BACOLOD CITY–Negros Occidental has a total of 773 candidates seeking various positions in the May 9, 2022, local elections.
Based on a list released by Atty. Ian Lee Ananoria, provincial election supervisor, there are three candidates for governor, two for vice governor, 14 for congressional representative, 19 for board member, 69, for mayor, 64 for vice mayor, and 603 for councilor.
Bacolod City, meanwhile, recorded the most number of congressional bets with five and the most number of candidates for councilor at 38.
The province’s fifth district has the most number of candidates for board members with six.
The towns of Hinigaran and Hinobaan and the city of Kabankalan have the most number of mayoral candidates with four.
For vice mayor, Hinigaran and Kabankalan City have four candidates each for mayor and the same number of vice mayoralty bets.
Himamaylan City, Victorias City, and Hinigaran have three candidates each for vice mayor.
Records also show that there are 10 candidates for mayor and 11 for vice mayor who are running unopposed in the 2022 polls in the province.
All 21 will only need one vote each to win.
The unopposed candidates are:
Bago City: Mayor – Nicholas Yulo, Vice-Mayor – Ramon Torres
Cadiz City: Vice-Mayor – Lilia Decolongon
Cauayan: Mayor – John Rey Tabujara, Vice-Mayor: Anna Liza Soriano
DSB: Mayor – Marxlen De la Cruz, Vice-Mayor – Nehemiah Joe De la Cruz
EB Magalona: Mayor – Marvin Malacon
Ilog: Mayor – John Paul Alvarez, Vice-Mayor – Genaro Rafael Alvarez
Manapla: Mayor – Manuel Escalante, Vice-Mayor – Edgar Pagayonan
Pontevedra: Mayor – Jose Maria Alonso, Vice-Mayor – Jimmy Gavan
Pulupandan: Mayor – Antonio Esteban Suatengco, Vice-Mayor – Miguel Antonio Peña
Sagay City: Mayor – Narciso Javelosa, Vice-Mayor – Leo Rafael Cueva
San Carlos City: Mayor – Renato Gustilo, Vice-Mayor – Christopher Carmona
Sipalay City: Mayor – Maria Gina Montilla Lizares, Vice-Mayor – Oscar Montilla
Valladolid: Vice-Mayor – Roel Yogore
Ananoria said the certificates of candidacies will be evaluated by the Commission on Election Law Department, which will determine the final list of candidates that will be included in the official ballot.
He added that the agency 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, everything is part of their Constitutional right to freedom of expression,” he said.
This means candidates can conduct campaign activities and put up billboards, posters, streamers, and advertisements without being subjected to COMELEC rules, he explained.
Their activities cannot be considered premature campaigning unless the law is amended, he added.
Ananoria said those who filed their candidacies are not yet considered candidates but “aspirants”.
They will only be called candidates when the campaign period starts, he added.
The campaign period for local and congressional bets is between March 25 and May 7; for national officials, February 8 to May 7. (Eugene Y. Adiong/iNews-Bacolod/Negros Bureau)