PHOTO CAPTION: Three political bets of Tibyog Akean for mayor–(from left) Denny Refol, Sr., Jose Miguel Miraflores, and Dexter Calizo–are running unopposed in the May 2022 Elections./iNews
KALIBO, Aklan–Four local aspirants personally appeared at the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in Aklan to withdraw their certificates of candidacy (COC) for Sangguniang Panlalawigan and Sangguniang Bayan.
John Rogar Resulta Garcia and Jake Balaba Villanueva of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) backed out from the race for Sangguniang Bayan of Ibajay, Aklan.
The race for Ibajay councilors will now be just among eight candidates from Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), five from Progressive Movement for the Devolution of Initiatives (PROMDI), and one independent.
In Lezo, Aklan, Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) aspirant Marilou Mabilog Arcenio also dropped her bid for a councilor seat to give way to Norberto Ponce. Ten candidates from Nacionalista Party (NP), KBL, PDP-Laban and two independent candidates are now left to square off for Sangguniang Bayan seats there.
Jonathan Ortega Vergara, who filed his COC under UNA for Sangguniang Panlalawigan in Aklan-Second District, also withdrew his candidacy.
COMELEC Aklan spokesperson Chrispin Raymund Gerardo said that, under the rules of the poll body, substitution is accepted if a candidate dies, withdraws, or is disqualified by COMELEC.
The last day for substitution was November 15.
UNOPPOSED FOR MAYOR
In related news, three mayoral candidates in the province of Aklan will be running unopposed for the May 2022 local elections: Altavas incumbent vice mayor Denny Dalida Refol, Sr., of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), Balete mayor and reelectionist Dexter Mationg Calizo of PDP-Laban, and incumbent Ibajay Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Jose Miguel Martin Miraflores also of PDP-Laban.
Three incumbent vice mayors—Wilbert Ariel Imperial Igoy of NP-Malinao, George Rescate Villarubia of NP-Lezo, and Patrick Felipe Lachica of NPC-Balete are also running without opponents in the upcoming elections.
The six unopposed bets all belong to the dominant Tibyog Akean party.
Meanwhile, 330 aspirants are contesting 136 seats in the Sangguniang Bayan in 17 municipalities of Aklan. Of this number, 69 or 21 percent are females and 48 are independent candidates.
Libacao has the most number of candidates running for councilors with 28, while Batan has 27.
Eight candidates for the Sangguniang Bayan in Balete are already assured victories in the 2022 elections. (Boy Ryan Zabal/iNews-Aklan/Boracay Bureau)