MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 8 October) – The race for governor of Bukidnon in next year’s election may prove exciting with 4th District Rep. Rogelio Neil Roque pitted against 3rd District Rep. Manuel Zubiri, a son of third-term Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr.
Roque, who hails from vote-rich Valencia City, filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) before the Commission on Elections provincial office here on Friday, October 8.
Like his opponent, Roque is now on his third term as member of the House of Representatives.
His wife, Valencia City councilor Laarni Lavin-Roque, is eyeing to succeed her husband’s post. She and her husband are running under the Nacionalista Party.
Laarni will be up against provincial board member Oliver Owen Garcia, an ally of the Zubiris.
Manuel, elder brother of Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, is running under the Bukidnon Paglaum Party founded by his father.
Roque served as councilor of Valencia from 2010 until 2013 before he was elected as a congressman.
The governor meanwhile has filed his COC for 3rd District representative, a post he held from 1987 to 1998. Challenging him is provincial board member Arlyn Ayon, a broadcaster.
Ayon first served as Valencia councilor. She ran for vice governor in 2016 against Rogelio Quiño but lost by a narrow margin.
In Bukidnon’s 1st District, Nereus “Neric” Acosta is eyeing a return to the House.
Acosta, a presidential adviser during the previous administration, filed his COC as an independent candidate on October 1.
His sister, Malou Acosta, is now on her third term as 1st District representative.
Nereus held the post from 1998 until 2007, succeeding his mother, Socorro Acosta, who served from 1987 until 1998. He ran for governor in 2007 but lost to the elder Zubiri. He ran for the Senate in 2010 under the Liberal Party but also lost. (H. Marcos C. Mordeno/MindaNews)