BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Across this urban center of half a million people, tarp posters, some small, some big, hang on posts or on carwash shops urging Presidential daughter Sara Duterte to “run.”
While the message “Run, Sara, run” might seem cryptic, there is a public perception that those calling for it want her to run for the presidential post in the coming 2022 presidential elections.
Meanwhile, a group of Negrenses have been unequivocal about their intentions for Vice President Leni Robredo.
They want her to run for president.
Lead us, members of the Negros for Leni have been urging her.
The Commission on Elections had already announced last month that the filing of the certificates of candidacy will start six months from now, 1 to 18 October 2021.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has set the one-week filing of Certificates of Candidacy (COC) for all elective positions for the May 9, 2022 National and Local Elections from October 1 to 8 this year.
“Under Comelec Resolution 10695 made public on Saturday, the poll body has also set the campaign period for candidates in national positions (President, Vice-President, Senator, and party-list groups) from Feb. 8, 2022 to May 7, 2022,” State news outfit Philippine Information Agency reported on 13 February 2021.
In the homefront, Facebook has become the new digital venue for posturings by wannabe candidates.
Amid the pandemic, some individuals have been busy conducting outreach programs.
With the mandatory selfies giving food to the poor.
Word from the political grapevine is that some will be running for local positions here.
Others, like businessman Vladi Gonzales are making their intentions known.
Gonzales had already confirmed to DNX he will be running for mayor if no one better than him will run against the sitting one, Evelio Leonardia.
With Leonardia just on his first three-year term after finishing a full nine years as chief executive, political observers believe Leonardia’s local party, the Grupo Progreso, has grown more formidable.
Another probable candidate for mayor is Wilson Gamboa Jr., the lone opposition councilor who has become more active recently in his fiscalizing.
Gamboa, son of former defense undersecretary, assemblyman, and prominent lawyer Wilson Sr. is allied with the Monico Kabuhi Ko party of former Cong. Monico Puentevella who ran and lost as lone district solon against Greg Gasataya, the incumbent.
Leonardia’s local party, now called Grupo Progreso, has carried Leonardia through successive terms over nine years from 2004 to 2013 or three terms of three years each.
In 2019, Leonardia and GP dominated elective seats in the city over Puentevella’s group that fielded lawyer Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, a former city councilor against Leonardia.
Sigue, a known advocate of the business process outsourcing industry, lost by a wide margin against Leonardia.
Leonardia’s vice mayoral candidate, El Cid Familiaran, won against former vice mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, a GP member who defected to Puentevella’s party.
GP almost swept the city council seats with 11 of its candidates winning against the opposition’s one.