COC FILERS ON DAY 4
2019 bets swarm Comelec offices
A BULK of candidates for the 2019 elections flocked to the local poll offices yesterday to file their certificates of candidacy (COCS).
Leading the hopefuls who filed their COCS on the fourth day were Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and former Fourth District representative Jeffrey Ferrer, standard bearers of the unified United Negros Alliance and Love Negros or Love Una.
“This is a show of unity and is meant to continue to move this province forward. We promise to pursue an agenda and platform of government that will bring about change and development, particularly in the lives of our fellow Negrosanons,” Lacson said.
Lacson also assured the Negrenses they will abide with the clean, honest and peaceful electoral process from today and all the way to the elections next year.
“Let us stand united and be one in bringing this province to continued progress and success. We decided to merge because after all, we all want to serve the people, might as well be together from the very start,” he said.
Ferrer, for his part, assured Lacson his support for the good and progress of the province.
Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., who is already on his third and final term, accompanied the tandem at the provincial Comelec office yesterday.
He said the merger is a dream come true. “I am very happy. I can now rest,” he said.
He encouraged the Negrenses to thank God for all the blessings he gave to the province.
“We should pray too that the Negros will be free from major calamities and continue to develop and progress. We should try to continue to have peace and unity for our beloved province,” Marañon added.
Third District Representative Alfredo Benitez, who accompanied his brother Francisco Benitez during the filing of the COC, said the merger is designed for the good of the province.
“The challenge now is how the merger of the two political parties work for the people of Negros. The merger can’t be perfect. It will boil down to the voter’s decision,” Benitez emphasized.
Benitez, who will take a break from politics after the 2019 elections, will be replaced by his brother Francisco, who was accompanied by wife, Charlotte Kuobenitez, and all the mayors of the Third District when he filed his COC.
Francisco Benitez, who is currently the president of the Philippine Women’s University, said he will give priority on education and sustainable development as well as [complete] some infrastructure projects that are still unfinished.
“We’re going to review the kind of legislation that might improve the education system both in basic and higher education and maybe technical education. We’ll see what else is needed. Addressing the basic needs to capacitate the community is important,” he added.
Another Day 4 COC filer was Maria Lourdes “Marilou” Arroyo-lesaca, sister-in-law of former president and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-arroyo.
She was accompanied by her husband John Lesaca and the daughter of his brother, the late congressman Ignacio Arroyo, Dina.
Arroyo-lesaca said she is running because there’s a lot of unfinished business that her late brother left behind.
She also acknowledged the support of Fifth District Representative Alejandro Mirasol who also joined Arroyo at the Comelec provincial office yesterday, along with Abang Lingkod party-list Representative Stephen Paduano.
Arroyo said she would focus first on basic services especially health and education programs when she assumed office.
As of yesterday, here is the list of candidates who filed their COCS before the Comelec provincial office:
Congressman: San Carlos City Mayor Gerardo Valmayor, Ernesto Librando
Board member: Calatrava Mayor Araceli Samosa and re-electionist Rommel Debulgado
Congressman: Reelectionist Leo Rafael Cueva
Board member: Reelectionist Samson Mirhan, Sixto Guanzon, Jun Musa
Congressman: Francisco Benitez
Board member: Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelibano and re-electionist Frederick Ko
Congressman: Reelectionist Juliet Marie Ferrer
Board member: Reelectionist Jose Benito Alonzo
Congressman: Maria Lourdes Arroyo- Lesaca
Board member: Himamaylan City Mayor Agustin Ernesto Bascon, Ricky Genova and Peter Yulo Tan
Congressman: former vice governor Genaro Alvarez Jr.
Board Member: Jeffrey Tubola and Valentino Miguel Alonso*