By Danny Dangcalan (PHOTO - Grace Ibuna is a registered voter of La Castellana, one of the towns in the fifth district of Negros Occidental.)

Grace Ibuna, the long-time partner of the late Rep. Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo, yesterday said she will run for congresswoman in a special election in the fifth district of Negros Occidental if her bet is not chosen in a local consensus to be held today.

Ibuna said she is supporting the candidacy of Binalbagan Mayor Alejandro Mirasol.

“I can trust Mirasol to continue the projects that Iggy started in the district,” Ibuna said in a statement.

However, if Mirasol will not get the endorsement in the local consensus, Ibuna said, “I will run for the congressional seat in the coming special election.”

The local consensus today in the fifth district will choose its candidate for the special poll on June 2. The choice is between Mirasol and board member Emilio Yulo III.

More than 750 officials composed of mayors, vice mayors, councilors, and barangay heads and councilmen from the towns of Hinigaran, Binalbagan, Moises Padilla, and La Castellana, and Himamaylan City, will choose between Mirasol and Yulo.

While Mirasol is perceived to be the frontrunner, Yulo also enjoys considerable support from the people having been a former vice governor.

Only the town of Isabela is not included in the consensus because its former mayor, Renato Malabor, had reportedly signified his intention to run for congressman in the fifth district even before Arroyo died.

Ibuna said she is closely watching the political dynamics in Arroyo’s district to ensure that “there will be a continuation of Iggy’s projects and his constituents are well taken care of for the remainder of his term.”

Ibuna is expected to fly to Negros today to personally watch the consensus.

The Commission on Elections has set the special election in the fifth district of Negros Occidental on June 2, with a budget of P30 million, after the House of Representatives approved a resolution mandating it.

Cebu-based American willing to apologize over 'offensive' viral video By Jovan Cerda Home Updated March 19, 2012 05:20 PM

MANILA, Philippines - James Sieczka, the Cebu-based independent filmmaker behind the infamous video titled "20 Reasons Why I Dislike the Philippines," said he is willing to apologize following a Cebu City councilor's move to declare him persona non grata.

The video, uploaded two weeks ago at, made its way through video-sharing site Youtube and went viral in online social networks Facebook and Twitter. It showed the American's complaints about Cebu City, including, among others, filthy restrooms, loitering child beggars and a giant hole in the street covered by a metal drum. Sieczka said in the video that he has been living in the Philippines for more than three years now.

In response, city councilor Sisinio Andales said he is filing a resolution to declare Sieczka persona non grata. Persona non grata is a term indicating that a person is no longer welcome in a particular area.

Read Sieczka's statement below which he sent to

The following is my official statement regarding the "20 Reasons" video that I hosted:

I, James Sieczka, have considered the Philippines as my second country and Cebu as my second home. The subject video that was aired was made in good faith and as a legitimate and reasonable exercise of my right, "freedom of expression."

There was no intention to scrutinize the city nor the people that governs the same. It's an honest observation and opinion that I myself think needs to be worked on not just specifically in Cebu.

These are little things that we see around us as normal people and from the eyes of an ordinary man like me. But from all that's happening and me just trying to exercise my freedom of speech, I am very open and amenable for an apology, on the manner and means that I exercise my right, if the need presents itself.

As a sign of my compliance for the duly authorized authority and rule of law, I am not ashamed to apologize to people that I offended in the process with the hope that you would reconsider in declaring me "persona non grata."


James Sieczka

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