Parañaque City Mayor Gus Tambunting?

Less than a year from now, the next elections for Philippine President, Vice President, Senators, House of Representative members, Governors, Vice-Governors, Provincial Board members, Mayors, Vice Mayors and City Councilors will happen. When exactly next year? May 9, 2022 to be precise as written in COMELEC’s Resolution Number 10695.

In relation to future elections, it has been reported through the Manila Standard, the Manila Times and Business Mirror that RP- Mission and Development Foundation Inc. released the results of a recent study titled “NCR Mayor: Pulso ng Bayan 2022” which is about the voters’ preference for mayor (of their locality) within the National Capital Region (NCR) in relation to the 2022 elections. According to the poll organizers, their study was conducted from May 20 to 30, 2021 with feedback from 5,000 respondents.

When it comes to cities here in South Metro Manila, their study on the City of Parañaque showed that 50% of respondents prefer former Congressman Gus Tambunting as the next Mayor, and he is way ahead of incumbent Congressman Eric Olivarez (the brother of incumbent Mayor Edwin Olivarez who is now serving his third and final term).

To be very specific and clear, below is an excerpt about Parañaque City as written in the study itself. Some parts in boldface…

While in Parañaque City, outgoing Mayor Edwin Olivarez’s brother Eric Olivarez who is currently Congressman will run as the next Mayor who achieved as 35-percentage result against former Congressman Gustavo “Gus” Tambunting who received a 50-percentage count.

For transparency, posted below are the two pages of the study sourced from RP- Mission and Development Foundation Inc.

Page 1
Page 2

Going back to the study, it’s hard to say if the results about Parañaque can be taken seriously even though it has been publicized through a number of national publications. Apart from listing only two candidates, there is no telling as to how many of the alleged 5,000 respondents were from Parañaque who supposedly participated.

The way it has been presented, it shows a 2-way fight for the mayoralty of Parañaque between Congressman Eric Olivarez and former Congressman Gus Tambunting. The latter leading by fifteen points.

To give the constituents of Parañaque a clearer view as to who they prefer to be the new Mayor in 2022, it would be helpful if the survey organizers would conduct another study and include more potential candidates and be more transparent with regards to respondents’ being from Parañaque. Imagine for example, as the deadline for the filing of candidacies at the COMELEC approaches, one of the barangay captains in the city decides to run for Mayor. Or what if former Mayor Florencio “Jun” Bernabe decides to run again? The organizers of the survey should do more studies in the months to come so that voters of Parañaque can get a clearer look at the potential battle for the mayoralty.

Who is Gus Tambunting?

For the newcomers reading this as well as those who are not too familiar with former Congressman Gus Tambunting and the history of Parañaque, Tambunting is the grandson of the late classic actress Mila del Sol.

With regards to public service, Tambunting has an enduring track record of election victories and public service in the form of legislation and projects. When Parañaque was still a municipality (note: it became a city in early 1998), he ran in the 1988 local election (the first local contest after the People Power Revolution of 1986) and won a seat for Municipal Council.

After serving the people of Parañaque, Tambunting went on to get re-elected as Councilor in 1992, 1995, and then as City Councilor 2001 and 2004. In 2007, he went higher as he got elected as Vice Mayor of Parañaque and got re-elected in 2010.

In 2013, Tambunting went even higher after getting elected as the Representative of the 2nd District of Parañaque City in the House of Representatives. In 2016, he survived an election challenge by former Congressman Roilo Golez winning a 2nd term with a lead of a little over 3,000 votes.

In 2019, he stepped down which paved the way for his wife Joy Tambunting to run and win the 2nd District seat he previously occupied in representing the city in Congress.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are registered voter of Parañaque, would you be voting for Eric Olivarez or Gus Tambunting for Mayor if the 2022 local elections were held today? Do you find the Parañaque results of the study by RP- Mission and Development Foundation Inc. credible or interesting or pointless?

Other than Eric Olivarez and Gus Tambunting, who else in Parañaque City do you prefer to become the new Mayor?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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My Observations: Former Parañaque City Mayor Bernabe Turned 71 With Big Party

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Former Parañaque City Mayor Florencio “Jun” Bernabe turned 71 and he is still in good health.

On the evening of February 5, I attended and observed the big-time birthday party of former Parañaque City Mayor Florencio “Jun” Bernabe who turned 71 and he showed no signs of slowing down.

The party was held at the multi-purpose facilities of Tahanan Village in Parañaque City which attracted some thousands of guests that include villagers (including those from BF Homes subdivision), business owners/managers, politicians, government workers and the like.

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The many guests dining and waiting in line for meals and drinks at Tahanan Village.

Bernabe did not just celebrate his birthday. He is also running for Mayor in the May 2019 local elections and this explains why his teammates were present during the party such as his running-mate Jeremy Marquez (former Barangay BF Homes chairman) and the many candidates running for seats in District 1 and District 2 of the City Council of Parañaque.

To put things in perspective for those who are not familiar with Bernabe, he comes from a family that has a long history of public service in the history of Parañaque. Jun Bernabe first entered politics in 1998 and served as City Vice Mayor for six years (1998-2004). Then he served as City Mayor for three straight terms (note: 1 term is 3 years) from 2004 to 2013.

During his time as Mayor, Bernabe launched several city projects that not only helped the development of the city but also did so while following national laws. His administration won several awards and citations that are too many to list down in this post. Unlike recent times, Parañaque under his leadership was found to be very competitive with other cities.

What is most notable is the fact that Mayor Bernabe was named as Outstanding Mayor in 2006 with attention paid to his leadership, fiscal management and administrative style that boosted the locality’s finances through efficient tax collection. That award was won during his first term as mayor and so it was no surprise that he went on to get re-elected to serve the maximum of 3 consecutive terms.

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Bernabe with Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos on stage. She supports his bid for Mayor, he supports her bid for Senator.

Back to the birthday party, Ilocos Norte Governor and candidate for Senator Imee Marcos arrived big time and was warmly received by Bernabe and the guests. This was the first I ever saw a Marcos in person.  She expressed her support for Bernabe’s candidacy and the mayor returned the favor to support her run for the Philippine Senate. Here in the Philippines, voters nationwide get to vote for candidates for the Senate.

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Former Senator Pia Cayetano expressed her admiration for Bernabe.

Shortly after, former Senator (and current Congresswoman) Pia Cayetano arrived at the party and was warmly received. Like Marcos, she expressed her support for Bernabe and expressed her family’s connection with Parañaque. She is running again for Senator this May.

Finally, I can confirm that the party was very lively. Guests reached out to the public servants and some celebrities. The band hired played very lively music and there was a special presentation celebrating Mayor Bernabe’s birthday.

Can Bernabe and his election team win big this May to change the tone at Parañaque City Hall? We will find out soon enough.

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