Result of the creation of 2 congressional districts
TACLOBAN CITY- The more than 292,000 registered voters of Southern Leyte are to elect their new congressmen representing its two newly-created congressional districts on October 26, this year.
And the regional Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced that it is ready for the conduct of the special balloting, lawyer Felicisimo Embalsado, polls assistant director, said.
By virtue of Republic Act 11198 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on February 1 of this year, Southern Leyte was split into congressional districts.
The law called for a special elections to be held within six months after its enactment.
All candidates running in the October 26 congressional special elections are to campaign starting on September 11 until October 24.
The entire election period will run from August 26 until November 10 with all the prohibitions like liquor and gun bans to be enforced within the period.
“We are now ready for the special congressional polls which will be using vote counting machines,” Embalsado said.
The elections official said that this early, they are confident that the conduct of the special polls in Southern Leyte will be peaceful just like the recently-held May 13 elections.
The filing of the certificates of candidacy, which started on Monday (August 26), ended on Wednesday (August 28).
The incumbent congressman of the entire Southern Leyte, Roger Mercado, is running for the first congressional district which covers the towns of Macrohon, Padre Burgos, Limasawa, Malitbog, Tomas Oppus and the city of Maasin.
The first congressional district has a voting population of 132,114 registered voters.
Mercado, a former governor and running under the PDP-Laban, is facing two rivals, Albert Esclamado, a former board member, and Vicente Geraldo, both running as independents.
Meantime, for the second congressional district, among the candidates is Vice Governor Christopherson Yap who is running under the PDP-Laban banner.
He is facing four opponents who included former vice governor Sheffered Lino Tan (United Nationalist Alliance), and former congressman Aniceto Saludo of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas.
The second congressional district has 160,223 registered voters covering the towns of Libagon, Liloan, San Francisco, San Ricardo, Pintuyan, Saint Bernard, Anahawan, San Juan, Hinundayan, Hinunangan, Silago, and Sogod.
Vice Gov. Yap, meantime, was personally endorsed by lawyer Manases Carpio, husband of presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
Carpio joined Yap in a political gathering at the municipal gymnasium in Sogod town last Tuesday (August 27).
He said that he is backing the congressional bid of Yap ‘all the way,’ describing the vice governor as a ‘close friend.’
“I am here to personally show my support and I told Sara that I am going to Southern Leyte to personally show my support to Coco,” Carpio said.
Marie Marjorie Jaramilla, regional president of PDP-Laban, said that the party will throw all its support to Yap.
“The vice governor is one of my silent supporters during the presidential election of President Duterte, (he) personally endorsed (the President) and I will support him. The PDP-Laban will support him 100 percent,” Jaramilla said.