Five members of the ruling Liberal Party were the first to file their certificates of candidacy at 10 a.m. yesterday at the provincial Commission on Elections office in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, at the start of the COC filing.
They are Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong (Neg. Or., 1st District), who is running for governor; her running mate Dr. Edward Mark Macias, for vice governor; Manuel Marino Iway for Sangguniang Panlalawigan Board Member, first district; Augustine Miguel Perdices for BM second district; and Clayborne Clyde Lim, BM third district.
Limkaichong will be in a three-cornered fight against incumbent Gov. Roel Degamo of the PDP-Laban and former Finance Secretary Margarito Teves, who reportedly took his oath as member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition recently.
Some candidates in the slate of Teves also filed their COCs late yesterday, while Degamo and his team are reportedly filing theirs Friday.
COMELEC provincial election supervisor Eddie Aba said he believes that many other candidates are still waiting for their certificates of nomination and acceptance from their political parties, that are required in the filing of COCs.
In Siaton town, administration candidates, led by incumbent Mayor Albert Ator, were also the first to file their COCs, town election officer Ursel Tubio said.
Aside from Ator, who is seeking reelection, in the LP line-up are Teodorico Yap for vice mayor, incumbent Sangguniang Bayan members William Kirit and Filoteo Ator, and Donald Gadingan, Edgar Ragay, Izra Singson, Steve Macahig and Fritz Diaz for the SB, Tubio added.
As of 2:30 p.m. yesterday, not one candidate has filed his or her COC in Dauin town, election officer Felixberto Gonzaga said.
Both Gonzaga and Tubio had gone to the provincial COMELEC office for some election-related directives. They said they believe that the candidates in their towns will filetheir COCs Wednesday or Friday.
Aba said his office will receive the consolidated official list of candidates from the towns and cities of the province Saturday afternoon at the earliest.
A total of 257 elective positions are up for grabs in the coming May 13, 2013 elections, including those of governor, vice governor, three representatives in the House, 10 BMs, mayors, vice mayors and city and town sanggunian members.
There are an estimated 698,337 registered voters in Negros Oriental, Aba said.
He added that there were no untoward incidents during the first day of COC filing in the province.*JFP
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