By Mark Francisco
CALLING the Emano administration as a dictatorship and branding the slate of mayoral bet and outgoing Gov. Oscar Moreno as an oligarchy, independent mayoral candidate Elmer Francisco yesterday said he was confident that Cagayanon voters would bring him to the city’s top public post this June.
DIRTY FINGER. Young partisans taunt and give supporters of a rival party the dirty finger near the Xavier University gym where reelectionist Mayor Vicente Emano and Gov. Oscar Moreno faced off on Tuesday afternoon. (photo by JB Deveza)
DIRTY FINGER. Young partisans taunt and give supporters of a rival party the dirty finger near the Xavier University gym where reelectionist Mayor Vicente Emano and Gov. Oscar Moreno faced off on Tuesday afternoon. (photo by JB Deveza)
Francisco said this even as he expressed disappointment over XavierUniversity’s decision to exclude him from the list of mayoral candidates during a face-off last Tuesday.
Francisco expressed dismay that some people have belittled his candidacy and accused him of being fielded by Emano as a “Trojan Horse” against Moreno.
“It has been proven in Philippine history that an underdog can win in local politics. Look at Fr. Panlilio in Pampanga. Look at Gov. Padaca in Isabela,”  said Francisco, referring to Fr. Eddie Panlilio’s successful quest for governor in 2007 over the well-entrenched Lapid and Pineda families and former Isabela governor and now Elections Commissioner Grace Padaca’s victory at that time over the Dys.
Francisco lashed out at organizers of the Xavier face-off, saying he should not have been sent a letter of “uninvitation” if he were not invited in the first place.
“If I am not part of their show, then why send me a letter uninviting me to the event?” he said, showing a copy of a May 2 letter from Xavier.
In the letter, Xavier  vice president for research and social outreach Dr. Hilly Ann Quiaoit informed Francisco that organizers decided that the face-off would only be between the top two mayoral candidates.
There were other mayoral candidates. They are Jasper Uy, Lawrence Edgard del Puerto and Sulpicio Illana.
Uy, who is not mounting a massive campaign, was ranked far third in the survey conducted last April by the university’s KinaadmanResearchCenter. Uy garnered 0.50 percent in the survey while Francisco who got only 0.25 percent.
Francisco, who claimed to have mounted a massive leaflet-distribution and handshaking campaign in the city’s 80 barangays, said he doubted the credibility of the Kinaadman survey.
“Who did they interview? Did they interview the lowly people, the masses? No!” Francisco blurted out.
KinaadmanResearchCenter’s Dr. Astrid Sinco earlier maintained that the Center followed strict scientific methods.
There was no fresh comment from XavierUniversity as calls to Quiaoit’s office were not returned as of presstime.
Francisco strongly denied that he is a pseudo-candidate out to divide the Cagayan de Oro votes. He said the last time he spoke with Emano was in 2011. He said he merely introduced an investor to the mayor.
Francisco said he decided to seek the mayoral post because of his personal convictions.
Francisco called Emano a dictator and accused the mayor’s candidates for city council seats as yes-men.
He also called Moreno and the candidates under the governor’s ticket as oligarchs who represent only their own interests and not the people’s.
(Editor’s note:The author, Mark Francisco, is not in any way related to mayoral candidate Elmer Francisco.)

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