By JOHNNY SAWADAN
TABUY CITY, Kalinga — One-on-one electoral fight for the 2013 national and local elections has become a trend in this province.
According to the official records of the Commission on Election (Comelec) Kalinga, there are only two candidates for the congressional post in the lone district of this province. Incumbent Congressman Manuel Agyao of the Liberal Party (LP) is challenged by Atty. Macario Duguiang of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). Both candidates hail from the Lubuagan tribe.
In the gubernatorial race, Comelec has recorded only incumbent Provincial Governor Jocel Baac (LP) and Conrado Dieza (PDP-LABAN). Baac comes from Tabuk City while Dieza comes from Pinukpuk.
For the vice governorship, only incumbent Vice Governor Sonny C. Mangaoang of the Nacionalista Party (NP) and challenger Farnaw Claver of UNA filed their candidacy. Mangaoang comes from Balbalan municipality while Claver hails from Tabuk City.
For Tabuk City, Comelec has recorded incumbent City Mayor Ferdinand Tubban of the NP and Atty. Laurence B. Wacnang of the LP for the mayoralty race. Tubban is from the Guilayon and Tubog tribes in Tabuk City while Wacnang hails from the Tulgao tribe of Tinglayan municipality. The challenger is a three-termer governor and congressman of this province.
Except for the municipalities of Tanudan and Tinglayan where there are more than two candidates for the positions of mayor and vice mayor, the other municipalities also have one-on-one fight for the said positions.
Aside from the one-on-one fight, there are unopposed candidates like incumbent Mayor James Edduba of Pasil and Tabuk City Vice Mayor Darwin Estranero who filed their candidacy for re-election in the same positions. Incumbent Pinukpuk Mayor Irving Dasayon who is now running for vice mayor is also unopposed.
According to Jimmy Suwagon, secretary general of Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance (CPA)-Kalinga, the one-on-one fight in the top elective positions in the province as well as the presence of unopposed candidates indicate the increasing cost of election. “Only few have resources to afford the high cost of election campaign expenses,” he further said.
Jerry Bulaat, secretary general of the Timpuyog Daguiti Mannalon ti Kalinga (TMK) said that the candidates especially for the top elective local positions generally come from the circles of contractors, businessmen, bureaucrats and the rich. “There are no candidates from the peasant sector,” he added.
“The political dynasty in the national politics is also reflected in the local politics of this province,” Bulaat further said. # nordis.net