FIRST DAY FIL­ERS

Fer­rer, Al­varez first to file COCS in Ne­gocc; Greg, Bing among early birds in Ba­colod

Sun Star Bacolod - - Front Page - BY TERESA D. ELLERA AND MERLINDA A. PE­DROSA

LO­CAL lead­ers trooped to the Com­mis­sion on Elec­tions (Com­elec) of­fices here as the first day of fil­ing of the cer­tifi­cates of can­di­dacy (COCS) kicked off Thurs­day.

Among the early bird fil­ers were former Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal vice gov­er­nor Ge­naro Al­varez Jr., Fourth District Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Juliet Fer­rer, Ba­colod City Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Greg Gasa­taya, Ba­colod City Mayor Eve­lio “Bing” Leonar­dia, and Tal­isay City Mayor Nilo Je­sus An­to­nio Neil Lizares III.

Al­varez, who was the first to file his COC at the pro­vin­cial poll of­fice at 10 a.m., is seek­ing the con­gres­sional seat in the Sixth District as his daugh­ter, Deputy House Speaker Mer­cedes Al­varez, will end her term in 2019.

Al­varez said it has been his prac­tice to be the first to file his COC for the elec­tions since he en­tered pol­i­tics.

He was ac­com­pa­nied by his daugh­ter and Vice Gov­er­nor Eu­ge­nio Jose Lac­son, a gu­ber­na­to­rial bet, at the Com­elec pro­vin­cial of­fice when he filed his COC.

Al­varez said he will make his daugh­ter his chief of staff to as­sist him in pur­su­ing more projects and some leg­is­la­tion in Congress.

Al­varez said he is eye­ing an ex­ten­sion of the re­gional hos­pi­tal in the Sixth District be­cause he sees the real need of a hos­pi­tal in the area. ”If not an ex­ten­sion of a re­gional hos­pi­tal, maybe we can have a district hos­pi­tal at the com­pound of the Cen­tral Philip­pine State Uni­ver­sity (CPSU),” he said.

“It’s has been my dream to have a hos­pi­tal to cater to the med­i­cal and health needs of our con­stituents,” Al­varez said.

Al­varez also said they plan to im­ple­ment road con­struc­tions on barangay roads in the district by con­vert­ing them into pro­vin­cial roads.

He also said he has been im­ple­ment­ing the project “from womb to tomb” dur­ing his pre­vi­ous term as con­gress­man of the Sixth District.

Rep. Al­varez, for her part, said she will tem­po­rar­ily re­tire from pol­i­tics with pride as the first con­gress­man from Ne­gros to be Deputy Speaker of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Some of her lega­cies, she said, is the CPSU that be­came a uni­ver­sity and her leg­is­la­tion that is now a law, which is the act au­tho­riz­ing the of­fice of city/mu­nic­i­pal civil reg­is­trar or con­sul gen­eral to cor­rect cler­i­cal or ty­po­graph­i­cal er­rors in a per­son’s birth records with­out a court or­der.

Also, an early bird filer was Fer­rer, who is seek­ing re-elec­tion.

Fer­rer was ac­com­pa­nied by her hus­band, former Fourth District rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jef­frey Fer­rer and Gov­er­nor Al­fredo Marañon Jr., along with United Ne­gros Al­liance (Unega) party mates.

The former solon, for his part, said he will file his COC for vice gov­er­nor on Oc­to­ber 16 along with Lac­son who will run for gov­er­nor along with the merged slate of the Unega and Love Ne­gros for mem­bers of the pro­vin­cial board and con­gress­man.

In Ba­colod City, 14 lo­cal can­di­dates filed their COCS yes­ter­day. Among them were mem­bers of Grupo Pro­greso (GP) led by Leonar­dia and Gasa­taya.

Ba­colod elec­tion reg­is­trar Mavil Ma­jaru­con-sia said yes­ter­day two can­di­dates filed for con­gress­man in­clud­ing Gasa­taya and Dr. Jan Kevin Moises of Barangay Este­fa­nia; one for mayor, Leonar­dia, and 11 for coun­cilors.

The 11 can­di­dates for coun­cilors were in­cum­bent Coun­cilors Dindo Ramos, Cindy Ro­jas, Renecito Novero and Elmer Sy; Sim­ple Dis­trito, Mar­lon Solidum, Is­rael Salanga, Jose Car­los Lopez, Al Vic­tor Espino, Wilfredo David, and Al­lan Ar­royo.

