MANILA— Saying he received a "calling" from God, a Catholic priest in the largest town of Camarines Sur will run for the mayoralty in the upcoming elections, going against the incumbent
Libmanan mayoral aspirant Fr. Granwell "Dawe" Pitapit, who served as a priest for 20 years, filed his candidacy Friday, his party Aksyon Libmanan said in a press release.
He will face incumbent Mayor Bernard Brioso, who is seeking a second straight term in the polls. He will also face Christian Nonoy Alvaro and Jesus Camara, who are under Kilusang Bagong Lipunan and PDP-Laban, respectively.
Pitapit has championed "the cause of the poor farmers, fishermen, women, and youth through the social action apostolate," the statement said.
He will run alongside incumbent kagawad Rodolfo “Bibby” Jimenez for Vice Mayor, and incumbent kagawad Allan Roxas and barangay Chairman Elias “Kap Nong” Zaldua as councilors.
Pitapit described his decision as a "calling" from God, citing the effects of the pandemic to town residents.
“After months of sabbatical, having more time for prayer and living among lay people, I have had a clarity of mind and peace of soul that God is calling me to pursue something else. Given the critical social situation brought about by the pandemic, there is an intense yearning for me to serve and help directly the people outside the direct authority of the bishop," Pitapit said.
Aksyon Libmanan said it would focus on "a new brand of local politics" and preposition itself to focus on the effects of the pandemic economically and in terms of health, and employ transparency, which they described as points unaddressed by previous administrations.