2nd time around: woman farmer runs for governor in Bukidnon

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/01 October) – In May 2010 when she first ran for governor of Bukidnon, Delfina Bicatulo earned only 4,450 votes to place last in a 5-way contest won by Alex Calingasan.

But the 57-year old farmer-businesswoman has remained unfazed. At around 3pm Monday, she filed her certificate of candidacy, the first to do so for the position of governor at the start of the 5-day filing period set by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Bicatulo, a resident of Purok 11, Valencia City promised to “give the most beautiful future for Bukidnon – given everyone’s support.”

Bicatulo, who grows corn, sugarcane and palay, admitted to having no political experience but vowed to pursue support for livelihood and agriculture as among her platforms of governance.

She added that farmers must be given enough capital and that the welfare of the Lumads must be protected.

She said she finished an accountancy degree, had a short stint as a private school teacher, but spent most of her life as a farmer and businesswoman.

She said she used to run a stall at the old Valencia City central market which burned in 2008.

 

Bicatulo refused to comment when asked to assess the performance of Calingasan and Vice Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. who will again run for governor, saying she would not speak ill of the other candidates.

“I don’t know them that much. I only wanted to offer my services to the people,” she told MindaNews minutes after filing her COC.

She dismissed accusations she was just a nuisance candidate and stressed that nobody asked her to run just to mess with the elections.

But Bicatulo admitted that in 2010 she ran on the prodding of a presidential wannabe who was disqualified.

She also refused to mention if she enjoys an advantage over other candidates except to say that she chose to run for governor knowing she has good dealings with other people and she is not “anti-government.”

“I don’t think we need to have political experience for us to serve the public,” she added.

She said she will run as independent but will try her best to have a complete slate for provincial candidates.

She added that having come from a poor family gave her an edge in the sense that she is open to helping others.

Bicatulo said she is not against small-scale mining, which has become prevalent under the administrations of Zubiri and Calingasan.

“But we should protect our natural resources,” she stressed.

Another candidate, Fegidero Danilo, also filed today his COC for provincial board member for the second district.

At the Comelec office in Malaybalay, only one candidate filed a COC for the 10-seat city council. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)

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