The talks are getting stronger and stronger. It looks like there will be four (or even more!) candidates for the Valencia City mayoralty post next year during the May 2010 national elections. It will be one major, busy campaign year for the candidates and for the people of Valencia City, Bukidnon then. During the last election, it was a fight between controversial former Mayor Jose Galario, Jr. and incumbent Valencia City Mayor Leandro Catarata. Catarata was a Vice Mayor then and enjoyed the heavy political backing of incumbent Bukidnon Gov. Jose Zubiri, Jr.
This time around, it looks like Catarata will not only face Galario once again but two of his party-mates, incumbent City Councilors Dr. Almer Alfonso, Sr. and Cleofe Mabao. And if you ask people in Valencia City who are “in the know,” they say that Mabao and Alfonso will definitely be forces to reckon with.
Alfonso served as an undefeated councilor of the then municipality of Valencia. When Bukidnon’s largest town became a city, he also successfully garnered a seat in the council. Although he did try running for mayor before and lost, I guess fate just wanted him to do well as councilor first. Dr. Alfonso got a good number of votes in the last election and I guess he now feels that he’s ready to vie for the mayoralty post once again.
Mabao, meanwhile, is a neophyte councilor…but definitely not a neophyte in local business. Best known for her many restaurants, farms and other business ventures, Councilor Mabao is known to be Catarata’s (and Galario’s for that matter) “strongest political foe” come 2010. She’s married to former Valencia City Councilor Atty. Eliezer Mabao and these days, people say that she heavily enjoys support from fellow incumbent councilors. In fact, a prominent personality in Valencia City has confirmed to Bukidnon Online that Mabao may just be the silent yet formidable force that will shock the people of Valencia as soon as campaign season begins.
So where does this leave Catarata? Will he still manage to have himself re-elected?
WHAT DO YOU THINK?