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Priest, 3 others challenge Zubiri’s reelection bid

MALAYBALAY City — A Roman Catholic priest and three others are challenging the reelection bid of Bukidnon Gov. Jose Ma. Zubiri Jr..

Zubiri’s challengers are independent candidates The Rev. Fr. Diosdado “Dodge” Tabios, Andres Eligan, Edgar Mabilog, and former Valencia City Mayor Leandro Jose Catarata of the PDP-Laban.

Tabios filed his certificate of candidacy at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Malaybalay City on Tuesday. Tabios failed in his two previous attempts to unseat Zubiri.

Eligan and Mabilog are first-time candidates but Catarata is one of the prominent politicians in Valencia City which has a substantial number of voters in the province.

Zubiri, a veteran Bukidnon politician, is seeking his final office term as governor of the landlocked province. He is the father of Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri and Rep. Manuel F. Zubiri of the province’s third district who is also seeking reelection.

Zubiri has filed his certificate under his Bukidnon Paglaum Party (BPP).

Malaybalay City Mayor Ignacio Zubiri, the governor’s nephew is eyeing a seat in the House of Representatives for the 2nd District.

The elder Zubiri has been assemblyman in Batasang Pambansa from 1984 to 1986. He was elected as representative of the 3rd District of Bukidnon for three consecutive terms from 1987 to 1998.

He served as governor in 2001 to 2010 and vice governor until 2013, running again and won as governor in 2013 elections.

Zubiri’s running mate is former vice governor Rogelio Quiño.

In Malaybalay, Bukidnon’s capital city, a two-cornered battle for the mayoral post is expected in the May 2019 elections.

This came about after 2nd District Rep. Florencio Flores Jr. of the Nacionalista Party filed his certificate of candidacy at the eleventh hour, aiming to regain his previous post.

His son, lawyer Jonathan Keith Flores has been previously rumored as gunning for the city’s top post.

Flores would be facing incumbent Vice Mayor Roland Deticio, another seasoned politician in the 2nd District where Malaybalay City belongs.

Deticio and Councilor Jay Warren Pabillaran filed their certificates for mayoral and vice mayoral post, respectively. Pabillaran, who is in his last term as a city council member, is running unopposed.

The tandem is running under the Bukidnon Paglaum Party which is led by Gov. Zubiri. Their slate for the city council include reelectionist councilors Hollis Monsanto, Nicolas Jurolan, Provo Antipasado Jr., Louel Tortola, and Rendon Sangalang.

A lawyer by profession, Deticio has been serving as a member of the provincial board in the 2nd District and in the city council for several terms.

The new candidates under BPP are Cromwell Kiril Dinlayan, Dr. Victor Barroso, businessman Estelito Marabe and city sports coordinator Christopher Soria.

The PDP-Laban’s city council slate, meanwhile, are Marlon Valcorza, Zoltan Dindo Dinlayan, Venuz Melendez, Bobby Jay Dinlayan, Katherine Toledo, Flaviano Gapol Jr., Kathleen Cecile Pagaling, Fernan Digal, Niko Aldeguer, and reelectionist Jaime Gellor Jr..

Ellen Cecilia Mamawag, Anna Lou Tilanduca and Gene Salga are independent candidates. (PNA)

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