Issue of October 14, 2018

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Baguio bets file COCs for ’19 polls
by Rimaliza A. Opiña

Some came early and without fuss, others made a statement – brought along their families and supporters, buntings, and performers.

The first day of filing of certificates of candidacies (COC) in Baguio City at least, was eventful in so many ways.

Wearing yellow shirts – the signature color of the Liberal Party, the group filed their COCs as soon as office hours started at the Commission on Elections. 

Former congressman Nicasio Aliping Jr. is trying his luck again for the same post, while former councilor Jose Molintas will run for mayor.

LP’s bets for councilor are lawyer Ronald Perez, incumbent councilors Mylen Yaranon and Arthur Allad-iw, former councilors Isabelo Cosalan Jr., and Richard Cariño, and Victor Jimenez.  

The administration’s bet, the NP-PDP Laban Coalition led by re-electionist Rep. Marquez Go, Vice Mayor Edison Bilog, who is gunning for mayor, and Councilor Faustino Olowan who is gunning for vice mayor, arrived at the Comelec with their supporters who carried balloons, and performers in G-string, who played the gong while they paraded from Session Road extension to the Comelec at Gov. Pack Road. All wore white and blue shirts and vests, bearing the name, “Gobiwan” – a portmanteau of Go-Bilog-Olowan.

In their line-up for councilor are incumbent councilors Joel Alangsab and Elaine Sembrano, former councilor Philian Weygan, former Irisan punong barangay Thomas Dumalti, Kagawad Grace Mayos, educator and musician John Glenn Gaerlan, businessman Zosimo Abratique, Pamela Cariño, Gerry Uy, Ricardo Bagalawis, and Edgar Beltran.

The Timpuyog ti Baguio is scheduled to file their COC on Wednesday, Oct. 17.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan will be running for congressman, Councilor Edgar Avila for mayor, and Councilor Elmer Datuin, for vice mayor, albeit according to a staff of Domogan, the party has yet to decide about its final line-up from congressman down to councilor.

Former LP member Councilor Leandro Yangot will also be running for mayor, alongside Liga ng mga Barangay president and Lower Dagsian Punong Barangay Michael Lawana for vice mayor.

Yangot said they have eight bets for councilor in their line-up but will reveal their names when they file their COC. He said they are looking for four more to complete the line-up. Using feng shui as basis, he said he and Lawana have yet to decide whether to file their COC on Oct. 16 or 17.

Councilor Peter Fianza will also be filing his COC for vice mayor next week but is still undecided whether to run as an independent or will join a political party. He admits there are several parties wooing him to join them.

Retired Police General Benjamin Magalong is also rumored to be running for mayor but this has yet to be confirmed. In case he runs for a political post, it also remains unclear if he will run as an independent or will be joining a political party or a coalition. The Courier tried to verify from the general himself, but he did not respond to our text message.

Former mayor Reinaldo Bautista Jr. who might run under the Lakas ticket, considers himself a hesitant candidate. He told the Courier he is seriously interested in the congressional post, but he has yet to make a final decision.

“I was with Lakas since 1998 and never went to any party. Loyalty matters. Probably that was the deciding point,” Bautista said of his endorsement from the party.

Former councilor Antonio “Tonyboy” Tabora Jr. is also rumored to be considering running for mayor. The Courier also tried to verify from him using his last known cellphone number, but we did not receive a response.

The last day of filing of COC is on Oct. 17.

The official campaign period for local elective posts will begin on March 30, 2019.

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