ILOILO CITY — Candidates of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) for governor and vice-governor in the province of Iloilo filed their Certificates of Candidacy (COC) at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial office here on Tuesday.
Last-termer Rep. Arthur Defensor Jr., of the 3rd district of the province, is running for governor while last-termer Barotac Viejo Mayor Niel Tupas III is running for vice-governor.
Defensor Jr. is the son of incumbent Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. and Tupas III is the son of the late former governor Niel Tupas Sr.
In a media interview, Defensor assured of working closer with the public and sustain the programs and projects he has brought in his district.
“My service is direct to the people and if my constituents want to talk to me, they can go directly to my house,” he said.
Defensor said the importance of personally visiting each of the barangay in the province could help him identify the real needs of the people.
“If I could see the situation, I could immediately think of solutions,” he said.
Defensor said his slate is not yet complete, especially his candidate for congressman in the 4th district. However, he said they are now in the process of completing his list of candidates because there is still time to file for COC until Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Tupas said he will focus on going to the grassroots level to identify the needs of the people and provide assistance if he will be given the chance to win in the 2019 elections.
“My experience as mayor for three terms, I am very much familiar with the needs of the barangays,” he said.
Recalling the public service of his late father, the younger Tupas said it is high-time to bring his public service to other four districts of the province and not only in the 5th district where he usually spends his political career.
Lambunao town Mayor Jason Gonzales and Bingawan town Vice Mayor Matt Palabrica who are running as board members in the 3rd district under the slate of Defensor also filed their COCs.
Rep. Ferjenel Biron of the 4th district last week filed his COC together with his tandem under the Nacionalista Party – re-electionist Christine Garin who is running for vice-governor.
Defensor and Biron are among the biggest names in politics in the province.
Former Miag-ao town mayor Gerry Flores also filed his COC for representative in the 1st District. (Cindy Ferrer/PNA)