CABANATUAN City -- Are the Umali couple -- Gov. Czarina “Cherry” Umali and former Gov. Aurelio “Oyie” Umali -- quitting the political race this coming 2019 midterm elections?
This interesting question now comes to fore following the “surprise” filing of certificate of candidacy for provincial governor by Gil Raymond “Lemon” Umali, Oyie’s elder brother, and Cherry’s brother-in-law at the provincial elections office yesterday before lunchtime.
His CoC was logged in at the poll office at 11:50 a.m. by his authorized representative-counsel, Atty. Honorio Eduardo Reyes III, who refused to comment when pressed for answers by this reporter about the whereabouts of the Umalis and the couple’s supposed political plans now with Gil Raymond gunning for the top provincial post.
Gil Raymond’s running mate for vice governor will be “graduating” Peñaranda Mayor Ferdinand “Blueboy” Abesamis, also the president of the Nueva Ecija chapter of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines, who personally filed his CoC at 11:20 a.m.
Both Umali and Abesamis will run under the banner of the Umali’s Unang Sigaw Partido ng Pagbabago.
Also filing yesterday their respective CoCs for provincial board member under USPP were Teresita Patiag (4th dist.), Eric Salazar (1st dist.), Joseph Ortiz (2nd dist.), Rafael Villanueva (1st dist.), Darrel Morales (3rd dist.) Peter Marcus Matias (3rd dist.) and Roseller de Guzman (1st dist.).
Elsewhere in the province, re-electionist Talavera Mayor Nerivi Santos-Martinez filed her CoC before municipal election officer Jose B. Ramiscal at 8:53 a.m.
She is vying for a third and final term also under the local party Unang Sigaw and the National Unity Party (NUP).
Accompanying her were her reelectionist Vice Mayor Anselmo Rodiel and eight councilor-bets -- Mark Rayo, Manolito Silva, Belinda Palilio, Reynaldo Baldedara, Florentino Balmater, Angelina Soleta, Reichel Ann Villanueva and Joel Del Rosario.
Facing Martinez for mayor is businessman Alfredo “Jojo” Libunao Jr., subdivision developer of North Grove-Cabanatuan and AGL Heights.
Libunao’s lineup included Edwin Bulanadi (for vice mayor) and for councilors as Edgardo Ignacio, Leo Lacsamana, Elsa Mesde, Felisima Cruz, Mary Rose De Guzman, Clarence Santos and Nicolas Maninang.
Libunao and company are running under the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas party.