BEAVY OF BEAUTIES. The 29 candidates for the Miss Earth Philippines arrived in Borongan City on Monday (April 22)where the swimwear competition of the Manila-based pageant is to be staged on Thursday(April 25). The candidates were welcomed by Borongan city officials led by Mayor Jose Ivan Dayan Agda. (BORONGAN CITY INFORMATION OFFICE)

2025 elections

TACLOBAN CITY-Southern Leyte Governor Damian Mercado is set to run for congressman of the province’s second congressional district, potentially clashing with a political ally, Rep. Christopherson Yap.

Mercado, a former congressman himself and now serving his second term as governor, filed his transfer of voter’s registration to Sogod town, the hometown and bailiwick of Yap, last April 18.

Yap served as vice governor during the first term in office of Gov. Mercado who ran for congressman during the 2022 elections in Southern Leyte’s second district which was just created in 2019.

At present, Mercado put his address in Maasin City, the provincial capital, whose mayor, Naccional, is his nephew.

During his filing of transfer of voter’s registration, Mercado was accompanied by nine out of the 12 mayors of the second district and several mayors in the first congressional district.
The second congressional district was just created in 2019, dividing the province of Southern Leyte into two congressional districts.

The first district of the province is currently occupied by Rep. Luz Mercado, sister-in-law of Gov. Mercado. She is the wife of former congressman and governor, Roger Mercado.

Roger Mercado served as the Secretary of Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in 2021 until the last days of the Duterte administration.

Gov. Mercado’s vice governor is his sister, Rosa Emilia Mercado.

“We are giving our 101 percent to Gov. Mercado on his congressional bid,” Silago Mayor Lemuel Honor said.

Honor was among the mayors who accompanied Gov. Mercado when he filed his transfer of voter registration.

The Mercados have ruled Southern Leyte for more than three decades now.

Meantime, in Leyte, former congressman Vicente Veloso won a victory after the election registration board (ERB) of Isabel, Leyte threw out on April 15 the petition barring him to transfer his voter’s registration from Villaba town.

Villaba is part of Leyte’s third congressional district while Isabel form part of Leyte’s fourth congressional district which is currently held by Rep. Richard Gomez.

Veloso served as congressman of Leyte’s third district for six years ending in 2022. His post is now occupied by his daughter, Rep. Anna Victoria Veloso-Tuazon.

The petitioner, Rhodora Basilio, said that Veloso has no residential house in Isabel except a commercial building.

But the ERB said that Veloso has all the right to transfer where he desires to become a registered voter.

The country is to hold a general election next year.