Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Lobaton: Possibilities and the votes (2)


THERE are impressions that going into the time of filing in the month of October is not the same as before, referring to the 2019 elections. Simple is the reason. It is because Covid-19 remains unpredictable. Now we are watching the mutation of the coronavirus, known as Delta, which is highly contagious and hopefully not deadly. It could change the figures once it starts its local transmission just like what happened in India and Indonesia.

In effect, this is the main reason why many interest groups or political actors have not signified their decision to run in the coming elections. Although these elections would have a bigger magnitude because it’s a national one, we also don’t know what would be the status of Covid-19 at the time of voting in May 2022.

We knew that basic to deciding in any position is the resources that a candidate will spend for himself because he could not depend on the support of the political party. There are parties who spend for their candidates while there are also some who can only afford to send party nominations. But the reality of elections in the Philippines, particularly at the local level, speaks about the important role that resources play in the winnability of the candidates.

While there is still time before the filing in October, we don’t know how things will change overnight and surprises could come just like the surprises of the coronavirus.

As an update, since the Election Registration Board (ERB) in the city approved the transfer of registration of former congressman Albee Benitez, this means we can witness another historic contest between Benitez and incumbent mayor, Bing Leonardia. Albee himself announced after the hearing at ERB that he decided to run for mayor of Bacolod.

On Albee’s camp, he had won the first round over those who opposed his transfer of voting from Victorias City. For Bing’s camp, if the contest would not exactly reach the time of elections, the better. The lawyers of those who opposed announced that they are studying the decisions and may exhaust available remedies.

Though I have been away to glance at the politics in the towns and cities, I am grateful to those who kept inviting me to join their circle. I admit that while I love political works, my academic commitments could not allow me at this time. I am still in the “honeymoon” stage of my teaching and I would be happy to observe things unfold being in the academic community.

I told my friends, I had good and bad memories of political works for more than twenty years. But for now, I said, I can only listen and report through my space here at Sunstar. I guarantee anonymity but not the information they share for the readers’ consumption.

The peace remains at the provincial level with nobody seemed to have come out to challenge the incumbents. In Kabankalan City, there are rumors that while nobody is going for the mayorship, the vice mayor will be challenged by a councilor who also belongs to the Zayco family. It is to be noted that one with a Zayco family name is Councilor Miguel Zayco who is also the nephew of Kabankalan mayor, Pedro Zayco and former governor, Elpidio Zayco. I am not sure if this rumor would truly lead Miguel to the filing in October or he will be pacified by his uncles.

In Hinobaan, there’s clear posturing between sanggunian member Daph Reliquias and Culipapa barangay chair Oscar Daclan for mayor. While for the town vice mayor, the incumbent Jef Encoy will be challenged by the incumbent mayor, Ernesto Estrao, who is already in his last term. Estrao and Encoy both won the 2019 elections for mayor and vice mayor of the town.


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