The League of Municipalities of the Philippines – Bohol usually makes the headlines only during its election period, as any ado related to the group dies down after its leaders are chosen. But for Governor Arthur Yap, the election of his ally Dauis Mayor Miriam Sumaylo as LMP president is a catalyst for unity among the 47 municipal mayors of the province.
“I sense a spirit of excitement, a spirit of unity. What Miriam was able to do to get votes from both sides of the fence is not a small feat,” said Yap who is allied with Sumaylo through the Padayon Bol-anon coalition.
Sumaylo during the LMP’s elections on Friday won a landslide victory over lone opposing candidate San Miguel Mayor Virgilio Mendez—a feat that even Sumaylo said was “unexpected,” considering that more mayors were known to be allied with defeated gubernatorial bet Leoncio Evasco’s Tinuod Bol-anon coalition which Mendez is a part of.
Sumaylo garnered 35 votes over Mendez’ 11 votes.
Yap, in front of 45 of Bohol’s 47 municipal mayors, appealed to Sumaylo to bridge the gap between mayors from the two major political coalitions, which clashed in the May 2019 midterm polls, for the province’s development.
“I am taking it as a signal that Miriam you will be a strong partner of the provincial government in bringing everybody together. If you think ma’am that you just won the LMP, it’s one line in your resume, that’s not it. My idea for you, really, is to bring all the mayors together,” said Yap.
According to Yap, his administration is seeking to invest in municipalities to spur inclusive growth in the province regardless of their mayors’ political affiliations during the May elections.
The governor bared one of his plans to develop the ports of Getafe in the north and Jagna in the south to establish a nautical highway which can boost economic activity in the municipalities. Chief executives of both towns, Getafe Mayor Casey Camacho and Jagna Mayor Joseph Rañola, ran under the Tinuod Bol-anon coalition.
“I sense you want to work, you want to bring progress to your municipalities. It is the same message I give to you today. The provincial government is willing to work and cross party lines to bring development into your municipalities,” said Yap, addressing all of the mayors present during the LMP elections.
All municipal mayors were able to vote and were present during the elections at the Bohol Tropics Resort in Tagbilaran City except for Panglao Mayor Leonila Montero and Pilar Mayor Necitas Cubrado who are both serving suspensions.
The towns’ vice mayors, Panglao acting Mayor Brian Velasco and Pilar Acting Mayor Eugene Datahan, attended the elections but were not allowed to vote as per LMP rules.