Rivera faces personal challenge

Incumbent City Mayor Ronnel Rivera is not taking his opponents lightly but he has more serious business to address.

His eldest brother Ryan is running for congress in the First District of South Cotabato where the re-electionist is Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr.

Not only did Ryan break the unspoken commitment that there will only be one in the Rivera family to be involved in local politics.

Mayor Ronnel Rivera (middle) is endorsing party mate Dominador Lagare III against his brother Ryan who will be contesting the 1st congressional seat against re-electionist Rep. Pedro Acharon.
Mayor Ronnel Rivera (middle) is endorsing party mate Dominador Lagare III against his brother Ryan who will be contesting the 1st congressional seat against re-electionist Rep. Pedro Acharon. Also in photo is Vice Mayor Shirlyn Bañas-Nograles.

Ryan is running against the official bet of the People’s Champ Movement of which mayor Rivera is the standard bearer.

“Yes, it has put me in the awkward position.  I cannot turn my back on Domdom (outgoing councilor Dominador Lagare III) who is the party nominee,” Rivera said Friday after it was confirmed that his brother filed a certificate of candidacy under the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan ticket.

Family members have failed to prevent Ryan from filing his certificate of candidacy.  Ryan is reportedly estranged from the vast family business of the Riveras who own the largest tuna fishing company in the city.

Ryan once ran for congress but lost to Darlene Antonino-Custodio in 2001.

Outgoing Councilor Richard Atendido
Outgoing Councilor Richard Atendido

Mayor Rivera is facing challenge from outgoing City Councilor Richard Atendido and unknown independent Panfilo Alvarez.

Seeking a second term, Rivera is again running in tandem with party mate Shrilyn Bañas-Nograles who is facing lawyer Loreto Acharon, younger brother of re-electionist Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr.

Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr
Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr

The Acharons have kept the local party Achievers with Integrity Movement aligned with the Nationalist People’s Coalition-Liberal Party coalition in the city after the Antoninos decided not to contest any electoral seat in city.

Rivera upset Darlene Antonino-Custodio in the 2013 mayoral race.

AIM is fielding re-electionists and incumbent city councilors Beth Bagonoc, Eduardo Leyson IV and Dr. Marius Oco.  It is likewise fielding former city councilors Jose Orlando Acharon, Jose Mariano Gonzales, Lourdes Casabuena, Nepthalie Natividad and Minardo Avila.  In addition, AIM is fielding Eliseo Rock Garay, Arvin John Tiongson, Jose Dinopol and Jacinto Omila.

On the other hand, PCM is again fielding all incumbent city councilors under the party which include Ramon Milleza, Franklin Gacal Jr, Rosalita Nuñez, Brix Tan, Arturo Cloma and Shandee Llido Pestaño.  Rounding up PCM’s candidates for the 12-seat city council are Alberto Pacquiao, Jose Edmar Yumang, Vandyke Congson, Jonathan Blando, Love Ladrera Jr and Dominador Lagare Jr who is replacing his elder brother Domdom.

Rounding up the candidates for city councilors are independents Cristeto Dinopol, Benjamin Rivera, Harris Diamad, Edilberto Jamora, Ernesto Quisay and Norberto Andres.

The Kilusang Bagong Lipunan is also fielding candidates for city councilor.  They are Maria Isabel San Mateo, Ramon Fredeluces, Ruel Sibal, Francis Martinez, Rommel Catolico and Bonifacio Doria.

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