It’s a crowded gubernatorial race in Davao del Sur
DIGOS CITY—One of the lawyers defending pastor Apollo Quiboloy in the P100-million libel case filed by presidential aspirant and Sen. Manny Pacquiao is running for governor in the province of Davao del Sur.
Lawyer Israelito Pañares Torreon, Quiboloy’s lawyer, filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for the province’s top post on Oct. 8, bringing him in a battle with candidates fielded by the province’s competing political families.
Torreon, who will run as an independent, will face Yvonne Roña Cagas, wife of incumbent Gov. Marc Douglas Cagas; and Carl Jason Rama, son of Davao Occidental Gov. Claude Bautista, a longtime political rival of the Cagas clan. Two other relatively unknown aspirants, Dolson Santianis Adlog and Rosemarie Chavez Villamor, also filed their COCs as independent candidates.
Torreon, a native of Davao del Sur, has been a longtime lawyer of Quiboloy, a close friend of President Rodrigo Duterte, and leader of the religious sect Kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Name Above Every Name.
In June, Marc, then vice governor, assumed the post after his father, Gov. Douglas Cagas died that month.
Curiously, though, Marc is not running for any post in next year’s elections but is fielding his wife Yvonne instead.
Yvonne, who is running under the Nacionalista Party (NP), has chosen Marc’s cousin, Riafe Cagas Fernandez, as candidate for vice governor. Another cousin, John Tracy Fortich Cagas, is the NP’s candidate for representative of Davao del Sur’s lone congressional district.
But a rival clan of the Cagases is trying to stage a comeback.
Rama, the incumbent mayor of Kiblawan town, is running under the regional political party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP) identified with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. Rama’s father, Claude, heads the HnP in the region.
Aside from Rama, Claude is also fielding under the HnP Erwin Soriano Llanos, son of the late Gov. Rogelio Llanos, to run against John Tracy.
Bautista is running unopposed as representative of Davao Occidental’s lone congressional district while his brother Franklin is aiming to succeed him as governor. —ELDIE S. AGUIRRE
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