Campaign trail kicks off today

7 towns under poll watch list

Some 1,043 local candidates for the coming May polls will start their campaign trail today amidst threats of violence in some municipalities and a massive vote buying in what is now known to be an acknowledged election malpractice in the province.

For the ruling Liberal Party, (LP) they started the campaign sortie yesterday in Balilihan town, the birthplace of re-electionist Gov. Edgar Chatto while the opposition group led by their gubernatorial bet, Loay Mayor May Imboy will be holding caucuses today in the second congressional district under re-electionist Rep. Aris Aumentado.

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Prov’l Comelec Supervisor Jerome Brillantes said the official start of the campaign was yesterday, instead of March 25 which falls on Good Friday. However, per monitoring made byThe Chronicle, it was learned that majority of the kick off activities will be done today, Easter Sunday.

The ruling LP will hold  a motorcade and proclamation rally today in Anda for the slate of re-electionist Mayor Dodong Amper while another proclamation rally is slated tonight in Tubigon under LP mayoralty bet, former Mayor William Jao.

Political observers noted that even before yesterday’s official start of the campaign, local bets were already holding meetings and caucuses in the barangay level as early as January this year.

Unknown to many, Gov, Chatto has four opponents in the gubernatorial race, namely Mayor May Imboy (PDP-Laban), Wenceslao Garcia (IND), Kary Balagosa (IND) and Fer Gaudioso (KBL).

The vice gubernatorial race is a one-on-one between re-electionist Vice Gov. Concepcion Lim and Board Member Dionisio Balite.

Likewise, its a one-on-one match  between re-electionist Rep. Aris Aumentado and Board Member Gerry Garcia in the second congressional district and between re-electionist Rep. Art Yap and former Carmen Mayor Che Toribio de los Reyes in the third congressional district.

In the first district is a three-cornered fight between re-electionist Rep. Rene Relampagos, Joahna Cabalit (UNA) and Chris Philips Alturas (PDP-Laban).

There are seven candidates for the three-slot board members in the first district, namely Benjie Arcamo (LP), Chrsitopher Banglao (PDP-Laban), Manuelito Bumaat (PDP-Laban), Abel Damalerio (LP), Ricky Masamayor (LP) Jose Mesina (IND) and Donald Sevilla (PDP-Laban).

There are also seven bets for the three-slot board members in the second district. They are Tommy Abapo (NPC), Cris Abella (IND), Agapito Avenido (LP), Nino Rey Boniel (NP), Tonypet Oauno (NPC), Giehrjem Puracan (LP) and Jonel Torregosa (LP).

In the third district, there are nine bets for the four seats in the provincial board. They are Victor Balite (PDP-Laban), Jade Bautista (LP), Sancho Bernales (LP), Nathaniel Binlod (PDP-Laban), Noel Bongolto (PDP-Laban), Elpidio Jala (LP), Larry Omac (IND), Godofredo Tirol (PDP-Laban) and Alexie Tutor (LP).

Comelec records showed there are 104 mayoralty candidates for Bohol’s 47 towns and one city while there are 103 bets for vice mayors. For city and town kagawads, there are 812 candidates.

In the city, re-electionist Mayor Baba Yap (LP) will be running against Barangay Captain Arelene Karaan (IND) and Edgar Kapirig (IND) while its a one-on-one in the vice mayoralty race between re-electionist Jose Antonio Veloso (LP) and Alfred Hontanosas (IND).

There are 104 mayoralty bets, 103 vice mayoralty bets and 812 bets for town and city councilors.

The province which is known to be a bailiwick of the ruling LP had the tandem of former Sec. Mar Roxas and Rep. Leni Robredo as frequent campaigners who have visited several of Bohol’s 47 towns. In fact, most of the LP senatorial bets joined the tandem during the grand rally held with the local LP bets at the Bohol Cultural Center.

The tandem of Sen, Grace Poe and Sen Chiz Escuedero visited the city. Presidential bet, Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is slated to visit the province on Sunday (read separate story),  Vice Pres. Jejomar Binay has still to schedule his Bohol sortie.

Among the senatoral bets who already made their Bohol campaign sortie were TESDA chief Villanueva, former Energy Sec. Petilla and independent bet, former Sen. Ping Lacson.

WATCH LIST TOWNS

Comelec Suipervisor Brillantes confirmed the seven towns which are placed under Election Watch List, namely Buenavista, Inabanga, Clarin, Danao, Ubay, Bilar and Antequera while Tubigon is still subject for validation if to be included in the watch list.

The watch list was turned over to the Philippine National Police (PNP) for further surveillance.

Brillantes said the mayoralty races in the seven towns are noted to be hotly contested between Mayor Ronald Lowerll Tirol and Roseller Banez in Buensvista town, Mayor Roygie Jumamoy and Concepcion Muneses in Inabanga town, Mayor Allen Ray Piezas and Eugeniano Ibarra in Clarin town, Mayor Galicano Atup, Constantino Reyes and Danilo Mendez in Ubay town, Mayor Norman Palacio and Elmer Namocat in Bilar town, Mayor Jose Mario Pahangn and Samuel Rebosura in Antequera town.

Danao town which has history of some bloody election related incidents was included in the watch list even if combacking Mayor Tom Gonzaga who will succeed his mother, is running unopposed.

The Comelec official said that because of the recent killing of former Mayor Jao’s leader, the town of Tubigon is under evaluation for inclusion in the list. (with reports from Allen Doydora)



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