2019 bets swarm Com­elec of­fices

Sun Star Bacolod - - Front Page - BY TERESA D. ELLERA

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:

First Dis­trict

Con­gress­man: San Car­los City Mayor Ger­ardo Val­mayor, Ernesto Li­brando

Board mem­ber: Cala­trava Mayor Araceli Samosa and re-elec­tion­ist Rom­mel De­bul­gado

Sec­ond Dis­trict

Con­gress­man: Re­elec­tion­ist Leo Rafael Cueva

Board mem­ber: Re­elec­tion­ist Sam­son Mirhan, Sixto Guan­zon, Jun Musa

Third Dis­trict

Con­gress­man: Fran­cisco Ben­itez

Board mem­ber: Mur­cia Mayor An­drew Mon­telibano and re-elec­tion­ist Fred­er­ick Ko

Fourth Dis­trict

Con­gress­man: Re­elec­tion­ist Juliet Marie Fer­rer

Board mem­ber: Re­elec­tion­ist Jose Ben­ito Alonzo

Fifth Dis­trict

Con­gress­man: Maria Lour­des Ar­royo- Lesaca

Board mem­ber: Hi­ma­may­lan City Mayor Agustin Ernesto Bas­con, Ricky Gen­ova and Peter Yulo Tan

Sixth Dis­trict

Con­gress­man: for­mer vice gov­er­nor Ge­naro Al­varez Jr.

Board Mem­ber: Jef­frey Tubola and Valentino Miguel Alonso*

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