Acharon, Antoninos: GenSan’s opposition leaders take a bye in 2019 polls

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GENERAL SANTOS CITY — This city’s opposition stalwarts are taking a break in the 2019 elections.

Candidates of the Achievers with Integrity Movement (AIM), a local political party founded by former city mayor and South Cotabato Rep. Adelbert Antonino, filed their Certificates of Candidacy (COC) Wednesday morning without their key leaders.

Incumbent South Cotabato 1st District Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr., theparty’s current chair, joined the slate in filing their candidacies past 8 a.m. before the Commission on Elections here but did not file for any elective post.

The party, which dominated the local political arena until the 2013 polls, fielded businessman Jacinto “Jay” Omila to challenge incumbent City Mayor Ronnel Rivera of the People’s Champ Movement (PCM).

Rep. Acharon’s younger brother, Loreto, will vie for the city’s vice mayoralty post for the second time.

AIM’s city council slate is led by its lone incumbent stalwart, Councilor Jose Orlando Acharon, and former councilors Vivencio Dinopol, Jose Mariano Gonzales, Richard Atendido, Virginia Llido, and Minardo Avila Jr. The other aspirants are Rico Cabanit, Rene Odi, Remus de Claro, Alvin Veneracion, and Bebe-I Gonzales.

The party fielded former city councilor, lawyer Arturo Cloma, for representative of the first district of South Cotabato.

Rep. Acharon, who is on his third term at the House of Representatives, was previously rumored to be eyeing a return to the
city hall.

He served as city councilor for two terms, one as vice mayor and three as city mayor since 1992.

“I regret to say that I will not be seeking any elective post this time for personal reasons,” Acharon told reporters.

He said he has to take care of family members, including his wife Rose, who have “health issues.”

Acharon said he has been in public service for 26 years and he has decided that it was time for him to “choose my family.”

He said former South Cotabato representative Luwalhati Antonino, wife of Adelbert, decided to stay in retirement while her daughter, former city mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio, decided not to run a second time to attend to her family.

Custodio, who had served as South Cotabato representative for three terms before becoming mayor in 2010, lost to incumbent City Mayor Rivera in 2013 and did not to run in 2016. (PNA)