Fifteen provincial and congressional candidates running under the Love Negros-United Negros Alliance (UNegA) coalition filed their certificates of candidacy before the Commission on Elections at the Social Hall of the Capitol in Bacolod City on Friday, October 1.
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) and Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer of the National Unity Party (NUP)/ UNegA led the candidates who filed COCs for reelection.
Lacson said a vote of approval will only encourage the Love Negros-UNegA coalition officials to do better in their next terms.
Negros Occidental representatives seeking reelection, who filed their COCs, are Gerardo Valmayor (1st District), Juliet Marie Ferrer (4th District) and Ma. Lourdes Arroyo (5th District).
Former Deputy House Speaker Mercedes Alvarez, a three-term congresswoman, filed her COC for a comeback as representative of the sixth district.
Her father Rep. Genaro Alvarez Jr. is the incumbent congressman of the sixth district.
Of the nine candidates for board member who filed their COCs seven are seeking reelection, and two are new bets.
The incumbent board members seeking reelection are Manuel Frederick Ko (NPC) who was the first to file a COC at the Comelec on Friday, followed by Andrew Montelibano (PDP-Laban), both of the 3rd District of Negros Occidental.
Board Members Rommel Debulgado (NPC) and Araceli Somosa (NPC) – 1st district, Samson Mirhan (NUP/UNegA) – 2nd District, Jose Benito Alonso ((NUP/UNegA) – 4th District, and Jeffrey Tubola (NPC) – 6th District also filed their COCs.
Mirhan’s COC was filed by his technical assistant who said the board member was on COVID-19 quarantine pending the release of his test results.
The new board member candidate of the coalition in the 4th District who filed his COC is Andrew Martin Yulo Torres (NPC/UNegA). Incumbent Board Member Victor Javellana is on his third and last term.
Torres is an incumbent councilor of Bago City.
Hernan Emmanuel “Julian” Gatuslao is running for board member of the 5th District in place of incumbent Agustin Ernesto Bascon who is running for mayor of Himamaylan City.
Gatuslao is a nephew of Bascon and Board Member Rita Gatuslao, also of the 5th District.
He served as Sangguniang Kabataan president and councilor of Himamaylan City for two terms. He is currently the administrative officer of Tatak Kalamay.
Jonrey Gargarita, 31, a self-employed man from Binalbagan town attempted to file his COC for vice governor of Negros Occidental but failed to complete the COMELEC documentary requirements.
Having an opponent is to be expected, at the end of the day it will be the people who will decide, Ferrer said
Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative Director Rolito Espinosa said he is also running for board member of the 5th District under Lakas CMD with the support of Rep. Arroyo. He will file his COC next week.
Comelec acting provincial supervisor Ian Lee Ananoria said candidates hit by COVID-19 can file their COCs through a representative.
He reiterated his call for candidates to file their COCs early and to go to the COMELEC with only two companions to ensure COVID-19 physical distancing.
The COC filing, which will continue during the weekend, ends on October 8, Ananoria said.*