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Nov 29th
Home Sections Politics OFW Files Consulate-notarized Certificate of Candidacy for Sorsogon Governor by Mail
OFW Files Consulate-notarized Certificate of Candidacy for Sorsogon Governor by Mail PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Politics
Written by Joseph G. Lariosa   
Wednesday, 02 December 2009 07:09

 

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

(© 2009 Journal Group Link International)

 

  

C HICAGO, Illinois (JGLi) – Saying that he never abandoned his legal residence in the city of Sorsogon in the Philippines after almost 22 years of absence, an Overseas-Filipino worker beat the deadline by filing his certificate of candidacy (COC) for governor of Sorsogon Province Monday (Nov. 30) by mail. The COC was subscribed and sworn to before a Filipino consul at the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles, California.

 

In what is said to be the first filing in history of a COC outside the Philippines, Roberto “Bobby” M. Reyes, a journalist, book author and a community organizer like President Barack Obama, decided to cast his lot, by downloading copies of the COC from the website of the Commission on Elections in the Philippines, accomplished the forms and sworn to his COC before surprised Philippine Consulate officials before dropping the COC by registered mail at the Los Angeles post office addressed to the Comelec office in the Philippines.

 

Under Sec. 39 of the Philippine Local Government Code, "(a)n elective local official must be:

* a citizen of the Philippines;

* a registered voter in the barangay, municipality, city, or province x x x where he intends to be elected;

* a resident therein for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election;

* able to read and write Filipino or any other local language or dialect."

* In addition, "candidates for the position of governor x x x must be at least twenty-three (23) years of age on election day."

 

Reyes, 63, was a beneficiary of a petition for a permanent residence that became current last March 2008 but he did not pick up the option to apply for a Green Card because he wanted to keep his Filipino citizenship and Philippine legal residence that will make him eligible to run for an elective office in the Philippines.

 

 “The Immigration and Naturalization Service informed me that I could stay in the United States but it could not guarantee that I would be admitted back if I leave the country for the Philippines or a third country,” Reyes said.

 

If he loses, Reyes explained, “I will prepare for the next gubernatorial election in 2013. I can always get back to the United States on a ‘Business’ visa or perhaps I will let my son then petition me as a parent when I reach the late 70s. But I don't want to spend the rest of my days in a nursing home, as I plan to spend the rest of my life promoting the 500th anniversary of the voyage of Ferdinand Magallanes in 2021. And of course write more books and teach.”

 

I would like to be known as LOLO Bobby, a play in the words for ‘Law and Order and Less government and Opportunities equally to all.’ – Roberto Reyes y Mercado

 

 

As far as he is concerned, Reyes, who lacked seven subjects to finish his law degree at the Ateneo de Manila College of Law in Padre Faura St., believes that he never left home. “When someone writes me a letter addressed to me at Ramon Magsaysay St., Bibingcahan, Sorsogon City, it will still get to me.”

He added that he may not have been a registered voter in Barangay Bibingcahan during the last year that is required by law for him to run for governor but when he voted at the Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles in 2004 and in 2007, he was always voting as a resident of Sorsogon at heart and with the interest of Sorsogon province in mind.

 

Reyes expects his opponents to question his lack of one-year residency before the elections. He said he is ready to make his case all the way to the Supreme Court.

Reyes said he has always been up to speed with developments in Sorsogon.

 

“When the then Bishop Jesus Varela ‘desecrated’ in the mid-1990s the Sorsogon Cathedral by letting a Filipino-Chinese businessman construct commercial apartments on three sides of the church (as the setback from the wall of the church to the sidewalk was more-than 20 feet), I was the lonely voice who opposed it in public – by sending essays that described the bishop as a modern-day Fray Damaso. I scored lots of PR points, as many people joined me and photocopied my protest. It showed that I am not beholden to any man or the church.”

 

Because of his online writings, many Sorsoganons have followed him and continued to encourage him to help support causes that improve the socio-civic programs of the province.

 

Born in Manila, Reyes grew up and studied in Sorsogon, where his father, Dominador S. Reyes, was a World War II veteran, a law practitioner and a local politician, losing twice to the late Gov. “Tata” Juan G. Frivaldo.

 

He said he would like to be known as LOLO Bobby, a play in the words for “Law and Order and Less government and Opportunities equally to all."

 

Before leaving for the Philippines, Reyes plans to launch his candidacy in Los Angeles, Bay Area (San Francisco), New York, Miami (Florida) and Las Vegas (Nevada) among other venues.

 

Reyes said his opponents are formidable. Gov. Sally Lee is the incumbent governor while Congressman Jose Solis is the termed-out representative in the Second District (his wife is running to replace him).

 

“I would not have entered the contest if my backers and advisers did not think that I have a good chance of toppling the corrupt Establishment. But remember the adage, 'the bigger they are, the harder they fall.' I will capture national attention if I win and friends are saying that as governor, I will become the overall leader of the OFWs and the Overseas Filipinos, because I will still be active in Filipino community affairs in the United States, especially in Southern California.” (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net

 

© opyright 2009 The Journal Group Link International. The contents provided in the JGLi may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of the Journal Group Link International.

 

(Editor’s Note: Watch out for the upcoming outlet-oriented, subscription-based website of Journal Group Link International that guarantees originally sourced stories, features, photos, audios and videos and multi-media contents.)

 

 



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Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 December 2009 07:35
 
Comments (2)
1 Wednesday, 02 December 2009 18:59
Bobby,

You are indeed making history of sorts.

There are many obstacles along the way. But I admire your fighting guts.

God bless you.

And thanks for your offer to help Gwen.

Very sincerely,


Nene
2 Tuesday, 15 December 2009 08:38
Dear Bobby Reyes,

I am an admirer of your written views. Do keep it up burning, this insatiable urge to put our motherland on the righteous path the Philippines truly deserves

You know Mr. Reyes, yours truly, Bal Falcone, has been nominated as the official vice-presidential candidate of the Democratic Party of the Philippines.

If I may, here are my advocacies to hopefully turn around the Philippines, together with Ernesto G. Ramos, the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party of the Philippines:

1. Full employment to all productive Filipinos

2. Adoption of the jury system; all elections to be solely government financed

3. Abolition of the national debt thru Debt for Equity in the UN's Millennium Dev. Goals (MDG)

4. Involvement of churches in anti poverty and hunger; seminary course to include basic economics and management

5. Collation of all foreign earnings by OFWs and Filipino Americans for purchase of modern agro-industrial technology transfers leading to massive and sustainable agro-industrialization

6. Increasing our legitimate Money Supply; equity and liberal credit to every productive Filipino family in the countryside.

7. Appointment of all OFWs as legitimate marketers of all exportable Philippine goods and providing a cluster of them special status as accredited preferred investors into the country

8. Peaceful and negotiated recovery of Sabah for the Philippines

9. Massive conventional and non-conventional (long-distance correspondence, Internet) education in livelihood, including development of HALAL Food Industry (Farm to Plate), by every Muslim/Lumad family and quality exports to Christian and Muslim countries; quality tourism.

10. Zero or minimized graft and corruption and the public prosecution of all grafters, past and present, including recovery of the stolen wealth.

Dear Friend, Ernesto G. Ramos and Bal Falcone will never hand out moneys but they will give CHANGE, radical change never before seen in this country. Hope you can inform your friends and pass on to your wide readership here and abroad. Mabuhay!

Sincerely,

Bal Falcone, MA Philo, Trust Operations, MBM (AIM)
Vice Presidentiable

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