MANILA, Philippines – The Parañaque City mayoral race in the coming May midterm polls will see the son of outgoing city mayor Florencio Bernabe Jr. slugging it out with incumbent 1st District Rep. Edwin Olivarez, son of former city mayor Pablo Olivarez.
And even as the election season has yet to heat up, the young Bernabe has lashed out at his critics for saying that he did not meet the age requirement for the mayoral office.
In a statement, Bernabe said under Section 39 of the 1991 Local Government Code, mayoralty candidates for a highly urbanized city such as Paranaque should at least be 23 years old on election day.
“Just as I have filed my CoC (Certificate of Candidacy), our political rivals have started with their smear campaign,” the 37-year old Bernabe said in a statement.
Bernabe was elected Parañaque City councilor for the 2nd district in the 2010 polls.
Bernabe filed his CoC last October, with Jose Enrico Golez, son of incumbent 2nd District Rep. Roilo Golez as his running mate. Both are running under the banner of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
Bernabe, meawnhile, prides himself for establishing various community service programs in Parañaque since being elected in office in 2010.
A graduate of business management at the De La Salle University, Bernabe is also an accomplished businessman. He currently sits as vice president for operations of real estate firm BERMA Management Corp. in Parañaque.
Olivarez served as vice of governor of Laguna from 2004 and 2007. After a failed bid for the gubernatorial post in the 2007 polls against then incumbent Governor Teresita Lazaro, he transferred to Parañaque and ran for congressman.
The elder Olivarez had unsuccessfully tried to retake the mayoralty seat in 2010 but lost to the elder Bernabe.