59 congressional seats up for grabs in Mindanao, Pacquiao unopposed
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59 congressional seats up for grabs in Mindanao, Pacquiao unopposed

Following the creation of 3 new congressional districts, Mindanao will now have a total of 59 seats in the House of Representatives that are up for grabs in the May 2013 elections.

The new congressional districts are in Bukidnon, North Cotabato and Maguindanao.

Bukidnon will now have 4 congressional districts, the most among the 26 provinces in Mindanao.

North Cotabato will get a third while a second congressional district will be added to Maguindanao’s lone congressional district before.

A total of 164 candidates are contesting the 59 elected seats for Mindanao with Maguindanao topping the most number of candidates.   It has 12 hopefuls vying for the province’s 2 congressional districts, 8 of them in the newly created district which is also the biggest number candidates for a single district.

The next provinces with the most number of candidates are North Cotabato and Bukidnon, each with 9 aspirants.

The province with a lone candidate of course is for the lone district of Sarangani, as Rep. Manny Pacquiao is running unopposed.   His brother Rogelio is also running for congressman in the 1st District of South Cotabato-General Santos City against incumbent Pedro Acharon Jr.

Six other congressional candidates are also unopposed.

In addition to Pacquiao who is already assured of a second term, also without opponents are representatives Ma. Carmen Zamora (1st Dist-Compsotela Valley), Rommel Amatong (2nd Dist-Compostela Valley), Thelma Almario (2nd Dist-Davao Oriental) and Florencio Flores Jr (2nd Dist-Bukidnon).   Rep. Isidro Ungab (Davao City) is also unopposed in the city’s 3rd congressional district.  The other unopposed candidate is Erlpe John Amante (2nd Dist-Agusan del Norte) who is running for the seat to be vacated by his sister.

Among the cities in Mindanao that elect their own representatives, Zamboanga’s 2 congressional districts have the most number of candidates with 10.  Cagayan de Oro City has 9 hopefuls for tis 2 congressional districts.  Davao City has 8 candidates for its 3 districts.

Iligan also has 6 vying for its lone congressional seat.

Six of the 12 members of the House of Representatives in Mindanao are now running for governor, two for mayor while one is now a fugitive.

Former Dinagat Rep. Ruben Ecleo is still at large following his conviction for the murder of his wife in 2002.   He was removed from the roster of the House of Representatives in 2012.

Meanwhile, a total of 96 candidates are also running for Mindanao’s 33 cities.

Iligan City has the most number of listed candidates with 9 following the ineligibility of Mayor Lawrence Cruz due to term limits.

Three are running unopposed in the cities of Cabadbaran, Ozamis and Davao City, according to the official list found in the website of the Commission on Elections.

Cabadbaran City Mayor Dale Cordova is the only re-electionist among the unopposed candidates although Reynaldo Parojinog of Ozamis and Vice Mayor Rordrigo Duterte of Davao City are both making a comeback to their former positions.  Both also are running for the post currently being held by their daughters, Sara Duterte of Davao and Nova Princess Parojinog-Echavez.

In Mati City, it is a battle between two Rabats, Carlo Rabat and incumbent Mayor Michelle Rabat.