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Richard “Ricky” Recto has withdawn his candidacy as Batangas gubernatorial bet on Friday afternoon, April 22.
Recto, the older brother of Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, appeared at the office of the Commission on Elections around 4 pm on Friday to submit a notarized statement.
(Editor’s note: In a previous version of this story, we said “Recto, the younger brother of Senate Pro Tempore Ralph Recto…” This has been corrected to “older”).
In an interview, Recto said he had his own intentions for filing, but that now it was time to go.
“If you notice I don’t have a single tarp, a poster or campaign paraphernalia anywhere. I hardly actually even did the rounds. I got to do what it was I intended, so now it’s time to go.”
He did not elaborate. His opponent, former Padre Garcia mayor Prudencio Gutierrez said Recto probably backed out as the candidate he was supporting, Senator Bong Go, also withdrew from the presidential race – but this happened months ago, in December.
Gutierrez considered Recto’s move providential for his fight.
“Parang ang panahon po ay naaayon sa atin, ‘yun po ang kuwenta ko doon. Ang pag-asa po natin ay mula sa Lipa, hagip ang 4th District ay pumapabor po sa atin,” said the former mayor.
(The timing is beneficial for me, the way I see it. We’re hoping that from Lipa, the 4th District will back up our fight.)
“Malapit din naman sa atin ang pamilya ng mga Recto at ang supporters po nila ay sa atin nakataya, kaya time na walang Rectong lalaban, nasa atin po ang simpatiya niyan,” he said.
(The Rectos are close to us and their supporters are also our followers, so when there is no Recto in the race, their sympathies are with us.)
While Recto confirmed that Gutierrez is a family friend, he thinks the odds may not be favorable for him.
“I think Dacio’s a really good man pero ang tantiya ko kakapusin, hindi kakayanin ni Dacio manalo biglaan.” (I think Dacio’s a really good man but I think he may not have enough, Dacio won’t be able to transform this quickly to a win.)
Recto said he is throwing his support behind Mandanas.
“Yes, whether he likes it or not. Whether he needs it or not, it’s okay. I’m sure Mandanas will win his 6th term,” he added.
Incumbent Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas, who is running for reelection for his last term, refused to comment on the matter.
Ricky’s older brother, Senator Recto, who is on his last term, is running unopposed to replace his wife, incumbent Batangas 6th District Representative Vilma Santos-Recto.
Ricky is a former vice governor of Batangas and was in hiding for a time after he was accused in the 2006 explosion at the Batangas Provincial Capitol that injured former Batangas governor Armando Sanchez and killed his driver and close-in security.
In 2014, the Department of Justice cleared Recto of two counts of murder, frustrated murder, and damage to property. – Rappler.com