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Political dynasties dominate Philippines' 2013 polls
Publication Date : 01-10-2012
The electoral matchups in many parts of the Philippines for 2013 show veteran politicians returning to the campaign trail to protect turf or to reclaim their old posts.
Families long entrenched in local politics are also asserting their strength in next year’s elections.
Politicians may have switched parties but virtually the same faces and names will file their certificates of candidacy (COCs) starting today.
The Marcoses of Ilocos Norte, Singsons of Ilocos Sur, Ortegas of La Union and Dys of Isabela are up for reelection. In Aurora, the Angaras are consolidating power in their home province, with family members also vying for seats in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Outgoing Senator Edgardo Angara of Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino and Vice Governor Gerardo Noveras of the Liberal Party (LP) are likely to square off in the gubernatorial race.
Outgoing Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, the senator’s sister, is returning to the House to replace her nephew, Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, who is running for senator under the LP.
In Pampanga, Gov. Lilia Pineda is running for reelection under her newly formed party, Kambilan, with her only son Dennis, former mayor of Lubao, as running mate. Dennis is seeking to fill in the seat of Vice Gov. Joseller Guiao, who is running for representative of the first district.
Sen. Manuel “Lito” Lapid is known to be campaigning for his youngest son, Maynard, who will run for vice governor.
Former President Gloria Arroyo is seeking reelection in the second district of Pampanga.
In Bulacan, Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando could be running unopposed after Representative Joselito Mendoza (third district) dropped his plan to challenge Alvarado.
In Nueva Ecija, Bagong Lakas ng Nueva Ecija (Balane) is fielding Rep. Josefina Manuel-Joson (first district) against reelectionist Gov. Aurelio Umali, while her husband, Quezon Mayor Mariano Cristino Joson, will seek the congressional seat she is vacating.
Rep. Czarina Umali, the governor’s wife, is seeking reelection in the third district.
Former San Isidro Mayor Sonia Lorenzo will run for representative of the fourth district against Magnolia Antonino, daughter of outgoing Rep. Rodolfo Antonino, and San Leonardo Mayor Froilan Nagaño.
In Zambales, reports said former Gov. Vicente Magsaysay was challenging the reelection bid of Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane Jr.
Ebdane’s son, Jun Omar, is seeking reelection as representative of the second district.
Rep. Maria Milagros Magsaysay of the first district has announced her plan to run for senator. Reports said her son, Jobo, may face outgoing Olongapo City Mayor James Gordon Jr. in the congressional race.
Representative Magsaysay and Gordon’s brother, former Sen. Richard Gordon, are running for senator under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
In Bataan, outgoing Rep. Albert Garcia (second district), son of outgoing Gov. Enrique Garcia Jr., is running for governor against Vice Gov. Efren Pascual.
Former Rep. Leonardo Roman is facing actor Onemig Bondoc in the second district.
Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos announced that she would run for a second term. Representatives Imelda Marcos (second district) and Rodolfo Fariñas (first district) are also expected to run for reelection.
All eyes are on the Laoag mayoral race, however, with members of the Fariñas clan likely battling for the post that three-time Mayor Michael Fariñas will vacate next year. The mayor’s wife Chevylle, president of the Association of Barangay Captains, has made known her interest in running for mayor.
In Ilocos Sur, the Singsons will try to maintain its dominance in the province with reelectionist Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson facing a former ally, Tagudin Mayor Roque Verzosa Jr., in the gubernatorial race.
Singson will run with reelectionist Vice Gov. Deogracias Victor Savellano, who will face former Singson ally and former Board Member Efren Rafanan. In the second district, former Deputy Speaker Eric Singson is returning to the House to replace his son, Eric Jr.
In La Union, old political names are seen to dominate again the elections, with Gov. Manuel Ortega running for his third term and his brother, Victor, for his third and final term as representative of the first district.
The recent feud among the province’s leaders has caused the once-dominant Abante Vizcaya to split, with factions led by Rep. Carlos Padilla and Gov. Luisa Cuaresma, who are former allies.
Arya Vizcaya also broke up and has been divided into two groups—one led by retired police director Thompson Lantion and former Santa Fe Mayor Florante Gerdan.
Cuaresma is eyeing the lone congressional seat and is likely to challenge Padilla.
Vice Gov. Jose Gambito has announced his plan to run for governor and is expected to face Gerdan, president of Poro Point Management Corp.
In Isabela, voters are awaiting the return bout between reelectionist Gov. Faustino Dy III and former Gov. Maria Gracia Cielo Padaca.
In Cagayan, former Rep. Manuel Mamba said he was planning to challenge the reelection bid of Gov. Alvaro Antonio.
