NAGA CITY, March 28 (PNA) -- While the Liberal Party (LP) lags behind in terms of number of district and provincial candidates among three dominant contending parties in Camarines Sur, it tops in the number of bets running for mayor under its banner in the 35 towns, one component city and one independent chartered city of Camarines Sur, the Commission on Elections’ official list of candidates shows.
The three dominant parties in Camarines Sur are the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), Nacionalista Party (NP) and Liberal Party (LP).
There are 26 LP mayoral aspirants while both NPC and NP have 22 mayoral bets each for city and town mayors spread in the five districts of Camarines Sur.
In Naga City, LP carries the advantage of the incumbent with Mayor John Bongat running against two independent candidates.
Elsewhere in the Third District, where Naga City belongs, LP has six mayoral bets against the same number of the NPC’s.
NP has five mayoral bets in the seven-town, one city Third District where Leni Robredo (LP), widow of the late Jesse M. Robredo, is running against Nelly Villafuerte (NPC), wife of Rep. Luis R. Villafuerte, in the congressional race.
However, four incumbent mayors running for re-election belong to the NPC of Nelly Villafuerte while only the Naga City mayor is an LP incumbent mayor and party-mate to Robredo.
Naga City has the biggest voters in the Third District at 79,743 or about 33 percent of total voters in the district,
LP managed to field only three mayoral bets in the Second District, where seven incumbent mayors are allied to Rep. Diosdado Ignacio “Dato” Arroyo.
LP fielded former San Fernando Mayor Sabas Mabulo against Arroyo and NP’s congressional bet Gov. Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte with mayoral bets in all the seven towns of the district.
In the five-town First District of Camarines Sur, four of the mayoral bets-- one incumbent--allied to Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrat, are LP members.
But Andaya supports NPC’s gubernatorial candidacy of Rep. Luis R. Villafuerte, who is running against NP bet-grandson Miguel Luis Villafuerte, LP bet former Solicitor General Anselmo Joel Cadiz and two more candidates.
LP and NPC have both nine bets for town mayors in the 10-town Fourth District, where the Fuentebella political dynasty holds sway for more than a century now.
LP fielded actor Aga Muhlach against NPC’s William Felix Fuentebella.
NP has no mayoral bet in any of the towns of the Fourth District.
NPC mayor bet Ruel Velarde is running unopposed in Tinambac town, the biggest number of voters in the Fourth District which is 15 percent of the total number of 227,106 voters.
In the Fifth District, there are only three LP mayoral bets, including the towns of Balatan and Buhi and aside from Iriga City, in the seven-town district with the largest number of voters at 245,998
For Iriga City, LP is tossing Ganggang Alfelor against cousin Emmanuel Alfelor Jr. of the NPC and three independent candidates for city mayor.
Ganggang is the younger brother of last-term Iriga City Mayor Madelaine Alfelor-Gazmen while Emmanuel Jr. is the son of Emmanuel Sr., now deceased, who had also served three terms as city mayor.
Combining the number of voters in Iriga City, which has the most number of voters in the Fifth District at 55,048 and those from the towns of Balatan with respective number of voters at 17,473 and 41,658 voters, LP’s campaign apparatus could reach 114,179 or a little less than half of the total voters in the district.
Mayor Gazmen and incumbent Rep. Salvio Fortuno (LP) are allied to Gov. Villafuerte who fielded his son Miguel Luis (NP) in the gubernatorial race. (PNA) DSP/FGS/JME/CBD/ABB