MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 9 Oct) – Three of Bukidnon’s 20 town mayors are running unopposed for the May 2013 elections, Commission on Elections records show.
Mayors Leonard Genesis T. Calingasan of Libona, Rogelio Quino of Manolo Fortich, and Manolito Garces of Pangantucan have no opponents next year. All of them are seeking reelection.
Calingasan is son of Bukidnon Gov. Alex Calingasan, who is swapping posts with Vice Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. as the latter bids to take the governor’s seat again.
A total of 17 of the 22 town and city mayors in Bukidnon are seeking reelection, including Malaybalay City Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri and Valencia City Mayor Leandro Jose Catarata.
Zubiri faces a three-cornered fight with Vice Mayor Victor Aldeguer and businessman Estelito Marabe.
Catarata has more opponents, three, including political rival Jose Galario. The two others are women members of the city council, Arlyn Ayon and Cleofe Mabao.
The mayors from the following towns are also seeking re-election: Baungon, Cabanglasan, Damulog, Don Carlos, Impasug-ong, Kadingilan, Kibawe, Lantapan, Maramag, Quezon, Talakag and Sumilao.
In Lantapan, Fr. Teresito Labastilla, who was reported to have resigned as priest, is challenging incumbent Mayor Godofredo Balansag.
In Quezon town, Juan Carlos Fortich, a member of the clan who ruled Bukidnon for several decades, is running for mayor opposite Mayor Gregorio Gue.
Former Bukidnon Second Electric Cooperative board member Oliver Aldovino is opposing incumbent Impasug-ong mayor Mario Okinlay. The latter’s wife, Julia, former town mayor, is also seeking a seat at the municipal council.
Dangcagan Mayor Edilberto Ayuban is swapping posts with Vice Mayor Fruto Dandasan Jr., who in turn will face in the mayoralty race incumbent councilor Roberto Cabunoc, son of the town’s former mayor.
Kitaotao Mayor Rodito Rafisura is sliding down to vice mayor to give way to incumbent Vice Mayor Lorenzo Gawilan Jr. to vie for the seat he relinquished in 2010 after completing three terms.
Kalilangan Mayor Nenita Suyao is finishing her three terms and is vying for a seat at the provincial board.
San Fernando Mayor Laurencia Edma is no longer running. But her husband Levi Sr. is joining the mayoralty race against two opponents, one of them Datu Okit Onlas. Onlas was the reported negotiator for the surrender in November 2011 of 80 armed men in San Fernando town led by Benjamin Salusad.
Edma’s son Levi Jr. is also running for a seat at the municipal council. At present, it is a case of “wife as mayor, husband as vice mayor” in San Fernando.
Malitbog Mayor Aida dela Rosa is no longer seeking reelection but her husband, former mayor Osmundo, is vying for the seat again. Their daughter Catherine is also running for a seat at the municipal council. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)