SAME OLD FACES IN 2013 POLLS: POLITICAL DYNASTIES, VETERAN POLITICOS


[PHOTO -Senator Edgardo Angara, Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara and Aurora Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo: Musical chair]

MANILA, OCTOBER 1, 2012 (INQUIRER) Inquirer Northern, Inquirer Visayas - The electoral match-ups in Northern and Central Luzon for 2013 shows 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.

The same applies to other parts of the country where politicians may have switched parties but virtually the same faces and names will file their certificates of candidacy (CoCs) starting on Monday (October 1).

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 their power in their home province, with its members also vying for posts in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Outgoing Senator Edgardo Angara of the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino and Vice Governor Gerardo Noveras of the Liberal Party (LP) are likely to square off in the gubernatorial race.

Outgoing Gov. 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 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 her running mate. Dennis is seeking to fill in the seat of Vice Gov. Joseller Guiao, who is running for representative of the province’s first district.

[PHOTO FROM LEFT-Maynard Lapid, Sen. Lito Lapid, Gov. Mark Lapid]

Sen. Manuel “Lito” Lapid is known to be campaigning for his youngest son, Maynard, who will run for vice governor.

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is running for reelection in the 2nd district.

In Bulacan, Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and his running mate, Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando, could be running unopposed after Rep. Joselito Mendoza (3rd district) dropped his plan to challenge Alvarado.

In Nueva Ecija, the Bagong Lakas ng Nueva Ecija (Balane) is fielding Rep. Josefina Manuel-Joson (1st 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 3rd district.

Former San Isidro Mayor Sonia Lorenzo will run for representative of the 4th district against Magnolia Antonino, daughter of outgoing Rep. Rodolfo Antonino, and San Leonardo Mayor Froilan Nagaño.

In Zambales, reports said former Gov. Vicente Magsaysay (photo at left) is challenging the reelection bid of Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. Ebdane’s son, Jun Omar, is seeking reelection as representative of the province’s second district.

Rep. Maria Milagros Magsaysay of the 1st 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 of the 2nd 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 congressional race.

Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos (photo at left) announced that she would run for a second term. Representatives Imelda Marcos (2nd district) and Rodolfo Fariñas (1st 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 in 2013.

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 (photo at right) facing his 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 were former allies.

Arya Vizcaya also broke up and has been divided into two groups, each led by retired police general Thompson Lantion and former Santa Fe Mayor Florante Gerdan.

Cuaresma is eyeing the lone congressional seat and is likely to challenge Padilla.

Gambito, meanwhile, 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 (photo at left), although the latter has yet to announce if she will reclaim the post she lost to Dy in 2010.

In Cagayan, former Rep. Manuel Mamba said he has been 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 their second terms next year under 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.

[PHOTO - Arthur Defensor Sr. and former governor Niel Tupas Sr.]

In Iloilo province, LP has brought in together traditional political rivals—the Tupas, Garin and Defensor clans—under one ticket.

The LP will field reelectionist Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor as its official candidate. Defensor took oath as LP member on Sunday along with his son and namesake, Iloilo 3rd district Rep. Arthur Defensor Jr.

His running mate is Raul Tupas, son of former governor and LP provincial chair Niel Tupas Sr., who will run for congressman in the 4th district.

Niel’s four other sons will run for reelection under the LP—Rep. Niel Tupas Jr. of Iloilo’s 5th district, Mayor Niel Tupas III of Barotac Viejo town, Board Member Nielo Tupas and City Councilor Nielex Tupas.

Defensor’s reelection bid will be challenged by 4th district Rep. Ferjenel Biron, who is gubernatorial candidate of UNA. Biron’s relatives and allies will also challenge the LP candidates.

Biron’s brother, Hernan Jr., is UNA’s congressional candidate in the 4th district against Niel Sr.

His father, Hernan Sr., will run for reelection as mayor of Barotac Nuevo town. The congressman’s mother, Diana, is the first nominee of the Abyan Ilonggo party list.

