Politics, show biz mix among S. Luzon aspirantsBy Marrah Erika Lesaba, Juan Escandor Jr. Jonas Cabiles Soltes Delfin Mallari Jr. and Romulo Ponte
Inquirer Southern Luzon
LEGAZPI CITY—Politics and show business are no strange bedfellows as typified by reelectionist Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto in Batangas and political newbie actor Aga Muhlach as representative in the fourth district of Camarines Sur who filed their certificates of candidacy (COCs) on Friday for the May 2013 elections.
Santos-Recto filed her COC at 10:50 a.m. shortly after attending a Mass at the Capitol accompanied by husband Sen. Ralph Recto and son Ryan Christian.
Muhlach filed his COC at past 11 a.m. under the Liberal Party (LP). Accompanied by wife Charlene Gonzales, Camarines Sur Gov. LRay Villafuerte and son Miguel and an entourage of supporters and dancers.
Muhlach said he is running against the 105-year-old political dynasty of the Fuentebellas to be able to bring a “new beginning” to the Partido area or fourth district. He will be up against Felix William “Wimpy” Fuentebella, son of Deputy Speaker Arnulfo Fuentebella.
Diosdado Ignacio “Dato” Arroyo filed his COC on Thursday for representative of second district of Camarines Sur. He is running for reelection against Camarines Sur Gov. LRay Villafuerte (Nacionalista Party); and Sabas Mabulo, a three-term mayor of San Fernando town.
Character actor Res (Rez in the movie) Cortez earlier filed his COC for representative in the fourth district of Camarines Sur. Cortez was registered as resident of Sta. Justina, Buhi, Camarines Sur.
Three independent candidates will challenge Santos-Recto for governor—Marcos Mandanas, Sr., Arturo Atienza and Praxedes Bustamante.
For the third district, Nicomedes Hernandez filed his COC under Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino.
Actor Christopher de Leon filed his COC under LP for representative of the 2nd district.
In Masbate, LP candidate for governor Fr. Leo Casas, a Catholic priest for nine years, filed his COC on Friday afternoon but Bishop Jose Bantolo of the Diocese of Masbate suspended Casas, 37, of his priestly functions.
The Masbate Advocates for Peace (MAP), a civil society organization formed in Masbate City in 2010 to seek an to end to political violence in Masbate, said it would not “compromise its impartial nature” for Casas. Casas is one of the convenors of MAP.
Casas will be up against the dominant political clans of the Khos and Lanetes in the province. On Wednesday, Rep. Antonio Kho of the second district had filed his COC for governor. On the same day Gov. Rizalina Seachon-Lanete, who is seeking reeelection, filed her COC.
Rep. Antonio Kho’s wife Elisa Olga filed her COC for the post he would vacate. Darius Tuason will challenge Elisa Olga in the district.
Gov. Rizalina Seachon-Lanete’s son Scott Davies filed his COC for representative of the third district, the post once held by his mother.
On Monday, San Fernando town Mayor Maria Vida Espinosa Bravo filed her COC for representative of the first district, composed of Ticao and Burias Islands. On the same day, Ricardo Butalid Jr. also filed his COC for representative of the same district.
In Quezon, Gov. David Suarez (Lakas) and Rep. Irvin Alcala (LP) filed their COCs for governor.
David is the youngest son of House minority leader Danilo Suarez, opposition stalwart, while Irvin is the eldest son of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, a close political ally of President Aquino.
Vice Gov. Vicente Alcala, LP-Quezon chair, said he decided to withdraw his original plan to challenge David and would just instead seek the congressional seat to be vacated by his nephew in the province’s second district.
Alcala’s congressional ambition will face opposition from Lucena Mayor Barbara Talaga (United Nationalist Alliance or UNA) who did not seek reelection to allow her husband Ramon (UNA) to reclaim his seat as mayor after a three-year political hiatus as mandated by law after serving a continuous three terms in office. Ramon will face challenge from his godson, Vice Mayor Rhoderick Alcala (LP), second cousin of Irvin.
In Laguna, reelectionist Rep. Evita “Ivy” Arago-Gapit filed her COC for the third district. She will be challenged by former broadcast journalist Mirasol “Sol” Aragones-Sampelo.