Bautista, Belmontes attend Mass, hold motorcade
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - April 2, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista led his entire ticket in an inaugural Mass at the Santo Domingo Church yesterday, which marked the start of the local campaign in the city.

Bautista was joined by the entire local Liberal Party (LP) slate, including re-electionists Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte and fourth district congressman Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.

Hundreds of supporters also joined the Mass and the subsequent city-wide motorcade. The local LP slate is set to hold its proclamation rally on Sunday. Bautista’s chief of staff Aldrin Cuña said President Aquino has yet to confirm his attendance to the rally.

Despite the lack of strong opposition, Bautista said he will take the opportunity to campaign throughout the city to express his gratitude to his constituents.

“We also have to help the entire team,” he added, naming some of their candidates who are facing tough opponents in this year’s midterm elections.

Bautista is facing independent candidates Johnny Chang and Henry Samonte, while the younger Belmonte is facing independent Rolando Jota for the vice mayoral post.

Bautista said if he is re-elected, he will continue the projects started by the previous administration of now Speaker Belmonte. He said he will continue prioritizing disaster risk reduction, socialized housing, and social services.

Meanwhile, staff at the offices of re-electionist Councilors Anthony Peter Crisologo and Don de Leon said local candidates running under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) have started campaigning last Sunday.

UNA failed to field candidates in the city’s top posts, but are supporting several congressional and councilor candidates.

Comelec to conduct inspections

In an interview with The STAR, city district election officer Jovencio Balanquit said they will hold regular inspections to make sure that all candidates are following the campaign rules.

He said they will remove posters that are not in designated common poster areas, including those on lampposts, trees, and center islands.

Balanquit admitted having limited personnel to conduct regular inspection in the city, but said they will do their best to implement the campaign rules in coordination with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.

He added that they will also send letters to all candidates to remind them to follow the rules, as the Comelec is serious on imposing the disqualification penalty against rule breakers.

Aside from the Comelec-defined rules, the city also approved an ordinance prohibiting the use of plastic campaign election materials.

ALDRIN CU BAUTISTA CANDIDATES CITY COMELEC COUNCILORS ANTHONY PETER CRISOLOGO AND DON JOHNNY CHANG AND HENRY SAMONTE JOVENCIO BALANQUIT LIBERAL PARTY METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY PRESIDENT AQUINO
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