Benguet congressional aspirants trimmed down

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet November 23 – Aspirants for the province’s lone congressional seat in the House of Representatives in the upcoming May 9, 2022 synchronized national and local elections had been trimmed down to only four following the surprise withdrawal of former Gov. Crecencio C. Pacalso from the race for the coveted position.

Pacalso, who filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for Representative of Benguert’s line district under the Partido Reporma, filed his withdrawal documents before the Baguio-Benguet field office of the Commission on elections (COMEOLEC) late Monday afternoon that caught many people by surprise.

Last week, reports on Pacalso withdrawing from the province’s congressional race circulated when a signed withdrawal form that allegedly bore his signature had been privately shared to some personalities.

However, the former governor has yet to make an official pronouncement on the reason for his sudden withdrawal from the race for the province’s congressional seat beyond the period where he was supposed to be substituted by a partymate.

The remaining contenders for the province’s congressional seat are Benguet caretaker congressman and Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list Rep. Eric Yap, Itogon Mayor Victorio T. Palangdan, lawyer Torzon Keith and lawyer Samson Paran.

Sources, who opted not to be identified for personal reasons, claimed that the former provincial official was allegedly insulted when he was asked by a former official to withdraw for the latter to substitute him from the race for the congressional post.

On the other hand, the source also added that there were some important documents which were not completed by the said former official in the past which might affect his future in politics once he will be declared as the winning candidate for the congressional post in next year’s elections.

Pacalso is the only candidate that withdrew his candidacy from the list of candidates that filed their COCs from October 1-8, 2021 which was the period provided by the poll body for aspirants to file their intention to be an elected official.

For his part, Mayor Palangdan disclosed that Pacalso’s withdrawal from the congressional race is part of the gains of the ongoing unification efforts being initiated by former Rep. Ronald M. Cosalan and that the next move that will be undertaken is to reach out with his camp for them to unify their bid for Benguet leaders to rule the province.

He pointed out that his withdrawal could have been voluntary as no one among them had pressured or influenced him to give up his aspiration to become the province’s Representative to the House of Representatives and that the same is a good sign for the future realization of the ongoing unification efforts that might a little more time to be achieved.

What is important, according to him, is that Benguet leaders will be at the helm in the various elected positions after the May 2022 synchronized national and local elections so that the development projects that had been initiated by incumbent officials including Benguet caretaker congressman and Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list Rep. Eric Yap could be pursued and completed. By Hent

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