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For several local bets, it’s all over but the counting

/ 05:02 AM March 25, 2022
A Baguio resident passes by an integrity covenant signed by candidates in the city after a unity walk for peaceful and honest elections

POLL PLEDGE A Baguio resident passes by an integrity covenant signed by candidates in the city after a unity walk for peaceful and honest elections on Wednesday, two days before the official campaign period for local posts starts. —EV ESPIRITU

(First of two parts)

The campaign period for local posts starts today but for more than 800 unopposed candidates all over the country, they can take it easy in reaching out to voters as they will only need to wait for a single vote on May 9 to make their victory official.

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Securing a landslide victory in past elections or having satisfied constituents could have played a major role for some local candidates in running unchallenged in the coming elections, according to some voters. Others observed that candidates belonging to political dynasties would usually win the elections in their areas due to “name recall,” scaring off would-be opponents.

Leading the pack of big political names assured of securing their posts in provincial races in Luzon are former President and Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, and current Speaker Lord Allan Velasco.

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Arroyo is running unopposed for the second time since she was elected representative of Pampanga’s second district in 2010 while Recto is returning to local politics as representative of the sixth district of Batangas. Velasco, son of retired Supreme Court Associate Justice and Marinduque Gov. Presbitero Velasco Jr., is assured of serving another term as representative of the lone district of the island province of Marinduque.

Central Luzon

In Pampanga province, apart from Arroyo, two other congressional candidates are unopposed. They are reelectionists Carmelo Jon Lazatin II (first district) and Aurelio Gonzales Jr. (third district).

Also without opponents are Vice Gov. Lilia Pineda, Apalit Mayor Jun Tetangco, and Vice Mayor Peter Nucom. Ron Dungca is the only candidate for Bacolor vice mayor.

In Lubao town, reelectionists Mayor Esmie Pineda and Vice Mayor Jay Montemayor are unopposed.

In San Luis town, Dr. Jay Sagum and his uncle, Mon Sagum, are unopposed for mayor and vice mayor, respectively.

In Aurora province, Rep. Rommel Rico Angara and his older brother, Baler Mayor Rhett Angara, are assured of victory. The Angaras are cousins of Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara.

Securing an early win in Zambales province are reelectionist San Marcelino Mayor Elvis Soria and his running mate, Jimbo Gongora. They are the only unopposed candidates in the province.

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In Bataan province, Rep. Jose Enrique Garcia III, who is running for provincial governor, and his brother, reelectionist Balanga City Mayor Francis Anthony Garcia, are without rivals.

Rep. Geraldine Roman of Bataan’s first district is assured of serving her third and last term.

In Tarlac province, Gov. Susan Yap is unopposed for her third term.

Mayor Maria Cristina Angeles of Tarlac City and San Clemente Mayor Elma Macadamia, who both held their positions since 2016, are also unopposed.

In Bulacan province, only former Board Member Cholo Violago, who is running for mayor of San Rafael town, and his running mate, Lyn Veneracion, have no challengers.

Local candidates in Bulacan province gather at the provincial capitol gymnasium

READY FOR THE HUSTINGS Local candidates in Bulacan province gather at the provincial capitol gymnasium on Thursday and promise to keep this year’s elections orderly. —CARMELA REYES-ESTROPE

Northern Luzon

At least 35 candidates in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur provinces are also running without opponents.

Of the 23 towns and cities in Ilocos Norte, five candidates for mayor are unopposed. They are Mary Chrislyn Abadilla (Banna town), Crescente Garcia (Burgos), Francisco Espiritu Jr. (Dumalneg), Antonio Mariano (Marcos) and Aldrin Garvida (Nueva Era). All of them, except for Espiritu, are incumbent mayors.

For the vice mayoral race, five are running uncontested. They are Denton Lawrence Garvida (Bangui), Erdio Valenzuela (Dingras), Fraincess Kwyn Espiritu (Dumalneg) and Caroline Garvida (Nueva Era).

Incumbent Mayor Carlito Abadilla II of Banna, who is seeking the vice mayoral post, is also running without an opponent.

In Ilocos Sur, 11 mayors from the towns of Bantay, Burgos, Cervantes, Gregorio del Pilar, Quirino, Salcedo, San Ildefonso, San Juan, Santa, Sugpon and Suyo are unopposed. For vice mayor, 14 are gunning for the position unopposed in the towns of Suyo, Sugpon, Sta. Maria, Santa, San Juan, Salcedo, Quirino, Nagbukel, Cervantes, Caoayan, Candon City, Burgos, Bantay and Alilem.

The members of the long-standing political family in the province, the Singsons, are keeping their grip on local power as nobody dared to challenge them for the top elective seats in the capitol.

