Sunday, February 3, 2013

Gov. Alvarado now officially unopposed

Alvarado (2nd from left) with Stephen Lillie, British Ambassador to the Philippines.

MALOLOS CITY—It is now official, incumbent Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Alvarado will be unopposed in his first re-election bid.

This came as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) En Banc disqualified two independent gubernatorial candidates in the province for the May 13 polls.

Lawyer Elmo Duque, the provincial election supervisor in Bulacan told PromdiNews that Comelec’s decision is based on his recommendation after he met apparent nuisance candidates last October.

“We just want to ensure that this year’s elections in Bulacan will be meaningful and will not be mockery of democracy,” Duque said in a telephone interview.

He said that last October, he had a conference with at least seven independence candidates in the province including two gubernatorial candidates, namely Jaime Almera and Ernesto Balite.

Duque explained that the conference was meant to measure the capability of candidates to launch a province-wide campaign, especially for the gubernatorial position.

It was followed by his recommendation to the Comelec Law Department which ruled on the case.

On January 17, the Comelec issued a ruling disqualifying Almera and Balite.

This decision is reflected on the Comelec website which showed that Governor Alvarado as the lone candidate for the said post in Bulacan.

“That is the final list and certified list of candidates for the 2013 elections,” Duque said referring to information posted on the Comelec website.

He added that the said list posted on the website will be the same to printed on official ballots for the May 13 polls.

Printing of ballots will start today, February 4.

However, Duque said that the Comelec will still have to decide on the disqualification case filed incumbent Representative Marivic Alvarado of the first congressional district against retired police officer Sahiron Dulah Salim.

An independent l candidate, Salim filed his Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) last October to challenge the governor’s wife in the first congressional district.

However, Rep. Alvarado filed a disqualification against Salim noting that the retired police general ran for governor of Sulu in the 2010 automated election and miserably lost.

As this developed, political old hands here said that if Salim is disqualified, the Alvarado’s will be the first husband and team candidates in a provincial elective position in the province to run unopposed in the same election.

Jose Rey Munsayac, a former board member said no governor of Bulacan has ran unopposed since the 1980s.

He said that even former governors like Roberto Pagdanganan and Josefina Dela Cruz had to face an opposition candidates during their separate reelection bids.  (Dino Balabo)