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LIVE UPDATES: Local candidates start campaign for May elections

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published Mar 25, 2022 12:36 pm

The campaign period for local elections has officially started today, March 25.

The official campaign period for national positions—president, vice president, senator, and party list representative—started last Feb. 8.

Records from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) show that 18,023 local positions will be contested: House of Representatives member, governor, vice governor, Sangguniang Panlalawigan member, city/municipal mayor, city/municipal vice mayor, and city/municipal councilors.

Of the local positions available, Comelec said there are 845 candidates who are running unopposed, just needing one vote for them to be declared as winners.

Ahead of the local campaign season, the poll body on March 17 had announced that candidates and political parties no longer need to secure permits for their campaign activities in areas under Alert Level 1 and 2. Metro Manila and 47 other areas are under Alert Level 1 for the rest of March.

Comelec noted that campaign venues in Alert Level 1 areas may operate at full capacity, while those under Alert Level 2 may operate at 70% capacity.

In any case, Commissioner George Garcia reminded local candidates to strictly follow the minimum health standards. Here are the guidelines that the Comelec imposed for in-person campaigning.

Refresh this page for live updates.

Bagatsing seeks Manila Mayor post, holds proclamation rally in Sta. Ana with Sara Duterte

Former fourth district congressman Amado Bagatsing is looking to take over the Manila mayor post from Isko Moreno Domagoso. 

The son of the late Ramon Bagatsing, the longest-serving Manila mayor, is one of the six aspirants vying for the position in May, running under the Kabalikat ng Bayan sa Kaunlaran (KABAKA) party.

Bagatsing held a proclamation rally at Onyx street in Sta. Ana, Manila, with Vice presidential candidate Sara Dutert joining him on stage. 

Senatorial candidates Guillermo Eleazar, Larry Gadon, and Rodante Marcoleta were in attendance.

Bagatsing ran for vice mayor in 2019 as former mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada’s running mate. He lost to Honey Lacuna, who is also running for Manila mayor in the upcoming elections.

San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora kicks off star-studded proclamation rally, rival party PMP holds mass with candidates

Francis Zamora is eyeing another term as San Juan city mayor as he kicked off his proclamation rally held at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. 

The event was a star-studded affair with appearances by basketball star Marc Pingris, Sunshine Cruz, and Toni Gonzaga. Celebrities Dianne Medina and Archie Alemania hosted the event while Imee Marcos was a guest of honor.

Zamora is the son of Ronaldo Zamora, a longtime congressman of San Juan. Francis began his political career in San Juan as its vice mayor from 2010 to 2016 before running for the mayoral position in 2019.

By beating Janella Ejercito in 2019, Zamora ended the 50-year reign of the Ejercito-Estrada clan in San Juan.

Meanwhile, San Juan City's Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) candidates started their campaign with a mass held at the St. John the Baptist Parish Church along Pinaglabanan Street.

PMP-NPC Congressional candidate Jana Ejercito, along with mayoral candidate Jun Usman and returning vice mayor Philip Cezar led the ticket in praying for an orderly, fair, and safe campaign and elections.

Families and supporters of the PMP candidates also attended the mass. Jana Ejercito is an incumbent councilor who is now on her third term.

Sen. Bong Revilla joins Bacoor campaign as brother Strike seeks return to mayor post

Team Revilla was in full force during the first day of campaigning for local candidates. Sen. Bong Revilla joined his wife Bacoor Mayor Lani Mercado and older brother Strike Revilla, who is eyeing to take over the mayoralty. 

The team held a motorcade around Bacoor, Cavite with other members of the Revilla family, including Board Member candidate Ram, First District Congressional candidate Jolo, and Agimat Partylist Representative Brian.

Strike, who was elected Bacoor mayor from 2007 to 2016,  is going up against independent candidate Jose Francisco for the post.

Marcy Teodoro seeks third and last term as Marikina mayor

Incumbent Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro is now running for his third and last term as the city’s chief executive in the upcoming 2022 elections.

Teodoro held a motorcade around Barangay Sto. Niño to kick off the campaign period alongside aspiring vice mayor Marion Andres, who is also seeking re-election, congressional candidate Marjorie Ann “Maan” Teodoro, councilors Sam “SF” Ferriol, Kate De Guzman, Manny “Tarangka” Sarmiento, Rommel Kammbal Acuña, Cloyd Casimiro, Carl Africa, Joseph “Jojo” Banzon, and Serafin “Bojie” Bernardino.

