GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/12 October) — Two younger brothers of boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao formally launched their bid on Monday to run for a seat in Congress and the City Council.
In Sarangani, Pacquiao’s brother, Rogelio, filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for the province’s lone congressional district seat along with the PCM provincial slate at around 1:40 p.m.
Rogelio, incumbent chair of Barangay Apopong and representative of the Liga ng mga Barangay in the City Council of General Santos is running for the congressional post that will be vacated by his brother, who is running for Senator.
In General Santos City, Pacquiao’s brother, Alberto, a former boxer and incumbent councilor of Barangay Labangal here, filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for city councilor at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office here shortly before 1 p.m.
Both are running under the banner of the People’s Champ Movement (PCM) party founded by the boxing icon.
In Sarangani, the PCM slate, clad in green polo shirts, was led by re-electionist Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon and running mate Elmer de Peralta, an incumbent provincial board member.
In General Santos City, Alberto filed his COC in the company of his mother Dionisia and other city stalwarts of the PCM led by incumbent City Mayor Ronnel Rivera and Vice Mayor Shirlyn Banas-Nograles.
The entire city PCM slate, wearing yellow polo shirts, and their supporters arrived at the city election office located at the old city hall building at around 12:40 p.m.
Comelec personnel officially received Rivera and Nograles’ COCs at 12:49 p.m. and were followed by the 12 city council bets.
The PCM’s city council slate is led by incumbent councilors Franklin Gacal Jr., Shandee Llido-Pestano, Brix Tan, Ramon Milleza, Rosalita Nunez and Arturo Cloma.
Completing the line-up are Barangay San Isidro chair Jose Edmar Yumang, Pacquiao, Dominador Lagare Jr., Rodolfo Ladrera Jr., Jonathan Blando and Van Congson.
The city’s PCM stalwarts later joined outgoing City Councilor Dominador Lagare III in filing his COC for the first congressional district seat of South Cotabato at the Comelec provincial office in Koronadal City.
Rivera said their COCs only carried endorsements from PCM.
The PCM coalesced with Vice President Jejomar Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) in the 2013 local and national mid-term elections.
Rep. Pacquiao and the PCM have deferred decision on which party to align with pending Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s final decision on whether he will seek the presidency in the May 9, 2016 polls.
Rivera declared that he is personally inclined to support Duterte should the latter decide to run for president.
“My heart is closer to Mayor Duterte because he is from Mindanao,” Rivera said.
Duterte announced in Davao City at 3:15 p.m. on Monday that he will not run for President. (see other story)
In Sarangani, the PCM slate, which came green polo shirts, was led by re-electionist Gov. Steve Chiongbian Solon and his running mate Elmer de Peralta, an incumbent provincial board member.
“I’m very happy with our slate. We have a very strong line-up,” Solon told reporters after emerging from the Comelec provincial office in Alabel town.
The party’s provincial board line-up is led by incumbents George Falgui, Cornelio Martinez Jr., Cesar Nallos, Jr., Arman Guili, Abdulracman Pangolima, Hermie Galzote and Virgilio Tobias.
Completing the slate are Philippine Councilor’s League provincial chair Cyril Yap, Kiamba municipal administrator Rose Marie Martinez and Jet-jet Bascuna.
Solon added that the group is composed of experienced politicians who have performed well in office and have good track records.
Incumbent Vice Governor Jinkee Pacquiao, wife of the boxing icon, had earlier announced she is not running for any elective post in 2016 but would focus on her family. (MindaNews)