Iligan’s candidates: new and old faces

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews/25 April) — The city’s contenders in the May 10 polls are a mixture of old and new faces.

Incumbent congressman Vicente Belmonte of the first district of Lanao del Norte and Iligan city ran for reelection for the newly-created lone district of Iligan city. The lone district was created through Republic Act 9724, initiated by Belmonte, separating Iligan from the province of Lanao del Norte.

Belmonte is running against lawyer Samson Dajao, an independent candidate and a prosecutor and Jose C. Pantoja (Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino), a former radio block timer who survived a shooting incident allegedly relating to post-election controversies in 2007.

Mayor Lawrence Lluch Cruz (LP) is running against his uncle Alipio V. Badelles (NP), a former three-term congressman and former mayor Franklin Quijano (PMP) who served this city for two consecutive terms.

Quijano lost to Cruz when he affiliated himself with the Arroyo administration.

Quijano is currently affiliated with Joseph Estrada’s PMP and is supporting Pantoja for congressional post.

The PMP held its rally April 24 at the city plaza with Estrada who came despite  calls from neighboring Marawi City Marawi not to vote for him for his “all-out war” declaration in 2000. That war displaced nearly a million people in south-central Mindanao.

Badelles, a former ally of  Arroyo, is now aligned with Presidential candidate Manny Villar.

Also running for mayor are Samuel Y. Acut (Independent); Ismael A. Naga of  Partidong Demokratikong Sosyalista ng Pilipinas (PDSP); Alberto L. Ong, an advocate of electric consumers rights,  affiliated with Philippine Green Republican Party; independent candidate Yuri Monsanto Taungan; and another independent candidate Voltaire B. Lluch, also a relative of Cruz.

Vice Mayor Henry Dy (LP) is running for reelection against Bernard Yap Pacana (NP), former chairman of the city’s association of barangay captains.

The city council office is contested with 59 candidates five of whom are women and two are former councilors who have completed their previous terms in 2007 but bid again for re-election this day.

Incumbent councilors seek for re-election except for two who completed three terms. (Violeta M. Gloria/MindaNews)