GMA, P-Noy allies collide in Cebu
CEBU CITY—The gubernatorial race in Cebu is shaping up to be between allies of President Aquino and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Winston Garcia, general manager of Government Service Insurance System during the Arroyo administration, filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for governor around 9:30 a.m. on Thursday.
Before he and his slate, under the coalition called One Cebu, could finish the processing of their COCs at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial office, Gov. Hilario Davide III and his group, members of the Liberal Party (LP), arrived to file their own COCs.
Davide and members of his slate waited outside the Comelec office until Garcia’s group was done with the filing.
Garcia was accompanied by his father, former Gov. Pablo Garcia and his running mate, former sixth district Rep. Nerissa Soon-Ruiz, who also filed her COC.
They were joined later by two other members of the Garcia clan—Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia of Cebu’s second district who is seeking reelection and former congressman Pablo John Garcia who is running for congressman in the new seventh district.
Portion of the Osmeña Boulevard near the Comelec office was closed to traffic after more than 1,000 supporters of Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan went with former Mayor Tomas Osmeña, Councilor Nestor Archival and candidates for councilors in filing their COCs.
Osmeña is challenging the reelection bid of Mayor Mike Rama who defeated him in the 2013 elections.
His supporters, mostly in blue shirts, stayed outside the Comelec office, disrupting traffic.
They cheered after a candidate familiar to them emerged from the office after filing the COC.
In Negros Oriental province, candidates from two major political parties filed their COCs on Thursday morning.
Gov. Roel Degamo, of National Unity Party-Partido Negorense, will face Negros Oriental second district Rep. George Arnaiz, of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), in the gubernatorial race.
Arnaiz and his party mates were the first to arrive at the Comelec provincial office past 8 a.m.
They proceeded to the Comelec Dumaguete office to show their support to Dumaguete Vice Mayor Woodrow Maquiling Sr., who filed his COC for mayor in Dumaguete.
Less than an hour after NPC bets left the Comelec provincial office, Degamo and party arrived to file their COCs.
Former Rep. Herminio Teves, father of former Finance Secretary Margarito Teves, accompanied the group to show support.
In the afternoon, Degamo and party went to the Comelec office in Dumaguete to show support to former Dumaguete Mayor Felipe Remollo, who filed his COC for mayor.
Remollo, however, was unable to complete the process since he has yet to secure his certificate of nomination and acceptance from the LP, which he wants to represent.
Red, yellow in Iloilo
In Iloilo, thousands of supporters in red and yellow shirts and carrying streamers and placards accompanied LP candidates in Iloilo City in filing COCs on Thursday.
Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Rep. Jerry Treñas and Vice Mayor Jose Espinosa III filed their COCs around noon, all seeking reelection.
Mabilog will face Marigold Gonzalez, of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and daughter of the late justice secretary Raul Gonzalez, who lost in her bid for mayor in 2013.
Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr., a close ally of President Aquino in LP, will be the running mate of Gov. Arthur Defensor who is seeking reelection.
His wife and chief of staff, Angeli Lee-Tupas, filed her COC to replace her husband.
She will face her brother-in-law, Iloilo Vice Gov. Raul Tupas (NPC), in the fifth district congressional race.
From acting to running
In Antique, Gov. Rhodora Cadiao (UNA) filed her COC for governor against former Gov. Exequiel Javier whom she replaced last year after Javier was removed from office for an electoral offense.
In Guimaras, Dr. Ma. Lucille Nava (LP), wife of third-term Guimaras Rep. Joaquin Carlos Rahman Nava, is running to replace her husband.
In Aklan, Gov. Florencio Miraflores and Rep. Teodorico Haresco Jr., both of LP, are seeking another term.
Miraflores’ running mate is lawyer Reynaldo Quimpo, husband of third-term Vice Gov. Gabrielle Calizo-Quimpo.
Former Gov. Carlito Marquez, former ally of Miraflores and Haresco, also filed his COC under UNA against Haresco.
In Negros Occidental, reelectionist Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., of the United Negros Alliance, led the filing of COC at the Negros Occidental provincial election office.
In Bacolod City, it will be a battle between two long-time political foes for the mayoral seat.
Bacolod City Rep. Evelio Leonardia, of NPC, is running against incumbent Monico Puentevella of Magbinuligay Kita sa Kauswagan.
In Leyte, Marilou Baligod is running for Baybay mayor. She is the wife of Levi Baligod, former lawyer of several whistle-blowers in the pork barrel scam.
Rep. Lucy Torres of Leyte’s fourth district filed her COC past 3 p.m. on Thursday for a third term.
She was accompanied at the Comelec by husband, actor Richard Gomez. Jhunnex Napallacan, Maya Jajalla, Nestor P. Burgos Jr., Carla P. Gomez and Joey A. Gabieta, Inquirer Visayas
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