Board Member Tomas “Tommy” Abapo, Jr. accepted the offer to be the running mate of Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, Jr. in the 2019 mid-term elections set in May next year.
This was confirmed by Abapo himself during an interview with the Chronicle last night. He formally accepted the offer made by Sec. Evasco during a meeting with political leaders of the second district led by Rep. Aris Aumentado at the Metro Center Hotel last Sunday.
The Evasco-Abapo tandem is now sealed as far as the group is concerned.
They will be running under the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) as earlier leaked to the Chronicle when Sec. Evasco was seen meeting in Manila with business tycoon Danding Cojuangco, top NPC leader.
The Bohol NPC team will be filing their COCs at the Provincial Comelec office on Monday.
There is no definite word on whether Evasco will join their group in the filing of their certificates of candidacies considering that once he files his COC, he will automatically end his position as cabinet secretary being an appointed position. His option to let another party member file a COC for governor and he will substitute not later than Nov. 29 as allowed by the Comelec.
Veteran provincial lawmaker Abapo has served as board member for five terms already. His first round of three terms was during the time of the late Gov. Erico Aumentado. He served as provincial administrator and provincial attorney, two sensitive positions entrusted to him by Aumentado. He is presently serving his second term in his second round as Bohol board member.
The 72-year old Abapo is presently the dean of the College of Law of Holy Name University (HNU).
Abapo said that under his district, the three to file their COCs for board members are re-electionist BM Gloria Gementiza, Ubay Kagawad Isi Besas and Mimi Boniel-Maglasang, older sister of former Board Member Emem Boniel.
BM Abapo said he still awaits the final names for board members in the first and third districts.
The tandem of last termers Rep. Art Yap and Rep. Rene Relampagos has long been known by their party members down in the baranagy level.
Last termer Gov. Edgar Chatto will be the group’s congressional bet for the first district while Yap has endorsed retired Judge Carlos Fernando to run in the third district,
The probable bets for board members in the first district are re-electionist BM Ricky Masamayor, Calape Mayor Nelson Yu and Provincial Administrator Ae Damalerio.
Possible board member bets for the second and third districts are still to be finalized.