The Garins are expected to maintain their dominance in the province’s first congressional district. Vice Gov. Oscar “Richard” Garin Jr. will run for congressman to replace his wife and third-termer Rep. Janette Garin under the LP.

He will face Miag-ao town Mayor Julieta Flores, who will run under 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.

A member of the Garin family will also run for mayor of San Joaquin town to replace Mayor Ninfa Garin.

Augusto Syjuco will run as UNA candidate for representative of the 2nd congressional district to replace his wife, Judy Syjuco. He will be challenged by LP’s Pavia Mayor Arcadio Gorriceta.

In Iloilo City, the LP-Nacionalista Party coalition will field reelectionist Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and Vice Mayor Jose Espinosa III.

They will be challenged by UNA candidates: former congressman Raul Gonzalez Jr., who will try to retake his old seat in the House; businessman Rommel Ynion, who will run for mayor; and Councilor Jeffrey Ganzon, who is running for vice mayor.

In Aklan, UNA also seeks to win against reelectionists of the LP and the Tibyog Akean, the dominant local political party.

Makato Mayor Ramon Legaspi Jr. (photo), son of former congressman Ramon Legaspi, is also set to run for governor against third-termer Aklan Rep. Florencio Miraflores who also served governor from 1995 to 2004.

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.

Former vice governor Rhodora Cadiao will run for her former post while former Valderrama town mayor Raymundo Roquero will challenge the younger Javier.

The coalition is being supported by former governor Salvacion Zaldivar-Perez and former assemblyman Arturo Pacificador, who is expected to run for provincial board member.

Most LP candidates in Capiz are seeking reelection. These are Gov. Victor Tanco, 1st district Rep. Antonio del Rosario, 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.

[PHOTOS- LEFT, MIKE RAMA, RIGHT, TOMMY OSMENA]

Cebuanos are gearing for the showdown of two erstwhile allies—Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama, who is seeking reelection; and Rep. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City’s south district.

Rama was part of Osmeña’s party “Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan’’ for 19 years until he decided to leave it in 2010.

He has also cut his ties with LP after the party issued a certificate of nomination to Osmeña who is not even a party member. LP gave Osmeña authority to issue certificates of nomination to candidates running from vice mayor to councilor.

Rama said he would run as independent.

Rama has recruited his cousin, talent manager Annabelle Rama, to run for north district representative against either incumbent Rep. Rachel del Mar or her father, former congressman Raul del Mar.

The Garcias are expected to dominate in the province.

Outgoing Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia (photo) will exchange places with younger brother Rep. Pablo John Garcia of the 3rd district after withdrawing from her senatorial bid.

Gwendolyn will run for 3rd district representative while Pablo John is running for governor. Their father, Rep. Pablo Garcia of the 2nd district, is seeking reelection.

Pablo John will face an LP candidate, lawyer Hilario Davide III, son of retired Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.

Davide’s running mate is Vice Governor Agnes Magpale who will be challenged by her own cousin, former Danao City Vice Mayor Ramon Durano IV, Garcia’s running mate.

Magpale’s nephew, former tourism secretary Joseph Ace Durano, is running for 5th district congressman.

Ace’s brother Rep. Ramon Durano VI will run for vice mayor of Danao. Their father, Vice Mayor Ramon Durano II, will run for mayor.

Outgoing Rep. Eduardo Gullas of the 1st district has announced plans to run for mayor in Talisay City while grandson, 27-year-old Gerald Anthony Gullas, seeks to take his place in the House.

The reelection bid of Pablo will be challenged by a former ally, board member Wilfredo Caminero, who recently joined LP.

Gwendolyn’s rival in the 3rd district may be Pinamungahan Mayor Geraldine Yapha, whose father, Antonio Jr., was the district’s congressman from 1998 to 2007. Antonio Jr. will be the running mate of former senator John Henry Osmeña, who will run for mayor in Toledo City.

In Negros Oriental, it will be a battle of old and new names.

