BAYBAY CITY- Had someone filed for the position of vice governor, he could have submitted his certificate of candidacy (CoC) for Leyte’s fifth congressional district.
Thus said Vice Gov. Carlo Loreto who is sure to have his third and last term having no rival for the position he has been holding since 2013.
Loreto, a cousin of Gov. Leopoldo Dominico Petilla, filed his CoC at the last minute at the provincial office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on October 17, the last day of the five-day filing of CoC for those running for the May 13, 2019 elections.
He was accompanied by his wife, Joane Karen and daughter Margarette, and former Energy Sec. Carlos Jericho Petilla, also a cousin and the acknowledged political kingmaker of the clan, when he filed his CoC for vice governor.
Rumors swirled that the vice governor was eyeing the congressional seat of the fifth district to be vacated by another cousin, Jose Carlos Cari.
Cari fielded his son, Carl Nicholas, currently federation president of the Association of Barangay Chairmen in Baybay City, as his possible successor.
The vice governor, in an interview, said that there was a ‘clamor’ from the mayors in the district for him to seek the congressional seat.
While he was pleased and encouraged of their clamor, which he said an indication of their trust and confidence in him as a political leader, Loreto said that he has to set it aside in order for him to avoid any possible ‘vacuum’ in the vice gubernatorial position as one has filed for said position.
“I was waiting for somebody to file for vice governor but since no one filed, it is unacceptable for me that there will be a vacuum in the vice gubernatorial post (if I will not file for the post),” Loreto said when asked why he did not pursue his reported plan to run for Congress.
Loreto said that had he chose to run for Congress, he would follow the footsteps of his father, Jose, and grandfathers Domingo Veloso and Eriberto Loreto.
The vice governor visited the tombs of his late father and grandfathers at Baybay cemetery to pay his respects to them.
Loreto, who is a lawyer by profession and an environmental advocate, is the current national vice president of the League of Vice Governors of the Philippines (LVGP) for Visayas.
He also served as board member representing the fifth district for nine years before he was elected to his current position.