Second District Rep. Aris Aumentado will be running for governor in the 2022 elections, his camp announced on Thursday, a day before the start of the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) and after months of public speculation on his political plans.
Lawyer Jamie Villamor, Aumentado’s niece and new spokesperson, said Aumentado decided to run for governor after his ally former Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, Jr. begged off from running for the province’s top post.
She said Aumentado was initially planning to run for vice governor as the running mate of Evasco but the latter, who is an advisor to President Rodrigo Duterte, informed them that he was not permitted by the president to vacate his post and run for office.
In the 2016 elections, Evasco was also the campaign manager of Duterte, who has announced his bid for the vice presidency in 2022.
“Kagabii we received news from Cabsec Evasco na wala siya tugoti ni President Duterte to run for governor because importante ang iyahang papel didto sa Malacañang being a presidential advisor so sa karon, Cong. Aris stands to run for governor,” said Villamor.
Villamor announced the almost full slate of the Aumentado coalition but held off from naming the last-term congressman’s running mate as they were still looking into possible candidates.
Aumentado’s coalition will be fielding his wife Vanvan to run for his congressional seat in the second district and Rep. Alexie Tutor in the third district.
His camp also did not name yet its candidate for congressman in the first district.
For the Provincial Board, incumbent PB Member Lucille Lagunay; Margaux Goldie Herrera-Caya, daughter of former vice governor Julius Caesar Herrera; and Leah Tirol Magno, daughter of former governor David Tirol, were named as candidates in the first district.
Vying for PB seats in the second district will be Ammon Tirol and former BM lawyer Tomas Abapo, Jr.
In the third district, last-term Garcia Hernandez Mayor Tita Baja, Engineer Greg Jala, Loboc Vice Mayor Pablio Sumampong and incumbent PB Member Victor Balite will be running under Aumentado’s ticket.
Balite is also being considered as Aumentado’s vice governor but Villamor noted that he will likely seek reelection for his final term in the provincial legislature.
According to Villamor, Aumentado will be running under the Nationalist People’s Coalition and will be getting support from the Partido Reporma Pilipinas through Vanvan and Nationalista Party through Tutor.
Aumentado will be running against Governor Art Yap who has long announced his reelection bid and who defeated Evasco by a slim margin in the 2019 polls.
Yap’s running mate will be Vice Governor Rene Relampagos as earlier announced by the first-term governor. (R. Tutas)