LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—If there were any surprises on the last day of filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) in Southern Luzon it was the absence of challengers to some candidates.
Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, on his last term of office, is running unopposed as of the last day of filing of candidacies last Friday.
The same is true in the case of former Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal, who is running anew as mayor but with no challenger.
In a statement addressing himself to voters, Salceda said “winning is hard, thus (being) unopposed could only be the result of your support.”
Rosal, who is running anew as mayor, is the husband of Mayor Carmen Geraldine Rosal.
In Albay’s first district, lawyer Edcel “Grex” Lagman Jr., filed his COC as representative. He is a Quezon City councilor and the son of opposition Rep. Edcel Lagman, now on his last term in the same district.
Grex is the younger brother of Tabaco City Mayor Krisel Lagman Luistro. Krisel, a reelectionist on her last term, will face Marie Demetriou, wife of the late Tabaco City Mayor Alex Demetriou.
In the second district, reelectionist Rep. Al Francis Bichara of the Nationalista Party (NP) will be up against broadcast journalist Wally Magdato.
Former Solicitor General Anselmo Joel Cadiz, who withdrew his COC for representative of the third district in Camarines Sur, to give way to Leni Robredo, widow of former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, refiled his COC on Friday, but this time for governor of Camarines Sur under Liberal Party (LP).
Cadiz will be up against two Villafuertes—Rep. Luis R. Villafuerte of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) and Miguel Villafuerte of NP. Miguel is Luis’ grandson.
In Tiaong, Quezon, businessman Ramon Preza, operator of the small town lottery (STL) in Laguna, is running for mayor.
Preza, 57, filed his COC under LP on Friday while his older brother Rolando, Tiaong’s vice mayor, did not seek reelection.
In a phone interview on Saturday, Preza said he is willing to give up his STL franchise to focus on his campaign.
In Los Baños town, Mayor Anthony “Ton” Genuino is up against former Mayor Cesar Perez, and Frank Lapis, another former mayor.
Genuino is the son of former Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. Chair Ephraim Genuino, who has been charged with plunder.
In Marinduque, reelectionist Gov. Carmencita Reyes filed her COC under the LP. Maricar Cinco, Mar S. Arguelles, Romulo O. Ponte, Gerald Gene R. Querubin and Juan Escandor Jr., Inquirer Southern Luzon