[News] Lesson from the SOCE: Submit properly, with signature affixed

Legal counsel Atty. Joel Montealto shows the copy of Governor Vilma Santos - Recto's submitted SOCE to the Comelec (photo by MARLON LUISTRO / TFC)


Legal counsel Atty. Joel Montealto shows the copy of Governor Vilma Santos - Recto's submitted SOCE to the Comelec (photo by MARLON LUISTRO / TFC)

Legal counsel Atty. Joel Montealto shows the copy of Governor Vilma Santos – Recto’s submitted SOCE to the Comelec (photo by MARLON LUISTRO / TFC)


BATANGAS CITY–Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto had re-submitted her Statement of Election Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE), eluding what could have been a local political crisis amid her landslide victory in the local elections last May.

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[News] The poverty that rose in Batangas

Source: National Statistical Coordination Board / National Statistics Office


LIPA CITY—There is something hidden in the sprawling factories and in the malls of Batangas.

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[News] Batangas administrator sacked for ‘faking’ CSC eligibility

Batangas provincial government's administrator Victor Reyes


BATANGAS CITY–Provincial Administrator Victor Reyes filed a motion for a temporary restraining order with the Court of Appeals against the Civil Service Commission that dismissed him from service for allegedly faking a career service eligibility result.

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Incumbent at provincial capitol ‘sure’ winner?


LIPA CITY—Inside this province’s edifice where ordinances are enacted, there’s hardly any resistance to the ruling political party that has Vilma Santos-Recto as its leader.

And when the opportunity arrives for oppositors to muster their political strength and challenge the incumbent, the political mood in the political legislature rubbed off

The “victor?” Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto, voters say. “I’m no longer surprised. She will definitely win on the elections. Nobody would like to face her,” said 52-year-old voter Genoveva Magnaye from Lipa City.

But while this jolly lady voter, albeit jokingly, wanted a “formidable” opponent come next year’s local elections so that she can watch an “exciting” race, voters like her won’t get any of that sort.

After the filing of local certificates of candidacy ended last Oct. 5, there were three independent candidates who signed up as Recto’s foes: Marcos Mandanas Sr., Arturo Atienza and Frederick Bustamante.

With local analysts saying the three independent candidates are either lightweights or nuisance contenders, voters themselves know the obvious even if the sitting incumbent is currently raising campaign funds through commercial product endorsements.

The reported most formidable opponent, second-district congressman and former governor Hermilando Mandanas, backed out at the last-minute (reportedly due to an alleged request from Vice President Jejomar Binay to prepare for 2016 instead and have a solid Batangas vote. Mandanas’ and Recto’s camps denied this).

In the 2010 national and local elections, a time when opponent and former governor Armando Sanchez died a week before the polls, Santos-Recto pummeled Sanchez’s wife and last-minute replacement Edna by over-200,000 votes.

Not only that: the award-winning actress has continued to defy the naysayers who think politics and showbiz don’t mix. The wife of embattled Senator Ralph Recto had been awarded by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) as a Presidential Lingkod Bayan awardee. The province was also given the Seal of Good Housekeeping citation by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Since becoming governor in July 2004, Santos-Recto rode on a governance campaign called HEARTS (health, education and environment, agriculture, roads, tourism, and security). Local governance indicators developed by the DILG, checked annually, show that the provincial government is getting high scores —at least 4.4 out of a possible five points— across various social, economic, environmental and administrative indicators.

That is even if her administration is currently facing criticisms, such as a mute policy on mining, on relocating informal settlers, and on addressing alleged human rights violations. Should Santos-Recto, a Liberal Party stalwart, win this May 2013, she has one last chance of addressing critics on these issues.

In 2010, Santos-Recto claimed she was ganged up by contending political parties though she still won by a mile. At this early, the incumbent is feeling victory after getting a sense of the political opposition for May 2013.

Some voters are also anticipating the same result, giving her high scores when asked if she’ll win next May. “I voted for (Santos-Recto in 2010),” said vendor Lilia Baleose, “because of her good governance.” Barangay councilman Roel Silva contends a victory is “inevitable.” since Santos-Recto “keeps her promises”.

Oppositors to some of her policies, such as some human rights activists, gave Santos-Recto “failing” grades.