A new ring for Hontiveros
FROM BASKETBALL TO POLITICS
Starting next week, basketball heart throb Dondon Hontiveros will have to juggle his time between basketball practices and political sorties.
Hontiveros is set to file his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for Cebu City south district councilor, tentatively on Monday, along with other aspirants from the local opposition group, Barug Team Rama-PDP Laban.
“Ug ako ang pangutan-on ganahan gyud ko mo tabang bisan ug dili pa ko mo dagan. But if naay chance, mas mo dako pud ang akong chance to help (If you were to ask me, I really want to help even if I will not seek an elective post. But If I were given a chance (to be in government), I will have a bigger chance to help),” he said in an interview with Cebu Daily News.
Hontiveros said that while he is well aware that his popularity from playing professional basketball does not guarantee victory in the elections, he is ready to try his luck anyway.
Should he win, Hontiveros said that he will focus on programs for sports and youth development.
If he loses, he said that he is still prepared to help the city government in any way he can.
Though born and raised in Barangay Basak Pardo, Hontiveros is a registered voter of Barangay Labangon where his family later lived.
Hontiveros was invited by both Barug Team Rama and the administration Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), the political party of Mayor Tomas Osmeña to join their respective slates in the 2019 elections.
Barug Councilors Raymond Alvin Garcia and former Calape Bohol mayor Ernest Herrera, who are fellow graduates of Don Bosco, Hontiveros’ high school alma matter, were the first to approach Hontiveros last year about a possible run.
Garcia and Herrera reportedly told him that he was “perfect for sports (development) with your experience and contact with corporate sponsors.”
A few months ago, BOPK candidate and University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters coach Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba also asked Hontiveros to join the BOPK slate.
When Hontiveros attended Mayor Osmeña’s birthday celebration last July, the mayor was said to have also asked him the question: “Can you run now?”
Hontiveros said that Osmeña is a friend because his grandfather, Osmundo Cabañes, was a security aide of the late Senator Sergio “Serging” Osmeña Jr., the mayor’s father.
Aside from Alcoseba — a colleague in the coaching staff of UC Webmasters where Hontiveros now works as a consultant — Hontiveros is also friends with BOPK Councilors Eugenio Gabuya Jr. and Gerry Guardo.
Hontiveros was initially hesitant to consider joining politics especially because he had active contracts in Manila.
But upon his return to Cebu City this year to work as a consultant for Webmasters, he began to consider the offers since he will be based here “for a long time,” he said.
Last week, Hontiveros announced to his immediate family members his plans to enter politics and convinced them to support him.
Hontiveros said he also told Alcoseba last week that he had made a decision to join Barug.
When they met yesterday morning during basketball practice, he again told Alcoseba that his decision was final.
“We continue to have mutual respect between us even if we are from different parties,” Hontiveros said.
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