CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Nelson Constantino and Ben Balce / March 30) - Bukidnon’s first district has become an interesting battleground between a virtual political neophyte and one with quite a reputation.
Ma. Lourdes “Malou” Acosta, the youngest daughter of former congresswoman and now the incumbent Manolo Fortich Mayor Socorro Acosta filed her certificate of candidacy under the Liberal Party (LP) Wednesday afternoon, shortly after her opponent, former elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, was officially registered before the Provincial Comelec Office in Malaybalay City earlier in the day.
Her older brother and three-termer Rep. Nerius Acosta who is running for governor of the province would leave the seat vacant.
Relatively unknown despite the Acostas’ political stronghold in the province’s 1st District, Malou Acosta, at the University of the Philippines, was mobbed by both local and national media right after her certificate of candidacy was officially received by provincial election assistant Felicitas Adiong.
Asked for readiness, to slug it out with the man allegedly behind the controversial “Hello Garci” scandal, the young Acosta blurted out: “Ako’y handang handa na.”
Running for public office for the first time, she said she is aware of Garcillano’s reputation as the alleged architect of the so-called “Dagdag-Bawas” operations and other elections frauds in the past.
“I know what he’s capable of doing,” Acosta said, but quickly pointed out that the people’s vigilance would make it difficult for Garcillano to succeed.
Garcillano filed his candidacy as an independent, but many believe he is being backed by the Malacañang.
Garcillano launched his bid for the congressional seat of Bukidnon’s 1st District with much fanfare in Malaybaly City. In his motorcade were members of the famous Viva Hot Babes.
It was a show of force as some 50 vans and luxury vehicles lined up in a parade to the Comelec office in Malaybalay City. On the vehicles were placards with the markings: “We love Garci.”
Garcillano denied that Malacañang behind his candidacy.
“I am running on my own as an independent candidate and I am not supported by the president,” said Garcillano adding the President has not even called him since the Garci scandal broke out.
He said it was his right to run for public office and he did not need to ask the permission of anyone.
Cagayan de Oro Journal