COTABATO CITY – Male politicians in North Cotabato were sidelined by two women leaders who will contest the province’s top post in next year’s polls.
Reelectionist Governor Nancy Catamco of PDP-Laban filed her certificate of candidacy (COC) on Friday creating a “one-on-one” battle of women leaders in the province.
The governor’s running mate, incumbent Provincial Administrator Efren Piñol, and other party candidates for Provincial Board accompanied her in filing her candidacy.
On October 6, North Cotabato Vice Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza of the Nacionalista Party (NP) filed her COC before the Commission on Elections in Kidapawan City, challenging Catamco’s post.
Her running mate is Board Member Shirlyn Macasarte.
Catamco, who is seeking her second term as provincial executive, pledged to continue her brand of governance anchored on transparency and accountability.
“I will pursue what I’ve started for the people of Cotabato province that entails good governance, transparency, and accountability,” she said in a statement on the day of her COC filing.
Before heading towards the Comelec office, Catamco and her party briefly stopped for a tribal ritual, the “Pamaas”, for a safe journey, which was led by Obo-Manuvo leaders for the upcoming May 2022 elections.
She highlighted her initiatives, such as the ongoing completion of the Central Mindanao Airport in M’lang town of the province.
“These initiatives will truly benefit our people,” Catamco said.
Leading to their filing of their COCs, Catamco and Mendoza had been trading barbs over the issue of supplemental budget for the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Catamco accused Mendoza of early “politicking” when the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Board) where she is the presiding officer, rejected a request for a supplemental budget intended for health front-liners in the province.
“There was no valid reason except politics,” she said.
Mendoza, meanwhile, insisted the provincial legislators were only performing their duties by scrutinizing the proposed supplemental budget and ensuring every centavo is spent legally by the executive department.
“I had been in politics for so long. I know that we have to scrutinize everything for the sake of transparency and accountability,” she said.
Amid these, however, both Catamco and Mendoza fully supported the conduct of peaceful and credible elections in the province next year. (PNA)