SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – The gubernatorial candidate of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) has withdrawn her certificate of candidacy (COC) yesterday to pave way for the substitution of the brother of incumbent Governor Manuel Ortega.
Janet Cartas, a councilor of Barangay Gana, Caba, La Union, withdrew her COC for the gubernatorial race at the provincial office of the Commission on Election (Comelec) here a few minutes before Mario Eduardo Ortega, the Governor’s executive assistant, filed his substitution papers.
Cartas has chosen Mario as her substitute after Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos approved his candidacy. The Senator’s father, former President Marcos, formed the KBL in 1978.
Jose Vicente Opinion, KBL’s chairman and president, issued Mario’s nomination which was received by Atty. Joel Gines, the Comelec provincial officer.
Mario, a former national vice president of the Liga ng mga Barangay, will be facing three other gubernatorial bets which include his nephew Abono Partylist Representative Francisco Emmanuel ‘Pacoy’ Ortega III, son of Gov. Manuel who filed his COC as an independent candidate.
Gov. Manuel is now on his third and final term and will now rest in politics due to old age.
Also running for the gubernatorial post as an independent is Henry Bacurnay, the Undersecretary for External Affairs at the Office of the President, and former 2nd District representative Butch Dumpit of the National Unity Party.
“I will be a better alternative for the people of La Union to choose (in this election). All I want is (for my opponents) to level the playing field so the voters can choose what candidate they want,” Mario said.
Mario said he has been asking from Pacoy for the nomination of Abono Partylist so they can work together if they both win and would not clash each other in the election. However, Pacoy did not take the offer and instead fielded his wife Vini Nola Ortega for the position.
“We tried everything to settle the matter (political differences) but he (Pacoy) was not convinced. That’s why I have to subject myself from the clamor of supporters,” said Mario who has a vast 28 years of experience in the field of public service.
Pacoy, who is also on his last term, said recently that he declined the offer because he is the one who worked hard to get the nomination of Abono that’s why he should by the one to choose a candidate that would replace him.
By Dexter A. See