Tomas O withdraws COC; Samsam, wife switch places

·3 min read

FORMER Cebu City mayor Tomas “Tommy” Osmeña withdrew his certificate of candidacy (COC) for the city’s south district representative at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office Friday, Nov. 12, 2021.

Election Officer II Omar Sharif Mamalinta confirmed that in a sudden turn of events, Osmeña pulled out his COC before noon Friday and BG Rodrigo L. Abellanosa filed his COC as the substitute candidate for Osmeña.

Mamalinta added that Osmeña did not file another COC for a different electoral position for the upcoming 2022 elections.

Abellanosa, son of outgoing Cebu City South District Rep. Rodrigo “Bebot” Abellanosa, will serve as the official candidate of the Bando Osmeña–Pundok Kauswagan or BOPK local political party.

Under Comelec rules, the deadline to file a COC for the substitution of an official candidate who withdrew, died or was disqualified by final judgment is Nov. 15.

In Talisay City, Mayor Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas Jr. also withdrew his COC.

Gullas will no longer run for the first district of Cebu’s congressional seat but instead seek reelection as mayor.

Gullas denied that he decided to run for reelection due to allegations that his wife, Rhea, was losing in the local surveys.

Rhea, who was supposed to run for city mayor in next year’s elections, decided to withdraw her COC on Friday, Nov. 12, to make way for her husband.

Instead, Rhea filed her COC at the Cebu Provincial Elections Office on the same day, opting to run for congresswoman of Cebu’s first district. She will run unopposed.

“Not true. In our surveys which went to every sitio in every barangay in the city, it was 50-55 percent Rhea, 20-22 percent opponent and 20-30 percent still undecided,” Gullas said.

Gullas said he and his wife made the decision to switch places after a weeklong consultation with their families and party members.

He said he decided to seek reelection as he could no longer take the alleged mudslinging campaign being committed against his wife.

Rhea was supposed to face her husband’s former running mate, Vice Mayor Alan Bucao, for the city’s top post.

“One reason I wanted to seek reelection is that dili na nako kaya motan-aw na daogdaogon lang ako wife sa iya kaatbang of issues that are truly below the belt. I cannot just sit idle and watch as he throws every traditional trick in the book at Rhea. Sakit gyud kaayo isip bana ug amahan ang mga bakak ug mga issue ilang gipanglabay sa akong asawa,” Gullas said in a statement posted on his Facebook page.

(One reason I wanted to seek reelection is that I could no longer bear to see the way my wife has been oppressed by her opponent with issues that are truly below the belt. I cannot just sit idle and watch as he throws every traditional trick in the book at Rhea. The lies and issues they’ve thrown at my wife have hurt me very much as a husband and father.)

Cebu Provincial Election Supervisor Marco Lionel Castillano said the Gullas couple’s move was not prohibited by the Omnibus Election Code or any Comelec resolution.

Aside from the Gullas couple, four candidates of the Sangguniang Bayan, two candidates for vice mayor, and one candidate for mayor in Cebu Province also took the opportunity to withdraw their candidacy for the seats they initally filed their COCs for last month, and to substitute for others.

In Asturias town, Junthy Valenzuela withdrew his candidacy for councilor and was substituted by Dana Andrew Dumdum, who had first sought the seat of mayor.

Following Dana Andrew’s withdrawal of his COC for mayor, Joel Dumdum, who had originally sought the vice mayoral post, will now be seeking the top post.

Replacing Joel Dumdum is Junthy Valenzuela for the vice mayor’s seat.

In Carmen town, Martin Gerard Villamor also withdrew his COC for councilor and was replaced by Al Silvestre Damiles.

In Minglanilla town, Loreto Balorio was replaced by Aussie Trinidad del Rosario, while Nestor Juezan was replaced by Wilfredo Adlawan as aspirants for seats in the municipal council. (IRT, JKV, ANV)

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