LP in search for standard bearer-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Thursday, October 25, 2012
HOTELIER Freddie Gonzales, Liberal Party (LP) mayoralty candidate in Baguio, withdrew his candidacy Tuesday afternoon resulting in a vacancy in the party’s ticket for the 2013 polls.
Gonzales withdrew his candidacy before the Office of Commission on Elections (Comelec) - Baguio election Officer lawyer Modesto Bahul Jr. around 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
LP member and former Councilor Leandro Yangot, who is seeking a position in the City Council next year, said the party is now searching for nominees for the mayoralty candidate who will contend with incumbent Mayor Mauricio Domogan next year.
According to Yangot, the substitute chosen by the national selection committee for the mayoralty post, Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Edilberto Claravall, backed out of the race claiming the filing of Certificate of Candidacy of Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) nominee Jose Molintas would make the odds difficult for the RTC judge to win the race.
“We believe that it is difficult to win against the well-oiled machinery of the incumbents when the opposition is divided and that is the reason why Judge Claravall backed out aside from his personal reasons after consulting with his family and supporters,” he said.
Yangot also said the earlier statements of congressional candidate Mark Go that there will be two mayors allied for LP is not true claiming only one candidate will have a nomination from LP and it was Gonzales who was chosen by the national selection committee.
He emphasized Molintas is not a member of LP and technically cannot be a nominee because the bylaws of the party states that nomination from another party makes him not a member of their party.
He said they are now scouting for nominees who will fill the vacant position of mayor in their slate and will be in tandem with Go in the 2013 polls.
“The committee stressed it was Jose Molintas who will run for vice-mayor but he didn’t follow the agreement and instead insisted on running for mayor in another party and that is NPC,” he said.
“There was an impasse again in the line-up because the initial agreement was not followed and I emphasize there is only one and not two candidates for mayor under LP and that is the person with a Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance in the party,” he added.
Go, meanwhile, also told Sun.Star Baguio Wednesday morning that he is inclined in choosing Molintas as his running mate in the 2013 elections.
Although Molintas is not a member of the LP, Go stressed he already asked permission from the LP national headquarters to form a local coalition with Molintas’ NPC party.
“What I wanted to do is to forge an alliance with the NPC in the city and we are now seeking the approval of the national office for the coalition,” he said.
“While it is true Joe Molintas is not running under the LP, I am inclined and positive about having him as part of a tandem that will carry through a coalition in the 2013 elections,” the congressional candidate added.
Go also added while he respects the opinion of Yangot on having another person to substitute in the LP’s vacant mayoralty post, he said it is better to await the decision of the national selection committee.
Yangot claimed the party is now on a hunt for a substitute, and names floating as possible candidates include former Baguio Rep. Honorato Aquino and University of the Cordilleras College of Law Dean Reynaldo Agranzamendez.
“We would like to emphasize that these are not the final list yet as we are still opening the vacant mayoralty candidate position to other interested and qualified individuals who will substitute for Freddie Gonzales,” he said.
The national selection committee will now choose from the shortlist forwarded by LP Baguio in the succeeding weeks until December 21 on who will be the mayoralty candidate to substitute for Gonzales in the 2013 elections.
Among the candidates in the local Liberal Party line-up are Councilors Edison Bilog, Richard Cariño and Isabelo Cosalan. Other candidates include Faustino Olowan, Agaton Yaranon, Arthur Allad-iw, Peter Wasing, Bruce Limmayog, William Occidental and Rudolfo “Rudy” Paraan.
The LP-Baguio did not field any candidate for the position of vice-mayor.
Other candidates reportedly allied with the local LP but filed with other parties such as NPC and Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino are Frisco Domalsin, Basilio Fongayao, Roberto Ocampo, and Anthony Araos.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 25, 2012.