[PHOTO - FORMER SECRETARY OF FINANCE MARGARITO TEVES]

With the retirement of former congressman Herminio Teves from politics, his son Margarito, the former three-term congressman and finance secretary, will run for governor under UNA.

Herminio’s grandson, Pryde Henry, will run for reelection as 3rd district representative under NPC against Zamboanguita Mayor Marcelo Adanza of LP.

Margarito will face reelectionist Gov. Roel Degamo (PDP-Laban) and 1st District Rep. Josy Limkaichong of LP.

The 1st district will see former Rep. Jerome Paras battle it out with Manuel Iway. Paras’ brother, former Rep. Jacinto Paras, is running for Guihulngan City mayor.

In the second district, Rep. George Arnaiz of NPC will be challenged by Bais City Mayor Karen Villanueva of LP.—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; Nestor P. Burgos Jr., Jhunnex Napallacan and Alex V. Pal, Inquirer Visayas

2013 elections’ battle lines drawn LP says common candidates cannot join UNA rallies , Norman Bordadora Christian Esguerra and Tarra Quismundo 1:41 am | Sunday, September 30th, 2012


[PHOTO -‘IF YOU’RE GUESTS, WHICH HOUSE’ The Liberal party-led administration coalition made a clear parameter on Saturday with regards Senatorial candidates for the 2013 midterm elections: Don’t attend rallies of the rival group. INQUIRER PHOTOS]

MANILA, PHILIPPINES- The Liberal party-led administration coalition has made one thing clear to so-called common candidates on the eve of the filing of candidacy papers for the 2013 polls: You do not attend the rallies of the rival United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

While the ruling party is open to some of its chosen candidates being adopted by the UNA, it has strong objections to these candidates appearing in the latter’s campaign rallies, Liberal Party (LP) leaders said on Saturday.

“They could be adopted by UNA but they should not join the rallies of UNA. That would be crossing the line,” said a top-ranked party leader, who asked not to be named for lack of authority to speak on the matter.

“I don’t think there will be a relaxation of the rules,” the source said.

Reelectionist senators Loren Legarda and Francis Escudero, and Grace Poe-Llamanzares, chair of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, have emerged as common candidates of the ruling coalition and the UNA.

House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II, a senior LP member, said that “it would not look good, even for the candidates themselves” to be seen campaigning for both tickets.

Doing so would suggest that a common candidate was endorsing his fellow aspirant on one ticket while junking those on the other, he said.

“While we cannot prevent them from being adopted by the opposing ticket because that’s beyond our control, they should not campaign with the other side,” Gonzales said.

‘Where do you stand?’

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, the LP president who announced on Saturday that he would be taking a leave from the party presidency, spelled out the kind of challenge facing these common candidates.

“You should ask the candidates: If they’re guests, which house? There are guests. If you’re a guest, then where is your house? Where do you stand?” Roxas said.

“If I were the voter, I’d ask that question,” he said.

The situation was a “reflection more on the candidate, rather than party,” he said. After all, the party’s position during Mr. Aquino’s presidency has been clear, he said.

The President will proclaim the administration coalition’s senatorial candidates at Club Filipino on Monday.

Apart from the three common candidates, they are: Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Aquilino Pimentel III and Antonio Trillanes IV; former senators Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and Jamby Madrigal; Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara; former Las Piñas congresswoman Cynthia Villar; Akbayan party-list member Rissa Hontiveros; and the President’s cousin, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV.

Only Magsaysay, Madrigal and Bam Aquino are members of the LP. The rest are from the LP’s coalition partners, the Nacionalista Party, Nationalist People’s Coalition, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) and Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino. Escudero and Llamanzares are independents.

Bam Aquino and Llamanzares, the daughter of the late movie star and defeated presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr., are new to politics.

According to an LP official, Legarda, who met with the President on Thursday, expressed her desire to attend the rallies of both coalitions but was told by Mr. Aquino she couldn’t show up at the UNA rallies. He could not say what the final arrangement with Legarda would be.

The same official said Llamanzares had indicated that she would not attend the rallies of UNA.

