ILOILO City – Former Sangguniang Panlungsod member Nielex Tupas has decided not to run for congressman or any elective position this May 2019 midterm elections.
In a statement posted on Facebook, Tupas announced he instead accepted an appointment as vice president / unit head of corporate relations of Banco De Oro via its subsidiary One Network Bank.
“After a long reflection, struggle, discernment, and prayers, I have decided not to seek elected political office more particularly the congressional seat of Iloilo City for this election cycle given the existing situation,” according to Tupas.
He did not elaborate the “existing situation” though he described his decision as “weighed well.”
Tupas and former councilor Julienne Baronda were two of the choices for congressman of Cong. Jerry Treñas who is running for mayor.
Two weeks ago at a barangay gathering, Treñas publicly declared Baronda could make history as the first congresswoman of Iloilo City.
Tupas admitted that deciding not to run for congressman was not easy or without regret, noting that he had “strong support based on random and scientific surveys.”
“As such, it took me beyond my birthday as promised to make this final and official,” he explained.
Last week, the camp of Mayor Jose Espinosa III disclosed it asked Tupas to be its candidate for congressman, too, but the former councilor declined.
Tupas was a three-term councilor (2007-2010; 2010-2013; 2013-2016). He disclosed in June that Treñas himself had been actively talking to him about the possibility of running for congressman since last year.
“He assured me I could do it,” Tupas said then.
Several groups also assured him of support, he added but declined to name them.
Tupas was first elected to the Sangguniang Panlungsod in 2007. At the age of 27 he was the youngest city council member.
He sought reelection in 2010 and 2013, successfully keeping his No. 1 position in the polls.
Tupas said wife Councilor Candice Magdalene will seek reelection.
“She is definitely not a seat warmer and she will prove her leadership more as the years pass by,” he wrote on Facebook.
A doctor by profession, Candice Magdalene’s advocacies in the city council are healthcare, tourism, trade and industry, youth and women empowerment, strong families and caring for the elderly, persons with disability and children./PN