NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
The political future of incumbent Governor Aris Aumentado in Bohol may be bright for now, but perhaps could be pivotal in the event there is/are challenger(s).
This may be occurring as the filing of certificate of candidacy (COC) for 2025 midterms elections is fast approaching during first week of October this year.
Still, it remains to be seen who would dare challenge perhaps a very popular governor, so far. Popular in the sense that Aris is probably the only governor-elect who reaped a tremendous over 180,000 votes margin against his opponent in the electoral history of Bohol.
His popularity remains high, but that is as long as he keeps his promises fulfilled his vision for: Boholano first and cleansing the provincial government of bad eggs, particularly the alleged corruption pervading during the administrations before his.
The buzz that city ex-mayor Baba Lim-Yap would challenge Aris in the gubernatorial race in 2025 became popular somehow sometime last year. If it happens, it would be an exciting match. And Baba Yap should work hard to be seen, felt and be popular.
Baba Yap reportedly denied the speculation that he is it for governor in 2025. Maybe, he cannot put the blame on people who try to give a clue, like hanging a tarp with his name and face on their backyard, unless he sanctioned it.
One such manifestation is the one tarp found in a residence facing the Mabini town hall. Another is that his face and that of his wife deliberately appeared on the LED lights display in Dauis town near the 7-11 store and gas station allegedly owned by Vice-Mayor Miriam Sumaylo, Yaps close friend.
That is aside from sponsoring the sports activities, like basketball and others, in other towns like Trinidad, where his father-in-law governs. He has also been in other towns as he’s invited by his friend-mayors to grace certain activities. All these add up to what are mere speculations.
Baba Yap, meanwhile, is also pitted against the incumbent Congressman Atty. Edgardo Chatto, who is to serve his last term (2025-2028) in first district. He did not issue a statement about it, yet.
It will be recalled that former Vice-Gov. and now Calape Mayor Atty. Julius Caesar Herrera strongly endorsed Baba Yap for congressman in 1st district before a crowd during the town fiesta on May 10, 2023.
Baba Yap’s speculated candidacy for governor is based on thought that third district Congresswoman Alexie B. Tutor would side him in the event of his gubernatorial ambition pushed through. The Yaps and Tutors are close allies and denied there is such a Tutor Plan.
In the city, Alexie’s father, Nick Besas and her uncle Pepot Besas (Nick’s brother) are both the incumbent city councilors who were elected under the ticket of the Yaps.
But the Besas-Yap political relation has reportedly turned sour after the defeat of Alexi’s brother, Gian Besas, who was trounced by his opponent in the recent elections in barangay Cogon, the city’s densely populated with over 8,000 voters.
And the reported the Aris-Alexi alliance is cracking is being cast aside and is untrue, as far as Aris and Alexie are concerned. Both laughed off the rumor, saying they won’t part ways.
As to former Gov. Arthur C. Yap, rumors have it that he would not try to contest Aris incumbency after his devastating defeat in 2022 elections.
However, it was not clear whether Yap would try to challenge Congresswoman Alexi Tutor’s candidacy. Another report which was not immediately confirmed is that Yap is eyeing the Loboc mayoralty. If that happens, incumbent Mayor Raymond Jala would have a headache defending his post.
Arthur Yap is rumored to try to resurrect his name and fulfill his vision to serve Loboc, the hometown of his wife. Or, if the news report is to believe he would rather choose to be out of the political public eyes after the 2022 elections. (firstname.lastname@example.org)