IBA, Zambales - In an effort to further enhance the province of Zambales while keeping the momentum of his plans for development, incumbent Governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. led a full ticket in the filing for candidacy for the mid-term elections next year.
Garbed in the party colors of red and blue, Ebdane and other provincial aspirants belonging to the "Sulong Zambales" Party trooped to the Comelec office here in full force, accompanied and cheered on by supporters and candidates for municipal mayors and councilors in the 13 towns of Zambales.
"Now, under the Sulong Zambales Party, we can do away with the inherent conflict from being affiliated with various national parties, and we can therefore focus our energies to developing our community and serving our provincemates," he said.
Ebdane, who will be making a second bid for the governorship, has teamed up with mostly incumbent officials who have helped the Ebdane administration create a winning formula of community service and greater economic opportunities since winning in 2010.
They include Vice Gov. Ramon Lacbain II, who will be Ebdane's running mate, Mayor Jay Khonghun of Subic town; Mayor Jose Rodriguez of San Marcelino; Mayor Peter Lim of San Narciso; Mayor Carolyn Fariñas of San Felipe; Mayor Ronald Apostol of Cabangan; Mayor Generoso Amog of Palauig; Mayor Desiree Edora of Masinloc; and Mayor Jean Moraña of Candelaria, who will be running for a seat in the provincial board.
Rep. Jun Omar Ebdane of the Second District will also be seeking reelection, while former Subic mayor Jeffrey Khonghun is seeking to represent the First Legislative District in Congress.
The full Sulong Zambales slate is completed by former mayor Wilma Billman, who will be seeking a new term in Castillejos town; businesswoman Doris Maniquis who is the party's frontrunner in Botolan; provincial administrator Jun Rundy Ebdane for the capital town of Iba; businessman Napoleon Edquid for Candelaria; and civic leader Connie Marty for Sta. Cruz.
Also running under the Ebdane ticket for the provincial board are: Jonathan Khonghun, Jose Benedicto Felarca, and Jose Gutierrez for the First District; and Atty. Sancho Abasta, Atty. Sam Ablola, Atty. Roberto Blanco, Atty. Renato Collado, Engr. Porfirio Elamparo, former Cabangan mayor Jess Mendigorin; and Mayor Jean Moraña of Candelaria.
Staying true to the party slogan "Walang Iwanan," all the candidates in the municipal level, who have filed their respective COCs earlier in the day, accompanied the governor and the rest of the provincial ticket at the provincial Comelec office in Iba.
Ebdane said he and his party mates have banded together under the Sulong Zambales Party despite belonging to different national political groups, in order to continue the effective implementation of local development initiatives under his administration.
The party, which was formally created only in March this year, is the first local political party to be founded in Zambales.
"Our collective leadership has been recognized over the last two years, highlighted by the DILG Seal of Good Housekeeping which was awarded to the province and its municipalities in 2011," Ebdane said.
Ebdane said the Sulong Zambales Party will be known for its people-oriented programs, adherence to the rule of law, peace and order, greater economic opportunities, and participating governance.