De­spite merger, in­tense ri­val­ries seen in most LGUS

Sun Star Bacolod - - Front Page - BY TERESA D. ELLERA AND CARLA N. CAÑET

DE­SPITE the merger of two ma­jor po­lit­i­cal groups in Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal, most of the lo­cal­i­ties in the prov­ince will have in­tense po- lit­i­cal ri­val­ries as most of the in­cum­bent may­ors will have op­po­nents in the May 13, 2019 elec­tions.

For­mer Fourth Dis­trict rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jef­frey Fer­rer, vice gu­ber­na­to­rial can­di­date of the uni­fied United Ne­gros Al­liance and Love Ne­gros, said there are sev­eral ar­eas in the prov­ince where mem­bers of both par­ties are fight­ing against each other.

“The lead­ers of both par­ties have done our best ef­forts to avoid such sit­u­a­tions but we have not stopped some of them. We, the lead­ers who

de­cided the merger, un­der­stand the sit­u­a­tion,” Fer­rer said.

Among the ar­eas that will have in­tense po­lit­i­cal ri­val­ries, es­pe­cially for the may­oral posts, are San Car­los City which is be­tween Vice Mayor Re­nato Gustilo and for­mer vice mayor Edgardo Quisumb­ing; To­boso, in­cum­bent Mayor Richard Jao­joco and cousin, for­mer mayor Evello Va­len­cia. Jao­joco said he will file a dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion pe­ti­tion against Va­len­cia, ques­tion­ing his cit­i­zen­ship.

In E.B. Ma­ga­lona, in­cum­bent Mayor Marvin Mala­con against Third Dis­trict Board Mem­ber David Al­bert Lac­son while in Si­lay City, in­cum­bent Mayor Mark An­drew Golez will be chal­lenged by for­mer mayor Jose Mon­telibano.

In Val­ladolid, for­mer mayor Ri­cardo Pres­bitero will try to re­gain the may­or­ship from in­cum­bent Mayor En­rique Mi­ravalles.

In Bi­nal­ba­gan, in­cum­bent Fifth Dis­trict Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ale­jan­dro Mi­ra­sol will try to get back the may­or­ship from his for­mer ally, in­cum­bent Mayor Em­manuel Aranda, while in La Castel­lana, in­cum­bent Mayor Rhumyla Mangilimu­tan will be chal­lenged by for­mer vice mayor Felix Fe­ria IV.

At lunchtime yes­ter­day, in­cum­bent Moises Padilla Mayor Mag­daleno Peña filed his cer­tifi­cate of can­di­dacy (COC) for re-elec­tion. He will be chal­lenged by his niece, Vice Mayor Ella Gar­cia-yulo who filed her COC on Oc­to­ber 15 with es­corts from the jail. She is presently de­tained for charges of il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of grenade, firearms, and am­mu­ni­tion fol­low­ing her ar­rest, along with her hus­band, in a po­lice check­point in De­cem­ber last year.

In Is­abela, Irene Mon­tilla, the widow of the late mayor En­rique Mon­tilla III, filed her COC for mayor yes­ter­day against in­cum­bent Mayor Joselito Mal­a­bor.

In Hini­garan, in­cum­bent Mayor Jose Nadie Arceo will be chal­lenged by busi­ness­man Paul Yulo while in Hi­ma­may­lan City, for­mer vice mayor Ray­mond Tong­son will at­tempt to grab the may­or­ship from the Bas­cons, as in­cum­bent Vice Mayor Car­me­nia Bas­con sought the may­oral post.

The said ar­eas con­sid­ered with in­tense po­lit­i­cal ri­val­ries are con­sid­ered as po­lit­i­cal hotspots, ac­cord­ing to Pro­vin­cial Elec­tion Su­per­vi­sor Jessie Suarez.

The chal­lengers of the in­cum­bents in the said ar­eas have com­plete slates and are ex­pected to put up a good fight.

Other lo­cal­i­ties with a chal­lenge are Cadiz City with in­cum­bent Board Mem­ber Sal­vador Es­calante Jr. run­ning for mayor, along with op­po­nents Coun­cilor Rey Yee and Manuel Gar­gan­era; Tal­isay City in­cum­bent Mayor Nilo Je­sus An­to­nio Lizares III will be against Joe Ban­tigue; Manapla, for­mer mayor Manuel Es­calante Jr. and Coun­cilor Roy Pla­gata; Ka­bankalan City, Board Mem­ber Pe­dro Zayco again Nene Sola.

Vice Gov­er­nor Eu­ge­nio Jose Lac­son will also have an op­po­nent for gov­er­nor after re­tired pros­e­cu­tor, Rolando Parpa, filed his COC while Fer­rer will also be op­posed by Raul Ba­terna.

For­mer pro­vin­cial agri­cul­tur­ist Igme­dio Tabi­anan also filed his COC for board mem­ber in the Third Dis­trict against Mur­cia Mayor An­drew Mon­telibano and in­cum­bent Board Mem­ber Manuel Fred­er­ick Ko.

Board Mem­ber Alain Ga­tus­lao who was ear­lier re­ported to run for con­gress­man in the Fifth Dis­trict has not filed his COC un­til the last day of the fil­ing yes­ter­day. In­stead, his nephew, Nathaniel “Neil” Ga­tus­lao Div­ina­gra­cia, will run for board mem­ber un­der Unega.

Mean­while, run­ning un­op­posed were the three con­gres­sional bets in the prov­ince. They are in­cum­bent Sec­ond Dis­trict Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Leo Cueva and new­com­ers Fran­cisco Ben­itez, brother of Third Dis­trict Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Al­fredo Ben­itez, and Maria Lour­des “Mar­ilou” Ar­roy­ole­saca, sis­ter-in-law of for­mer pres­i­dent and now House Speaker Glo­ria Ma­ca­pa­gal-ar­royo.

Here is the list of pro­vin­cial can­di­dates who filed their COCS from Oc­to­ber 11 to 17:

Gov­er­nor: In­cum­bent Vice Gov­er­nor Eu­ge­nio Jose Lac­son, Rolando Parpa

Vice Gov­er­nor:

for­mer Fourth Dis­trict rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jef­frey Fer­rer, Raul Ba­terna

First Dis­trict

Con­gress­man: San Car­los City Mayor Ger­ardo Val­mayor, Ernesto Li­brando, Ro­mulo Guion

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 Jr., Juan Musa, and Ely Joy Barredo

Third Dis­trict

Con­gress­man: Fran­cisco Ben­itez

Board mem­ber: Mur­cia Mayor An­drew Mon­telibano, re-elec­tion­ist Fred­er­ick Ko and for­mer pro­vin­cial agri­cul­tur­ist Igme­dio Tabi­anan

Fourth Dis­trict

Con­gress­man: Re­elec­tion­ist Juliet Marie Fer­rer, Ann Joan Len­ling, En­rique Erobas

Board mem­ber: Re­elec­tion­ist Jose Ben­ito Alonzo

Fifth Dis­trict

Con­gress­man: Maria Lour­des Ar­royo- Lesaca

Board mem­ber: Hi­ma­may­lan City Mayor Agustin Ernesto Bas­con, Ricky Gen­ova, Rus­sel Tan,

Ernesto Adrian Aguilar, Nathaniel Ga­tus­lao Div­ina­gra­cia

Sixth Dis­trict

Con­gress­man: for­mer vice gov­er­nor Genaro Al­varez Jr., Joaquin Bil­bao

Board Mem­ber: Jef­frey Tubola and Valentino Miguel Alonso, Rey­naldo Novero, Nor­mal Saril Samil­lano

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