Aquino party collapsing in Baguio City
BAGUIO CITY—The ruling Liberal Party (LP) ticket here has started to crumble even before the campaign period for the 2013 elections started.
Businessman Freddie Gonzales withdrew his candidacy for mayor on Tuesday to “allow for the national leadership of the LP, which nominated me, to submit another nominee to substitute in my place.”
In a press conference on Tuesday, Leandro Yangot, a candidate for councilor of the LP, said the party’s national leaders should look into the problems of the LP slate here because members refused to comply with the composition of the ticket imposed last month after a series of consultations.
Yangot said Gonzales was meant to be replaced by Baguio Judge Edilberto Claravall, who is scheduled to retire by the end of the year.
Election rules allow political parties to field substitute candidates between Oct. 5 and Dec. 21.
But Yangot said Claravall, a former city councilor, dropped his bid for mayor this week because the candidate the LP chose to run for vice mayor, lawyer Jose Molintas, filed his candidacy as mayor under the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).
LP members here said the party has become the official opposition coalition in Baguio and its members must be united to face the political machinery of Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Rep. Bernardo Vergara, who are running for reelection under the Timpuyog ti Baguio (Baguio Alliance).
Ifugao Rep. Teodoro Baguilat Jr., an LP official in the Cordillera, said the party’s leaders believe they can form a coalition with NPC to allow Molintas to run under LP, alongside its candidate for Baguio representative, businessman Marquez Go.
Baguilat confirmed that Claravall would no longer run for mayor.
Molintas said he chose to run because he disagreed with the use of a proxy candidate while LP awaits Claravall to retire from the judiciary. Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon
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