LEGAZPI CITY, Oct. 12 (PNA) — Believing in the saying that “Early birds catches the worm,” three political bigwigs under the Liberal Party banner in Albay trooped to the Commission on Election (Comelec) provincial office as early as 8 a.m. Monday to file their respective Certificates of Candidacy (COCs) during the start of the five-day COC filing set by the electoral body.
Former Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel C. Lagman (LP), through his representative, Rose Bombales, filed his COC at exactly 8 a.m.
Next to file his COC at around 9:45 a.m. was Albay Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda, LP provincial chairman, who is on his last term of office as provincial governor.
Salceda is running for the 2nd District congressional seat.
At the COC filing, 73-year-old Lagman’s representative arrived at the Comelec provincial office with no followers accompanying her, while Salceda filed his COC, together with a throng of local candidates for the vice governor, town mayors and councilors in Albay’s 2nd District.
All were clad in “yellow” shirts, the symbol of the Liberal Party.
The elder Lagman replaced his son, Edcel Jr., who gave way to his father.
The Lagman patriarch was a member of Congress for 20 years during the 8th- to 10th Congress (1987 to 1995) as well as 13 to 15th Congress (2004 to 2013) as Albay representative in the 1st District.
Albay Rep. Al Francis Bichara, a member of the Nationalista Party (NP), who is on his last term as 2nd District congressman, filed his COC in the afternoon of Monday.
He will be running for the gubernatorial seat of the province.
Albay Vice Governor Harold Imperial (LP) also filed his COC, running as re-electionist vice governor for his third term.
Among other local incumbent elective officials who filed their COCs was Albay 3rd District Rep. Fernando V. Gonzalez (LP) who is running for his third term in Congress.
Lawyer Romeo Serrano, Comelec provincial supervisor, said the first day of filing of the COC went smoothly even though he expected that more local candidates would file their COCs at the last two filing days.
“As usual, we expect that candidates will be beating the deadline on Friday,” he added.
Serrano said that following the Commission’s directive, the filing of COC will be accepted from 8 a.m to 5 p.m., starting Oct. 12 to Oct. 16.
In an interview, he said he expected other incumbent local officials and new aspirants to file their COCs in the next four days. (PNA)