Leyte’s top post political showdown now officially over
TACLOBAN CITY- The projected battle royale for Leyte’s top post is now officially over with the non-showing of businessman Benjamin Philip Romualdez who was widely expected to run for governor, a post held by his late father, Benjamin “Kokoy” Romualdez, for close to 20 years.
The provincial office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), headed by lawyer Sabino Mejarito, closed the book on the list of candidates who are running for the May 13, 2013 elections at exactly 5 p.m.Friday.
The last candidate to have filed his certificate of candidacy was Roseller Tan who is running for vice governor under the Makabayan Party. He filed his CoC at 4:20 p.m.
With the decision of Romualdez not to run for governor, his supposed opponent, Leopoldo Dominico Petilla, younger brother of outgoing Governor Jericho Petilla is now a virtual winner.
Gov. Petilla is now on his third and last term of governor of Leyte. The Petilla family belongs to the Liberal Party.
“The days for the filing of certificates of candidacy is now over.We will no longer accept any CoCs. It’s five p.m. already,” Mejarito said after he officially closed the book on the candidates for the May 13, 2013.
The filing of the CoCs started last Monday and ended yesterday at 5 p.m.
Romualdez was expected to run for governor as his visits to Leyte became frequent.
Leyte Samar Daily Express reached one of the lawyers of the Romualdez, who asked not to be identified, expressed his “surprised.”
“We don’t know why he did not pursue his purported gubernatorial plan. We were also surprised,” the lawyer, reached on his phone, said.
Romualdez’ younger brother, Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, had filed his CoC on his reelection bid as a congressman representing Leyte’s first district. The solon, who is now on his second term and is under Lakas-CMD, would run opposed.
Meantime, a spokesperson of Marilou Galenzoga, who is a political ally of the Romualdezes and had filed her CoC as mayor for Baybay City, said that she would still continue on her bid.
“With or without Philip, she will still run,” Jose Cala, spokesperson of Galenzoga, said in a text message.
Provincial administrator Vincent Emnas, cousin of the gubernatorial candidate Petilla, said that they could now sigh for relief with the decision of Romualdez not to seek for the governor’s seat.
“I am speechless. But it’s also good I think that we will not run against each other. We know that with that kind of situation, the (election) could turn out to be tense and tiring,” Emnas said.(JOEY A. GABIETA)
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