Teodoro was first elected as mayor in 2016 and re-elected in 2019. He is set to go against Bayani Fernando, who was mayor from 1992 to 2001.

Manila vice mayor Honey Lacuna sets her sights as as city’s first female mayor

Manila City vice mayor Sheilah “Honey” Lacuna-Pangan is now eyeing the mayoralty post after serving as vice mayor for the past six years.

The vice mayor held her proclamation rally in Santo Niño de Tondo Paris alongside running mate and former actor, John Marvin Cruz Nieto, or Yul Servo. Prior to running for vice mayor, Servo secured a congressional seat representing the third legislative district of Manila.

The two are under Asenso Manileño, Isko Moreno Domagoso’s local political party.

During the rally, Lacuna promised to strengthen the city's social and health services. She also challenged the criticism that she is simply following in Domagaso’s footsteps.

Starting from 2016, Lacuna has been the vice mayor under the governance of  Joseph "Erap" Estrada and Domagoso, who is now leaving the post to run for president.

The vice mayor will be up against Independent candidate Onofre Abadm, Amado Bagatsing, Elmer Jamias, Christy Lim, and Alex Lopez.

Defensor challenges Belmonte to debate

Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor said he is open to debating with incumbent Quezon City Mayor and reelectionist Joy Belmonte after the latter criticized one of his recent programs in the city. Defensor is likewise running for Quezon City mayor.

"Sa palagay ko, hindi na kami kailangang magbastusan, hindi kami parang usapang palengke" Defensor told reporters. "Tingnan natin kung ano ang magiging pananaw ng taumbayan."

Without naming anybody, Belmonte earlier told her supporters that she’s unlike one candidate who distributed unauthorized drugs meant for animals.

Defensor led the distribution of anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin in Quezon City in April last year.

"Hindi tayo mamumudmod na gamot na hindi pa aprubado at para sa alaga nating hayop," Belmonte said.

She also said that a rival of hers in the mayoralty race prioritized shutting down ABS-CBN amid the COVID-19 pandemic without thinking of the welfare of its workers' families. Defensor is among the 70 lawmakers who voted to deny the media giant, which is located in Quezon City, the renewal of its franchise.

Regarding the cyberlibel complaint that Belmonte filed against him, Defensor said he's not afraid of it as he is confident that it won’t prosper in court.

In her complaint, Belmonte cited Defensor's post regarding a "baklas army," which alleged her camp of removing his campaign materials. He also called the mayor as “mapanghati, mapanira, kasuka-suka, at kapit-tuko sa kapangyarihan."

In another post, Defensor claimed that a Quezon City Hall employee will file a plunder case against Belmonte before the Office of the Ombudsman due to “overpriced ayuda."

Including Belmonte and Defensor, there are a total of nine individuals running for mayor of Quezon City.

Son of Caloocan’s outgoing mayor starts campaign to succeed him; congressman tries chances in mayoralty race

For Caloocan, six hopefuls are running for mayor, most notably 1st District Rep. Along Malapitan, the son of outgoing mayor Oca Malapitan, and outgoing 2nd District Rep. Edgar Erice.

Erice has been critical of the Malapitans, saying he’s going to put an end to their rule in the city.

"Matalino ang mga taga-Caloocan, hindi sila papayag na maipasa-pasa ang kapangyarihan,” he said during his filing of candidacy in October. “Hindi sila papayag sa Malapitan Inc.”

The younger Malapitan has since denied maintaining a political dynasty in Caloocan.

According to Hannibal Talete of News5, Malapitan started his day by hearing mass at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, as a throng of supporters awaited him outside. He then visited four barangays to woo voters.

Erice, meanwhile, had a motorcade in parts of South Caloocan.

The city has three candidates for vice mayor.

LOOK: Cavite governor reelectionist Jonvic Remulla, running mate Athena Tolentino hear mass at Indang Church

Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, who's seeking another term in May, is seen hearing Mass at the St. Gregory the Great Parish, or Indang Church, with running mate Athena Tolentino, the councilor of Tagaytay City.

Remulla is facing three others in the gubernatorial race, namely Weng Aguinaldo, Jerum Gilles, and Augusto Pera Jr.

Tolentino, meanwhile, has Joseph Thim Jamboy as sole opponent in the province’s No. 2 office.

Comelec to create task force 'Kontra Bigay' vs. vote-buying

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it will create an inter-agency task force that will crack down on reported vote-buying incidents on the ground.