Asked if he would share the stage with Escudero, Roxas replied: “I’m not a candidate. I will perform my job as DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) secretary and a member of the Cabinet. Campaigning and politics are a candidate’s relationship with the Filipino people.”

Escudero is known to have promoted the Aquino-Jejomar Binay team-up in the May 2010 presidential elections. Roxas, Mr. Aquino’s running mate, lost to Binay in the vice-presidential race.

Next year’s midterm elections are seen as a test run for the 2016 presidential elections. Binay has declared his intention to run for president in 2016 while Roxas is the presumptive administration candidate.

‘Treat parties fairly’

Deposed President Joseph Estrada, a senior UNA leader who was once adamantly against sharing candidates with the administration coalition, took the LP stance against common candidates campaigning for both sides with equanimity.

“That’s OK,” said Estrada while pointing out that UNA was open to allowing some of its candidates to campaign with the other ticket.

Binay was not as composed about the issue. Interviewed by phone from Iloilo where he had been inducting UNA local candidates, the vice president said the common candidates should treat both parties fairly.

“What the candidates will do for the other party, the same should be done for UNA,” said Binay, who pointed out that UNA had ditched its rule that guest candidates must exclusively campaign for UNA in order to be accepted into the lineup.

“The issue is they will stand up for the other party and not for ours? What about us? What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander,” he said.

“If the common candidates take the administration party’s stage, they should also take ours,” he said.

UNA is a merger of Binay’s PDP-Laban party and Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino.

Rounding up UNA’s senatorial slate are: reelectionist Sen. Gregorio Honasan; Representatives JV Ejercito, Estrada’s son, Jackie Ponce Enrile, the son of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile who is an UNA official; Rep. Milagros Magsaysay; former senators Ernesto Maceda, Miguel Zubiri and Richard Gordon; former Gov. Tingting Cojuangco, the President’s aunt; and Joey de Venecia III.

Estrada on Saturday said the UNA slate had room for two more. He said De Venecia, who ran for senator and lost in 2010, was reconsidering joining the Senate race next year.

Walking the straight path

Leaders of the rival coalitions on Saturday touted up the relative strengths and advantages of their respective lineups.

“It’s people from different places, parties and histories coming together to support the President’s vision for the country,” said Communication Secretary Ricky Carandang.

“Our senatorial lineup has chosen to walk the path of the President,” he said.

“We are offering the voters a choice: to continue with what President Aquino is doing through good governance or to return to the transactional self-serving politics of the past,” he said.

“This is a broad coalition of parties that has demonstrated its efficacy in pushing the Aquino administration’s reform agenda. Its extensive grassroots coverage will ensure victory for the administration’s coalition slate,” said Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.

“It’s a good mix of veteran legislators and young aspirants—social entrepreneurs, political activists and professionals—who have proven their worth in their respective fields,” he said.

More competent?

UNA spokesperson JV Bautista described the UNA slate as also a good mix—of Mr. Aquino’s ardent supporters and harshest critics. He said the lineup was formed to provide voters with an alternative to Mr. Aquino’s partymates and partners in the administration coalition.

They will pursue Mr. Aquino’s reform agenda, “only more competently” than his allies, Bautista said.

“It’s a strong lineup. The candidates are doing very well in the surveys, most of them anyway,” he said.

He said common candidates Legarda, Escudero and Llamanzares were chosen because of their long association with UNA’s core leaders—Binay and Estrada—in the struggle against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“Inasmuch as the other coalition would like to share them, we have to share them,” Bautista said.

He claimed that the three were already in the UNA lineup before the LP coalition wooed them.

In Legarda’s case, it was only after UNA announced that she had been drafted that the President invited her to join the administration coalition, he said.

According to Binay, in terms of the UNA slate’s strength, the effect of the common candidates was neutral.

“From senators down to local candidates, we are very, very strong. If you put our candidates one-on-one against the other party, we are stronger than they are,” he said.

First posted 12:01 am | Sunday, September 30th, 2012


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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