By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY, Iloilo — The first batch of politicians from the city and province of Iloilo filed their certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the May 2019 elections during the first day of filing Thursday at the local offices of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
The candidates included Iloilo City Mayor Jose Espinosa III and Iloilo 4th District Rep. Ferj Biron, who are running for mayor of Iloilo City and Iloilo provincial governor respectively under the Nacionalista Party (NP).
Joining Espinosa’s team in filing their COCs were Iloilo City Councilors R. Leoni Gerochi for vice mayor; and Lyndon Acap, Rodel Fullon Agado, Mandrei Malabor, Ed Peñaredondo, Liezl Joy Zulueta-Salazar, and Candice Tupas for councilors. Former councilor Perla Zulueta is a;sp running for the seat of the city’s lone congressional district.
Some members of Biron’s team also filed their COCs including his son, Mayor Braeden John Biron of Barotac Nuevo town. The younger Biron is eyeing the congressional seat of the elder Biron.
Biron’s running mate will be incumbent Iloilo Vice Governor Christine “Tingting” Garin.
Biron’s other congressional candidates include incumbent Iloilo 1st District Rep. Richard Garin, Mayor Michael Gorriceta of Pavia town for Iloilo’s 2nd District, and incumbent Iloilo 5th District Raul Tupas.
Biron’s candidates for the Iloilo Provincial Board are incumbent Renee Valencia and Valentin Serag for 1st District; incumbent Mayor Rolito Cahilig of Leon town and former vice mayor Joseph Allen Españo of Leganes town for 2nd District; Paolo Guanco and Atty. Francisco Pesina for 3rd District; incumbent Domingo Oso and former mayor Rolando Distura of Dumangas town for 4th District; and Town Councilor Carol-V Espinosa of Ajuy town and Dr. Nieleto Tupas and for 5th District.
Jonry Gargarita, a 31-year-old from Pototan town, also filed his COC for Iloilo provincial governor.