Both David and Ar­royo are in­de­pen­dent can­di­dates while the oth­ers be­long to Leonar­dia’s group.

Sweep

Be­fore they filed their COCS, the GP led by Leonar­dia and Gasa­taya pre­sented their com­plete slate in a press con­fer­ence held at the Busi­ness Inn Ho­tel. They also at­tended a mass at the San Se­bas­tian Cathe­dral yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

At least 10,000 of their sup­port­ers, who wore red t-shirts, joined the mass and marched to­wards the Ba­colod Arts and Youth Sports (Bays) Cen­ter for a short pro­gram then they went to the Com­elec of­fice.

Re­elec­tion­ist Vice Mayor El Cid Fa­mil­iaran wasn’t able to file his COC due to in­com­plete doc­u­ments along with the four other can­di­dates for coun­cilor in­clud­ing in­cum­bent Coun­cilors Bar­tolome Orola and Ana Marie Palermo, and former coun­cilor Archie Baribar.

Fa­mil­iaran said there’s a prob­lem with their Cer­tifi­cate of Nom­i­na­tion and Ac­cep­tance (Cona) so they will file their COC on Oc­to­ber 15.

Leonar­dia said they de­cided to file their COC early be­cause, on Oc­to­ber 15, Gasa­taya will travel to Switzer­land.

“So we dis­cussed it and it was de­cided to file it Oc­to­ber 11, the first day of fil­ing, for the pur­poses of team play which is a tes­ti­mony that we can work as a team,” he said.

The mayor noted it’s also an ad­van­tage that they filed their COCS early so their other mem­bers could cor­rect their doc­u­ments.

“It’s not a prob­lem at all and they still have enough time to file their COCS,” Leonar­dia said.

Leonar­dia ad­mit­ted that in the pre­vi­ous elec­tions, they don’t have enough can­di­dates for their slate, but now sev­eral in­di­vid­u­als aired their in­ten­tion to join their team, how­ever, they only need 12 can­di­dates for coun­cilors.

“It is a prod­uct of con­sen­sus be­cause it’s our ba­sic rule that those who will be part of the group will be to­tally ac­cepted by ev­ery­body but at the same time, we con­sid­ered the com­pe­tence, in­tegrity and per­for­mance records of the prospec­tive can­di­dates,” Leonar­dia said.

He said this is a block­buster team, a solid, com­mit­ted and the chem­istry and the re­la­tion­ship are very tight and very high.

“We are re­ally se­ri­ous about 15-0 vic­tory in 2019 elec­tions. The 15-0 is not just a mat­ter of per­sonal vic­to­ries of these in­di­vid­u­als, but it is more of a moral-po­lit­i­cal vic­tory that we be­lieve can trans­form into a golden age of pol­i­tics in Ba­colod,” he added.

Leonar­dia pointed out that his team has good records, can de­cide on their own and they al­ways tried to be trans­par­ent be­cause they be­lieve in ac­count­abil­ity.

“We have started a lot of things that is why I filed my COC be­cause I want to con­tinue the things that I’ve started and to im­prove the things that need to be im­proved,’ he said.

Lopez, a former coun­cilor, said he joined the GP be­cause of his good re­la­tion­ship with the group.

“Hope­fully, Ba­colod­nons will give me an­other chance to de­liver the good ser­vices for the peo­ple of Ba­colod,” he said.

Dis­trito, mother of Coun­cilor Caesar Dis­trito and an in­cum­bent vil­lage coun­cil mem­ber of Barangay Sing­cang-air­port, said she’s happy to be part of GP and she’s very thank­ful to the group.

“I’m thank­ful to my fam­ily and the peo­ple of Barangay Sing­cang-air­port for their sup­port and I will con­tinue the pro­grams and projects of my son, Coun­cilor Dis­trito,” she said.

Baribar and Espino, both former coun­cilors, said GP is a very strong slate which com­posed of lawyers, en­gi­neers, busi­ness­men among oth­ers that can de­liver the ser­vices for the peo­ple of Ba­colod.

Solidum and Salanga, who didn’t make it in the pre­vi­ous elec­tions, were up­beat “be­cause it’s a pow­er­house team, a block­buster and they are happy with the GP and mo­ti­vated to do their best.”

Ro­jas, Palermo, Sy, Novero, Ramos also said that they are still will­ing to serve the peo­ple of Ba­colod and to con­tinue their pro­grams and projects for the de­vel­op­ment of Ba­colod.

Mean­while, Ma­jaru­con-sia said the first day of fil­ing was very peace­ful with no un­to­ward in­ci­dents re­ported.

