In local races, same faces, same families
In La Union, outgoing San Fernando City Mayor Pablo Ortega formalized his bid for a congressional seat in the first district after he and his brothers from the influential Ortega clan agreed not to run against each other for top positions in the province.
On Saturday night, Mayor Ortega met with brothers—Victor (first district representative), Manuel (Manoling, governor), Mario (the governor’s executive assistant), former Board Member Jose Maria (Pepe) and Board Member Francisco Jr. (Kit)—to prevent them from turning the polls into a venue for political infighting.
Pepe and Kit agreed to withdraw from the races to give way to their siblings, said Victor’s wife, former San Fernando City Mayor Mary Jane Ortega. Kit gave up plans to run for representative in the first district against Pablo, while Pepe was no longer running for mayor of San Fernando against Victor, and filed his COC for vice mayor instead.
Victor, 83, is the oldest of the Ortega brothers, whose family has been holding key posts in La Union since 1901.
Their nephews, however, refused to give in.
Board Member Victor Emmanuel “Mannix” Ortega, the governor’s son, filed his COC for the first congressional district seat at 8:07 a.m., minutes before his uncle, Pablo, filed his.
Mario is seeking the gubernatorial seat but had yet to file his COC. The governor’s son and Mario’s nephew, Francisco Emmanuel “Pacoy” Ortega III, filed his COC for governor on Monday noon. Pacoy is serving his last term as representative of the party-list group Abono.
“The [Ortega] brothers are united. But we have to contend with the nephews,” Victor said. Pablo said he tried to reach out to them, “[but they have] not even taken our calls nor answered text messages.”
In pursuing his congressional ambitions, Mannix said, “May the best man win. I just want to offer myself because people are clamoring for my service and I want to continue the legacy of my father.” He said his father completed three terms as first district representative before being elected La Union governor.
Another son of the governor, Alfred, wants to run for vice mayor of San Fernando and would face his uncle, Pepe.
In Baguio City, Rep. Nicasio Aliping Jr. and Benguet Rep. Ronald Cosalan filed their COCs for their respective reelection bids, leading other local LP candidates.
In Pangasinan province, reelectionist Rep. Jesus Celeste (first district) was the first candidate to file his COC at 8 a.m. when the Comelec office opened. Celeste is running under the NPC.
Reelectionist Rep. Rose Marie “Baby” Arenas (third district) also filed her COC for reelection, accompanied by her daughter, former Rep. Rachel Arenas, at 11 a.m. Arenas is running under LP.
Provincial election supervisor Marino Salas said he did not expect a surge of candidates filing their COCs on Monday. “Some candidates look at the calendar and they file depending on the date they consider lucky,” Salas said.
In Bulacan province, Rep. Gavini Pancho of National Unity Party filed his COC for reelection as second district representative, saying he wants to continue the legacy of his father, former Rep. Pedro Pancho.
In Nueva Ecija province, Rep. Czarina Umali (third district) filed her COC for governor against former Rep. Rodolfo Antonino (fourth district), who also filed his in Cabanatuan City.
Umali’s husband, outgoing Gov. Aurelio Umali, is seeking a congressional seat, hoping to replace his wife in the district.
Former Rep. Josefina Joson and incumbent Rep. Estrellita Suansing filed their candidacies in the first congressional district race.
In Pampanga province, businessman Jose “Pol” Quiwa III, an independent, was the first candidate to file his COC for the third congressional district seat. Quiwa ran and lost in the same race in 2013.
Provincial Board Member Nestor Tolentino complained of harassment, saying one of his supporters in Apalit town, youth leader Alvin Sawal, was threatened by unidentified gunmen.
In Zambales province, businessman Octavio Galvezo, 54, filed his COC for mayor of Olongapo City.
Reelectionist Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado of Bohol’s second district was the first candidate to file a COC in the province at 1:55 p.m., accompanied by his wife Vanessa, some family members and some mayors. He is seeking reelection under the NPC.
Aumentado said he wanted to complete his projects, including a submarine cable project to bring power to island-barangays and the construction of Ubay Airport which will start in January.
In Iloilo province, an unknown resident, Diopito Gonzales, is running for governor against the reelectionist incumbent, Arthur Defensor.
In Iloilo City, three candidates for councilor filed their COCs. They included reelectionist Joshua Alim (UNA), Candice Tupas (LP) and businessman Rommel Ynion (independent). Tupas is the wife of Councilor Nielex Tupas, who is on his third and last term, while Ynion ran but lost to Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog in 2013.
In Aklan and Guimaras provinces, no COCs had been filed at the Comelec offices as of 3 p.m. In Antique and Capiz provinces, independent candidates for provincial board member separately filed their candidacies.
Candidates for congressman and provincial posts are expected to file their COCs on Oct. 15 or 16, the last day of the filing period.
One of the anticipated candidacies is that of Guimaras Rep. JC Rahman Nava who is serving his third and last term. The congressman, an LP member, could run head on against his younger brother, former Guimaras governor Felipe Nava (UNA) in the gubernatorial race.
In Negros Occidental province, Rep. Mercedes Alvarez (sixth district) was the first to file a COC at 9:33 a.m. in Bacolod City because she had to go back to Congress to work. She is seeking a third term under NPC. Michael Jaucian, Mar S. Arguelles, Maricar Cinco, Juan Escandor Jr., Delfin Mallari, Madonna T. Virola and Romeo Ponte, Inquirer Southern Luzon; Nestor P. Burgos Jr., Leo Udtohan, Maya Jajalla, Jhunnex Napallacan, Carla P. Gomez and Judy Flores-Partlow, Inquirer Visayas; Alan Nawal, Eldie Aguirre, Frinston Lim, Charlie C. Señase, Nash B. Maulana and Bobby Lagsa, Inquirer Mindanao; Yolanda Sotelo, Gabriel Cardinoza, Johanne Margarette Macob and Jessica Tabilin, Inquirer Northern Luzon; and Ron Lopez, Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Allan Macatuno, Armand Galang and Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon
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