Gov. Fuentes, other South Cotabato officials seek reelection

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/ 17 Oct) – South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes and other top incumbent officials of the province formally launched their reelection bids on Wednesday afternoon.

Fuentes, who is seeking a third term, filed her certificate of candidacy (COC) under the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC)-Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) slate past 3 p.m. at the Commission in Elections provincial office in Koronadal City.

Her running mate, incumbent Vice Gov. Vicente de Jesus, and long-time ally South Cotabato second district Rep. Ferdinand Hernandez also filed their candidacies for reelection.

“We’re here to continue what we have started for the development and progress of our province,” said Fuentes, who is running under the slogan “Abanse South Cotabato.”

Dubbed “Team Abanse,” their provincial board slate is led by reelectionist board members Ester Marin-Catorce, Eamon Matti, Gly Trabado, Ellen Grace Albios, Dardanilo Dar and Hilario de Pedro VI.

The other aspirants are Jinky Avance, Samuel Ladot, Ireneo Cabahug and Antonio Fungan, who is on his third term as mayor of Lake Sebu town.

Before filing their candidacies, the team joined a proclamation rally with hundreds of their supporters at the provincial capitol covered court.

“I’m so touched with the turnout of our supporters, especially those from our tribal communities,” Fuentes said.

The governor said she will push for more reforms at the provincial government to further improve and expand its services.

She said she will continue to prioritize the province’s infrastructure development, especially the opening and upgrading of road networks “leading to the farthest sitios.”

“We will implement more programs that will help bring in more jobs for our people and further reduce our unemployment rate,” she said.

Fuentes will be challenged by third-term Tupi town Mayor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr., who filed his COC on Tuesday with running-mate third-term Koronadal City Councilor Mark Lapidez.

In Koronadal City, former South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Pingoy Jr. filed his COC for mayor on Wednesday afternoon under the Lakas-CMD-Partido Federal-Liberal Party slate.

“I’m running for city mayor in response to the strong clamor from our residents,” he told reporters after filing his candidacy.

Pingoy was elected governor of South Cotabato in 2010 after three terms as representative of the province’s second congressional district.

He lost his reelection bid in 2013 to then Rep. Daisy Avance-Fuentes and fell short in the 2016 congressional race, which was won by incumbent Rep. Ferdinand Hernandez.

Incumbent City Mayor Peter Miguel, who is currently on his third term, filed his candidacy as Pingoy’s running mate.

Their city council slate is led by incumbent councilors Edwin Abris, Henry Aguirre, Prechie Louella Ogoy, Francis Rose Dideles and Pingoy’s wife Annabelle.

The other aspirants are former councilors James Lagasca, Junette Hurtado and Oscar Pagunsan, and newcomers Lendel Cadellino and Mylene Bascon.

Pingoy will face third-term city vice mayor Eliordo Ogena of the ruling PDP-Laban.

Ogena picked third-term councilor and radio anchor Erlinda Araquil as running mate. (MindaNews)