Floirendo, Alvarez poll rivalry draws spotlight
DAVAO CITY— One of the races likely to be most watched in the Davao region would be the congressional runs of erstwhile friends who are not running against each other—Representatives Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr. and Pantaleon Alvarez.
Floirendo filed in Tagum City on Thursday his certificate of candidacy (COC) for reelection as representative of Davao del Norte’s second district.
Floirendo, whose family was among the biggest campaign donors of President Duterte during the 2016 elections, is running with the support of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP).
HNP is a regional group formed by Mayor Duterte that appeared to have gained more influence than the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan.
Floirendo arrived at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office at the village of Mankilam in Tagum, around 2 p.m., with supporters and provincial candidates of HNP, including Davao del Norte Gov. Antonio Rafael del Rosario, who is seeking reelection.
“Why do we have to wait for the last day?” Floirendo said when asked by reporters why he filed his COC on the first day of filing COCs.
“I want transparency, not lies,” he added.
Floirendo said he would work to continue more projects for his district to help the administration of President Duterte.
He said his slate was the “same as before” except for some “balikbayans,” or former officials seeking reelection.
Davao del Norte Vice Gov. Alan Dujali, an ally of Alvarez, is said to be running against Floirendo.
Alvarez, who had been ousted as Speaker in a plot said to be involving Mayor Duterte, is seeking reelection.
The former Speaker’s aide and protégé, Edwin Jubahib, is running for governor against Del Rosario.
In Davao del Norte’s first district, one of the challengers of Alvarez is a virtual unknown—a farmer and former security guard.
Ronelo Rafales of Buan village, Asuncion town, showed up at the provincial office of the Comelec and filed his certificate of candidacy for representative of the first district.
The 36-year-old Rafales, who used to work as a mall security guard in the provincial capital, said he was counting on the support of voters from the district’s hinterland and far-flung communities.
He claimed he was being supported by Mr. Duterte. —Frinston Lim
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