Bautista scions vie for Congress, local posts in Davao Occ., Sur
MALITA, Davao Occidental, Philippines — Backed by a drum corps and a convoy of over a dozen vehicles, members of the Bautista clan and their supporters headed to the Commission on Elections provincial and municipal offices here, either to file their certificates of candidacy or provide moral support to their siblings and relatives.
Lorna Bautista Bandigan, accompanied by siblings, Davao del Sur Gov. Claude Bautista, Joseph and Franklin, filed her COC for the lone congressional seat of the newly created province of Davao Occidental under the Liberal Party.
Joseph, who is in his final term as Malita mayor, filed his COC for vice mayor under the slate of his nephew, Bradley, who also filed his COC as Malita mayor under LP. Bradley is the son of Davao del Sur 2nd district Rep. Franklin Bautista.
Franklin, who earlier signified interest in running for Davao Occidental vice governor, has yet to file his COC.
He later told reporters he was waiting for the final decision of his younger brother, Claude, who said he might be running for governor of Davao Occidental.
“There are still things we have to decide upon,” Franklin said.
Claude, chair of the Nationalist People’s Coalition in the undivided Davao del Sur, said he might file his COC on the Friday.
But he refused to categorically say if he would run for Davao Occidental governor or for reelection in Davao del Sur.
“I still have to conduct a final meeting with Davao del Sur leaders,” Claude said.
Reacting to observations that Davao Occidental politics has become Bautista-dominated, Joseph said “we are a democratic country.”
“Anybody could run,” he said.
Joseph said voters would decide whether to vote for them.
“This is not automatic. Me and my siblings still have to undergo the election process. If people do not vote for us, then so be it,” he said.
But so far, no other candidate has filed COCs for any of the posts the Bautistas were running in.
At the provincial level, only two non-Bautistas have filed COCs on Monday, according to Allan Kadon, the Davao Occidental acting election supervisor.
“The two others filed COCs for the provincial board,” Kadon said. SFM
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