A sister-in-law of boxing icon and presidential aspirant Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao has joined the mayoral race here for the May 2022 elections.
Lorelei Pacquiao, incumbent chair of Barangay Labangal and the city’s Liga ng mga Barangay President, formally filed her certificate of candidacy (COC) around Wednesday noon at the local Commission on Elections (Comelec) office under the People’s Champ Movement (PCM).
She was joined by the party’s complete slate, supporters, and family members, which included Pacquiao matriarch Dionisia.
The group attended a “solidarity mass” at the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage parish church and held a press conference in a hotel before proceeding to the city Comelec office.
Lorelei, the wife of Senator Pacquiao’s younger brother and OFW Party-list Rep. Bobby, said she decided to run for mayor to bring a fresh brand of leadership to the city hall.
In her 11 years as barangay chair, including the last three years as the Liga ng mga Barangay’s representative to the city council, she said she personally saw the concerns of the people that have to be addressed.
She cited the need to expand the socio-economic and development services in the city’s 26 barangays.
“I cannot turn my back on our constituents who are clamoring for better opportunities and services,” she told reporters.
PCM fielded Senator Pacquiao’s former legal counsel, incumbent City Councilor Franklin Gacal Jr., in the vice mayoral race.
Its city council slate is led by incumbents Dominador Lagare Jr., Richard Atendido, Jose Orlando Acharon, and former councilors Remus de Claro, Eduardo Leyson and Jose Mariano Gonzales.
The other aspirants are barangay chairmen Paolo Natividad and Joey Dinopol, Jersey Cadeliña, Jake Reyes, Abet Pestaño, and Joseph Arnold Calonzo.
PCM, a local political party founded by Senator Pacquiao, earlier broke ties with its former standard-bearer, outgoing Mayor Ronnel Rivera, but forged an alliance with the family of former mayor and South Cotabato first district Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr.
Acharon’s younger brother Loreto, the incumbent Vice Mayor, will seek the city’s lone congressional district seat.
Rivera filed his COC for a congressman on Oct. 4 under the Nacionalista Party and new local political coalition “Kasama Ko RCRI.”
He joined forces with incumbent South Cotabato first district Rep. Shirlyn Bañas-Nograles, who is running for mayor under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino or PDP-Laban.