find itself waking up to a Joyless morning after May 9.

No, I’m not referring to that gloomy scenario but the possibility of having incumbent City Mayor Joy Belmonte Alimurung finding herself voted out of office.

In fact, on the contrary, Quezon City residents might even find themselves in a celebratory mood if we are to believe Malayang Quezon City’s claim they are out to rid the country’s most populated city of corruption, inefficiency and everything in between.

In the latest non-commissioned Pulso ng Pilipino conducted by The Center from December 13 – 19, Malayang Quezon City mayoral bet, AnaKalusugan Party-List Representative and former Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Mike Defensor posted 51 percent favorable response from the respondents compared to Belmonte-Alimurung’s 32 percent.

According to Ed Malay, director of The Center, the survey ratings are no different from the actual elections because both are influenced by a common factor – the media and the environment.

This, Malay said, is the reason why Belmonte isn’t doing very well in the surveys because of the negative media reportage of the miscues that she has committed as the local chief executive of the city, particularly in the way the road caravan of presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos and his running mate Inday Sara Duterte, was handled by the city authorities.

The organizers of the caravan have requested that they be allowed the use of the Liwasang Aurora Stage inside the Quezon Memorial Circle but this request was thumbed down by the QC government prompting the organizers to hold the caravan on the streets of QC. And the supporters of both Marcos and Duterte turned out in large numbers which clogged the major thoroughfares in the city creating a traffic Armageddon.

By the time the QC government realized their error in judgment, it was too late. Administrative miscues such as this and the city’s earlier decision to build crematoriums instead of quarantine facilities, alleged overpricing in the purchase of face shields ayuda packs, heavily affected the public’s perception index of their incumbent mayor.

To recoup what it may have lost in terms of public opinion as a result of the glaring mismanagement of the traffic arrangements for the Unity Team Caravan and such other bloopers related to the city government’s handling of the pandemic, some enterprising supporters of the Mayor tried to negate the negative impact of the traffic Armageddon that the public blamed on the Belmonte Administration by making it appear that the mayor is in an alliance with the BBM-Sara Unity Team. This, however, did not sit well with the Quezon City residents, whom Malay said he believes has finally decided to put an end to the 30-year reign of the Belmontes who turned the city into a family fiefdom.

In the 2019 elections, Mayor Belmonte cornered about 54 percent of the 907,912 registered voters who voted out of the city’s 1.33 million voters. The city’s first district Congressman Bingbong Crisologo was the choice of 42.19% of those who actually voted. But while Crisologo was the people’s choice, his campaign was hampered by lack of funds especially during the end-game phase of the campaign.

Malay noted that the odds in this year’s mayoral elections in Quezon City seem to favor Defensor as he is running in tandem with one of the city’s accomplished political leaders – Winnie Castelo who currently leads incumbent Vice Mayor Gian Sotto by a whopping 27-percent margin. In the same pre-poll survey of Pulso ng Pilipino, Castelo was favored by 49 percent of those polled as against the 22 percent of Sotto.

Five of the big guns running for the city’s six congressional districts are allied with Defensor with only incumbent Congressman Bong Suntay of the city’s fourth district who is seeking a second term under the ticket of Belmonte and Sotto. But Suntay is facing stiff competition from Councilor Marvin Rillo who boasts of a very strong support from the masses on the ground.

In The Center’s survey, Suntay enjoys a slim three percent lead over Rillo, getting 39 percent over the councilor’s 36 percent.

Elsewhere in the city, Malayang Quezon City candidates appear headed for victory come may 9 except for District 5, which seems to be a neck and neck battle just like Suntay and Rillo in District 4.

In District 1, incumbent Congressman Anthony Peter “Onyx” Crisologo garnered 46 percent to actor Juan Carlos “Arjo” Atayde’s 23 percent; in District 2, incumbent Mari Grace Preciosa “Precious” Hipolito leads with 43 percent over Ralph Wendel “Ralph Raffy” Tulfo who got 25 percent;

In District 3, another incumbent congressman, Allan Benedict Reyes leads with 41 percent over Franz Pumaren with 25;

In District 5, Patrick Michael “PM” Vargas, brother of outgoing congressman, actor Alfred Vargas, holds a precarious two-point lead with 33 percent over businesswoman Rose Lin who got 31 percent.

Sources however say Vargas might actually pull away from Lin as the campaign heats up as the latter would have to deal with the controversial Pharmally issue. Lin was a former executive of the Pharmally Biological Company which was implicated in the multi-billion-peso face shield issue.

In District 6, Vincent “Bingbong” Crisologo will be looking to reclaim his seat as he leads Marivic co-Pilar, 43 percent to the latter’s 24 percent.

So, if this survey result can hold until the actual polls on May 9, Malayang Quezon City might be in for a really joyful but Joyless 2022. But then, they wouldn’t mind, would they? I don’t think they would even miss her.If the results of the survey conducted by The Issues and Advocacy Center or The Center holds true, Quezon City might find itself waking up to a Joyless morning after May 9.

