CITY OF SAN FERNANDO– Liberal Party (LP) provincial chairman former governor Fr. Eddie Panlilio said yesterday that Pres. Aquino will not allow local candidates identified with the Arroyo administration to run unchallenged in the 2013 polls.
In an interview, Panlilio declined to comment on reports that the President had urged him to run against incumbent Gov. Lilia Pineda who is seeking reelection with her son Dennis as running mate under the new local party called Kambilan.
But he said “there are some negotiations and there will be some announcement by Thursday.” Candidates in next year’s elections have up to Friday to file their Certificates of Candidacy (CoC) with the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Panlilio said LP would definitely field candidates against Pineda and former president now Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in Pampanga’s second district. Pineda is Arroyo’s “comadre,” as the latter was principal sponsor in the wedding of Dennis.
Supporters of Pineda had expected she would run for reelection unopposed. Even Vice Pres. Jejomar Binay, in his recent visit to Angeles City, publicly declared that Pineda would be a sure winner in 2013 as he expressed confidence no one would challenge her.
Panlilio, whose priestly ministry was suspended by local Church authorities when he ran and won for governor in the 2007 elections, said that the LP would definitely field a candidate against Pineda who defeated him in the 2010 gubernatorial elections.
He also said that his party’s candidate against Arroyo is expected to file candidacy in time for the Friday deadline. He declined to name the candidate but said an announcement would be made before Friday.
Panlilio, however, admitted the reluctance of some candidates amid the well-financed machinery of some incumbents. “It’s hard to fight those who are moneyed,” he said.
But he said the President is determined to support trustworthy candidates who could work with him towards the “daang matuwid” or straight path.
Next year’s local elections in this province are expected to be highlighted by parent-child candidates, if not tandems.
Apart from Pineda and her son Dennis, there are reports that in Bacolor town, Mayor Jose Maria Hizon is expected to field his mother Lolita Hizon as his vice mayoral bet.
The Hizons, however, still had to file their COC’s as of yesterday , amid reports that the Pinedas are supporting another set of candidates for mayor and vice mayor.
In Mabalacat, which was declared a component city only recently, Mayor Marino Morales filed his COC for reelection the other day with councilor Liza Pineda as running mate, but his daughter Majorie Morales-Sambo also filed her candidacy for vice mayor as independent candidate.
Two other Pinedas are seeking reelection next year, including Dennis’ sister Mylene Pineda-Cayabyab seeking mayoral reelection in Lubao, and his wife Yolanda Pineda is running anew for another term as mayor of Sta. Rita.
Current Vice Gov. Joseller Guiao, who is on his third and last term, has filed his candidacy for Congress in Pampanga’s first district. The Pineda’s support for Guiao reportedly led incumbent Rep. Carmelo Lazatin not to seek a third term but to run for mayor of Angeles City against Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan.
“There is this impression in Pampanga that no candidate can win without the support of the Pinedas,” Panlilio lamented.