THIRTEEN individuals have filed their Certificates of Candidacy (COCs) for congressmen in the forthcoming elections in the first and second legislative districts of Southern Leyte and the first and third legislative districts of South Cotabato on October 26.
In the Certified List of Candidates released by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), three filed their COCs for the first district of Southern Leyte while five will be competing for the second district post.
A separate Certified List of Candidates also revealed there was only one applicant for the first district of South Cotabato, while four filed their COCs for the third district of South Cotabato.
Former Southern Leyte (Lone District) congressman Roger Mercado led the candidates in the first district of Southern Leyte, along with independent bets Vicente Geraldo and Albert Esclamado.
Aniceto Saludo, who is also a former Southern Leyte (Lone District) representative, led the filers for the second district of Southern Leyte. He will slug it out with Miguelino Caturan, Napoleon Cuaton, Sheffered Tan, and Christopherson Yap.
As for the first district of South Cotabato, only Isidro Lumayag is looking to run for congressman.
For the third district of South Cotabato, applicants include former South Cotabato congressman (1st District) Pedro Acharon, Shirlyn Banas-Nograles, Abelardo Plaza, and Benjamin Rivera.
The filing of COCs took place from August 26 to August 28.
On the other hand, the campaign period already began last Wednesday and will run until October 24.
To recall, the holding of elections for the reapportioned district representatives of the two provinces were suspended to a date later than May 13, 2019 due to operational and logistical constraints.
This was after the passage of Republic Act No. 11198, which reapportioned Southern Leyte from one to two legislative districts. On the other hand, Republic Act No. 11243 reapportioned the first legislative district of South Cotabato and created the third legislative district.
The poll body set the elections for the first and second legislative districts of Southern Leyte, and in the first and third legislative districts of South Cotabato on October 26.