By LITO RULONA
and JOEY NACALABAN
EX-COUNCILOR Ma. Lourdes Darimbang yesterday filed her certificate of candidacy for Cagayan de Oro mayor, making her the third mayoral hopeful here to do so following one withdrawal but her announcement of her running mate took the limelight from her to former mayor Reuben Canoy.
Darimbang announced that the erstwhile mayor, a member of President Duterte’s Consultative Committee that drafted a proposed replacement to the 1987 Constitution, would run for vice mayor under her Partido Federal ng Pilipinas ticket.
The former mayor however did not file his certificate of candidacy yesterday. He has until today to submit his papers to the Commission on Elections.
But Canoy’s daughter Rhona, a candidate for councilor in Darimbang’s ticket, said she could only confirm that her father Reuben was invited to be Darimbang’s running mate but it would still be his decision at the end of the day.
Other candidates for councilors in Darimbang’s ticket are Nards Tan, Esterlina Dal, Marilyn Magsalay, Eldie Rotoras, Edgardo Tupas and Jojo Ellana. Other Darimbang candidates are expected to file theirs today like lawyer Gil Banaag.
Her husband Mandangan, who held the director’s post of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in northern Mindanao for decades until 2016, filed his certificate of candidacy for councilor on Monday.
Ms. Darimbang, who lost to Rep. Rolando Uy in the 2016 congressional race, said she decided to run for mayor because she wants change in line with her anti-corruption advocacy. She said she also wants to become the city’s first female mayor.
Lawyer Ramil Agcol, city elections registrar, said only a few have filed their certificates of candidacy here since last week.
As of yesterday afternoon, Darimbang is running against Benjamin Contreras and Felix Borres. The first to file a certificate of candidacy, Nixon Baban, has withdrawn his in favor of potential mayoral candidate Jose Gabriel La Viña.
Other candidates for councilors in the Comelec’s list as of yesterday: Celso Bag-ao (independent), Gary Lumandam (independent), Hadji Macmoud Manalisig and Morito Yee Sr..