DNX Pooled Report
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Andrew Montelibano comes from a family of hacendados, sugarcane plantation owners in the sugar capital of the country who have long been mistakenly called hacienderos.
Today, Andrew was the first to arrive at the Social Hall of the Capitol that houses the provincial government here.
“I am wishing them all the luck,” he says to all prospective candidates as he urged all politicians to not wait for the last day of the period set aside by the poll body for the filing of certificates as that will officially make them candidates in the 2022 polls.
He filed his COC around 8:15am as a candidate for board member of the Third District, a post he now holds.
“(The COC) is a metaphor for applying for a job,” lawyer Ian Ananoria, acting supervisor of the Commission on Election’s provincial office told DNX at the Social Hall that was repurposed as a filing area for candidates to allow for appropriate distancing.
The COMELEC’s provincial office, a rented space at a private commercial building at the Shopping Commercial Complex here, is small and cramped for the purpose of filing.
Ananoria admitted the COMELEC was forced to adjust to the pandemic.
Today, would-be candidates were scheduled by district.
Those from the Third District were given the 8 to 9am slot, those from the Fourth, 9 to 10am; Second, 10 to 11am; Fifth, 11 to 12 noon;First, 1 to 2pm; Sixth, 2 to 3pm; and 3 to 4pm for the gubernatorial and vice gubernatorial candidates.
The candidates came in.
A supposed candidate for vice governor, Jonry Gargarita, a Binalbagan town resident wanted to run but lacked documentary requirements.
His certificate was not accepted.
At the Bacolod COMELEC office, a 57-year-old resident of Sum-ag village, Allan Arroyo, filed his COC as an independent councilor.
Amid the anticipated battle royale between sitting Mayor Evelio Leonardia and former Third District Cong Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez, no major political party has trooped yet to the COMELEC office to simultaneously submit their candidates’ COCs.
Police Major Ramel Sarona said this morning the police is ready to secure candidates and supporters.
He heads the police station that covers the COMELEC city office.
Lawyer Katrina Cana, meanwhile, appealed to candidates to not wait for the last day to file their COCs.