Ate Vi tests poll waters in new district
ACTRESS Vilma Santos is leaving the gubernatorial post of Batangas and testing new waters—a new congressional district in Lipa City.
Santos, who had been wooed by the ruling Liberal Party (LP) as a candidate for vice president, filed her certificate of candidacy (COC) as representative of the new district.
Her son, actor Luis Manzano, had been rumored to be running for governor but the rumors remained to be just rumors.
Four candidates are running for the post that Santos would vacate—Nikki Briones, representative of the party-list group Agap; Rep. Mark Llandro Mendoza, who is on his last term as representative; Rep. Hermilando Mandanas, also on his last term as representative and Vice Gov. Mark Leviste, Santos’ anointed candidate.
Santos would run against Bernadette Sabili of National Unity Party (NUP), wife of incumbent Lipa City Mayor Meynard Sabili, for representative of the new district.
In the province of Quezon, Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III, filed his COC for congressman of the fourth district on Wednesday.
In Oriental Mindoro, Rhona Leachon, wife of reelectionist Rep. Paulino “Doy” Leachon (first district), filed her COC for mayor of Calapan City.
Rhona, a member of LP, is challenging incumbent Mayor Arnan Panaligan of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
In Albay, former Tabaco City Mayor Krisel Lagman-Luistro, also of LP, filed her COC for mayor.
In Legazpi City, incumbent Mayor Noel Rosal filed his COC for reelection.
Rosal and his entourage first attended Mass before going around the city in a motorcade and filing his COC. His supporters wore yellow shirts.
In Masbate province, infamous for its history of election-related violence, candidates started filing COCs only on the second day of the process on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Masbate City Mayor Rowena Tuason, of LP, was among the first to file a COC.
On Wednesday, Rizalina Seachon Lanete, suspended governor now detained for a plunder case involving pork barrel when she was a member of the House, filed a COC for governor through her executive assistant. She is running under the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).
Lanete is currently detained in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.
Her son, Scott Lanete, filed his COC to seek reelection as representative of Masbate’s third district.
Still in Masbate, at least three members of the Bravo clan filed COCs for provincial and congressional posts—Narciso for governor, his wife Marvi for reelection as first district representative and Kaye Revil for vice governor.
In Camarines Sur, LP candidate for vice president Leni Robredo accompanied the filing of COC of John Bongat, who is running for reelection as mayor of Naga City.
Gabby Bordado, incumbent Naga councilor, is running for the House seat that Robredo would vacate. Bordado is running against Luis Villafuerte of NPC, former governor and representative. The Villafuertes’ dominance in the third district was ended by Robredo, who beat Villafuerte’s wife, Nelly, in the 2013 elections.
Singer Imelda Papin (LP) filed her COC to challenge a member of another Camarines Sur political clan, Arnulfo Fuentebella (NPC), in the fourth district.
In Laguna, neophyte candidate Ma. Elsa Rivera, of Calamba City, filed her COC for representative of the second congressional district, challenging Rep. Joaquin Chipeco Jr. who filed his COC for reelection on Monday.
Actress Angelica Jones Alarva (UNA), incumbent third district board member, is running for vice governor and is being challenged by Richard Favico (NP), incumbent councilor.
In Sorsogon, gubernatorial candidates Robert Lee Rodrigueza (LP) and Eric Reyes Dioneda (PDP-Laban) vowed not to resort to violence during the campaign.
Lee Rodrigueza, 43, an LP member, supports the vice presidential bid of province mate Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, instead of the official LP candidate for vice president, Leni Robredo.
Calixto Aquino, Sorsogon elections supervisor, said he expects elections in the province to remain peaceful.
In the fourth district of Pampanga, the 27-year reign of a political clan has met what observers said was its most serious challenge so far.
Reelectionist Pampanga Rep. Juan Pablo “Rimpy” Bondoc, whose family ruled the fourth congressional district since 1988, has found a strong match in outgoing Apalit Mayor Oscar “Jun” Tetangco Jr. who filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) on Thursday.
Tetangco said his congressional bid is supported by businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan, Sen. Cynthia Villar and Kambilan, a provincial political party headed by Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda.
Bondoc filed his COC on Monday for a second term. Rimpy’s mother is a member of the Puyat clan.
Also on Thursday, Pampanga Rep. Oscar Rodriguez filed his COC for a second term in the province’s third district. His challengers are businessman Jose Quiwa III, former Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr. (NPC) and lawyer Amado Santos.
As of Thursday, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had no rival in her bid for a third and last term as representative of the second district.
In the first district, the congressional race will see reelectionist Rep. Joseller Guiao facing Carmelo Lazatin III.
Reelectionist Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. filed his COC at the Comelec office in Iba town on Thursday. He was with his wife, Alma, and supporters.
The governor is seeking a third term and faces challenge from former Gov. Amor Deloso. Ebdane’s son, Jun Omar, filed a COC for representative of the second district.
In Olongapo City, former Mayor James “Bong” Gordon Jr. filed his COC for mayor on Thursday in a bid to revive the family’s presence in local politics.
Gordon is running under the political party Bagumbayan. He served as mayor from 2004 to 2013. In 2013, he ran as representative of Zambales’ first district but lost to Jeffrey Khonghun.
Gordon will run against reelectionist Mayor Rolen Paulino who defeated Gordon’s wife, Anne Marie, in 2013.
In Bulacan, Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando, both reelectionists, filed their COC on Thursday. Alvarado, who chairs the Regional Development Council in Central Luzon, and Fernando are running under the Liberal Party.
In Pangasinan, Rep. Gina de Venecia filed on Thursday filed her COC for her reelection bid in the province’s fourth district. “I chose this date because it’s the 100th birthday of my father, Dr. Jose Perez. So, it’s my lucky day,” said De Venecia, who is running under the LP.
As of Thursday, only reelectionist Rep. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas (sixth district) had not filed her COC among the province’s six representatives.
Outgoing Gov. Nestor Fongwan filed his COC for Benguet representative to challenge reelectionist Rep. Ronald Cosalan.
Battling for the post of Benguet governor are former Itogon Mayor Oscar Camantiles, restaurant owner Jack Dulnuan, Melchor Diclas and Vice Gov. Nelson Dangwa, son of former Rep. Samuel Dangwa.
Reelectionist Baguio City Rep. Nicasio Aliping Jr. is being challenged by businessman Marquez Go, Rudy Aspilan and Edgardo Duque while retired Regional Trial Court Judge Del Claravall filed his COC for Baguio mayor on Thursday. Delfin T. Mallari Jr., Romulo O. Ponte, Marrah Erika Rabe, Madonna Virola, Mar Arguelles and Michael Jaucian, Inquirer Southern Luzon; Allan Macatuno, Tonette Orejas, Ron Lopez and Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Inquirer Central Luzon; and Gabriel Cardinoza, Yolanda Sotelo, Johanne Margarette Macob and Jessica Tabilin, Inquirer Northern Luzon
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