GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/ 16 Oct) – Top incumbent officials of Sarangani Province filed their certificates of candidacy (COC) on Tuesday afternoon under the ruling local political party People’s Champ Movement.
Sarangani Gov. Steve Chiongbian Solon, accompanied by his wife Michelle, filed his candidacy past 2 pm before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial office in Alabel town.
His running mate, Vice Gov. Elmer de Peralta, incumbent Rep. Rogelio Pacquiao of the province’s lone district and their provincial board slate also filed their COCs.
Rogelio is a younger brother of Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, the founder and president of PCM.
PCM has ruled the past three elections in the province, with party members sweeping the top posts in the province’s seven municipalities and the majority of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan or provincial board.
The party is allied with the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP- Laban) under the faction led by Senator Aquilino Pimentel III.
PCM’s provincial board aspirants are led by incumbents Rosemarie Sayo, Jess Bascuna, George Falgui, Ephraim Galzote and Arman Guilli.
The other candidates are Russel Jamora, Joseph Calanao, Corazon Grafilo, Irish Arnado and Jose Tranquilino Ruiz.
Solon, who is seeking his third straight term, will be challenged anew by businessman Mohamad Aquia of the PDP-Laban under the faction of former South Cotabato Assemblyman Rogelio Garcia.
Aquia, who lost to Solon via landslide in 2016, was chair of the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group-Southern Mindanao under the Aquino administration.
Running for provincial board seats under Aquia are Elson Formoso, Harry Beldad, Leonardo Tambong, George Diansing, Kusin Coble and Ferdinand Belimac.
In South Cotabato, third-term Tupi town Mayor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. filed his COC for governor under the PDP-Laban-Garcia faction.
He was joined by running mate, third-term Koronadal City Councilor Mark Lapidez.
Tamayo, who is president of the province’s League of Municipalities, will face reelectionist Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes.
Fuentes and her slate are scheduled to file their COCs on Wednesday. (MindaNews)