Rufus lashes at Oca
By Mark D. Francisco, Staff member
CAGAYAN de Oro City––A fiery speech and a symbolic, but catchy gesture launched the candidacy of Rep. Rufus Rodriguez as mayor of Cagayan de Oro last Saturday.
During the debut convention of the neophyte Centrist Democratic Party (CDP) at Nazareth gymnasium where his sister is the barangay chair, Rodriguez was nominated by the party’s more than 3,000 attendees in a mere formality.
Rodriguez had announced his intention to run for mayor three weeks ago.
After accepting the nomination from the party he created in 2013, Rodriguez immediately rallied the captive audience to catapult the party’s whole local slate in the May 2016 elections.
“The current administration has not done anything to serve its constituents because it is in a deadlock with the City Council majority. Never again will we allow that in 2016,” he said to the cheers of the crowd who waved flaglets bearing the words “Rufus 2016” and “Team Rodriguez.”
To compound his point, Rodriguez snatched a twig of malunggay leaves and removed all of them, saying, “Laroson nato karon tanan gikan sa mayor, vice mayor, mga congressman ug miyembro sa City Council. We will serve the Cagayanons the best way possible, not some mediocre ibalik sa katawhan nga taman ra sa istorya.” Rodriguez was referring to the mantra used by Mayor Oscar Moreno during his three-year term.
Rodriguez then unveiled the programs that he intends to do if elected: to nationalize the JR Borja General Hospital, to create two more hospitals in barangays Lumbia and Tablon, to create the Cagayan de Oro City Public College, to provide health insurance to private security guards so they could assist in crime prevention and to create a city-wide drainage system.
During the convention, the rest of the candidates were also nominated. They are the following: Roger Abaday for vice mayor, reelectionist first district Rep. Rolando Uy, outgoing Abamin Rep. Maximo Rodriguez Jr. for second district congressman; and Roy Hilario Raagas, Narcissius Tan, Elmer dela Rosa, Roque Marban, Dures Fe Tagayuna, Meneleo Navarro, Gil Banaag and Alejandro Abellera (first district councilors); and Teodulfo Lao, Enrico Salcedo, Omar Labuntog, Aaron Neri, James Judith II, Adonis Arc Gumahad and Tito Alex Besinga (second district councilors).
Three weeks ago, Rodriguez ditched his alliance with Moreno and announced his own candidacy.