By Dave Albarado
TAGBILARAN CITY – Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. filed here his certificate of candidacy (CoC) for governor on Tuesday.
Evasco’s filing of CoC ends months of speculation whether or not he was going to run for the highest political position in the province.
He will be running under the banner of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).
Evasco’s filing of the CoC also overturns his earlier pronouncement that he was not running for governor.
“We are running in a strong platform of “Malasakit, Pagbabago Tungo sa Patuloy na Pag-unlad at Katiwasayan,” he said in a statement.
“It is two pronged – to support the promise of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s to restore faith in government and for a better life for all Filipinos. My position as Cabinet Secretary at the Office of the President, was at the helm of all these reforms” he added.
Evasco’s filing of COC for governor came a day after Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go quit his post to run for senator in the 2019 elections.
In his statement, Evasco also thanked the President for the trust and confidence in him for the past three decades. He said he left Malacanang “with dignity and confident that my office delivered its mandate the best way we can.”
“The reforms we instituted is in support to his governance like the Cabinet Assistance System, Cluster System, Biyaya ng Pagbabago, Hotline 8888, and Presidential Complaints, Innovations in the Supervised Agencies among many others were all in response to the call for better governance and better service delivery under a development and security paradigm,’ he said.
Evasco is banking on the yearning of Boholanos for change in governance.
He has vowed to make Bohol “free from drugs and crime” and a local government that is “transparent and serves the people especially the poor and marginalized.” He also envisioned a Bohol a secure place for locals and foreigners, a Bohol where the best rice and other food products are produced, among others.
“As I embark in this new journey, I will be a partner of PRRD’s administration and will carry the same fervor and integrity in the new playing field – my home province of Bohol,” he said.
Despite being an ally of President Duterte, Evasco considers himself as the underdog. He sees Deputy Speaker Arthur Yap as his major opponent for governor because the incumbent third district congressman has the machinery and resources.
Yap belongs to a local coalition called Padayon Bol-anon (Onward Boholano), which is headed by incumbent Bohol governor Edgar Chatto.
Yap is no longer eligible to run as third-district congressman. He is expected to file his CoC for governor on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, a woman from Tubigon town filed her CoC also for governor on Tuesday.
Concepcion Flores filed her CoC as an independent candidate for governor at the provincial Comelec. (with reports from Genalyn Kabiling)