By Jason B. Neola
NAGA CITY --- Banking on their superior performance as movers of Naga’s progress and development, consistently making it one of the most competitive component cities in the country, Team Naga of the Liberal Party formally presented their complete line-up of candidates before the formal filing of their certificates of candidacy during a rousing public presentation at the People’s Hall here yesterday (Oct. 17) morning.
On hand to present the candidates and lend their unwavering support are outgoing Naga City Mayor John Bongat and Camarines Sur 3rd District Congressman Gabriel Bordado, the latter having filed earlier his COC at the provincial Comelec office in Pili, Camarines Sur for his re-election bid.
Before a crowd of party leaders and supporters and officers of various people’s organizations, Mayor Bongat each presented the following official candidates of Team Naga for the 2019 mid-term elections:
Mayor: Nelson Legacion, outgoing vice mayor; Vice Mayor: Cecilia ‘Nene’ de Asis who is on her final term as city councilor.
For city councilor, as re-electionists: Greg Abonal, Mila Arroyo, Elmer Baldemoro, Vidal Castillo, Badong del Castillo, Lito del Rosario, June Lavadia, and Dr. Sonny Ranola.
To complete the 10-man Sangguniang Panglunsod slate are first-timers Ghiel Rosales (a youthful barangay kagawad) and Joe Perez, editor of the Bicol Mail and secretary general of the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Team Naga that was born out of the impressive good governance practices and people empowerment initiatives under the watch of then Ramon Magsaysay awardee for governance and public service Naga City Mayor Jesse M. Robredo, has for almost three decades now swept straight the local city elections, including that of the tenure of his successor, Mayor John Bongat, whose final term (9 years) ends in June next year, a month after the May 2019 mid-term elections.
Team Naga in next year’s elections will face once more its two-time poll rivals, led by mayoral counterpart Tato Mendoza, a Naga City businessman.
Tato did not field a running mate this time, virtually handing the vice mayoral post to Team Naga’s Nene de Asis on a silver platter. But not quite. As of last minute, one Lito Miranda, a contractor, filed his COC for vice-mayor in Naga City.
Tato’s opposition team also has only three official candidates to fill up the 10-man city council slate as of Tuesday (Oct. 16) afternoon: Bernadette Roco, Nathan Sergio, and Joseling Tuazon.
Curiously, the three opposition councilor-candidates were former city councilors under Team Naga (or ‘Ubos kun Ubos, Gabos kun Gabos’ fame) during the terms of ex-Mayor Robredo and outgoing Mayor Bongat.