It appears that a “unity ticket” is taking shape in Toboso, Negros Occidental, for the May 2022 local elections as Madonnah Marañon-Jaojoco, the current town first lady, is being endorsed by majority of the barangay leaders as their next mayor.
In a surprise twist, the same barangay leaders are batting for Ma. Luisa de la Cruz, former ABC president and three-time rival of incumbent Mayor Richard Jaojoco, as vice mayor of Madonnah, niece of the late Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr.
Madonnah, a nurse by profession, is political newcomer but is no stranger to public service as she has been actively supporting her husband’s health and wellness advocacies as well as programs on women, children and depressed communities.
She studied at St. Scholastica’s Academy in her elementary and secondary years and finished her nursing studies in the United States, her husband, Mayor Jaojoco, said.
“M (Madonnah) and M (Maling) is a very sweet tandem. It’s an unbeatable team up to pave the way for Toboso’s continued advancement,” the townsfolk said.
De la Cruz was Jaojoco’s rival during his first and second terms. She then ran as vice mayor to former Mayor Evello “Dodong” Valencia and lost for the third time in 2019.
“We are still 11 months away from the local elections but this recent development is a welcome surprise. Unity is key to the town’s progress,” said Jaojoco, who dominated in seven out of nine barangays in previous polls.
The bailiwick villages of Jaojoco are Gen. Luna, Salamanca, Tabun-ac, San Jose, Bandila, Magticol, Bug-ang, where most of the town’s 29,000 voters reside.
De la Cruz’s political base are in Barangay Poblacion and Bsrangay San Isidro.
This simply means that if Valencia decides to challenge the Jaojoco-de la Cruz tandem, he will be faced with some rough sailings, the incumbent mayor added.*