Hotly-contested battle seen in Butuan City elections

BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews / 11 October) – While the team of Agusan del Norte 2nd District Rep. Ma. Angelica Rosedell Amante-Matba is challenged by virtually unknown independent candidates, the rival parties in this city are entangled in a hotly-contested battle in next year’s elections.

Reelectionist City Mayor Ronnie Vicente Lagnada, who is in his second term, will face former Buenavista town mayor and Bombo Radyo Butuan station manager Norbert B. Pagaspas, whose slogan intrigued many Butuanons as it exactly coincides with his name’s abbreviation NBP or Naay Bag-ong Paglaum (There is a new hope).

Lagnada’s running mate and his bet in the congressional race are equally strong to stave off any challenge with Rep. Law Fortun, who is ending his term in Congress, to replace Vice Mayor Joboy Aquino, also ending his term, to stage a comeback in the congress.

Aquino, a scion of erstwhile political bigwigs in what used to be the undivided Agusan province, was third-termer congressman in the first district before he slid down as city vice mayor. Aquino will be pitted against young lawyer Ronel Azarcon of the PDP-Laban Cusi wing, People’s Reform Party bet Arcedel Libarios and Partido Federal ng Pilipinas bet Erwin Orlanda.

Dr. Dolly Veraque is Pagaspas’ running mate. They have a complete line-up for city councilors, including former vice mayor Dino Sanchez and former councilor Ramon Carampatana.

The other NBP bets for city councilors include Rene Guevarra, Rodencio Basubas,  Ely Cambray, Colonel Oropel, Bebie Podadera,  Patrick Anthony Go, Aljon Azote and Nathan Sarmiento.

One of the bets under reelectionist mayor Lagnada’s team is Victor Plaza, brother of Rep. Adolph Edward Plaza of Agusan del Sur’s second congressional district. The other bets of the administration team are Joseph Omar Andaya ,Cherry May Busa, Atty. Glenn Carampatana, City Administrator Reynante Desiata, Atty. Ehrnest John Sanchez, Engr. Vincent Rizal Rosario, Atty. John Gil Unay, Sr., Cromwell Nortega and Dr. Eduardo Gonzales.

A new political party, the Federal Party of the Philippines, is fielding a complete slate with Edward Chan for mayor and his running mate Carlo Tan, Jr. Their city council aspirants are Datu Panalang, Edmund Raul Ganza, Jessie Avergonzado, Jason Radaza, Benjamin Duro, Gonzalo Quilano, Joel Detalo and Arsolo  Omac.

In the provincial level, Rep. Ma. Angelica Rosedell Amante-Matba is seeking her old post as governor while incumbent Gov. Dale Corvera will take her place in the second congressional district. (Chris V. Panganiban / MindaNews)