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Evasco 'praise' of Aris fuel speculations

DAUIS, BOHOL, Philippines — The statement of Cabinet Secretary Leonsio "Jun" Evasco that he "sees in Congressman Aris Aumentado as another Aumentado to be a potential leader of Bohol" has drawn speculations on the political horizon in the province.

"We will see in the near future another Aumentado to lead Bohol," Evasco without elaboration concluded his speech during the launching of the book of then Governor Erico Boyles Aumentado held at a resort in Barangay Sounculan of Dauin yesterday.

Some mayors in later interviews said the statement was somehow "loaded," but for some it appeared to be an endorsement of the young Aumentado for governor in 2019.

But Aris quickly dispelled the conjecture of Evasco, saying he is "sunod niya," meaning he may be the next governor only after Evasco.

Evasco's 'endorsement' of Aris further supported the speculation that he (Aris) is for governor following plan for consolidation of forces of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), Nacionalista Party (NP) and Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC).

PDP-Laban sources said House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez was supposed to induct new converts of PDP-Laban in the province but then there was still need to follow procedures, under party rules, such as to undergo a one-day seminar first.

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Evasco, for his part, earlier told The Freeman that he is not inclined to gun for governor in Bohol but would rather stay as an ordinary citizen in his hometown, Maribojoc, where he was the former mayor for three terms (2007-2016).

Aris also said earlier that he's not running for the highest post of the province but to finish his term after 2019.

After the book launching, a meeting of the party stalwarts followed and tackled the next moves to strengthen the group, formerly the Bohol United Opposition (BUO), headed by Aris and Vice Governor Dioning Balite, who was not around but was represented by his son, Victor, 3rd district Provincial Board member.

Among those who attended the book launching are: former vice govenor Julius Herrera, former Tagbilaran mayor Jose Torralba and his incumbent wife City Councilor Betty Torralba, Bishop Abet Uy of the Tagbilaran Diocese, and town mayors, among others. (FREEMAN)

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