By Lyka Manalo
BATANGAS CITY, Batangas— Mayor Meynard Sabili of Lipa City will challenge incumbent congresswoman and actress, Vilma Santos-Recto in the lone district of Lipa.
Sabili with his wife, Bernadette and supporters, filed his Certificate of Candidacy (CoC), Monday, at the provincial office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) inside the capitol compound, here.
Bernadette who lost her bid with Santos-Recto last 2016 elections will now run for mayor of Lipa and was scheduled to file her CoC on Wednesday.
Mayor Sabili said he decided to run for congress to push for the implementation of bills that were approved at the Congress and Senate, such as the law on universal health care.
Sabili was issued a suspension order last June by the Office of the Ombudsman, which found him guilty for Oppression and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service with a penalty of one year suspension from office without pay.
He was then granted a Temporary Restraining Order by the Court of Appeals (CA).
The suspension order was reversed and set aside by the CA with the case being eventually dismissed last October 2.
“Those are merely political harassment” Sabili said.
Sabili said he was hoping for a “fair and sport” election campaign against Santos-Recto – a three-term mayor of Lipa, three term-governor, and who is now seeking re-election for her second term as congresswoman.
Santos-Recto filed her CoC last Thursday and was accompanied by her husband, Senator Ralph Recto and supporters.
The actress-politician said she will continue to prioritize social services program on health, education and employment.
Also filing their CoCs on Monday were Batangas City lone district Rep. Marvey Mariño and his wife, Mayor Beverley Dimacuha-Mariño, Board Members Arthur Blanco, Claudette Ambida, JP Gozos, Jesus De Veyra, Lydio Lopez, Glenda Bausas, Arlina Magboo and Carlo Roman Rosales, all are seeking re-election.