In Quirino, Gov. Junie Cua and his son, Rep. Dakila Carlo Cua, along with Vice Gov. May Garnace-Calaunan, are likely to seek second terms next year under the LP.
In Baguio City, the tandem of Rep. Bernardo Vergara and Mayor Mauricio Domogan expects a challenge from former Councilor Jose Molintas, who has plans to run for representative next year, and Marquez Go, who is being groomed for the mayoral post by a loose alliance of opposition leaders.
In Benguet, Gov. Nestor Fongwan is facing former Rep. Samuel Dangwa in the gubernatorial race, while Rep. Ronald Cosalan will run for reelection against Vice Gov. Cresencio Pacalso.
In Mt. Province, reelectionist Rep. Maximo Dalog will face retired public works assistant secretary Roy Manao and Jupiter Dominguez. Gov. Leonard Mayaen will be challenged by Vice Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan.
In Ifugao, Rep. Teodoro Baguilat Jr. will face former Rep. Solomon Chungalao for the lone congressional seat.
In Abra, Gov. Eustaquio Bersamin is running for reelection. The congressional race will see a close match between reelectionist Rep. Maria Jocelyn Bernos, Vice Gov. Rolando Somera and former Rep. Cecilia Luna.
In Iloilo, the LP has brought traditional political rivals—the Tupas, Garin and Defensor clans—under one ticket.
It will field reelectionist Gov. Arthur Defensor as its official candidate. Defensor took his oath as LP member on Sunday along with his son and namesake, Rep. Arthur Defensor Jr. (third district).
His running mate is Raul Tupas, son of former Governor and LP provincial chair Niel Tupas Sr., who will run for congressman in the fourth district. Niel’s four other sons will run for reelection under the LP—Rep. Niel Tupas Jr. (fifth district), Mayor Niel Tupas III of Barotac Viejo, Board Member Nielo Tupas and City Councilor Nielex Tupas.
Defensor’s reelection bid will be challenged by Rep. Ferjenel Biron (fourth district), who is the gubernatorial candidate of UNA. Biron’s brother, Hernan Jr. is UNA candidate in the fourth district, against Niel Sr. His father, Hernan Sr., will run for reelection as mayor of Barotac Nuevo, while his mother, Diana, is the first nominee of the Abyan Ilonggo party-list group.
The Garins are expected to maintain their dominance in the first district. Vice Gov. Oscar “Richard” Garin Jr. will run for congressman to replace his wife, third-termer Rep. Janette Garin, under the LP. He will face Miag-ao town Mayor Julieta Flores (UNA).
Oscar’s sister, Christine, is running for reelection as mayor of Guimbal town while another sister, Rep. Sharon Garin, is the first nominee of Aambis, Owwa party-list group.
Augusto Syjuco will run as UNA candidate for representative of the second district to replace his wife Judy. He will be challenged by the LP’s Pavia Mayor Arcadio Gorriceta.
In Iloilo City, the LP-Nacionalista Party coalition will field reelectionist Rep. Jerry Treñas, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and Vice Mayor Jose Espinosa III. They will be challenged by UNA candidates: former Rep. Raul Gonzalez Jr., businessman Rommel Ynion, who will run for mayor, and Councilor Jeffrey Ganzon, for vice mayor.
In Aklan, UNA also seeks to win against reelectionists of the LP and Tibyog Akean. Makato Mayor Ramon Legaspi Jr., son of former Rep. Ramon Legaspi, is set to run for governor against third-termer Rep. Florencio Miraflores.
In Antique, a coalition called “Bag-ong Antique,” which is allied with PDP-Laban and UNA, is seeking to remove from office Gov. Exequiel Javier and his son Rep. Paolo Everardo Javier.
Lawyer Cornelio Aldon is expected to run for governor. He ran for congressman in 1992 but lost to Exequiel Javier.
Most LP candidates in Capiz are seeking reelection. These are Gov. Victor Tanco, Rep. Antonio del Rosario (first district), Mayor Alan Celino and Vice Mayor Ronnie Dadivas.
Old political clans are expected to dominate the 2013 polls in Cebu, unlike in Negros Oriental where it will be a battle of old and new names.
Cebuanos are gearing for the showdown of two erstwhile allies—Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama, who is seeking reelection, and Rep. Tomas Osmeña (south district).
Reports from Cristina Arzadon, Leoncio Balbin Jr., Melvin Gascon, Villamor Visaya Jr. and Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon; and Tonette Orejas, Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Armand Galang, Greg Refraccion and Robert Gonzaga, Inquirer Central Luzon; and Nestor P. Burgos Jr., Jhunnex Napallacan and Alex V. Pal, Inquirer Visayas