Iligan lawmaker withdraws from city mayoral race
ILIGAN CITY, Philippines – Rep. Vicente Belmonte Jr. withdrew, on Monday, his certificate of candidacy for mayor.
Belmonte earlier said his withdrawal from the mayoralty race was due to threats against his life. He added that he did not want to risk the security of his party mates.
Last year, Belmonte survived an ambush allegedly masterminded by Mayor Celso Regencia, who denied the allegations. Although Belmonte survived the attack, three of his bodyguards were killed.
Regencia, who is in jail while facing murder and frustrated murder charges, has filed his COC for reelection.
In an earlier interview, Belmonte said at least 15 other suspects in the ambush have remained at large and “are planning to get me.”
“We will be vulnerable to attacks during the campaign period. I don’t want others, including my party mates, to be victims of such attack,” he said.
Acting Mayor Ruderic Marzo will be Belmonte’s substitute.
“As chairman of the Liberal Party here, I will ensure that the political organization will win in the coming elections in May 2016,” Belmonte said.
Marzo, on the other hand, has also withdrawn from the lone congressional race to be Belmonte’s substitute.
He said his being Belmonte’s substitute was “agreed upon by the party.”
Marzo was to face former city mayor Lawrence Lluch Cruz in the contest for a seat in congress.
Belmonte said with Marzo now running for mayor, Lluch Cruz would be the lone Liberal Party candidate for Congress. SFM
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