Kung ang kampo ni Mayora Joy ang tatanungin, SIGURADO na raw sila sa tagumpay sa Mayo, 2022. LANDSLIDE pa nga ang sinasabi nila. Batay daw sa mga survey results na nakukuha nila, walang kadudaduda ang pagwawagi. Eka nga, let’s drink to that. Bakit pa magkakaroon ng halalan, sayang ang ang gagastusin para sa kampanya? Pero sa loob ng kanilang opisina, PANIC MODE na sila sapagkat palakas ng palakas ang suporta para sa kalabang Defensor Castelo. Bagamat ang Pamilyang Belmonte ay maraming nakapwesto sa Kyusi, ang pinagsanib na bilang ng barkadahang Defensor, Castelo at Crisologo ay papantay sa numero ng nakaupo at mas matibay ang ugat sa mga mamamayan. Kaunti nalang magkakaalaman na sa Quezon City. Kapag natalo si Mayora, MALALAGAS na rin ang ibang mga kamaganak pa nito na nakapwesto (bilang mga konsehal, wala na silang congressman matapos itong Halalan 2022) sapagkat sa mga susunod pang halalan wala nang makakatumbas pa sa matandang SB (Sonny Belmonte, ang sikat na tatay). Palpak ang anak na si Joy. Hindi kinayang pamunuan ang lungsod. Nilaglag ang mga dating nagsilbi sa ama. Pasaway. Mataray. Spoiled brat kasi. Minana lang ang pwesto, puro fumble pa. Hindi kasi dumaan sa hirap ng pagoorganisa, pakikipaglaro sa pulitika, pakikisalamuha sa masa at pagpapasalamat sa mga tagasuporta.
The Belmonte family has been the dominant force in Quezon City politics for the past 30 years when the patriarch Sonny Belmonte, SB for short, started out as a three term district (QC 4th, 1992 – 2001) congressman, then shifted (due to term limits) to run and win as Quezon City mayor, again for the maximum three consecutive terms (2001 – 2010) and went back to the House of Representatives (2010 – 2019). All through these years Belmonte relatives were and still are active in various capacities – district congressmen, city councilors and even as party list representative running under the Belmonte dynasty controlled SB (what else?) party.
The top position in Quezon City is that of mayor, that SB held for nine years. When his vice mayor Bistek Bautista ran for mayor, SB’s daughter was fielded to run for vice mayor. Both won, as expected. In Quezon City, SB is the master political strategist forming alliances ensuring victory even before the votes are cast. In 2019, after the Bistek Joy tandem had served out their own three consecutive terms, Joy ran and won as mayor. Unfortunately, the daughter did not inherit the political savvy of the father. SB had to work his way to the top and relied on many allies and horse trading to achieve his victories (he was House Speaker for many years). Joy got her plum position on a silver platter being the daughter of SB, thus inheriting the city chief executive crown. In true dynastic fashion, a multitude of relatives occupy elective and appointive positions. Politics is truly a family business.
The pandemic really brought out the worst in the new mayor (at the same time that other first term mayors in Manila, Pasig and San Juan were creating waves in initiatives, creativity, efficiency and performance in public service). Patented temper tantrums mark the rule of the possessed woman. As she now runs for her second term, a confluence of events makes her re-election a lot more difficult. Bong Bong Marcos is leading all presidential surveys. He is running under the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas. Ironically, prior to BBM’s sudden entry into that obscure national political party, Joy Belmonte was the NCR Chairperson of PFP. In a sudden twist of events, BBM endorsed Congressman Mike Defensor as the PFP standard bearer for Quezon City. Quezon City is a major BBM bailiwick and his anointed one for Quezon City will sway multitudes of voters to the Defensor side. Kingpins Bingbong Crisologo and Winnie Castelo (who has his own QC dynasty) are in the Defensor ticket.
Dynasties, sooner or later, end. Aside from Joy there are still relatives running for local office and they may still win a number of positions. In 2019, the Belmontes lost a councilor seat in District 1. Their SB party list nominees also failed to land a seat (up to a maximum of three per party list) thus giving up the seat they previously held. Should Joy lose as mayor in 2022, it would be the equivalent of a dynastic decapitation as she currently holds the highest elective position among the Belmontes. It could break the heart of the aging patriarch, SB, who built an empire only to see it crumble but he only has his daughter to blame.