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Fragile Democracy

As the Commission on Elections opens its windows for the filing of Certificates of Candidacies of presidential, vice-presidential, senatorial, congressional and other bets for the national elective positions this week, Presidential bet Manny Pacquiao was the first to file his candidacy. Following him, Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III who have long announced their respective candidacies have also filed their COCs. VP Leni Robredo who has been nominated by 1Sambayan and who is being urged by civic and similar other groups to run for President is also expected to announce her decision and hopefully be on time for the last day for the filing of COCs. Up to this writing however, 1Sambayan has not named the possible running mate for its Presidential bet Robredo as reportedly the coalition is on the look-out for one who would align with the principles and program platform of Robredo. So far, it’s Packman and his VP, the Lacson-Sotto tandem and VP Robredo and her probable VP who are the front runners this coming polls. The Comelec however, expects more presidential bets will file their COCs as the deadline nears.

In Camarines Sur, the congressional bets are Atty. Rolando Andaya, Jr. who is seeking another term in the 1st District, former Naga City Mayor Sulpicio “Cho” Roco and former Solicitor General Joel Cadiz who are vying for congressional seats in the 2nd District, while in the 3rd District former Iriga City Mayor Madeline Alfelor is expected to run for Congress. It is still not known if there are other congressional bets other than Alfelor. Lastly, on the 4th District incumbent Congressman Arnie Fuentebella is running for re-election, and reportedly, his opponent is movie actor Anjo Yllana. Considering the political clout and influence of the Fuentebellas in the 4th District, political analysts have it that Arnie will have a landslide victory in his district.

In the City of Naga, by all indications it will be a three-cornered bout among re-electionist incumbent Mayor Nelson Legacion and his vice-mayoral bet incumbent Nene de Asis, former Naga City Mayor John Bongat and his running mate former Naga City Judge Zenaida Bragais, and Fortunato “Tato” Mendoza and his running mate former media practitioner Restituto “Tuts” Dequiros. The aspirants being all possessed with educational backgrounds and experience, political pundits say that this political bout in Naga City is worth watching. Be that as it may, which ever team gets the voters’ nod, it is the victory Naga City, the Heart of Bicol.

It will be recalled that on May 9, 2021, the pealing of the bells in major Catholic churches across the country signaled the countdown for the 2022 elections, encouraging voters to go out and register. We have seen the country face unprecedented challenges in the past six years, and whoever we choose to vote for in this elections must carry the message of hope and genuine concern for public interest. In this fragile democracy that we have, every vote is sacred, and we get the kind of leaders we deserve because we vote for them.


Through this column let me extend in my own behalf and that of my spouse Minda our most sincere and profound condolence to the family of Asst. Provincial Prosecutor Emir Oliveros who recently crossed the Great Beyond. Honest and dedicated to his calling, Prosecutor Emir was assigned in my sala (Branch 58) when I was assigned as RTC Judge in San Jose, Partido. We certainly mourn his passing, and I am sure he is now in the warm embrace of the Lord.






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