PIDCI Board approves 21 candidates, 2 “put on hold”

by Ricky Rillera

NEW YORK – As the Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc. (PIDCI) election of a president and 7 board members nears, three candidates for president and some 20 board aspirants have filed their certificates of candidacy (CoC) by September 7, the deadline set by PIDCI. The CoCs were received by Raul Estrellado, Comelec chair, who had to vet their qualifications to run for office.

After due diligence, Estrellado told the Philippine Daily Mirror, he would then submit the names of all those he found qualified to the Board for approval and declare them as official candidates.

Almost 40 CoCs were issued by Estrellado prior to the deadline. “This is probably the largest number of people running for positions this year,” said Estrellado.

In the past, there were instances where only one candidate for president ran and only five for directors instead of the 7 vacancies in the Board. In the end, the successful president was empowered to appoint and fill the vacant slots with the approval of the Board. These appointees have the same two-year term of office as those who were elected, a practice which some said has to be changed.

When outgoing PIDCI president Pros Lim was asked what he felt with his term winding down, his face glowed, smiled and said: “Fantastic! These guys don’t know what they are getting into…”

On Thursday, Sept. 7, only 15 CoCs were received which included the applications for president of Olive David, Ner Martinez and Gani Puertollano and 12 aspirants for directors. According to PIDCI by-laws, all applications must be postmarked no later than 12 midnight of deadline date in order to be considered in the vetting process. E-mails are not allowed.

Puertollano, a former president, took everyone by surprise with his come back run for the presidency. With Puertollano in contention, votes will be split among three candidates, which others see as favorable to Martinez. Apparently, Martinez and David have their own following of candidates who are included in their slate but have not grouped themselves yet pending release of official candidates by the Board.

Tambi Wycoco, who earlier had declared to run for president withdrew his bid and instead, decided to run for a seat in the Board. Wycoco said that he “received a call from Puertollano asking for his support.” He said he is now considering Puertollano’s request and may support him.

As of Tuesday, Sept. 12, Estrellado confirmed that the number of CoCs he received,  some of them postmarked at 11 p.m. of Sept. 7, has increased to 23 – three for president and 20 for directors.

Candidates for president submitted to the Board were: Ollie David, Ner Martinez, and Gani Puertollano.

For directors: Sofia Abad, Robert Aguirre, Joycelyn Aligarbes, Archie Alvarez, Chris De Guzman, Stevenson Derodar, Albert Diala, Art Diongon, Liza Galon, Aida Gamolo, Laura Garcia, Carmeli Garcia, Thomas Ludena, Rely Manacay, Fernando Mendez, Juliet Payabyab, Leonidas Pulido, Mateo Reyes, Jr., Margie Wisotsky and Tambi Wycoco.

On the same day, at a meeting of the Board, except for two applications, the Board approved Estrellado’s submission. The two applicants who were put “on hold” for further review were Laura Garcia and Margie Wisotsky. Estrellado did not elaborate why their applications were put on hold.

A source reached by the Philippine Daily Mirror who did not want to be named in this report said that Garcia’s application had her listed as president of Philippine Fiesta, the same position which another candidate, Fernando Mendez, had also indicated in his application.

With regard to Wisotsky, all four associations which she listed she was a member of, have not paid their membership dues to PIDCI. Wisotsky was the ball chair of the PIDCI fundraising “Maria Clara Red Carpet Gala” held recently.

Elections will be held on October 7, 2017 and about 105 organizations are expected to cast their votes. The venue has yet to be announced.


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