LP gubernatorial bet in CamSur cannot vote for himself

April 23, 2013 11:48 pm 

NAGA CITY, April 23 — The Liberal Party candidate for governor in Camarines Sur cannot vote for himself.

Neither can he vote for provincial candidates although he can be voted to the post he is running for in May.

Strange, this, but LP gubernatorial bet Jose Anselmo “Joel” Cadiz, former Solicitor General, is prohibited to vote for any provincial candidate of Camarines Sur, being a registered voter of Naga City.

But he is qualified to run for any provincial elective position under the law that created the independent chartered Naga City.

Section 89, Article XV of Republic Act No. 305 or the Naga City Charter states that “The qualified voters of the City shall not be entitled to vote in any election for the offices of Provincial Governor and Members of the Provincial Board of Camarines Sur;

"Provided, however, That any of such qualified voters can be candidate for any provincial office.”

Lawyer Fatima O. Gados, election supervisor of Naga City, said the Commission on Elections’ ballots for Naga City were printed only with the names of candidates for city, district and senatorial positions and party-list groups.

Gados said the names of candidates for provincial elective positions were not included in the Naga City ballots because voters here are not allowed to vote for them.

Running with the support of his classmates in the Ateneo de Naga High School Class 1974, Cadiz faces the formidable Villafuertes–Rep. Luis R. Villafuerte and grandson Miguel Luis–in the five-candidate gubernatorial race.

Asked about the implication of the law on his candidacy, especially that he cannot have hometown votes, Cadiz replied:

“It’s our people who will decide and with God’s grace we will make it."

He cited Luis Villafuerte as a Naga City resident when he first ran and won for governor in 1988.

“Naga voters are very important to me, but in their place, the vast majority of our long suffering people in the province want change,” Cadiz explained.

Lawyer Carlos Cortez, high school classmate and campaign manager of Cadiz, came home from the United States in October last year to give his full support to his classmate–win or loss.

Upon arrival from the US, Cortez immediately buckled down to organizing networks, starting in the town of San Fernando, hometown of LP’s congressional bet Sabas Mabulo.

He claimed they had established network of contact persons or “barangay political officers or BPOs” in Iriga City and 32 of the 35 towns of Camarines Sur and their resources to power the campaign come from ANHS Class ’74 who continuously volunteer money, facilities and time to push the candidacy of Cadiz.

“Our battering ram is the anti-political dynasty against the Villafuertes who are fielding four family members in gubernatorial and congressional races,” Cortez said.

Cadiz, Cortez and the late Interior Secretary Jesse M. Robredo were classmates in the Parochial School in elementary and at the Ateneo de Naga High School.

Cortez disclosed that employing basic organizing process, they penetrated Camarines Sur towns by conducting 2-3 hours orientation meetings for BPOs to discuss anti-political dynasty focused on the Villafuertes, the legacy of the late Jesse M. Robredo on transparency and good governance, family values and anti-corruption plan.

Cortez said Cadiz’s candidacy will not come to naught even if he loses because “what is more important is the advocacy against political dynasty, which I see to go on beyond elections.”

“Who knows we can beat the odds?” he said.

“You cannot underestimate the silent majority of barangay folk and the level of tolerance to the members of the same family claiming the gubernatorial post for decades,” according to Dr. Andy Guimpaya, another classmate of Cadiz.

Rachelle Rustia, 17, second year journalism of the Ateneo de Naga University and a youth volunteer for Cadiz, said she was introduced to the candidacy and anti-political dynasty advocacy of Cadiz during the alumni homecoming of their school last year.

“At first, I only wanted to join the campaign because it was an opportunity to go around the province for free. But later on I understood what Cadiz was advocating for, so that I now enjoy helping in explaining the importance of ending political dynasty in Camarines Sur,” Rustia said.(PNA)

HBC/FGS/JME/CBD/

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