Banker joins race for Malaybalay City mayor

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News/06 October) It’s a three-cornered fight for this city’s mayor next year with the expected face-off of incumbent Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri and Vice Mayor Victor Aldeguer and the surprise entry of banker Estelito Marabe, who was earlier reported to run for Bukidnon vice governor.

Zubiri, who belonged to the Bukidnon Paglaum Party (BPP) and its coalition with national parties, filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) Wednesday with running mate city councilor Roland Deticio and a full slate for the 10-seat city council, composed mostly of incumbents.

Zubiri, nephew of Vice Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr, was a city councilor first before he became a  vice mayor of then Malaybalay mayor Florencio T. Flores Jr.

Aldeguer, who was Zubiri’s running mate in 2010, left the administration ticket to join Liberal Party.

But his nomination came from Aksyon Demokratikong Pilipino. Sources said the provincial LP chapter was disengaged when Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, LP vice president for Mindanao and 2010 LP senatorial bet Neric Acosta coalesced with the elder Zubiri’s BPP.

He was previously a provincial board member, city councilor before becoming Vice mayor of Zubiri in 2010.

The vice mayor took in Dr. Glorio Sajulga, LP standard bearer in the city in 2010, as running mate. Sajulga lost to Mayor Zubiri in the last elections.

Marabe, who filed his COC as an independent bet at around 4p.m. Friday, has no running mate. He was able to gather a group of six independent bets for city councilor to form what he called “Partido Kalamboan.”

He told MindaNews he ran to offer the people an alternative platform with the public’s change in the city. He first ran for mayor and lost in 1992.

“As a tax payer of the city, I have interest in the promotion of investments and development of Malaybalay, which so far was slow,” he added.

Marabe’s bank has 30 branches in Visayas and Mindanao. A sister company, Hills Small Loans, has 17 branches in the same area.

Atty. Chubasco Cenen Caiña, who became city election officer this year, said despite the three cornered fight, he expects the polls in May 2013 to be peaceful.

“The city has a record of orderly elections,” he added. (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News)