By Severino Samonte
MANILA — A total of 96 candidates are competing for the 36 seats in the Quezon City Council in the May 13 elections.
Quezon City, the former capital of the country, is composed of six congressional or city districts.
According to data from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Quezon City, the city’s second district has the biggest number of aspirants with 22, followed by the sixth district with 18, third district with 17, and first, fourth and fifth districts with 13 candidates each.
The largest local government unit in Metropolitan Manila in terms of population and land area, Quezon City is composed of 142 barangays. These barangays have a total population of 2,936,116 as of the 2015 national census.
There are 37 barangays in the first district, five in the second district, 37 in the third district, 38 in the fourth district, 14 in the fifth district, and 11 in the sixth district.
Meanwhile, 10 candidates are vying for the city’s top elective position to be vacated by Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista on June 30.
Leading these aspirants is outgoing Vice Mayor Joy G. Belmonte, daughter of former House Speaker Feliciano C. Belmonte, who is a former QC mayor himself.
The younger Belmonte, who is running under the Serbisyo sa Bayan Party (SBP), is facing nine other candidates for the same post.
They are outgoing QC fifth district Rep. Bingbong Crisologo of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban); Ismael “Chuck” Mathay III of Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino; Romeo Acebedo (Independent); Esmeraldo Ding Balosa (Ind.); Alex Lague (Philippine Green Republic Party); Emma Orozco (Ind.); Andy Rosales (Ind.); Teodoro Rusios (Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan-Democratic Party of the Philippines); and Henry E. Samonte (Labor Party of the Philippines).
For the vice mayor’s post to be vacated by Belmonte, the leading contenders are former Councilor Jopet Sison of PDP-Laban; incumbent Councilor Gian Sotto (SBP); and outgoing Councilor Roderick Paulate (KDP).
The three other aspirants are: Allan Bantilo of Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL); Rolando Jota (LPP); and Cinderella Ladisla (PDDS-DPP).
The Comelec-QC office has not released the official list of aspirants for the city’s six congressional districts, saying the candidates for the said posts filed their certificates of candidacy (COCs) with the Comelec’s National Capital Region. (PNA)