The poll body said Kontra Bigay will include members of the Department of Justice, Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, Department of Interior and Local Government, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police, and Armed Forces of the Philippines.

"As we have said before," Commissioner George Garcia said, "our commitment in eliminating this irregularity is unparalleled."

Kontra Bigay will act on formal complaints, as well as those that are motu proprio or self-initiated by the poll body.

Last March 24, a video from ABS-CBN’s Zandro Ochona showed that attendees of the Laguna event of vice presidential candidate Sara Duterte-Carpio were receiving envelopes containing cash. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. was absent.

But Laguna Gov. Ramil Hernandez said the envelopes are supposedly regular allowances for residents.

In a video from Rappler last March 15, individuals who attended Marcos Jr.'s campaign rally in Nueva Ecija were caught on camera receiving envelopes with P500.

Nueva Ecija Gov. Aurelio Umali, however, said the envelopes were "ayuda" for residents, and that the distribution coincided with the UniTeam event.

Baste Duterte seeks to take over sister Sara's spot as Davao City Mayor

President Rodrigo Duterte's son Sebastian "Baste" Duterte has started campaigning to take over the post as Davao City mayor from his sister, Sara Duterte-Carpio, who is running as vice president.

Baste marked the official day of local campaigning with a new profile picture and cover photo on Facebook. His cover photo also featured Sara and her tandem Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

Baste is being challenged by three independent candidates, including Ruy Elias Lopez, the son of former city mayor Elias Lopez and a former ally of President Duterte. He said he had had a falling out with the Dutertes as their family took control over the city.

The incumbent president first served as Davao City mayor for over 20 years. In 2007, Sara served as his vice mayor.

Later on, Paolo "Pulong" Duterte served as Rodrigo’s vice mayor in 2013 and Sara's later on in 2018. Baste replaced Pulong as vice mayor in 2019 after securing a congressional seat as Davao City 1st District Representative.

Pulong is seeking reelection as congressman this May.

Vico Sotto seeks reelection as Pasig mayor, challenged by vice mayor Iyo Bernardo

After ending the 27-year reign of the Eusebios in Pasig, Mayor Vico Sotto is seeking another term this May.

Sotto held his proclamation rally at the Pasig Mega Market. His parents Coney Reyes and Vic Sotto graced the event that saw hundreds of Pasigueños in attendance.

“Hindi ko po sinasabi na perpekto na,” he said of his crusade against corruption. “Malayo pa po tayo sa perpekto, marami pa tayong inaayos.”

The incumbent mayor is being challenged by his vice mayor, Iyo Bernardo, who kicked off his campaign with house to house visits in the city.

Bernardo on March 18 filed a cyberlibel complaint against Sotto for supposedly "discrediting" his "honor" and "reputation" after making comments about his performance as vice mayor during a flag raising ceremony.

LOOK: Manila's candidates for mayor, vice mayor include members of the city's powerful political clans

Six candidates are looking to take over Isko Moreno Domagoso's post as Manila City mayor, as he runs for president in May.

Among them is Domagoso's vice mayor, Honey Lacuna. Lacuna is facing candidates from the city's powerful political families, such as Amado Bagatsing, the son of the late Ramon Bagatsing who was the longest-serving Manila mayor from 1971 to 1986.

Alex Lopez, meanwhile, is the son of the late Manila mayor Mel Lopez.

The late Manila mayor Alfredo Lim's daughter Christy Lim is also joining the mayoralty race.

Onofre Abad and Elmer Jamias are also running for Manila mayor.

Those competing for the vice mayor post Manila are actor and Manila congressman Yul Servo, Ramon's grandson Raymond Bagatsing, and independent candidates Lucy Laping and Arvin Reyes.

QC Mayor Joy Belmonte seeks reelection; PDP-Laban 'unanimously agreed' to back her

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte is seeking reelection in May.

Belmonte is running against eight others, including Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor. Defensor was among the 70 lawmakers who voted to deny the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN.

Without naming him, Belmonte threw shade at Defensor during her proclamation rally, saying a rival of hers in the mayoralty race prioritized shutting down ABS-CBN amid the COVID-19 pandemic without thinking of the welfare of its workers' families.

The PDP-Laban Quezon City Council earlier announced that it has "unanimously agreed" to back Belmonte's reelection bid, citing the city's "improvement, growth, and achievements” under her leadership.

The National Alliance of Broadcast Unions has also backed Belmonte’s reelection. Its members include television channels IBC-13, GMA-7, ABS-CBN, TV5, and PTV-4.