Provincial Board (PB) Member Nathaniel Binlod announced on Tuesday that he has left the camp of former governor Art Yap and joined the “Abante Bohol” coalition of first-term Governor Aris Aumentado, further strengthening the administration’s numbers in the once opposition-dominated legislative body.
Binlod, who ran under the ticket of Yap in the 2022 polls, said he has officially declared to Vice Governor Victor Balite, who is Abante Bohol’s second highest-ranking official, his support for the administration.
He added that he has the blessing of Carmen Mayor Conchita Toribio-Delos Reyes, who supported his and Yap’s campaign in the previous elections, to jump ship from the former governor’s camp.
“Ang tubag sa haka-haka sa mga katawhan na naa na ba ko sa grupo ni Gobernador Aris akong ideklara mismo karong adlawa na ubos gyud ta sa clearance og blessing ni Mayor Che na akong amo didto sa lungsod sa Carmen,” said Binlod.
According to Binlod, the decision to throw his support behind the administration was intended to benefit his district particularly his hometown of Carmen.
“Dili ni personal interest, dili ni para nako, pero ako lang gyung nakita na for almost 11 years from 2011 hangtod sa 2022 wala miy gobernador, wala miy kongresista sa among lungsod sa Carmen so nangandoy mi og dugang pa jud na kalambuan sa among lungsod,” said Binlod.
Binlod was referring to the candidacies of Toribio-Delos Reyes for governor in 2013 and House of Representatives member in 2016.
She lost in both instances against former governor Edgar Chatto and Yap, respectively, alluding to lack of support from both officials for their town during their incumbency.
Following the 2022 polls, the PB was dominated by allies of Yap who outnumbered the administration members, eight to five.
However, this eventually shifted in favor of the administration after ex-offico PB Member Romulo Cepedoza jumped ship and after the election of Gloria Gementiza as ex-officio member, replacing Yap ally Councilor Jescelo Adiong of Loay.
Binlod’s shift in alliance raised the number of administration lawmakers to eight and lowered that of the opposition to five.
The remaining opposition PB Members are Elpedio Bonita, Benjie Arcamo, Mimi Boniel, and ex-officio member Victor Bolos, who represents the Sangguniang Kabataan as its federated president.
With Yap having announced his retirement from local politics immediately after losing in the 2022 polls, the opposition is left without a declared leader. (AD)