The race for the presidency of the Philippine Councilor’s League (PCL) in Bohol is shaping up to be a one-on-one battle between the current and immediate past presidents of the municipal and city lawmakers’ group.
Incumbent PCL president Councilor Jescelo Adiong of Loay and former president Councilor Gloria Gementiza of San Isidro officially declared their candidacies during the regular session of the Tagbilaran City Council on Thursday.
Both Gementiza and Adiong visited the City Council as part of their campaign trail ahead of the elections which will be held from July 26 to 27 at the Bohol Tropics Resort in Tagbilaran City.
Meanwhile, Tagbilaran City Councilor Jonas Cacho who previously announced his bid for the presidency backed out of the race.
Cacho said Governor Aris Aumentado, his cousin, asked him to cancel his candidacy.
“Og wa pa mo hanyo si Aris gyud, mopadayon gyud ko sa tinuod lang. I’m backing out for Aris Aumentado,” said Cacho.
He did not elaborate why Aumentado made the appeal, but Gementiza has been perceived to be the chief executive’s candidate against Adiong, who ran for the presidency with the strong support of then-governor Art Yap and then-vice governor Rene Relampagos in 2019.
The race for the PCL presidency is crucial in shaping the majority bloc of the Provincial Board (PB), which has 10 regular members and three ex-officio members including the PCL’s president.
Adiong, who currently sits as an ex-officio member of the PB, is one of the opposition provincial lawmakers who currently dominate the legislative body in terms of numbers, eight to five.
His replacement in favor of an administration candidate will chip away at the opposition’s majority count in the PB.
The pending Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections will also determine the composition of the PB in terms of alliances as both the Association of Barangay Captains and SK Federation have one seat each for their presidents in the lawmaking body.
The current ABC president Romulo Cepedoza and SK federated president Victor Bolos are both allied with the opposition.
In her speech, Gementiza hit Adiong for alleged lack of transparency in handling the PCL’s finances.
She said Adiong only released one financial report in his entire three-year term.
“Maka-question ta as member ‘asa ra man ang kwarta sa PCL?’ Nganong dili man mo render og financial report,” said Gementiza.
For his part, Adiong said that he is seeking reelection to continue the programs which he started during his incumbency.
“I’m not well off on resources but my candidacy is just banking on my performance as your PCL president,” said Adiong.
Gementiza said her slate is complete while Adiong noted that he has yet to finalize his lineup.
She also claimed that she had already pooled vote pledges from 300 councilors.
The PCL has 482 members, including 386 regular members and 96 ex-officio members. (R. Tutas)