THEY came in full force.
Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. and Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Calimlim led a complete team under the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) in filing their certificates of candidacy (COCs) before the Office of the Provincial Elections Supervisor in Dagupan at 9:00 a.m. of October 3, promising to sustain the momentum of development they had started
Espino is running for a third and last term of office while Calimlim is seeking a second term.
They were endorsed by the local party Biskeg founded by Dangerous Drugs Board Chairman Antonio Villar Jr., who is on leave from the party.
In an interview after filing his candidacy, Espino told newsmen that they are very happy with the “overwhelming support” being given by NPC.
The NPC candidates for board members are re-electionists Napoleon Fontelera Jr. and former Board Member Rene Sison, first district; re-electionist Raul Sison and former Board Member Nestor Reyes for the second district; Angel Baniqued Jr. and Leo Boy de Vera for the third district; re-electionist Mojamito Libunao and Eleuterio Sison for the fourth district; re-electionists Danilo Uy and Clemente Arboleda Jr. for the fifth district; and Alfonso Bince Jr. and Salvador Perez Jr. of the sixth district.
The team was accompanied to the Comelec office by former Fifth District Rep. Mark Cojuangco, NPC provincial chairman.
Cojuangco said he has already signed more than 600 certificates of nomination and acceptance for the NPC, many of whom are re-electionist candidates.
“With that number, I think the vast majority of incumbent officials are now NPC so if they are true (to their pledges), I think our candidates have big chance of winning,” Cojuangco said.
The NPC held an oath-taking ceremony for new members in the second district of Pangasinan at the Sison Auditorium last October 5.
Meanwhile, Calimlim said the present provincial administration has done a good job during the last three years and expressed hope that the electorate will give them the opportunity to finish what they have started.
“Victory now in this election will make NPC relevant on the national scale not only in Pangasinan but in other provinces as well. Pangasinan is big so it’s important,” Cojuangco said.
Cojuangco’s wife, re-electionist 5th District Rep. Kimi Cojuangco, for her part, said, “it’s a good thing for our province if we stay together, we have become a force to reckon with and whoever is our sitting president would pay to our province”.
Pangasinan has 1,524,342 registered voters as of August 2012, one of the biggest in the country, according to Provincial Election Supervisor Marino Salas.
Registration of voters, which was suspended last week for the filing of certificates of candidacy, resumed on October 6 and will continue until October 31.
The campaign period for candidates running for national positions will start February 12 while those for the House of Representatives and local government posts is March 29 until midnight of May 11.–with reports from Eva Visperas, Johanne R. Macob and PIA-Pangasinan