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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, October 2, 2012
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Alvarez leads early birds

Nationalist People's Coalition gubernatorial candidate, Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez Jr., was the first to file a Certificate of Candidacy at the Negros Occidental Commission on Elections in Bacolod City at 8:20 a.m. yesterday.

Alvarez, who is the son of former Sipalay mayors Genaro Perez Alvarezand Mercedes Montilla Alvarez, and grandson of former Negros Occidental governor and Speaker of the House Gil Montilla, said politics is his destiny and he is committed to serving the people.

Ten other allies of Alvarez also filed their CoCs at the provincial COMELEC office yesterday morning.

Former San Carlos Mayor Eugenio Jose Lacson (NPC), running mate of Alvarez, filed his CoC at 8:35 a.m.

Rep. Mercedes Alvarez (NPC), who is running for reelection in the sixth district of Negros Occidental, filed her CoC at 8:30 a.m., and Board Member Emilio Yulo III(NP), who is going for the fifth congressional seat, filed at 8:40 a.m..

Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (LP) filed his CoC for reelection in the third district at noon.

Provincial Board member candidates under Alvarez team who filed their CoCs yesterday morning were Patrick Lacson and Johnna Ko – third district, Renato Malabor and Janet Villafranca – fifth district, and Helen Zafra and Pedro Zayco – sixth district.

Rep. Julio Ledema IV (NPC) is set to file his CoC for reelection along with board member bets Renato Gustilo and Rolando Ponsica of the first district on Friday.

The candidates for congressmen and board members of the Alvarez team in the second and fourth districts have yet to file their CoCs.

Asked if former Board Member Edgardo Acuña is running for congressman of the second district under his team, Alvarez said, ask him.

It was also not known who would be fielded for congressman of the fourth district under the Alvarez group should Rep. Jeffrey Ferrer of the NPC opt to support the reelection bid of Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr.

Rep. Ferrer and Board Member Jose Benito Alonso of the fourth district have been given NPC certificates of nomination, Rep. Alvarez said.

Vice Governor Alvarez said the decision on whom they will finally field in the fourth district will be up to Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco.

Meanwhile, he said their second board member candidate for the fourth district is Victor Javellana.

The vice governor was also accompanied by his nephews, Pulupandan Mayor Magdaleno Peña and businessman Bonifacio Peña, former Board Member Angelito Colmenares, and Himamaylan Mayor Agustin Ernesto Bascon in filing his CoC.

Mayor Peña said he was the one who encouraged and inspired Alvarez to join politics, and brokered his political reconciliation with then Gov. Isidro Zayco in 2010.

He is not seeking reelection as mayor, but will act as a consultant to Alvarez, Peña said.

Alvarez first ran as board member of Negros Occidental under the team of then Gov. Daniel Lacson Jr., served on the provincial board for seven years, and as congressman of the sixth district of Negros Occidental for 12 years, before running for vice governor in 2010.

Alvarez said he wanted to file at the first hour yesterday because when he first ran for public office and filed his CoC 30 minutes before the deadline, his papers were found to have some problems which traumatized him against waiting for the last minute.

Meanwhile, Rep. Alvarez said that should a member of the Arles family, who have accused her father and brother, Ilog Mayor John Paul Alvarez, of involvement in the murder of Judge Henry Arles, run against her in the 2013 polls, it will prove that their moves against her family have been politically motivated all along.

She said her kin were not involved in the killing of Arles.

For the past three months, her family has been unfairly lambasted in the media and even tagged as the mafia and the next Ampatuans of Negros, Rep. Alvarez said.

The Arles kin have said in a previous interview that they will not run for public office in the sixth district, she also noted.*CPG

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