No, I’m not referring to that gloomy scenario but the possibility of having incumbent City Mayor Joy Belmonte Alimurung finding herself voted out of office.

In fact, on the contrary, Quezon City residents might even find themselves in a celebratory mood if we are to believe Malayang Quezon City’s claim they are out to rid the country’s most populated city of corruption, inefficiency and everything in between.

In the latest non-commissioned Pulso ng Pilipino conducted by The Center from December 13 – 19, Malayang Quezon City mayoral bet, AnaKalusugan Party-List Representative and former Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Mike Defensor posted 51 percent favorable response from the respondents compared to Belmonte-Alimurung’s 32 percent.

According to Ed Malay, director of The Center, the survey ratings are no different from the actual elections because both are influenced by a common factor – the media and the environment.

This, Malay said, is the reason why Belmonte isn’t doing very well in the surveys because of the negative media reportage of the miscues that she has committed as the local chief executive of the city, particularly in the way the road caravan of presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos and his running mate Inday Sara Duterte, was handled by the city authorities.

The organizers of the caravan have requested that they be allowed the use of the Liwasang Aurora Stage inside the Quezon Memorial Circle but this request was thumbed down by the QC government prompting the organizers to hold the caravan on the streets of QC. And the supporters of both Marcos and Duterte turned out in large numbers which clogged the major thoroughfares in the city creating a traffic Armageddon.

By the time the QC government realized their error in judgment, it was too late. Administrative miscues such as this and the city’s earlier decision to build crematoriums instead of quarantine facilities, alleged overpricing in the purchase of face shields ayuda packs, heavily affected the public’s perception index of their incumbent mayor.

To recoup what it may have lost in terms of public opinion as a result of the glaring mismanagement of the traffic arrangements for the Unity Team Caravan and such other bloopers related to the city government’s handling of the pandemic, some enterprising supporters of the Mayor tried to negate the negative impact of the traffic Armageddon that the public blamed on the Belmonte Administration by making it appear that the mayor is in an alliance with the BBM-Sara Unity Team. This, however, did not sit well with the Quezon City residents, whom Malay said he believes has finally decided to put an end to the 30-year reign of the Belmontes who turned the city into a family fiefdom.

In the 2019 elections, Mayor Belmonte cornered about 54 percent of the 907,912 registered voters who voted out of the city’s 1.33 million voters. The city’s first district Congressman Bingbong Crisologo was the choice of 42.19% of those who actually voted. But while Crisologo was the people’s choice, his campaign was hampered by lack of funds especially during the end-game phase of the campaign.

Malay noted that the odds in this year’s mayoral elections in Quezon City seem to favor Defensor as he is running in tandem with one of the city’s accomplished political leaders – Winnie Castelo who currently leads incumbent Vice Mayor Gian Sotto by a whopping 27-percent margin. In the same pre-poll survey of Pulso ng Pilipino, Castelo was favored by 49 percent of those polled as against the 22 percent of Sotto.

Five of the big guns running for the city’s six congressional districts are allied with Defensor with only incumbent Congressman Bong Suntay of the city’s fourth district who is seeking a second term under the ticket of Belmonte and Sotto. But Suntay is facing stiff competition from Councilor Marvin Rillo who boasts of a very strong support from the masses on the ground.

In The Center’s survey, Suntay enjoys a slim three percent lead over Rillo, getting 39 percent over the councilor’s 36 percent.

Elsewhere in the city, Malayang Quezon City candidates appear headed for victory come may 9 except for District 5, which seems to be a neck and neck battle just like Suntay and Rillo in District 4.

In District 1, incumbent Congressman Anthony Peter “Onyx” Crisologo garnered 46 percent to actor Juan Carlos “Arjo” Atayde’s 23 percent; in District 2, incumbent Mari Grace Preciosa “Precious” Hipolito leads with 43 percent over Ralph Wendel “Ralph Raffy” Tulfo who got 25 percent;

In District 3, another incumbent congressman, Allan Benedict Reyes leads with 41 percent over Franz Pumaren with 25;

In District 5, Patrick Michael “PM” Vargas, brother of outgoing congressman, actor Alfred Vargas, holds a precarious two-point lead with 33 percent over businesswoman Rose Lin who got 31 percent.

Sources however say Vargas might actually pull away from Lin as the campaign heats up as the latter would have to deal with the controversial Pharmally issue. Lin was a former executive of the Pharmally Biological Company which was implicated in the multi-billion-peso face shield issue.

In District 6, Vincent “Bingbong” Crisologo will be looking to reclaim his seat as he leads Marivic co-Pilar, 43 percent to the latter’s 24 percent.

So, if this survey result can hold until the actual polls on May 9, Malayang Quezon City might be in for a really joyful but Joyless 2022. But then, they wouldn’t mind, would they? I don’t think they would even miss her.