The governorship still beckons 3rd District Congressman Arthur C. Yap but will he run for governor in 2019 or not?
In a rare free-wheeling breakfast press conference on January 26, 2018, before a group of skeptical Bohol media, Yap continued to mesmerized and perplex the media when he weaved, parried and dodged questions relating to his perceived run for the vacant seat for governor in the 2019 mid-term elections.
Now on his last term as representative of the 3rd District, Yap told the media that “As of now I have not yet made my final decision to run” but admitted that running for governor is one of his options.
However, when asked to comment on political soothsayers prophesying a Yap-Relampagos tandem in the 2019 elections, Yap modestly expressed his willingness to step aside and settle as Relampagos running mate.
“I am willing to be his vice governor”, Yap said which elicited guffaws from an amused media.
“In all humility, he (Relampagos) is one of our young and excellent leaders and was once one of our youngest governors.”
“To be very honest, I feel embarrassed and uneasy to say that I am considering him to be my vice governor,” Yap sheepishly added.
“I will reverse it. Anytime he needs me, I am willing to be his wingman. It is not for me to say he will be my wingman. Lisud na. Mau-waw ko.”
But Yap expressed surprise when presented with a scenario where President Rodrigo Duterte might intervene in the choice of candidates for positions in the local elections especially for governor and congressman in the 1st district.
When told that his potential and strongest opponent, former Maribojoc Mayor Leoncio “Tuloy” Evasco, now Cabinet Secretary will be advised to run for congressman in the 1st district against Chatto, then he will be running without opposition, reminiscent of the 2010 and 2013 elections where he was the lone candidate.
“That is malicious”, Yap retorted.
It is open season for the seat of governor in the next election with no incumbent as Governor Edgar Chatto will end his nine-year term and is expected to reclaim his position as 1st district congressman.
When pressed what is other options are, Yap mentioned five, three of which were election-related – running for governor, senator or a seat in the May 2018 barangay elections which again elicited giggles from the media.
Going back to private life is also a very tempting option since he could practice law and devote his time to the family business.
With the 2019 elections approaching despite the uncertainties of the outcome of the constituent assembly (Con-Ass), Yap has consistently maintained a non-categorical position about his political plans and prefers to remain a reluctant candidate for governor. (Chito M. Visarra)