Castro backs out of vice mayoralty race in Puerto Princesa

Democratic Party of the Philippines Rogelio M. Castro officially withdrew from the race for his vice-mayoral bid on Thursday afternoon to substitute councilor candidate Berjyl C. Baluyot. (Photo Courtesy of City Comelec)

City councilor Nancy Socrates’ lone challenger for the second highest position in Puerto Princesa City in the May 2019 elections has withdrawn from the race.

Rogelio M. Castro, a former city councilor, filed five copies of his statement of withdrawal Thursday afternoon at the city office of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) before the closing of the deadline for the period of substitution.

The turn of events was confirmed to Palawan News by Ferdinand Bermejo, the COMELEC elections officer in Puerto Princesa, in an interview.

Bermejo said Castro’s withdrawal from the race left Socrates unopposed in her bid to serve her first term as vice mayor of the city.

He said after Castro withdrew his bid, he also filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) at 3:28 p.m. for a post in the City Council, substituting aspirant for councilor Berjyl C. Baluyot.

Castro’ substitution will be under the democratic party-list Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS), a recently formed national political party headed by its president, Greco Belgica. It is locally led by former mayor Edward Hagedorn.

Bermejo said Castro’s withdrawal statement did not offer any explanation on why he decided to back out of the vice mayoralty race.

“At 3:28 this afternoon (Nov. 29) si Mr. Roger Castro ay nag-file ng kanyang COC for the position of member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod,” said Bermejo.

Bermejo noted that all the documents for Castro’s and Baluyot’s withdrawal and substitution had already been forwarded to the COMELEC Law Department in Manila through electronic mail.

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