Quezon City mayor switches party again, bolts LP
After seven years with the Liberal Party (LP), Quezon City Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista returned to the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) in an apparent preparation for the 2019 congressional elections.
Bautista, who has served Quezon City in various capacities for 22 years, took his membership oath before NPC chair emeritus Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. last month but did not announce the move.
City information officer Ares Gutierrez said Bautista “did not even want to announce” the move because he “wants to stay apolitical as he winds up his term.”
Bautista, who is on this third and final term as mayor, was originally with NPC in 1992 to 1994 when he was elected city councilor.
In 1995, he jumped to Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino and won as vice mayor.
When he ran for mayor in 1998, he lost to Ismael Mathay Jr., but he made a landslide return in 2010 when he ran for mayor under the LP, the party of former Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., who had also served as Quezon City mayor.
Belmonte’s daughter, Joy Belmonte, also won her current post as an LP, but moved to the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) last May.
In a previous interview with the Inquirer, she said she changed her party affiliation because she found herself aligned with the PDP-Laban’s advocacies, including a shift to federalism.
Belmonte took her oath with Councilor Gian Carlo Sotto, son of Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, who had also served as Quezon City vice mayor.
Both Belmonte and Sotto — who also came from the rapidly shrinking LP — have expressed their intent to run for mayor and vice mayor, respectively, in 2019.