MAASIN CITY – An interesting turn of events on the special elections for the two newly formed legislative districts of Southern Leyte is expected with the filing of Certificates of Candidacy (CoC) of big personalities in the province.
On the first day of filing Monday (August 26), incumbent lone district Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado filed his CoC for the first district of Southern Leyte under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) for the October 26 elections.
Incumbent Vice-governor Christopherson ‘Coco’ Yap also filed his CoC under PDP-Laban for the second district. He was endorsed by presidential son-in-law Manases Carpio, husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
Yap was also accompanied by 11 out of 12 local chief executives in the 2nd district, except the mayor of his hometown Sogod town, Emmie Tan, the wife of former Vice-governor Sheffered Tan, who is set to run for the same position.
Former Rep. Aniceto Saludo also filed his CoC under the Federal Party of Philippines (FPP). He was accompanied by Governor Damian Mercado, brother of the incumbent congressman.
Gov. Mercado has endorsed Saludo because the latter reportedly has the support of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“I am just talking about what I have heard when they called us for a meeting. All of them are our allies. I may be in the middle of this, but I only based it on the instructions of the higher ups. He didn’t call me, he didn’t tell me of his intention to run,” the governor explained referring to Yap in a media interview.
However, Atty. Carpio, who is also the legal counsel of Yap affirmed his support to the Vice-governor’s candidacy in a sortie Tuesday (August 27).
“Sila ang nagsabi niyan, ayusin nalang pero siguro kapag nag-usap na, we will be enlightened and everything will be put into its proper place,” Carpio said.
“Of course, alangan naman kontrahin ako ni Sara. That’s for sure,” he answered when asked if his wife also supports Coco.
The Vice-governor downplayed the issue maintaining that it is only part of politics, adding, “I have been in the service for 6 years. This time around it will be a different field, many want to run, but at the end of the day, we should see who has the heart to help and serve the people of the 2nd district.”
Marjorie Jamarilla, the regional PDP-Laban president, likewise confirmed that Yap has the endorsement of the party. Meanwhile, former St. Bernard Mayor Napoleon Cuaton also filed his CoC on Tuesday against Yap and Saludo, while Vicente Geraldo filed his COC on the last day of filing set by the COMELEC for first district against his longtime rival Cong. Mercado. By Marie Tonette Marticio