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Being declared as independent may be a blessing, says ex-councilor Baribar

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Bacolod City council candidate Archie Baribar said the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) decision to declare him and three other candidates of Grupo Progreso as “independent” could be a blessing in disguise.

Earlier, ex-councilor Baribar and his partymates Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran and Councilors Ana Marie Palermo and Bartolome were declared as independent candidates since their certificates of nomination and acceptance were signed by Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) provincial president Jesus Clint Aranas.

Bacolod Election Officer Mavil Sia said that Aranas, president and general manager of the Government Service Insurance System, was not authorized to sign the CONA, noting that his name was not included in the list submitted by the PDP-Laban.

In a Visayan Daily Star article, Baribar said that being independent candidtaes allow them to cross party lines.

“Let the party be quick to decide whatever authority it is supposed to grant anybody. We will just work within the premise that we are with PDP-Laban. And if that is not recognized by Comelec, so be it,” he added.

In 2016, Baribar also ran for Congress under the Duterte-led PDP-Laban but lost to incumbent Rep. Greg Gasataya.