BACOLOD CITY—Businesswoman Grace Ibuna may run for the House seat that was vacated with the death of her long time partner, Rep. Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo, who passed away on Jan. 26.
Ibuna, after her well publicized fight with Arroyo’s estranged wife over the funeral arrangements for the late congressman, said she would throw her hat into the congressional ring in a special election on June 2 if her candidate, Binalbagan Mayor Alejandro Mirasol, decided not to run.
“I don’t want to run but if it’s my destiny and my calling, I’ll abide by it. I am only for the welfare of the people of the fifth district who showed so much love for Iggy—that will never leave my heart,” said Ibuna, a registered voter in Hacienda Grande Robles, La Castellana, Negros Occidental.
Mirasol of the United Negros Alliance is widely seen as the Aquino administration’s candidate for the special elections. UNA is currently chaired by Gov. Alfredo Maranon Jr.
Mirasol’s possible rival in the alliance is his nephew, Board Member Emilio Yulo III, who has announced his plan to run for the vacant congressional seat.
“I will definitely run, unless stopped by divine intervention,” said Yulo.
The fifth district is composed of Himamaylan City and the towns of Binalbagan, Hinigaran, Isabela, La Castellana and Moises Padilla.
Aside from Mirasol, another reported UNA aspirant for the congressional seat is Board Member Melvin Ibañez.
The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), however, urged Congress to cancel the special poll and just wait for the regular midterm elections in 2013.
In a statement, the PPCRV said the special election for the replacement of Iggy Arroyo scheduled in June would be a “total waste” of public funds because it comes less than a year before the regular midterm elections. The special poll would cost the public around P30 million, the poll watchdog said.
The PPCRV also noted that the filing of the certificates of candidacy for the 2013 elections would take place from Oct. 1 to Oct. 5, or “barely four months” after the scheduled special elections.
“It is highly unconscionable, impractical and senseless to hold elections for the position left vacant by the death of Rep. Iggy Arroyo. The PPCRV sees no public good or service for such special elections.”
“The position, power and other perks that go with a congressional seat could just be used to promote the campaign of the one elected. A total waste,” the group said.
The PPCRV also pointed out that the ban on public works projects will begin in February 2013 “so that whoever wins in the June 2 special election cannot implement or even contract for any public works project that will benefit his or her constituents.” Philip C. Tubeza