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FACES OF THE NEWS: May 19, 2019

Arlene ‘Kaka’ Bag-ao, Isko Moreno, Romulo ‘Kid’ Peña, Nancy Binay, Ronald Cardema, Francis Zamora

Arlene ‘Kaka’ Bag-ao,     Isko Moreno,       Romulo ‘Kid’ Peña,     Nancy Binay,      Ronald Cardema,      Francis Zamora

Ronald Cardema

National Youth Commission (NYC) Chair Ronald Cardema again courted controversy when he applied to be the substitute nominee of the Duterte Youth party list in lieu of his wife.

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The Commission on Elections earlier said that the period for such application had lapsed, but on Saturday, it corrected itself and said that Cardema’s application was filed on May 12, still within the May 13 deadline.

The poll body said it was studying the application and will also look into the claims of poll watchdog Kontra Daya that Cardema did not resign his post at the NYC as required by law and had used government resources to campaign for the Duterte Youth party list.

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Romulo ‘Kid’ Peña

His win over former Vice President Jejomar Binay may have been a surprise to most people, but Makati City Representative-elect Romulo “Kid” Peña was confident he would get the post.

He had 6,000 more votes than his rival despite the Makati patriarch having the backing of his warring children, the blessing of Iglesia ni Cristo and his 30-year political experience.

“I expected to win, with even a wider margin,” the 50-year-old Peña said.

Unlike most candidates escorted by a showy motorcade, he went house-to-house in the city, carrying a hand-painted placard.

He worked as a fast-food crew member and pizza delivery man before entering politics.

Isko Moreno

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It was just like the movies.

Isko Moreno, who used to be a garbage scavenger, had won over action star Erap Estrada and Alfredo Lim in Manila’s 2019 mayoral race.

It was a showdown between the old guards and the young Turk.

No one believed it could happen since Estrada, who has been in politics for 50 years, was seen as a force to reckon with. Lim, as a former Manila mayor, has his own following.

But the 44-year-old Moreno has youth, show biz exposure and a movie-worthy life story to back him up.

In his victory speech, Moreno vowed not to follow in the footsteps of his elders who were not from the city after all.

Francis Zamora

The Ejercito-Estrada clan may be synonymous with San Juan, the city it has dominated since 1969, but third-generation politician Janella Ejercito Estrada was roundly defeated on Monday by Francis Zamora, a former vice mayor and city councilor.

The fight was expected to be tight, but Zamora easily dispatched his rival, earning 35,060 votes against Estrada’s 24,813.

“This is the change we have long been waiting for,” a visibly giddy Zamora told reporters. “The people of San Juan have spoken. They want to change the system.”

This wasn’t his first tangle with the Estrada clan. Zamora had run, and lost, against Mayor Guia Gomez in 2016.

Arlene ‘Kaka’ Bag-ao

Human rights lawyer Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao has once again proven that she deserves her reputation as a “dragon slayer,” defeating another scion of the Ecleo clan, the demigods of Dinagat Islands.

Her win over Benglen Ecleo, son of outgoing Gov. Glenda Ecleo, in last Monday’s midterm elections, was the third time an Ecleo lost to this 49-year-old from Loreto town.

Bag-ao also defied all odds by running under the opposition Liberal Party (LP), the only LP candidate to run for governor in northeastern Mindanao.

Benglen ran under President Duterte’s PDP-Laban.

Bag-ao is currently on her second term as representative of Dinagat’s lone district.

Nancy Binay

During her first foray into politics in 2013, Sen. Nancy Binay was a shoo-in, her father Vice President Jejomar Binay’s name handily giving her a comfortable slot in the Magic 12 circle.

In this year’s midterm elections, she is suddenly in alien territory as she clings to the 12th and last spot in the senatorial slate.

To make matters worse, she is up against her close family friend and political ally, fellow reelectionist Sen. JV Ejercito, who is trailing her by less than 300,000 votes in the latest partial and unofficial vote tally.

With her Senate return still uncertain, Binay also has to contend with another pressing issue — the acrimonious and very public political feud in her family.

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TAGS: Arlene Bag-ao, Faces of the News, Francis Zamora, Isko Moreno, Kaka-Bag-ao, Kid Peña, Nancy Binay, Romulo Peña, Ronald Cardema
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