1 House seat, 3 LP wannabes in Iligan City
ILIGAN CITY, Philippines — The Liberal Party (LP) appears to be headed for a split over the House seat for this city that would be vacated by a congressman who survived an ambush recently and who is ending his third and last term.
Three LP stalwarts have signified intention to run for the post and all want to be party-supported.
Acting City Mayor Ruderic Marzo, who became the latest LP member to declare intention to run for congressman, told a recent gathering of Higaonon lumad here that it would be best for the party to support him.
Marzo admitted that aside from himself, other LP members who had signified their intention to contest the seat, which Rep. Vicente Belmonte would be vacating, were third-term city councilor Frederic Siao and former city mayor Lawrence Lluch Cruz.
In an earlier interview, Belmonte, who is running for mayor, said the local LP leadership will push Cruz as official candidate.
“Cruz is most likely to be nominated,” he said.
Councilor Alfred Busico, a staunch supporter of Marzo, however, said the LP should pick the acting mayor because of his performance.
He said the LP leadership should realize that Cruz is a hard sell because of criticisms of the way he handled city operations in the aftermath of Tropical Typhoon “Sendong.”
Both Cruz and Siao could not be reached for comment.
But another LP stalwart, who did not want to be identified, said it would be best for the party to declare the race for the lone congressional seat open for all.
“This would prevent a split at the local level,” the source said. Aside from the three LP stalwarts, several other politicians also signified their interest to run for congressman.
They include lawyer Ver Quimco and former mayor Franklin Quijano of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan.
In Digos City, the local LP will maintain its partnership with the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), Mayor Joseph Peñas, the local LP leader, said.
Peñas said LP and NPC leaders are fnalizing the list of common candidates for local elective posts. Tito Fiel, Richel Umel, Eldie Aguirre / CB
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