NAGA CITY—While the Liberal Party (LP) lagged behind in terms of number of district and provincial bets among the three dominant contending parties in Camarines Sur, it tops in the number of bets running for mayor under its banner.
There are 26 LP mayoral candidates while both the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) and Nacionalista Party (NP) have 22 mayor bets each for city and town mayors spread in the five districts of Camarines Sur, records from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) showed.
The province has 35 towns, one component city and one independent chartered city of Camarines Sur.
In Naga City, LP carries the advantage of an incumbent with Mayor John Bongat running against two independent candidates. Elsewhere in the third district, where Naga City belongs, LP has six mayoral bets against the same number that of NPC. NP has five mayoral bets in the seven-town, one city third District where Leni Robredo (LP), widow of the late Jesse M. Robredo, is running against Nelly Villafuerte (NPC), wife of Rep. Luis R. Villafuerte, in the congressional race.
Four incumbent mayors running for reelection belong to the NPC’s ticket of Nelly Villafuerte while Bongat is the only reelectionist on Robredo’s side. Naga City has the biggest number of voters, at 79,743 or about 33 percent, of total voters in the district.
LP managed to field only three mayoral bets in the second district, where seven incumbent mayors are allied to reelectionist Rep. Diosdado Ignacio “Dato” Arroyo.
LP’s congressional candidate, former San Fernando Mayor Sabas Mabulo, is pitted against Arroyo and outgoing Gov. Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte (NP), who has mayoral candidates in all the seven towns of the district.
In the five-town first district, four of the mayoral bets, one incumbent, are LP members even if they are allied with Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. of Lakas Christian Muslim Democrat.
Andaya however supports the gubernatorial candidacy of Rep. Luis R. Villafuerte (NPC), who is running against grandson Miguel Luis Villafuerte (NP), and former Solicitor General Anselmo Joel Cadiz (LP) and two more candidates.
LP and NPC have both nine candidates for town mayor in the 10-town fourth district, where the Fuentebella political dynasty holds sway for more than a century now.
LP fields actor Aga Muhlach against NPC’s William Felix Fuentebella.
NP has no mayoral bet in any of the towns of the district. NPC mayoral bet Ruel Velarde is running unopposed in Tinambac town, which has the biggest number of voters in the fourth district.
In the seven-town and one city fifth district, there are only three LP mayoral bets. In the district’s Iriga City, LP tosses Ganggang Alfelor against cousin Emmanuel Alfelor Jr. (NPC) and three independent candidates for city mayor. Ganggang is the younger brother of last-term Iriga City Mayor Madelaine Alfelor while Emmanuel Jr. is the son of Emmanuel Sr., now deceased, who had also served three terms as city mayor.
Mayor Alfelor and incumbent Rep. Salvio Fortuno (LP) are allied to Governor Villafuerte.