Saturday, October 13, 2012
GEN. TINIO, Nueva Ecija – For the first time in its 91-year-history, this town has no protagonists for the mayoralty post.
This after the lone rival of reelectionist Mayor Virgilio Bote of the Liberal Party decided to withdraw his certificate of candidacy for the mayorship, leaving Bote’s third and last term sealed.
Magpayo Abesamis, election officer of the Commission on Elections in this town, said Raniel Bernardo Bautista has withdrawn his COC as an independent candidate, making Bote unopposed.
Former councilor Arlan Esteban, executive assistant of the mayor, said it marks the first time in this town’s almost century-old history that an aspirant for mayor has no opponent. He said this shows that political personalities in the town recognizes the accomplishments of the administration of Bote who – by 2016 – will have served out a total of 18 years as mayor, dating back to 1995 when he first became local chief executive, a reign which was interrupted in 2004 when he no longer ran due to the three-term limit.
Bote made a triumphant comeback in 2007, beating the incumbent who he endorsed in 2004 but who, his aides, did not continue his programs and policies.
With Bautista’s withdrawal from the race, Bote has joined the elite ranks of local officials running unopposed in the 2013 polls. The others are second district Rep. Joseph Gilbert Violago, Sta. Rosa Mayor Josefino Angeles of the Nationalist People’s Coalition-Bagong Lakas ng Nueva Ecija and Wilfredo Domingo of Balane-United Nationalist
Esteban said as a result of Bautista’s withdrawal, the political atmosphere in the town has become generally wholesome and peaceful.
He recalled that during past elections, the political atmosphere was so highly charged and intense that it triggered divisiveness among family circles whose members support different candidates.
“Before, a supporter of one particular candidate for mayor would even come to the extent of evicting from his own house his son-in-law who happened to support another candidate. That’s how divisive past elections in Gen. Tinio were and this latest development involving Mayor Bote running unopposed is welcome news – like a whiff of fresh air - in our town,” he said.
He said that Bote has also started reaching out to his past political opponents and urged them to support his leadership for the development and progress of Gen. Tinio, considered one of the fastest-growing municipalities in southern Nueva Ecija. (Manny Galvez)
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