BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
Bacolod Election Officer Kathrina Caña yesterday said they have received a total of 41 certificates of candidacy (COCs) as of yesterday – two for the position of congressman, two for mayor, three for vice mayor and 34 for councilor.
Caña, however, said that one of the 34 candidates for councilor filed a statement of withdrawal but later refilled his COC, referring to lawyer Eduardo Padios.
The first COC he filed Sunday was for an independent candidate for councilor. Yesterday, he again filed his COC for the same position but this time with an attached Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA) from the Partido Pederal ng Marharlika, she said.
Romy Gustilo of Paglaum Village, Barangay Mansilingan also filed by his COC as an independent candidate for congressman yesterday and will be running against incumbent Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya who is running as a neutral candidate under the Nationalist People’s Coalition.
Caña reminded candidates to file their COCs early tomorrow, which is the last day of filing, because there will be no extension. If their COCs are incomplete, she will no longer accept them beyond 5 p.m. cut off.
Meanwhile, lawyer Cesar Beloria was the last independent candidate to file his COC yesterday at the Commission on Elections-Bacolod Satellite Office aside from the group of independent candidates led by vice mayoralty candidate Wilson Gamboa Jr. He was accompanied by his wife and father, Cesar Beloria, Sr., as well as their supporters.
Beloria said he is also part of the “Alliance of Independents” led by Gamboa. They are not a coalition but a group of independents coming together.
He said he is not promising anything but would like to focus on neglected public services and programs of the city like the imposition of discipline since he was former head of the Bacolod City Legal Enforcement Unit. He also plans to author a City Code of Discipline.
Beloria said he would like to restore the integrity of family and also hopes to improve the image of the City Council.
He was also Bacolod City Legal Officer and barangay secretary before.
He hosts a program “Legally Yours” over Radyo Bandera where he gives free legal advice and free legal services, Beloria added.*