Incumbent Gov. Ryan Singson is unopposed for vice governor after his father, political kingpin and Narvacan Mayor Luis “Chavit” Singson, dropped his bid for the same position.

Chavit’s brother, Vice Gov. Jeremias “Jerry” Singson, is running without a rival for governor.

In Isabela province, Ilagan City Mayor Josemarie Diaz is seeking a second term with no rivals.

Cabagan Mayor Christopher Mamauag and returning Tumauini Mayor Venus Bautista are also unopposed.

In Cagayan province, no one challenged the husband-and-wife tandem of reelectionist Mayor Harry Florida and Vice Mayor Yvonne Kathrina Florida of Allacapan town.

In Abra province, La Paz Mayor Menchie “Ching” Bernos, will not face a challenger in the lone congressional district race.

Also without opponents are Apayao Rep. Elias Bulut Jr., who is running for governor, and incumbent Gov. Leah Bulut-Begtang, who is running as Apayao’s lone representative.

La Union Vice Gov. Mario Eduardo Ortega, who is running for reelection, is also assured of victory.

Southern Luzon

The Tolentinos of Tagaytay City are among the big-name politicians in southern Tagalog who are assured of seats on May 9.

Cavite Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino will return to his former post as Tagaytay City mayor under National Unity Party with his wife, Agnes, the incumbent mayor, as his running mate. Agnes is also unopposed.

Tolentino is a brother of Sen. Francis Tolentino.

Also unopposed in the congressional races in Cavite are reelectonist Rep. Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla (seventh district), Imus Councilor Adrian Jay Advincula (third district), and General Trias City Mayor Antonio Ferrer (sixth district).

Also assured of victory as General Trias City mayor is sixth district Rep. Luis Ferrer IV. He is running with Councilor Jonas Labuguen, who is also unopposed for vice mayor.

Other unopposed candidates for mayor are reelectionists Yuri Pacumio of Tanza and Jasmin Angelli Maligaya-Bautista of Magallanes.

In Batangas province, the husband-and-wife tandem of Mayor Norberto Segunial Jr. and Vice Mayor Ma. Aurea Segunial of Sta. Teresita town will seek reelection unopposed.

In Rizal province, the unopposed candidates in the congressional races are reelectionist Michael John Duavit (first district), former Antipolo City Mayor Danilo Leyble (second district), and Roberto Andres Puno Jr. (Antipolo City, first district).

Binangonan Mayor Cesar Ynares and his brother Vice Mayor Cecilio Ynares are seeking reelection unopposed.

In Angono town, Mayor Jeri Mae Calderon and her father, Vice Mayor Gerardo Calderon, have no challengers to their reelection bids.

In Albay province, Rep. Fernando Cabredo (third district) is running for his second term unopposed.

Jovellar Vice Mayor Jorem Arcangel is unopposed for mayor after he filled in the candidacy left by his father, Jose, who died on Oct. 29 last year.

Camalig Mayor Carlos Irwin Baldo Jr. and Daraga Vice Mayor Gerry Raphael Jaucian are assured of reelection.

In Masbate province, Socrates Tuason is returning to his former position as mayor of Masbate City, replacing his wife, incumbent Mayor Rowena Tuason, who is running for vice mayor.

Other tandems assured of reelection are Mayor Edgar Condor and Vice Mayor Ester Binsol of Cawayan, Masbate; Mayor Froilan Andueza and Vice Mayor Vicente Sabaulan of Claveria, Masbate; and Mayor Johny Rodulfo and Vice Mayor Roy Regalado of Bato, Catanduanes.

In Quezon province, three mayoral candidates are unopposed. They are Marcelo Gayeta of Sariaya and Alfred Rigor Mitra of Panukulan, both reelectionists, and Clara Larita of Patnanungan.

In Oriental Mindoro, Pinamalayan Mayor Aristeo Baldos Jr. is assured of serving his second term.

In Romblon province, reelectionist Banton Mayor Mely Faderanga and her running mate Loi Fegalan are unopposed.

Mayor Gerard Montojo of the capital town Romblon is seeking reelection uncontested.

In Palawan province, Bataraza mayoral candidate Abraham Ibba and his running mate Johnmain Jaafar are unopposed.

In the tourist town of Coron, reelectionist Vice Mayor Asian Palanca is also unopposed. —REPORTS FROM TONETTE OREJAS, GREG REFRACCION, JOANNA ROSE AGLIBOT, JUN MALIG, CARMELA REYES-ESTROPE, JOHN MICHAEL MUGAS, VILLAMOR VISAYA JR., MICHAEL JAUCIAN, ROMAR MIRANDA, MAR ARGUELLES, MADONNA VIROLA AND DELFIN MALLARI JR.

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