With the mayoral and congressional races in Malabon City being no-contest affairs, the only apparent source of thrill for the voters in the local elections would be the balloting for the next vice mayor.
That, plus the sexy (if not risque) entertainment numbers that marked the proclamation rally of “Team Malabon (TM)” Monday night.
TM, the only local ticket in the city with a complete slate, is led by the unchallenged Mayor Antolin “Lenlen” Oreta III and Rep. Josephine Veronique “Jaye” Lacson-Noel.
Its vice mayoral candidate is Councilor Edwin Dimagiba, who faces three opponents: Paulo Oreta, the mayor’s cousin who is running as an independent; Jeannie Sandoval of the United Nationalist Alliance; and incumbent Vice Mayor Diosdado Cunanan, also an independent.
During the six-hour proclamation rally held in front of the City Hall, Team Malabon candidates from Oreta to the council contenders spent more time onstage endorsing Dimagiba than talking about their own platforms.
TM is made up of local leaders from the Liberal Party, Nationalist People’s Coalition and Nacionalista Party.
Dimagiba said his election as vice mayor would give continuity to the current administration’s projects and allow him to pursue a housing program for the city’s informal settlers numbering about 4,000 families.
With the stage occupied by mostly sure-win candidates, it was mostly left to the entertainers to keep the audience glued to the program.
They included stand-up gay comedians, singers, actors—and the biggest crowd-pleaser, The Playgirls.
The curvy, female trio went onstage in skimpy shorts and tank tops. Aside from doing sexy dance numbers, they also hosted parlor games where they picked male participants from the audience.
In one game done to the popular dance tune “Harlem Shake,” the men ended up being stripped of their shirts, drawing wild cheers from the crowd.
Later, one of the Playgirls teasingly asked a man to play a game with her called “Touch My Body,” which was done to the tune of a Mariah Carey song of the same title.
Asked on Wednesday whether such suggestive sideshows used to spice up political gatherings violate any campaign rules, Commission on Elections spokesperson James Jimenez said: “As far as the Comelec is concerned, it’s not a violation of any election law.”
“But it may be viewed differently by other people or groups like the Commission on Human Rights, for example, if those involved end up being publicly humiliated. But officially, we don’t see it as a violation of election rules,” Jimenez added. With a report from Tina G. Santos