By MARIE-ALSIE G. PEÑARANDA
QUEZON – While a heated election is expected in Manila between former President Joseph Estrada and the incumbent mayor Alfredo Lim, Muntinlupa City and Taguig City in 2013, several mayors in Metro Manila led by Mayor Herbert Bautista of Quezon City, Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. of Makati City and Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. of Mandaluyong City have no serious opponents in the coming elections, thus are assured of easy victory.
Also without any strong threat are reelectionist Mayors Guia Gomez of San Juan City and Antolin Oreta III in Malabon City who is unopposed.
Former Senator Roberto Jaworski and popular actor and television host Vic Sotto, younger brother of Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto who was a former vice mayor of Quezon City, were earlier announced as possible mayoral candidates in Quezon City but they were a no-show during the filing of CoCs.
Only minor candidates, one of them is perennial candidate Romeo Acevedo, showed up to contest Mayor Bautista.
Mayor Gomez, mother of Rep. Joseph Victor Ejercito, a senatorial candidate of UNA, is being challenged by Reynaldo San Pascual Jr., a nephew of former Mayor San Pascual and Glenn Angeles, son of former Vice Mayor Pablo Angeles.
Records showed that it is the third time that Angeles is challenging Gomez, the last was in the 2010 elections when he got only 3,840 as against the 42,119 votes for the lady mayor.
Mayor Oreta is unopposed just like his late uncle Mayor Tito Oreta whom he replaced. The elder Oreta ran unchallenged in the 2007 and 2010 elections.
Lawyer Renato Bondal who ran but lost in the 2010 elections will challenge Makati Mayor Binay as a Nacionalista Party candidate with former Makati police officer Romulo Pena as runningmate for vice mayor.
Mayor Binay has picked city administrator Marjorie de Veyra for his vice mayor.
In Pasay City, it will be a three-cornered fight among reelectionist Mayor Antonino Calixto (LP), former mayor Wenceslao Trinidad (NP) and businessman George del Rosario.
In Muntinlupa City, it will be a return bout between reelectionist Mayor Aldrin San Pedro (UNA) and former mayor Jaime Fresnedi (LP).
In Marikina City, reelectionists Mayor Del De Guzman and Vice Mayor Jose Cadiz appeared to have no serious opponents as former Mayor Bayani Fernando did not file his CoC.
In Taguig City, it will also be a return bout between the Cayetanos and the Tingas. Reelectionist Mayor Lani Cayetano, wife of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, is challenged by Ma. Rebecca Tinga, eldest daughter of former Associate Justice Dante Tinga, who lost to Cayetano in the last mayoralty elections.
In Caloocan City, Councilor Ricojudge Echiverri, son of outgoing Nayor Enrico Echiverri, is running for mayor against businessman Joel Go and outgoing Rep. Oscar Malapitan.
Rep. Rex Gatchalian will run for mayor of Valenzuela City instead.. His brother, Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian, will run for congressman instead together with Councilor Soledad Shalani-Romulo.