They held mini-parades, wore campaign shirts and cheered on as the candidates and their supporters trooped to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) offices across the country to file their certificates of candidacy (CoCs) the day before deadline, to run for local government and congressional posts.
Duterte-Duterte in Davao
It?s a Duterte-Duterte tandem for Davao City?s topmost positions, facing old foes who have turned allies and sending the local political fever sky-high.
Vice Mayor Sara Duterte on Monday filed her CoC for mayor and another for her father-mayor, Rodrigo, for her current position.
They will be up against Speaker Prospero Nograles and former Mayor Benjamin de Guzman, who was allied with Duterte in the past. De Guzman defeated Nograles in 1998, a triumph which was credited to Duterte?s support.
Nograles, who had earlier said that running for any position in Davao?a city he called ?small-time??did not interest him a bit as his concern was more on the national level, filed his CoC on Saturday.
The vice mayor, who is also called ?Inday,? said she only learned about her father?s decision to run for vice mayor an hour before she went to the Comelec office. She said they did not discuss their political careers.
?His choices are either to run for Congress or to run for vice mayor. I really don?t know his reasons. But if I were to speculate, he is running for vice mayor because he is not a bully,? she said.
Had Mayor Duterte opted to seek a House seat, he would be up against Karlo Nograles, the son and chief of staff of the Speaker.
Sara Duterte said her group was preparing for battle, while her rival, Nograles, said he would ?rely on his strength and not on the weakness of his opponent.?
?I haven?t seen any of what he calls as his strength. And I don?t know what kind of strength he was referring to,? the vice mayor said. Jeffrey M. Tupas, Inquirer Mindanao
In Iloilo, among the early candidates who filed their CoCs was the slate of Iloilo Mayor Jerry Treñas, who will be running for representative of the city?s lone congressional district.
Treñas, a Lakas-Kampi-CMD stalwart, last week joined the Nacionalista Party (NP). He is running against his former ally, Iloilo Rep. Raul Gonzalez Jr. of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD.
Iloilo Vice Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and his slate also filed their CoCs.
Mabilog, who joined the Liberal Party (LP) last week, is running for mayor against Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Raul Gonzalez and Presidential Assistant for Waters Larry Jamora.
In the provincial race, board member Oscar ?Richard? Garin Jr. filed his CoC for vice governor under the Lakas-Kampi-CMD.
The Comelec expected more deluge of candidates today.
The Gonzalezes were scheduled to file their CoCs today.
In Roxas City, Capiz Governor Victor Tanco Sr. and retired Philippine National Police chief Roberto ?Bobby? Tupaz Lastimoso led the filing on Saturday of the CoC by the local candidates of the LP in Capiz.
Lastimoso will run for the congressional seat of the second district of the province against Representative Fredenil Castro?s wife.
The LP congressional candidate in the first district, first-termer Representative Antonio del Rosario, who filed his CoC on Thursday, will run against Vice Governor Felipe Barredo of Ugyon Kita Capiz (UKC) or United Capiz.
In Southern Leyte, Representative Roger Mercado of the lone district, Maasin City Mayor Malone Samaco and the latter?s slate for councilors filed their candidacies on Monday under the Lakas-Kampi-CMD.
Mercado?s brother, Governor Damian Mercado, and his provincial slate will file their CoCs today.
Former Representative Aniceto Saludo Jr. will run again for the province?s lone congressional seat under the Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) of former President Joseph Estrada.
Saludo had lost to Representative Mercado in the 2004 elections.
On the other hand, former Governor Rosette Lerias will return to politics, running for governor or vice mayor or city mayor under the Nationalist People?s Coalition. Nestor Burgos Jr., Felipe V. Celino and Jani Arnaiz, Inquirer Visayas
In the Laguna capital town of Sta. Cruz, Ramon Jeorge ?ER? Ejercito Estregan, 46, former action star and relative of deposed president Estrada, filed his CoC for governor at the Comelec provincial office yesterday.
The three-term mayor of Pagsanjan came with his vice gubernatorial candidate, Ellen Reyes, a councilor in San Pablo City.
Estregan, whose 15-point agenda includes fighting graft and corruption, is running under the PMP.
Estregan boasted of garnering 50 percent of the votes based on a survey conducted by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) last month.
He said former Governor Joey Lina, who is set to file his CoC today, got 30 percent, followed by Dennis Lazaro, with 15 percent and Ramil Hernandez, with five percent in the said survey.
Lazaro, son of Governor Teresita Lazaro, holds the position of provincial administrator, while Hernandez is a first-termer vice governor of Laguna.
Lazaro, 41, is running under the Lakas-Kampi-CMD, while Hernandez is with the NP.
The latter filed his CoC on Sunday, while Lazaro is set to file his today.
Lina, 57, had gone on leave from his radio program in dzMM on Sunday.
Lina, who hails from Victoria town, was Laguna governor from 1995 to 2001 before he became DILG secretary.
Comelec records show that a certain Randy Bautista was the first to file his CoC for the gubernatorial post on Nov. 23.
Bautista is a businessman in San Pablo City and is running as an independent candidate.
In Los Baños town, Anthony ?Ton? Genuino, 27, filed his CoC for mayor last Friday.
Genuino, son of the Philippine and Gaming Corporation chief Efrain Genuino, claims his residence in Laguna through the Trace College.
Former sexy actress Angelica Jones on Monday said she was definite of filing her CoC as Laguna third district board member today.
Jones, 27, lost the race for the same position in the last elections, claiming to have been cheated.
She ran under the administration party Lakas but was sworn in to LP last month.
The Comelec is expecting at least 1.3 million voters in Laguna. Maricar Cinco, Inquirer Southern Luzon
New picture in Benguet
In La Trinidad, a new picture of Benguet politics is being shaped as an Ibaloi councilor and a local businessman have decided to end the domination of the Dangwa and Cosalan clans in representing Benguet in the House of Representatives.
The gubernatorial race has also begun to cause a dilemma for Kankanaey voters as Benguet Representative Samuel Dangwa, whose term ends next year, has decided to challenge Governor Nestor Fongwan in a race, which many said would blur party lines and loyalties.
Thomas Chamos, a three-term councilor of La Trinidad, said the electorate has gotten tired of voting for members of the Dangwa and Cosalan families in the province?s lone congressional race.
Businessman and restaurant owner Jack Dulnuan hoped to usher in a new kind of leadership for the province through his managerial skills honed by more than 50 years in business.
In separate interviews, Chamos, an independent candidate, and Dulnuan, a member of NP, said Benguet voters deserve new blood in Congress.
Joining the two in the congressional race are lawyers Liso Agpas and Ronald Cosalan, a member of the LP.
Agpas, former mayor of Kapangan town and a three-term board member, is running to continue the Kankanaey?s pride in Congress.
Running as an independent, Agpas said he would work for legislation for the province?s vegetable farmers and small-scale miners.
Cosalan hoped to reclaim his seat in Congress, where he served from 1995 to 2001, the only years when Dangwa?s term was interrupted since he started representing the province in 1984.
But the race to the Benguet capitol between Dangwa and Fongwan has become the political contest to watch in the province.
Dangwa, 74, and Fongwan, 58, both Kankanaey, belong to the Lakas-Kampi-CMD and local leaders have become curious on who would be favored by the administration party. Delmar Cariño, Inquirer Northern Luzon