NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
Boholano Former Cabinet secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. debunked claims that he is amenable to a unification ticket for the 2022 political derby.
Evasco clarified that he has no pronouncement allowing or leading to the said unification ticket.
He maintains that Erico Aristotle “Aris” Aumentado, the last-termer representative of Second District, is his candidate and no other.
The statement of Evasco came to strongly junk possibilities of a “buy out” which he said, “Yap is known for.”
He recalled the aborted congressional bids of then Rep. Rene Relampagos, then Rep. Eladio Jala in previous elections as both were supposed to run for congressman against then Rep. Art Yap in the third district.
“Enough is enough of these buy-outs,” he said.
“Aris is my candidate and no other. Any information contrary to this is not true and is a product of wild imagination,” Evasco clarified.
The on-going political intramurals within the administration camp are expected to draw a major factor in the local scene amidst efforts on who will be given the anointing to be the administration party here.
The on-going split of the ruling PDP-Laban is drawing the lines between Gov. Art Yap on one side and that of former Cabinet Secretary Evasco and Aumentado on the other camp.
Only Yap has officially announced his intention to run for re-election in next year’s polls. Both Evasco and Aumentado are yet to make their official pronouncements during the filing dates of the COCs with the Commission on Election not later than Oct. 8.
Gov. Yap flew to Pampanga last week to attend the PDP convention and now has himself identified with the faction under party head Alfonso Cusi with Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Bong Go who were endorsed as the party’s standard bearers.
Both Evasco and Aumentado are identified with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio who is getting strong endorsements from various political parties to run for President.
Reports said Evasco will be arriving in the province next week. However, no categorical statements have been issued by the Aumentado camp on the purpose of the visit.
Gov. Yap, who long before already announced his re-election bid for governor, is banking on the presence of Rep. Edgar Chatto and Vice Gov. Rene Relampagos, who both once served as provincial governor here.
Yap’s “Padayon Bol-anon” group is confident of municipal bets run mostly by incumbent town mayors.
The group will have Chatto to run in the first district while Valencia Mayor Kat Lim and former Board Member Jaja Jumamoy will run for congresswoman in the third and second districts, respectively.
2ND & 3RD DISTRICTS ARIS’ BAILIWICK
Despite the presence of several incumbent mayors with Gov Yap’s camp, the strength of the Aumentado camp is displayed with the stronghold in the two vote-rich districts.
Aumentado’s strong influence in the second district coupled with the popularity and good performance of 3rd Dist Rep. Alexie Tutor is a threatening strength giving the Aumentado camp a hold to reckon with in these two vote-rich districts.
EVASCO STRONGLY ENDORSES ARIS
He also pointed out that Aris, if entrusted with Bohol’s rudder, can hit the ground running as he already has Bohol’s development blueprint, being privy to his late father’s governance.
Evasco believes that Aris can best continue the legacy of his father, the late former governor Erico Aumentado who was dubbed as the “development architect of Bohol” who perfectly knew the right button to push.
What held back Bohol’s stride to genuine progress and inclusive development are corruption and elitist leadership.
“The drive for better, transparent and constituents-centered governance continues until Boholanos are freed from the bondage of corrupt leaders. This drive will never waiver,” Evasco stressed.
Aris’ three-term stint in Congress has never been tainted with corruption and the outline of his development agenda consistently reflects the ideals and aspirations of the constituents, Evasco added.
The entire Bohol has seen newbies groping, but Aris has demonstrated that he could simply continue his father’s legacy and save Bohol from development vacuum.
Aris has also maintained the Boholano bond of friendship and statesmanship in his dealings, true to the Boholano culture of camaraderie and respect for an individual’s self-esteem.
This kept the Aumentado camp intact.
“Aumentado”, being an old name in Bohol, defined the additional advantage of Aris in the 2022 derby and this might be the explanation for some camps to claim unification.