The camps of Tagbilaran City Mayor Baba Yap and Vice Mayor Toto Veloso have started discussions in a bid to reconcile their plans for the 2022 elections, a move that would determine if the two groups will set out on a collision course or continue their six-year alliance.
Both political bigwigs in the city are on their last terms with Yap reportedly bent on fielding his wife Jane as their group’s standard bearer and with Veloso seeking to run for the mayoral seat himself.
The opening of the discussions between both camps was confirmed Wednesday by Vice Governor Rene Relampagos, whose Padayon Bol-anon group was the umbrella coalition of both Yap and Veloso during the last elections.
“Ongoing ang discussions between the camp of Mayor Baba and his family and likewise with the camp of Vice Mayor Toto Veloso and his group mahitungod aning ilang mga plano ug mga damgo,” said Relampagos.
The vice governor noted that Veloso wants to move up as mayor after serving as vice mayor for nine years with majority of the period spent as Yap’s ally, particularly when their unification was sealed in 2016.
“Sa case ni city Vice Mayor Toto Veloso nga kung mahimo ma-consider pud siya na mahagan siya og opportunity na siya’y maka dagan tungod kay for him, he has always been supportive of the unification of the city and the administration of Mayor Baba,” said Relampagos.
On the other hand, Baba’s group has expressed their intention to have Jane run for mayor.
“They would like kung mahimo matabangan or masuportahan ang iyang asawa, si Jane maoy mahimong standard bearer sa grupo sa umaabot na pinili-ay sa sunod tuig,” the vice governor added.
With the filing of certificates of candidacy still more than six months away, Relampagos is optimistic that both camps will sort out the issue.
Relampagos however clarified that both Jane and Veloso have yet to officially declare their candidacies as both camps have merely made their intentions known to the group.
Meanwhile, it is widely believed that the decisions of Veloso and the Yaps for their political plans will have a ripple effect that would reach the provincial level during the 2022 polls. (R. Tutas)