BATANGAS - An incumbent city mayor and a veteran congressman filed their withdrawal or cancellation of candidacy a few hours before the deadline imposed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday.
Batangas City Mayor Eduardo Dimacuha arrived at the Comelec-Batangas City office at around 4:30 p.m., and Batangas 3rd District Rep. Nelson Collantes arrived earlier at 2 p.m. at the Batangas Comelec Provincial Office to file their respective withdrawal of candidacy.
Dimacuha was accompanied by his youngest daughter, Beverly Dimacuha-Marino, as his replacement in next year's mayoralty race under the Liberal Party (LP).
According to Atty. Narciso Macarandang, Batangas City administrator, the decision was made unanimously by the whole family and had nothing to do with the mayor's health condition.
Beverly has never been elected to any public position but Macarandang is confident that she will be a competent leader.
"Noong konsehal pa ako noong 1992, palagi naming kasama siya sa mga political activities at sigurado akong kakayanin niyang patakbuhin ang lungsod dahil sa kanyang personal touch," Macarandang said.
Beverly, wife of board member Marvy Marino, will go against PDP-Laban candidate Councilor Kristine Balmes, who is a known critic of the Dimacuhas.
Meanwhile, Collantes will be substituted by his wife, Maria Theresa.
Collantes, also a member of the LP, is unopposed in the 2016 congressional race.
ABS-CBN News tried to reach Collantes for his reasons in withdrawing, but he has yet to respond as of posting.
Meanwhile, former Justice Secretary Hernando "Nani" Perez has yet to file his withdrawal of candidacy after expressing his plan to back out in the lone congressional race in Batangas City.