CANDIDATES FOR MAYOR IN PUERTO PRINCESA CITY: (L-R) Bayron, Maristela, Nuñez, Antazo, Martinez, and Pedoy were among the nine candidates who filed for mayor of Puerto Princesa City. Aydalia, Diaz, and Oloroso (not in photo).

The spotlight on the upcoming elections in Puerto Princesa City will be on the emerging rivalry between incumbent mayor Lucilo R. Bayron and opposition councilor Jimbo Maristela. This, even as seven other individuals with varying backgrounds have filed their candidacy for the same post.

The poll body is yet to undertake a cleaning up of the final list of national and local candidates before proclaiming the official candidates whose names will be on the ballot. But in Puerto Princesa City, the 1-week registration period that ended Friday attracted a throng of many old and new players in city politics.

There were 43 candidates for City Councilor positions, notable among which were the inclusion of Bayron’s youngest daughter Raine in the “Kuridas” line-up and the inclusion of incumbent re-electionist Patrick Hagedorn in the administration ticket to signal the reconciliation of the previously fractured Hagedorn clan.

Maristela’s campaign is expected to be buttressed by the inclusion on his ticket of former vice mayor Luis Marcaida, who had stepped up as acting mayor during Bayron’s extended suspension period, which allowed him to develop his own support base.

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Incumbent Vice Mayor Nancy Socrates is expected to have an easy run against local businessman Gerry Abordo who has yet to achieve a breakthrough after repeated failed attempts in previous local elections.

THE MAYORALTY CANDIDATES

Peter Maristela (Liberal Party)
Opposition councilor Peter “Jimbo” Maristela served on the City Council since being first elected in 2013. He is the chairman of the City Council Transportation Committee, which advocates for tricycle drivers. In one of his latest proposed ordinances, he is seeking to add more routes for the three-wheeled vehicles in the city after they were banned along major thoroughfares.
 
Lucilo Bayron (PDP–Laban)
Incumbent mayor Lucilo Bayron served as Puerto Princesa City’s local chief executive since 2013. During his term, Bayron’s flagship projects included infrastructure and development, such as the installation of street lights throughout the city and Balayong Park. Bayron is presumed to qualify for a fresh term since his term of office was considered interrupted due to an administrative case that led to his temporary suspension in 2015.
 
Florante Antazo (Independent)
Businessman Florante Antazo said he is advocating for more medical services and food supply as his platform. This is his first time running for public office.
 
Romeo Nunez III (Independent)
Romeo Nuñez is a pastor of the Jesus Christ the River of Life Church. This is his first time entering politics. He said that his main platforms are transparency in government and economic recovery.
 
Arnulfo Aydalia (Independent)
Aydalia is the president of DAUGHTERTE MIMAROPA (PDM). He is also the chairperson of the IPM Palawan Chapter and the regional chairman of the United PDM IPM Volunteers Inc. MIMAROPA Palawan Chapter.
 
Edgardo Martinez (Independent)
Edgardo Martinez is a retired employee who worked in technology-based companies. He said his main platforms, include good governance and helping the residents of the city.
 
Dante Diaz (Independent)
Dante Diaz is a businessman whose main platform includes local tax reform, the development of Puerto Princesa General Hospital, and offering real property tax for the local economy to recover from the effects of the pandemic. This is his first time running for public office.
 
Daniel Pedoy (Independent)
Daniel Pedoy is a farmer who previously ran for the City Council in 2016.
 
Eliceo Oloroso (Independent)
Businessman Eliceo Oloroso is from Barangay San Miguel.

THE VICE MAYORALTY CANDIDATES

Nancy Socrates (PDP-Laban)
Nancy Socrates is the incumbent vice mayor of Puerto Princesa City since she was elected in office in 2019. She served as a city councilor from 2013 to 2019. She is the daughter of late Palawan governor Salvador Socrates and brother of incumbent Palawan vice-governor Dennis Socrates. She is a breast cancer survivor.
 
Gerardo Abordo (Party affiliation not indicated)
Gerardo Abordo is a local businessman who has had several unsuccessful runs for the city council under the ticket of former Mayor Edward Hagedorn.

THE CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES

  1. Abad, Gerardo ‘Gerry’
  2. Aguilar, Jean Lou
  3. Aguirre, Nenelia
  4. Awat, Nesario
  5. Balingit, Henrietta
  6. Basig-Anasco, Lyka Tricia
  7. Bayron, Raine
  8. Biton, Arnold
  9. Bonete, Gabriel
  10. Canete, Jimmy
  11. Carbonell, Jimmy
  12. Castro, Francisco ‘Kiko’
  13. Castro, Rogelio
  14. Cayanan, Arthur
  15. Damasco, Elgin
  16. de Guzman, Elaine
  17. Dilig, Herbert
  18. Escalona-Cuyos, Cheryl
  19. Fuertes, Masueto ‘Baby’
  20. Gabuco, Francisco
  21. Gadiano, Henry
  22. Gaspar, Delson
  23. Hagedorn, Patrick
  24. Javarez, Cesar
  25. Ji Lao, Epitacio
  26. Marcaida III, Luis
  27. Tan, Benedict
  28. Oczon, Emmanuel
  29. Oliveros III., Feliberto
  30. Paigma, Renante
  31. Palanca, Jocelyn
  32. Palanca, Leogina ‘Louchie’
  33. Pantone, Randolf R.
  34. Reynoso, Oliver Miguel
  35. Rodriguez II, Modesto ‘Jonjie’
  36. Romasanta, Antonio
  37. Romulo, Ronald
  38. Sayang, Ronaldo
  39. Serna, Jocelyn
  40. Sumpio, Barry
  41. Tan, Benedict
  42. Tong, Felipe
  43. Yara, Rodel

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is a desk editor and senior reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.