ZAMBOANGA CITY–The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday said that a total of 76 aspirants have filed their Certificates of Candidacy (COC) in this city for the 2019 mid-term polls.
Lawyer Stephen Roy Cañete, first district election officer, said that of the total number of candidates, six are mayoral aspirants; three for vice mayor; seven for first legislative district representative; five for second legislative district representative; 32 for first district councilor; and 23 for second district councilor.
Cañete said the mayoralty aspirants include reelectionists Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar and first district Rep. Celso Lobregat.
Lobregat is the son of the late Mayor Maria Clara Lobregat, while Salazar is the niece of legendary Mayor Cesar Climaco, who defeated the elder Lobregat for the lone seat in the then 1984 Batasan Pambansa. Salazar’s father also served as vice mayor of this city.
Both Lobregat and Salazar are in their second term of office.
The other mayoralty aspirants are Sukarno Ikbala, a retired police general; Danilo Guevarra; Christopher Miguel; and Nur Sangkula Sahibul.
Cañete said the aspirants in the vice mayoralty race are all first-time candidates as incumbent Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde is on his final term. Iturralde is seeking the second legislative district as an independent candidate.
The candidates for vice mayor are Councilor Rommel Agan, and former Councilors Melchor Rey Sadain and Roel Natividad.
The aspirants for congressman in the first legislative district are Councilor Rodolfo Bayot; Dr. Cesar Climaco Jr., the son of the late mayor; former Councilor Cesar Jimenez; Jose Lobregat, the elder brother of Congressman Celso Lobregat; Taib Nasaron; Daniel Nuevo; and Lawyer Wendell Sotto.
Aside from Iturralde, the candidates for congressman in the second legislative district are Congressman Jose Manuel Dalipe II; former Congressman Erico Basilion Fabian; former Congresswoman Lilia Macrohon-Nuño; and Jonathan Perez, a retired police officer.
Cañete said there are 32 aspirants, including six incumbents, for councilor in the first district while 23, including seven incumbents, in the second district.
Cañete said they are making the necessary preparations to transport the COC of the candidates to the Comelec-central office. (Teofilo Garcia, Jr/PNA)