9 mayoralty candidates run unopposed in Ilocos Sur
By Freddie G. Lazaro
VIGAN CITY (April 12) -- At least nine (9) mayoralty bets and ten (10) vice mayoralty candidates are running unopposed in the May 14 polls. There are also four (4) towns in Ilocos Sur, where the candidates for councilors were also considered unopposed.
Reports from the Ilocos Sur’s Comelec office showed that out of the 32 towns and 2 cities of the province, mayoralty candidates from Vigan City, Magsingal, Salcedo, San Emilio, San Vicente, Sta Lucia, Sta. Cruz, Tagudin and Sigay towns do not have opponents.
While, vice mayoralty bet from the towns of Magsingal, San Vicente, Salcedo, Sta. Maria, Candon City, Lidlidda, San Emilio, Sta Lucia, Sta. Cruz, and Sigay are unopoosed.
In addition, the candidates for councilors at the towns of Magsingal, San Vicente, San Ildefonso and Salcedo haven no opponents. All the unopposed candidates belong to the ruling Lakas–CMD party.
Lawyer Joel Gines, Provincial Election Supervisor, said that this political situation in the municipal level will eventually make the province generally peaceful this coming May 14 polls.
In a related development, former Provincial Board Member Efren Rafanan substituted Romeo Hidalgo as the opposition’s candidate for governor in Ilocos Sur.
Rafanan is running against former governor Deogracias Victor Savellano, who was picked by Ilocos Sur Governor Luis Chavit Singson as his bet for governor. Singson is a leading candidate of Team Unity for senator.
It is a return bout for Savellano and Rafanan as they also fought each other when they ran for governor in May 14, 2001 elections, in which Savellano won.
Meanwhile, a total of 35 candidates will run for the fourteen positions from congressional level down to the provincial board members in the province this May 14 polls.
Record from the provincial Comelec office shows a total of 346, 019 residents were registered voters from the 610 voting centers in the province this election.
Meanwhile, Superintendent Crispin Agno, Ilocos Sur’s Police Deputy Director, said that the province still considered as generally peacefully as the election is fast approaching.
“The police provincial office had already established its provincial election monitoring center that purposely to monitor all political activities and direct all police stations to implement all directives from higher office and COMELEC,” Agno said during a press conference last Wednesday.
According to Agno, the police are now conducting a 24-hour mobile checkpoint to prevent the transport of any contraband or illegal materials to be used by the candidates this election.
“The police provincial office had considered the towns of Cervantes and Cabugao as areas of concerns because of the election violence happened in the previous election,” Agno said.
Recently, candidates from the 33 towns and cities had signed a peace covenant for the conduct of the honest, orderly and peaceful election in the province.
For the implementation of the Comelec’s gun ban resolution since January 14 this year, a total of 15 assorted firearms were confiscated by the policemen in the Ilocos Sur, in which charges on violation of election code had been filed against the suspected gun owners. (PIA Ilocos Sur) [top]