CABANATUAN CITY -- The Umali couple, aspiring for separate elective posts which they previously held, led other provincial, town and city candidates here on Monday in the forging of peace pacts in connection with the holding of a credible, honest, orderly and peaceful poll next May in the province.
Gov. Czarina “Cherry” D. Umali came with husband, former Gov. Aurelio “Oyie” M. Umali. Czarina is vying for congresswoman of the province’s third district while Aurelio is gunning for governor.
Czarina is running to reclaim her old seat at Congress which she previously held for three consecutive terms before becoming governor in 2016 while Aurelio is seeking to regain his former top Capitol post which he thrice won during the 2007, 2010 and 2013 polls.
Also present were Aurelio’s two gubernatorial bet-rivals, former General Tinio Mayor Virgilio Bote and Renato Reynaldo Maliwat. Bote came late and sat three chairs apart from Maliwat and Aurelio in the designated seats for bets in the front row.
Three other gubernatorial bets -- Eduardo Nonato “Edno” Joson, a former congressman and National Food Authority administrator, Constantino De Leon and Roberto Gavina were “no shows” at the event.
Showing up as bets for vice governor were Emmanuel Antonio “Doc Anthony” Umali, younger brother of Aurelio, and Manolio Tan.
Bote, of the administration’s PDP-Laban, told this reporter that he came to the event minus his vice gubernatorial candidate, Board Member Edward Thomas F. Joson, who was said to be in Tagaytay City to attend an important family matter.
Reelectionist Rep. Magnolia “Megan” Antonino, of the province’s fourth district, who is gunning for a third and final term under the National Unity party, was also present. Her lone rival, Dr. Maricel Natividad-Nagaòo, wife of San Leonardo town Mayor Froilan “Elan Nagaòo Sr. was a “no-show” in the event.
Also “no-shows” were the other “big guns” in the congressional races for districts 1, 2 and 3. They were reelectionist Rep. Estrellita Suansing and actor-senior board member Rommel Padilla (District 1), reelectionist Micaela Salvador-Violago, and Joselito Violago (District 2) and reelectionist Rep. Rosanna V. Vergara (District 3).
Other reelectionist mayors seeking another mandate in next May polls, who were present during Monday’s affair were: Emeng Pascual (Gapan City-unopposed), Nestor Alvarez (Science City of Munoz), Sylvia Austria (Jaen), Mary Abad (Carranglan), Flor Paguio Esteban (Cuyapo), Roberto Agdipa (Pantabangan), Ramiro Rivera (Cabiao), Nerivi Martinez (Talavera), Greg Andres (Sto. Domingo), and Levi Santos (General Natividad).