Negros Occidental still dominated by political families 

LIKE in most parts of the country, politics in Negros Occidental is still dominated by the prominent political families.

Records at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) showed there’s a total of 797 candidates in the province including Bacolod City.

The local elective positions are congressman with 11 candidates.

For the position of governor, two filed their certificates of candidacies (COCs) including incumbent Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson of the unified Love Negros and United Negros Alliance; vice governor, two candidates including Lacson’s running mate, former Fourth District representative Jeffrey Ferrer; congressman, 11 candidates; board member, 20; mayors, 74; vice mayors, 64 and the rest are members of the city and municipal councils.

Among the dominant names of political families, according to the record at Comelec, are the Lacson-Montelibano family from the First District and the Third District, the Marañon family in the Second District, the Benitez-Palanca family in the Third District, the Bascon-Gatuslao family in the Fifth District and the Montilla-Alvarez family in the Sixth District.

Second District Board Member Salvador Escalante Jr., Unega secretary-general, predicted that challengers will have a hard time to beat the incumbent officials.

Observers noticed that incumbents and some of the strong challengers have allied and associated themselves with the dominant political families to get a strong chance of winning.

Here is the initial list of candidates for mayors and vice mayors in the province for the 2019 midterm elections:

First District

San Carlos City

Mayor: incumbent Vice Mayor Renato Gustilo, Edgar Quisumbing

Escalante City

Mayor: incumbent First District Representative Melecio Yap Jr.

Vice Mayor: Johnny Gabriel


Mayor: Marilyn Era, Alfonso Baguio

Vice Mayor: Pecdoy Leonor

Salvador Benedicto

Mayor: re-electionist Marxlen Dela Cruz, Myrna Castillo


Mayor: re-electionist Richard Jaojoco, former mayor Evello Valencia

Second District

Sagay City

Mayor: re-electionist Alfredo Marañon III

Cadiz City

Mayor: Second District Board Member Salvador Escalante Jr., Manuel Garganera


Mayor: former mayor Manuel Escalante, Roy Plagata

Third District

Talisay City

Mayor: re-electionist Neil Lizares, Joel Bantigue

Silay City

Mayor: re-electionist Mark Golez, former mayor Jose Montelibano, Vice Mayor Joedith Gallego

EB Magalona

Mayor: re-electionist Marvin Malacon, Third District Board Member David Albert Lacson

Victorias City

Mayor: re-electionist Francis Frederick Palanca, Paul Octaviano, Ronald Germeno


Mayor: Vice Mayor Gerry Rojas

Fourth District

La Carlota City

Mayor: re-electionist Luis Jalandoni III, Edmund Roroguez


Mayor: re-electionist Jose Maria Alonso, Dennis Rosco

San Enrique

Mayor: re-electionist Jilson Tubillara, Celedonio Ofalia


Mayor - re-electionist Enrique Miravalles, Ricardo Presbitero

Bago City

Mayor - re-electionist Nicholas Yulo (unopposed)

Vice Mayor - re-electionist Ramon Torres (unopposed)

Fifth District

Himamaylan City

Mayor: Vice Mayor Carmenia Bascon, former vice mayor Raymund Tongson


Mayor - re-electionist Jose Nadie Arceo, Paul Yulo


Mayor - re-electionist Joselito Malabor, Irene Montilla

La Castellana

Mayor - re-electionist Rhumyla Nicor-Manguilimutan, former vice mayor Felix Feria IV

Moises Padilla

Mayor - re-electionist Magdaleno Peña, Vice Mayor Ella Garcia-Yulo

Sixth District

Kabankalan City

Mayor: Sixth District Board Member Pedro Zayco Jr., Victoriano Sola Jr., Cornelio Dumaguete

Vice Mayor: re-electionist Raul Rivera, Efraim Cordero


Mayor: Vice Mayor John Paul Kho Alvarez

Vice Mayor: Mayor Genaro Rafael Kho Alvarez


Mayor: re-electionist John Rey Tabujara, Joel Chavez Samillano, Eric Decatoria Gonzalez

Vice Mayor: Annaliza Jing Soriano, Romulo Mombay


Mayor: re-electionist Cicero Diego Borromeo, Jechonias Manzano, Aldrin Roselle Diego

Vice Mayor: Lorie Mae Joy Lambot, Edsel Delos Santos Diopido

Sipalay City

Mayor: Vice Mayor Maria Gina Montilla Lizares

Vice Mayor: Mayor Oscar Chua Montilla


Mayor: re-electionist Mayor Ernesto Estrao, Evelyn Belleza Delos Reyes, Oscar Dingding Daclan

Vice Mayor: Jefrey Lazalita Encoy, Mary Jane Tupad Cubid

Meanwhile, provincial Comelec supervisor Jessie Suarez reminded the candidates that substitution and withdrawal are only until November 29.

According to Comelec Resolution No. 10430, promulgated on October 1, substitute bets will not be allowed to take the place of candidates, who will withdraw their COC after November 29.

It amended Comelec Resolution No. 10420, which states that “the substitute for a candidate who died, withdrew his candidacy, or was disqualified by final judgment, may file a COC up to mid-day of election day.”

The current rule on substitution is similar to the policy adopted by the poll body in the 2016 elections.

The said resolution has retained the rule that substitute for a candidate, who died or disqualified by final judgment after November 29, is allowed to file a COC until mid-day of election day.

But, it noted that the substitute and the substituted should have the similar surnames.

The poll body added that there will be no substitute to be allowed for any independent candidate.


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