bets ready for heated campaign
total of 387 aspirants have filed their
certificates of candidacy for 113 provincial and
municipal posts at stake in the May 14 local
elections, records of the Commission on
Elections (COMELEC) here showed.
the provincial level, Viracnon CPA-lawyer Joseph
A. Santiago, 35, of the Nationalist People's
Coalition (NPC) heads a four-man contest for the
congressional seat to be vacated by three-termer
Rep. Leandro B. Verceles, Jr. (Lakas-NUCD-UMDP),
who is fielding his wife, real estate trader
Nathalie Africa-Verceles, 34, in his stead. The
other aspirants are Virac businesswoman Yolanda
Andes, 40, of PDP-Laban and Middle East hotelier
Evelyn San Ramon-Yumol (LDP-PMP), 50, of Sioron,
the equally crucial battle for governor, 42-year
old incumbent Gov. Hector S. Sanchez has his
hands full trying to keep his seat from the
hands of Rep. Verceles, former Gov. Severo C.
Alcantara, Chronicle columnist Romeo T. Torres,
Jr. and a certain Gregorio Verceles, 56.
the race for presidency of the Sangguniang
Panlalawigan, the fate of incumbent Alfred M.
Aquino, 43, will depend on whether two other
Virac candidates - former Gov. Vicente M.
Alberto and her niece, former Gov. Rosalie
Alberto-Estacio - withdraw in favor of coalition
candidate Atty. Cesar V. Sarmiento. Defeated
1992 congressional bet Justo Evangelista, 56, is
the other aspirant.
incumbents - lawyer Evelyn Lucero-Gutierrez,
former banker Rafael C. Zuniega, PCL president
Rosie Panti-Olarte, accountant Fred A. Gianan,
Jr. and `broadcaster' Catalino V. Gabao, Jr. -
head a cast of 15 aspirants for provincial board
member in the West district.
others are San Andres SB member Renato A.
Arcilla, retired SP secretary Roberto A. Lopez
of Caramoran, and eight other from the capital
town: retired RTC Judge Honesto V. Morales,
alleged `lotteng' operator Natalio C. Popa of
Virac, businessman Poldito V. Rodriguez, lawyer
Arnel C. Sarmiento, architect Angeles V. Tablizo,
Jr., businessman Manuel B. Tablizo, Jr.,
cooperative leader Antonio T. Tabuzo and retired
police officer Eulogio M. Talaran, Jr.
the East district, 12 candidates are gunning for
the four seats including two incumbents -
academic dean Edwin T. Tanael of Baras and Edgar
T. Tapel of San Miguel. The others are retired
DECS supervisor Julieto R. Barceta of Pandan,
lawyer Miguel S. Concepcion of Viga, independent
Jose T. de Leon, Jr. of Panganiban, Chronicle
publisher Napoleon F. de Luna of Viga,
businessman Rene C. Guerrero of Baras, former
Viga vice mayor Roger F. Pereyra, civil engineer
Amador A. Teston of Baras, FICELCO department
head Pio P. Tubalinal of Bato, contractor Romeo
O. Tuplano of Viga, and Bato SB member Rodolfo
other SP incumbents - Carlos M. Aguilar and
Lilia V. Evangelista - are running for SB member
in Panganiban and Virac, respectively, as they
already have served the three-term limit.
the mayoral contests, six incumbents are up for
reelection with two `retiring' chief executives
fielding their own wives.
Bagamanoc, Aksyon Demokratiko's incumbent
Vincent V. Villaluna, 27, faces 65-year old US
balikbayan Tito V. de Leon (Lakas-NUCD) while
Vice Mayor Rustom S. Soledad (Aksyon) tries his
hand at the top with businessman Jose J. Teves,
Jr. (Lakas-NUCD) at the other end.
Bato, incumbent Lorenzo T. Templonuevo, Jr. (Aksyon/Reporma)
repeats his battle with former mayor Camilo R.
Teope (Lakas). In contrast, it's a wide open
race in Caramoran as one woman, current first
lady Lourdes F. Idanan, faces five men - Vice
Mayor Porfirio C. Bocaya, businessman Leopoldo
D. Ereso, PBM Magin P. Isuela and El Shaddai
money man Eligio V. Sales.
Gigmoto, the widow of late Mayor Adolfo
Sarmiento, Amparo, is up against incumbent Edgar
M. Tayam and businessman Armando T. Guerrero. In
Pandan, Vice Mayor Josefina E. Santelices (Reporma)
tries to claim the prize that has eluded her
twice in the past, the mayoral seat held by
Eulalia V. Verceles (Lakas).
Panganiban, incumbent Vice Mayor Gregorio E.
Angeles (Aksyon) has a good chance against
accountant Rufino B. Aguilar, Jr. while in San
Andres, businessman Leo Z. Mendoza (Aksyon) is
up against his own brother-in-law, contractor
Joseph C. Cua (Lakas).
San Miguel, incumbent Francisco T. Camano, Jr.
allegedly fielded ex-barangay captain Armando T.
Bernal to foil the ambitions of businessman
Florendo P. Bernal. In Viga, it's a four-way
race between retired ATO manager Abelardo M.
Abundo (Lakas), independent Edipigo T. Litong,
Yolando B. Tuquero and the wife of incumbent
Jose T. Torres, Faustina.
the capital town, the fourth face-off between
incumbent Jose U. Alberto II (NPC) and Dr.
Rodulfo A. Sarmiento (Lakas) continues to be
clouded in uncertainty as rumors about the
latter's ill health abound. In the sidelines,
independent Romulo R. Panti keeps his fingers
crossed as he hopes for miracle - he and brother
Raul R. Panti winning as mayor and vice mayor of
in all, 31 bets filed as candidates for mayo
while 29 are running for vice mayor. Of the 286
candidates for SB member provincewide, the
largest contingent of 38 is in Viga while the
smallest field is in Panganiban at 19.