Batanes bets follow Ivatan belief | Inquirer News

Batanes bets follow Ivatan belief

/ 10:23 PM October 01, 2012

BASCO, Batanes—Far from the chaos and frenzy that attended the first day of filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Manila, the provincial election office in this northernmost Luzon province was quiet on Monday.

Lawyer Cesar Torrado, Batanes election supervisor, said no candidate had filed his or her certificate of candidacy as of 2 p.m.

But Cristeta Acebes, principal of Uyugan Elementary School, partly attributed the silence to a belief by their Ivatan elders that Oct. 1 and 2 are not auspicious dates.


Acebes said this belief, called “pilaton,” refers to a list of dates, including the phases of the moon, that would ensure the success of any major undertaking or activity of residents in this province, who rely on agriculture and fishing for their livelihood.


But Board Member Ramonito Imperial said he and his fellow candidates from Sabtang Island decided to file their COCs on Friday because the biggest village in Sabtang is celebrating the feast of their patron, St. Therese of the Child Jesus, at the start of the week.

Imperial said most of the candidates are involved in the celebration.


Among the candidates expected to square off in the province’s gubernatorial race are reelectionist Gov. Vicente Gato, who is running as an independent candidate, former Gov. Telesforo Castillejos of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and businesswoman Marilou Cayco of the Liberal Party (LP).

Rep. Henedina Abad, wife of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, is running for reelection under the LP against UNA’s Joel Mendoza and former Rep. Carlo Oliver Diasnes, an independent.

In Pampanga, Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales filed his COC for a third and last term in the province’s third district with a lot of pomp on Monday.

A helicopter showered confetti at the capitol grounds in the City of San Fernando, where the provincial office of the Comelec is located, as Gonzales filed his COC. The chopper was lent to him by a supporter, he told the Inquirer.

Outside, a group of drummers and dancers entertained the crowd. A papier-mâché image, shorter than the 14-foot “higante” (giants) displayed in celebrations in Rizal and Quezon, accompanied the crowd.

Gonzales, who is running under the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), attended Mass at a nearby church before he and his supporters walked to the capitol. He was the first candidate in Pampanga to file his COC.

Others filed their COCs without much fanfare.

Another NPC candidate, Francis “Blueboy” Nepomuceno, was accompanied by elderly women who wore orange shirts printed with “UNA.”

On Monday, several people seeking various forms of assistance started milling around the Comelec office, hoping to solicit money from politicians to buy medicines.

In Isabela, among the candidates who filed their COCs on Monday were reelectionist Gov. Faustino Dy III and Vice Gov. Rodolfo Albano III, who is seeking the congressional seat in the first district.

Former Rep. Anthony Miranda filed his COC under the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino to reclaim the fourth district seat. Reelectionist Rep. Ana Cristina Go also filed her COC under the Nacionalista Party.

In Pangasinan, reelectionist Representatives Jesus Celeste (first district) and Rachel Arenas (third district) were among the candidates who filed their COCs on Monday. Five candidates for board member had filed their COCs as of 2 p.m. Monday.

In Nueva Ecija, former Rep. Renato Diaz, who served as presidential adviser for Central Luzon during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, filed his COC to face Quezon Mayor Mariano Cristino Joson in the first congressional district race. Former Vice Gov. Eduardo Joson IV will try stop the reelection bid of Vice Gov. Jose Gay Padiernos as runningmate of his sister-in-law, outgoing Rep. Josefina Manuel-Joson.

Former Rep. Julita Lorenzo-Villareal of the fourth district also filed her COC to return to her old post.

At least 12 policemen were on guard at the Comelec office inside the old capitol compound in Cabanatuan City as the filing of COCs started on Monday.

But lawyer Panfilo Doctor, provincial election supervisor, said the presence of heavily armed personnel from the provincial public safety company was to ensure order during the five-day filing of COCs.

“There is no specific threat, we only want to make sure there will be order,” Doctor said.

No candidate in the congressional and gubernatorial races in Bataan and Zambales had filed his or her COC as of 2 p.m. Monday.

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In Baguio City, the first day for filing their COCs was also a low profile event, with six candidates for the city council and two for the lone congressional seat showing up at the Comelec. With reports from Tonette Orejas, Armand Galang, Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Greg Refraccion and Robert Gonzaga, Inquirer Central Luzon; Villamor Visaya Jr., Yolanda Sotelo and Desiree Caluza, Inquirer Northern Luzon

TAGS: News, Regions

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