BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
A total of 773 candidates are vying for various elective positions in Negros Occidental for the May 2022 elections, records of the Commission on Elections show.
Of the candidates, three are vying for the gubernatorial post, two for vice gubernatorial post, 14 congressional aspirants, 19 are running for board members, 69 mayoral bets and 603 others are running for city and municipal councilors, COMELEC records further showed.
The unopposed mayoralty candidates are Marvin Malacon – EB Magalona, Nicholas Yulo – Bago City, John Rey Tabujara – Cauayan, Marxlen dela Cruz – Don Salvador Benedicto, John Paul Alvarez – Ilog, Manuel Escalante – Manapla, Jose Maria Alonso – Pontevedra, Antonio Esteban Suatengco – Pulupandan, Narciso Javelosa – Sagay City, Renato Gustilo – San Carlos City, and Maria Gina Montilla Lizares – Sipalay City.
The unopposed incumbent Negros Occidental solons are composed of Gerardo Valmayor – 1st District, Alfredo Marañon III – 2nd District, Juliet Ferrer – 4th District and Mercedes Alvarez – 6th District.
All the 14 will only need one vote each to win.
Provincial Election Supervisor Ian Lee Ananoria, in his report, said that the certificates of candidacy filed by candidates will be evaluated by the Commission on Election Law Department who will determine the final list of candidates that will be put on the official ballot.
The campaign period for local and congressional bets starts on March 25 – May 7 and for national officials, February 8 to May 7.
Ananoria said that Comelec still has no jurisdiction over candidates until the local and national campaign periods start.
“We only regulate (their activities) during the campaign period…prior to that its part of their Constitutional right to freedom of expression,” he said.
Candidates can still put up billboards, posters, streamers, advertisements and conduct campaign activities without being subjected to COMELEC rules, Ananoria said.*