Governor Jose Chaves Alvarez on Wednesday registered himself as a voter in the southern municipality of Rizal, fueling speculations he will run for a local position in the May 9, 2022 elections after completing his term as governor.
Municipal election officer Girlie Pacamarra told Palawan News that Governor Alvarez arrived early at the municipal election office accompanied by Rizal Mayor Otol Odi and Vice Mayor Norman Ong including his personal security detail.
Governor Alvarez has yet to make a formal statement about his future political plans after he completes his third and final term as governor of Palawan.
Pacamarra said Alvarez gave their office a heads up three days before he signed up to register in Rizal.
“Three days pa lang po before this day nagpasabi na ang mga kapartido niya sa PPP na baka darating si Gob for filing ng transfer. Inacomodate naman natin sya. Kasama niya sa filing ang mga personal guard niya. Then napansin din ng opisina natin sa labas si Mayor Otol at Vice Mayor Norman Ong,” she said.
Since his foray into provincial politics in 2010, Alvarez had always been a resident of San Vicente. He last voted in a poblacion precinct during the May 13 plebiscite on the proposed division of Palawan into three provinces.
Alvarez is known to have a house in Barangay Punta Baja, which will become his official residence after the COMELEC body confirms his transfer. Pacamarra said she expects it to be approved by the poll body.
“Sa number of years po, qualified naman si Gov na magpalipat ng kaniyang bobotohan dahil residente na rin po sya kung maituturing dito. More or less 5 years na po siyang may bahay dito sa bayan ng Rizal,” Pacamarra said.
Pacamarra also said that under the election law, Alvarez may be qualified to run for a local seat, which requires a 1-year residency before filing of candidacy.
“At least 1 year po ang nasa batas natin. Bibilangin po natin mula sa buwan ng pag file niya this day at kung magbibilang po tayo sa next election is pasok po sya and qualified to run po,” Pacamarra said.
Alvarez’ transfer application will be deliberated by the local Electoral Registration Board (ERB) in July.