Incumbent officials in 3 Agusan Sur towns face tough opponents in 2022 elections

The Agusan del Sur provincial capitol in Prosperidad. MindaNews file photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur (MindaNews / 11 October)—While candidates headed by Agusan del Sur Rep. Adolph Edward Plaza are uncontested in the provincial level, a hotly-contested race was expected in at least three towns in this province in next year’s election.

The incumbents of this own, neighboring Rosario town and the farming town of Sta. Josefa will have to face equally strong opponents in the May 9, 2022 elections.

At the provincial level, the candidates led by Plaza of the province’s second congressional district, who is seeking a second term, are sure winners since no others aspirants filed their certificates of candidacy (COC) during the deadline on October 8.

Aside from Plaza, other incumbent candidates on their way to reelection are Gov. Santiago Cane, Jr., Rep. Alfelito Bascug of the first congressional district, Vice Gov. Samuel Tortor and six reelectionists and four new candidates in the provincial board seats.

The contest in San Francisco town is seen to be more exciting as reelectionist Mayor Solomon Rufila will be facing lawyer Grace Carmel Paredes-Bravo, daughter of former governor and congressman Ceferino Paredes Jr.

She filed COC at the last hour, surprising Rufila and his party mates who were expecting an easy ride come election day.

Bravo, whose husband is lawyer Dante Bravo, president of Platinum Group Metals Corp. in Claver, Surigao del Norte, decided to jump into the local political fray seemingly to redeem the defeat of her elder brother John Paredes, who fought a good fight against Rufila in the 2019 mayoralty race.

She also formed a complete line-up of candidates from vice mayor to eight town councilors she called “Gugma sa Lungsod” (Love for the Town) team with former town councilors , well-known town personalities, including John Paredes,  to face the formidable ruling party.

In Rosario town, former mayor Jose “Pokloy” Cuyos is staging a comeback against incumbent Jupiter Abulog, both known millionaires who made their fortune in gold mining.

Abulog defeated Cuyos’ wife Juvy, who was former vice mayor, in 2019 by a slim margin in an election that was allegedly marred by massive vote buying at P2,000 per voter in interior villages.

In the rice farming town of Sta. Josefa, Mayor Symond Caguiat is facing a tough opponent in long-time former mayor Dickens Otero, who is coming back in local politics after years of working abroad.

Otero has a complete line-up to face the incumbents. (Chris V. Panganiban / MindaNews)