With unopposed bets, polls just formality in Apayao
Unopposed candidates are running for the province’s top elective posts from the lone congressional seat to vice mayor.
After ending their third terms, siblings Eleanor Bulut-Begtang, incumbent representative, and Elias Bulut Jr., incumbent governor, will swap positions.
Governor Bulut served as congressman from 2001 to 2010 at the same time his elder sister was mayor of Calanasan town.
Their father, Elias Sr., was governor at the time.
No one else
In 2010, Governor Bulut won the gubernatorial seat while Begtang won the congressional race.
They were unopposed when they ran for their second terms in 2013 and have no rivals in elections next year.
Many of the unopposed officials belong to different parties.
Begtang recently took her oath as a member of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) while Bulut is a candidate of the Nationalist People’s Coalition.
Reelectionist Vice Gov. Remy Albano is running as a Liberal Party candidate.
All eight board members are also running unopposed.
Candidates for Apayao provincial board members in the first district are Shirley Romero, Tolentino Mangalao, Anton Louie Talimbatog and Samuela Real, incumbent Provincial Councilors League president.
In the second district, no one is contesting the election bids of Mailah Haylee Ballesteros, Emiliano Galleon, Elmer Molina and Mcleen Julian.
All mayoral and vice mayoral candidates in Apayao have no challengers except for candidates in the towns of Santa Marcela and Conner.
In the neighboring province of Abra, the Bernos, Bersamin, Luna, Seares and Valera political clans are again clashing for the top posts.
The province used to be notorious for political bloodshed.
Reelectionist Rep. Joseph Bernos (PDP-Laban) will be challenged by two women—Victoria Seares-Corpus (Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan-Democratic Party of the Philippines) and independent candidate Derdrei Roce Luna-Ifurung.
Corpus is the wife of Chief Supt. Amador Corpus, Central Luzon police director, while Ifurung is the daughter of former Rep. Cecilia Luna. —Karlston Lapniten
See the bigger picture with the Inquirer's live in-depth coverage of the election here https://inq.ph/Election2019
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