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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, October 9, 2012
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Fruit vendor claims
he’s no nuisance


He claims nobody influenced him to run for mayor of Bacolod City.

Fruit vendor Julius Soriano Sayson, 32, of Brgy. Granada, Bacolod City, filed his certificate of candidacy for mayor of Bacolod City at the COMELEC Office 5 minutes before the 5 p.m. deadline Friday.

He will be running against Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson of the Nationalist People’s Coalition-Grupo Progeso and former Bacolod Rep. Monico Puentevella, an independent candidate.

Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson said he is filing a petition before the Commission on Elections today to declare Julius a nuisance candidate.

Julius said he is a self-employed man and at the same time a volunteer fire fighter at Barangay Granada, and had served as barangay staff in Brgy. Granada before.

He said public service had already been his calling and he believes that in his own simple way, he was able to touch many lives.

Julius said the Vice Mayor is his uncle and that there were no formal talks between him and his family regarding his plans of running for mayor. He is offering himself as an alternative choice to the people of Bacolod, he said.

His aunt, Corazon Gallardo, said they were surprised to hear that he will run for mayor although he was involved in political campaigns in the past.

Julius said "Judge me not based on my status or my family name, not on my age or my looks neither based on my capacity to spend millions during election day. However, judge me based on my vision for Bacolod and my aspiration to contribute something good for our city.”

Vice Mayor Sayson said Julius is identified with the camp of Puentevella and he admitted this in his facebook account.

He was accompanied by a certain “Rosalie”, who is the secretary of former Barangay Captain Sally Sombilla of Granada, a supporter of Puentevella, when he filed his COC, he said.

Witnesses said that after Julius filed his COC, he boarded a van and left the vicinity right away, Sayson added.

During the last election, Julius was a leader of Sombilla, he also said.

Puentevella said he is not involved in the matter since he is trying to maintain a high level of campaign. “Do not drag my name into this,” he asked.

Sayson said his relatives in Granada informed him that after filing his COC, Julius was nowhere to be found.

He said there is a text circulating that Julius was encouraged to run by his party mates Councilors Al Victor Espino, Dindo Ramos and Homer Bais. He said this report is not true and is meant to mislead the public.

During the 2010 campaign, Julius was one of those campaigning against them in Granada, he added.

Vice Mayor Sayson said the President is calling for clean and honest elections. These are dirty tactics being done by traditional politicians. So he is calling on civil society to watch out for politicians who engage in this kind of dirty tricks to ensure their victory in the elections, he said.

“Julius is just being used by these politicians to attain their political ambitions. We should be vigilant and should help each other in order to get rid of this kind of dirty politics,” he said.

Sayson called on Julius to come out and tell the truth. If it was really his decision to file his COC, he should be entertaining interviews from the media.

Meanwhile, in reaction to reports that they are being suspected as the mastermind along with Councilor Homer Bais that led to Julius filing his candidacy. Espino and Ramos said the entry of Julius among the candidates for mayor in Bacolod City is allegedly the handiwork of MKK mayoralty candidate Monico Puentevella. Espino said they saw the same pattern of modus operandi when former Councilor Alex Paglumotan filed his candidacy for councilor in 2010 and another Paglumotan filed for the same post.

The facebook account of Julius declared that he is supporting Puentevella, he said.

Ramos, who is also a resident of Granada, said that Julius campaigned against him in the barangay in the last elections.

The best persons who know Julius are his neighbors in Granada who are aware of his political leanings, he said.

Espino said there is only one camp that is capable of doing this and that is the camp of Puentevella.*CGS

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