Lawmakers welcome Banayo withdrawal from Congress race
Ben Serrano (The Philippine Star) - December 24, 2012 - 12:00am

BUTUAN CITY, Philippines  – Local partymates of former National Food Authority (NFA) administrator Lito Banayo accepted his withdrawal from the congressional race in May 2013.

Agusan del Norte Rep. Jose Aquino II said Banayo has officially withdrawn, leaving his partymates to support either incumbent Butuan Vice Mayor Lawrence Fortun of the Liberal Party (LP) or former Agusan del Norte congressman Roan Libarios of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

The two are seeking the first congressional district post of Agusan del Norte in the coming May 2013 elections.

Aquino, along with Butuan City Councilor Jo Marticion, said Banayo decided to withdraw from the race for health reasons.

“In fact, we noticed his health was failing few weeks back. Maybe he got affected with the rigorous hand shaking events and visits in the hinterlands of Butuan City. He really needs a rest,” Aquino said.

Aquino and Marticion clarified Banayo’s withdrawal had nothing to do with the Senate inquiry on Banayo on allegations of rice smuggling.

Banayo claimed the allegations of rice smuggling against him by Simeon Sioson of 4SM Agri Venture Multi-Purpose Cooperative were baseless and politically motivated.

Banayo sent a letter to committee chairman Sen. Francis Pangilinan, saying Sioson was a sore loser in the NFA biddings on import allocations and one of those supposed unscrupulous traders who uses farmers’ groups for personal gains.

Banayo’s partymates also shrugged off rumors that low survey results also forced Banayo to withdraw from the race.

AGRI VENTURE MULTI-PURPOSE COOPERATIVE AGUSAN AQUINO AQUINO AND MARTICION BANAYO BUTUAN CITY BUTUAN CITY COUNCILOR JO MARTICION BUTUAN VICE MAYOR LAWRENCE FORTUN OF THE LIBERAL PARTY FRANCIS PANGILINAN JOSE AQUINO LITO BANAYO
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