Same faces, familiar surnames andÂ a mix of the old and the new, the hardened and the neophytes,Â in Bohol politics have thrown their hats into the 2016 ring, filing their certificates of candidacy (COCs) last week.
Provincial Election supervisor lawyer Eliseo Labaria said he was pleased with how the filing, which started on Monday, turned out because orderliness was maintained.
As of July 20, Bohol has 757,144 registered voters, said Lourdes Cempron of the provincial Comelec office. Some 30,000 voters have not yet had their biometrics data captured at Comelec.
Labaria urged the public to register before the Oct. 31 deadline.
Comelec will release the official list of candidates for next yearâ€™s polls on Dec. 10.
On Monday, reelectionist Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado was the first candidate in the province to file his COC.
Aumentado, who is running under the Nationalist Peopleâ€™s Coalition (NPC) in the provinceâ€™s second district, filed his COC at 1:55 p.m. He was accompanied by his wife, Vanessa, mom Greenie, family members, some mayors and supporters.
He said he is seeking reelection to finish some of his projects, including a submarine cable project to bring power to island-barangays and the construction of Ubay Airport which will start in January.
â€œWe have lots of programs to accomplish,â€ said Aumentado.
Labaria said he didnâ€™t expect surge of candidates on Mondayâ€™s filing of COCs.
On Tuesday, Former Agriculture Secretary and Bohol Rep. Art Yap filed his COC on Tuesday.
Yap, who is seeking re-election in the provinceâ€™s third district under NPC, was the second candidate who filed his COC. Â He was accompanied by his wife,Â Carolyne Varquez Gow-Yap, some mayors and supporters from the third district.
Yap said he is running to continue his unfinished projects.
â€œWork is not yet done,â€ Yap said. He also said he will file a legislation that will benefit the barangays.
He also clarified that he has no involvementÂ in the alleged misuse of pork barrel funds amounting to P163.2 million while he was Agriculture secretary during the Arroyo administration. But he is expecting that his possible opponent will use the issue during election campaign.
â€œThey can always do that. Thatâ€™s politics. Itâ€™s not only in the Philippines but all over the world.Â Â The important thing is I donâ€™t have cases at Sandiganbayan. I have a certification from Sandiganbayan that I am not facingÂ a single criminal case. Just donâ€™t listen to it. Â The most important is people can see my performance,â€ he said.
On Thursday, incumbent Loay Mayor Rosemarie Lim-Imboy, former Carmen Mayor Conchita â€œChe Cheâ€ Toribio-Delos Reyes and board members Dionisio Balite and Godofreda Tirol filed their COCs under PDP-Laban. They were accompanied by their families, some mayors and supporters.
Imboy will run for governor, while her running mate Balite will run for vice governor.
Yap, who was uncontested in 2010 and 2013 elections, has found his match. De Los Reyes filed her candidacy for representative in the third district of Bohol.
Delos Reyes said she was not afraid to face Yap.
â€œDefinitely no,â€ she said, â€œI am confident.â€
Delos Reyes,Â who runs the international beauty soap â€œBeauche,â€ run for governor against Gov. Edgar Chatto in 2013 but she lost.
Should she win a seat in Congress, Delos Reyes said she would file bills for health, education, livelihood and agriculture.
â€œThe reason why I joined is for the poor people. Number one is health. We have poor people who canâ€™t go to hospital because they donâ€™t have money. Second is education. Then livelihood and support to our farmers,â€ she said.
On the other hand, Imboy said at first she was hesitant to run against Chatto.
â€œItâ€™s really scary, you know he has good track records,â€ she said. â€œBut upon hearing support and commentsÂ from theÂ people thatÂ they need a new governor, they need a change, my fear was gone.Â If God is with us, who can be against us?â€
Fridayâ€™s deadline of filing of COC drew more and more people seeking posts in the 2016 elections.
The provincial and city Liberal Partyâ€™s hopefuls filed their COCs on Friday. Before filing their COCs, they attended mass at the St. Joseph Cathedral, joined by their families and fellow LP members.
Gov. Chatto, the partyâ€™s provincial chair, filed his COC along with Rene Relampagos who is seeking reelection of the provinceâ€™s first district, Vice Governor Conching Lim, their vice gubernational candidate and board member aspirants.
In Tagbilaran City, reelectionist Mayor John Geesnell Yap II filed his COC at the city Comelec Office. Along with Yap were reelectionist Vice Mayor Toto Veloso and their ten councilor aspirants.
Bohol marks 2ndÂ anniversary of quake
Church bells rang in Bohol for 33 seconds on Oct. 15 to commemorate the second anniversary of the devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake that brought Bohol to its knees.
A holy mass was held at the Saint Joseph Cathedral officiated by Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso. It was attended by provincial and city officials, mostly from the Liberal Party.
After the mass, a photo exhibit was formally opened after the holy mass to demonstrate the post-earthquake recovery. It will run until Oct. 27 at the Bohol Cultural Center
But for others, last Thursdayâ€™s commemoration was a painful reminder of loved ones who were killed by the quake.
â€œWe will always remember them in our hearts,â€ said Rodel Barace who lost four members of his family who were swallowed by a giant crack in Antequera.
The Barace family visited the cemetery and brought flowers and offered prayers.
Booy Barangay Kagawad Clement Ingking also visited the cemetery to offer prayers for his mother Linda who died on Oct. 15 due to myocardial infarction aggravated by the strong quake.
â€œMy heart breaks for anyone who loses their mom,â€ said Clement. Â He also said that her mother was also his best friend.
Linda was the former top-seller Individual Group Supervisor of TupperwareÂ Brand â€“ BoholÂ (formerly Saralee Direct Selling).
â€œI thank you God for giving me the most priceless of all treasures, help my Lord to keep alive her memory here forever,â€ said Clement.
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