She said the Ba­colod City Po­lice Of­fice (BCPO) also de­ployed six per­son­nel at Com­elec of­fice to con­trol the crowd or sup­port­ers of the can­di­dates.

She added the can­di­dates should file their COC early so they will have enough time to cor­rect their doc­u­ments.

Ma­jaru­con-sia noted that if the can­di­dates are nom­i­nated by any po­lit­i­cal party, they [can­di­dates] should have a Cona. Oth­er­wise, with­out that, they will be con­sid­ered in­de­pen­dent.

She said the can­di­dates should sub­mit the Cona cer­tifi­cate and COC which was duly no­ta­rized with doc­u­men­tary stamps and pass­port size pic­ture.

Ma­jaru­con-sia re­minded the can­di­dates to dou­ble check their Cona if it is for 2019 elec­tions and if they can­not file it per­son­ally, their rep­re­sen­ta­tives should have an author­ity to file which was also duly no­ta­rized.

The fil­ing of COC will end on Oc­to­ber 17 and the elec­tion pe­riod will start from Jan­uary 13 to June 12, 2019.

Asenso Tal­isay In Tal­isay City, Lizares led his group, Par­tido Ku­sog Tal­isayson @ Asenso, in the fil­ing of their COCS yes­ter­day.

Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal Third District Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Al­fredo Abe­lardo Ben­itez also joined them at the lo­cal poll of­fice.

Dur­ing the press con­fer­ence, Vice Gov­er­nor Eu­ge­nio Jose Lac­son and Abang Lingkod party-list Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Stephen Pad­u­ano joined the group to show their moral sup­port.

Lizares, who is run­ning un­op­posed, pre­sented his slate in­clud­ing re­elec­tion­ist Vice Mayor Sa­muel Siote and can­di­dates for coun­cilors - Ivan Randy Ereneta, Charles Amelo Ra­mon Lizares, Wil­liam Malan, Rolin Al­bert Meli­ton, Kenn Thomas Tirth­das, Gor­gonio Treyes III, Ed­mundo Daniel Trib­aco, Ros­alinda Tuvilla, II, Gabriel Vil­lacin and Marisse Lizares.

One of their can­di­dates for coun­cilor who was al­ready in­cluded in the line-up, Ze­nia As­torga, has ap­par­ently backed out from the group and opted to file her COC for vice mayor to chal­lenge Siote.

Siote, for his part hand, ac­cepted the chal­lenge.

They vowed to con­tinue serv­ing the peo­ple of Tal­isay with all their best./with re­ports from Carla N. Cañet

From page 2

MERLINDA PE­DROSA

RE­ELEC­TION­IST Ba­colod City Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Greg Gasa­taya with wife Maita

MERLINDA PE­DROSA

RE­ELEC­TION­IST Ba­colod City Mayor Eve­lio Leonar­dia with wife Elsa

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

RE­ELEC­TION­IST Fourth District Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Juliet Fer­rer, with hus­band former Fourth District rep­re­sen­ta­tive and vice gu­ber­na­to­rial bet Jef­frey Fer­rer

TERESA ELLERA

FORMER Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal vice gov­er­nor and Sixth District con­gres­sional bet Ge­naro Al­varez Jr. with pro­vin­cial elec­tion su­per­vi­sor Jessie Suarez

MERLINDA PE­DROSA

THE Grupo Pro­greso led by Ba­colod City Mayor Eve­lio Leonar­dia and Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Greg Gasa­taya present their com­plete slate in a press con­fer­ence held at the Busi­ness Inn Ho­tel yes­ter­day.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Mem­bers of United Ne­gros Al­liance led by Gov­er­nor Al­fredo Marañon Jr. join Fourth District Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Juliet Fer­rer when she filed her cer­tifi­cate of can­di­dacy at the Com­elec pro­vin­cial of­fice in Ba­colod City yes­ter­day.

TERESA ELLERA

FROM left: Deputy House Speaker Mer­cedes Al­varez, former Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal vice gov­er­nor Ge­naro Al­varez Jr., Vice Gov­er­nor Eu­ge­nio Jose Lac­son and pro­vin­cial elec­tion su­per­vi­sor Jessie Suarez

CARLA CAÑET

RE­ELEC­TION­IST Tal­isay Mayor Neil Lizares (cen­ter) with Vice Gov­er­nor Eu­ge­nio Jose Lac­son (left) and re­elec­tion­ist Vice Mayor Sa­muel Siote in a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day.

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