Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista is considering a run for vice mayor in the 2019 mid-term elections.
City hall sources told Manila Standard Bautista is still studying his options, after previously being touted to run for a seat in the House of Representatives.
Asked if he would run for the position he’s held twice before, Bautista said: “I don’t know. The election is too far [to project things]. I [really] don’t know.”
“What’s the problem?” added “Bistek,” who was vice mayor under then-Mayor Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte from 2001 to 2010, and also from 1995 to 1998 under Mayor Ismael Mathay Jr.
Bautista, sources said, planned to seek a congressional seat against three-term District 3 Councilor Allan Benedict Reyes.
But the mayor “is now toying with the idea” of becoming vice mayor anew when the powerful Belmonte clan chose Reyes, not him, to join their slate for next year’s elections, one of the sources told the Standard.
The same source said Mike Defensor ―the former congressman, QC councilor and presidential spokesperson― might replace Bautista against Reyes for the District 3 House seat.
“I, along with Tito [Senate President Vicente Sotto], belong to the Nationalist People’s Coalition. I [really] don’t know. Any [position] the party would tell [me to seek],” he told the Standard.
“It could be Congress. I have been a vice mayor. I have never experienced Congress. Either or... All I know is Tito and I are a team,” Bautista told reporters.
Sotto’s son, three-term District 3 Councilor Gian Carlo Sotto, is the running mate of Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, who will try to succeed Bautista, in the 2019 elections.
Meanwhile, Bautista and Joy Belmonte have been recognized as outstanding education partners for their commitment to increase the quality education through local government efforts.
During the recent city’s 1st International Education Summit held at the Novotel Manila, Araneta Center, Bautista said: “To a large extent, Quezon City, our local government, has stepped in to lessen the burden of education on families especially among the poor, who have the most to gain from quality education to uplift their status in life.”
In the age of globalization, he said the local government and teachers must prepare students to perform according to “standards acceptable at other countries” so that jobseekers would not have to settle for the lowest job descriptions.
“We must work together to share and adopt lessons that can make more of our young people globally-prepared students,” he said.
“The challenge is how to raise the quality of education that is accessible to the poor so that education becomes their lever for a much better quality of life,” the mayor added.
Organized by the Schools Division Office, the international summit centered on the theme “Enhancing Education Quality Through Partnerships Towards an Integrated Association of Southeast Asian Nations.”
Belmonte was honored for her “exemplary dedication to the enactment of legislation that promotes the welfare of the children and youth of the city, the primary clientele of the education sector.”
As presiding officer of the city council, Belmonte led in the passing of several ordinances geared toward providing scholarships, improving the accessibility of educational facilities and materials, and providing financial support and other assistance to public school teachers.
“Together with my fellow awardees, we are deeply humbled and honored to receive this recognition. We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to the Schools Division Office for continuously supporting and placing your faith in us,” she said.
“The common proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child has never been more apparent with what you are witnessing today, especially with the set of awardees coming from different sectors from our community,” she added.