With the filing of the Certificates of Candidacy barely 24 days away, a tandem of last termer congressmen starts to do massive ground works leading to the fielding of their complete line-up from the governor down to the town kagawads who will be running in next year’s elections.
Rep. Art Yap and Rep. Rene Relampagos who oftentimes made a public pronouncement that they will never clash in a gubernatorial derby are now settled to be running in tandem for governor and vice governor, respectively. Yap ends his nine-year stint as a congressman in the third district with Relampagos, also the same in the first district.
Reports reaching the Chronicle revealed that both congressmen are moving more visibly not just in their respective districts but in the entire province confirming speculations that it will be a Yap-Relampagos tandem in the 2019 polls.
If this will be finalized, they will be leading the “Padayon Bol-anon,” a local political group composed mostly of the incumbent mayors, vice mayors, councilors as well as those in the provincial level led by last termer Gov. Edgar Chatto.
Gov. Chatto who will also be ending his three-year term as the provincial top executive has long been eyed to be the group’s congressional bet in Bohol’s first district.
This will be the second time for Relampagos to bid for the second highest position in the province since he has served as vice governor in 1992-1995 where he won against Dr. Bobong Yap, Atty Leopoldo Blanco, Jr. and Msgr Margarito Gonzaga. He was then 28 years old while he won as governor in 1995 defeating the “political wonder boy” David Tirol.
He defeated David Tirol at the age of 31.
Yap, who will also be ending his term in the 3rd district was recently named as deputy House Speaker following the assumption of former Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as the new House Speaker.
He will be endorsing retired Judge Carlos Fernando to run for congressman in the 3rd district.
The second district has become the group’s weakest zone with no definite bet yet for congressman to run against re-electionist Rep. Aris Aumentado.
However, the names of former Rep, Roberto Cajes, Mayor’s League President, Clarin Mayor Allen Piezas and Board Member Aga Avenido have surfaced as probable bets for congressman in the second district.
Pressed to comment on the political party affiliation of “Padayon Bolanon,” Rep. Relampagos said it will have candidates coming from the various political parties.
For the provincial slate, two slots are vacant in the first district with Board Member Ricky Masamayor as the lone re-electionist. For the second district, Board Member Avenido is the lone re-electionist leaving two slots vacant while only one slot is open in the third district if Board Members Elpiidio Jala, Jade Bautista and Alexie Tutor will run for another term in next year’s polls.
The administration camp has Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, Jr. as the most favored bet for governor. However, Evasco during the last interview with dyRD’s Inyong Alagad program expressed disinterest to push through his gubernatorial dream.
But, in previous interviews, Evasco said it will all depend on the decision of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.
There are unconfirmed reports that former Vice Gov. Julius Herrera is groomed to be Evasco’s running mate. However, Herrera has not issued a confirmation on this report.
The administration camp is strongest in the second district with re-electionist Rep. Aumentado having a solid command vote in his district.
In the third district, three possible bets for congressmen will be supporting Evasco’s gubernatorial bid. They are Vice Gov. Dionisio Balite, former Carmen Mayor Che-Che delos Reyes and Board Member Tutor.
The second district is considered as the administration’s bailiwick as this area is considered as the “Aumentado” country.