Last-term Tagbilaran City Vice Mayor Toto Veloso on Friday reaffirmed his mayoral bid, countering speculations that he was willing to slide down to run as councilor.
According to Veloso, he will be fielding a complete slate in the 2022 elections with Councilor Dodong Gonzaga as his running mate.
“Pag-erase lang aning mga balita na sige’g gawas na mo dagan nalang ta’g konsehal and di ta mo dayon…We have finally decided to run as mayor and vice mayor next year and we will have a complete lineup. Dugay naman ni that we’ve decided, and we made this decision with the consultation pud sa atong mga leaders sa barangay,” Veloso said.
Veloso’s mayoral bid places him on a collision course with Jane Yap, the wife of last-term Mayor Baba Yap who is widely projected to run for the city’s top post.
This also potentially ends the six-year alliance of Baba and Veloso, who both ran under the Padayon Bol-anon coalition of Governor Arthur Yap in the 2019 elections.
Padayon Bol-anon has yet to announce its slate for Tagbilaran City, but Veloso noted that he will still be running for mayor regardless of the coalition’s decision on which candidate it will carry on its ticket.
“I believe kahibaw na man gud sila sa among baruganan so this will not change whether mo tawag or unsa, as we made our decision already with Attorney Gonzaga,” said Veloso.
“Diha na may mga series of meetings with them so depende nana nila, ang grupo sa Padayon Bol-anon but again, we will focus on Tagbilaran kay ang among tumong is to serve the people of the city,” he added.
Veloso is the brother-in-law of First District Rep. Edgar Chatto who is one of the pillars of Padayon Bol-anon, while Baba is a staunch ally of Arthur.
Veloso believes that it is his time to move up as mayor after serving as vice mayor for nine years with majority of the period spent as Baba’s ally, particularly after their unification was sealed in 2016.
“For all these past years, we have been supporting the administration diri sa city, wa man ta moingon na gababagbabag ta, all the programs and mga activities sa syudad, gisuportahan gyud na nato,” said Veloso.
In March this year, Padayon Bol-anon mediated in the brewing clash between both camps in a bid to reconcile their plans for the 2022 elections.
Vice Governor Rene Relampagos who is also part of the Padayon Bol-anon coalition then announced that the camps of Baba and Veloso opened discussions.
At the time, Relampagos had expressed optimism that Baba and Veloso would be able to reach an agreement. (A. Doydora)