In a surprise move, Pasig City Mayor Robert “Bobby” Eusebio has dropped his mayoral candidacy in the 2013 elections and is instead fielding his wife.
Eusebio, who filed a certificate of candidacy for a third and final term under the Nacionalista Party, has endorsed his wife Maribel Andaya-Eusebio to replace him in the race.
City Hall sources, who requested not to be named for lack of authority to speak on the matter, said Eusebio withdrew his candidacy on Dec. 19, two days before the Dec. 21 deadline for filing substitute candidates.
“The mayor wants to go back to private life,” an official said when asked about the reason why the 44-year-old Eusebio, an architect by profession, dropped his election bid.
“Maribel is now our candidate for the mayoralty post. Although this is the first time that she will run for any government position, she is very much in a family of politicians,” said another official close to Eusebio.
Maribel, 42, is the sister of Camarines Sur 1st District Representative Rolando Andaya, Jr.
The Eusebio family has dominated Pasig City politics for two decades, starting with Robert’s father, Vicente, who served as mayor from 1992 to 2001 and from 2004 to 2007, and his mother Soledad, who held the post from 2001 to 2004.
Maribel, also an architect by profession, has been leading several offices and groups
in Pasig City that promote women’s rights, such as the Pasigueña Organization for Women Empowerment and Recognition Foundation, the Pasig City Girls Scouts, Pasig City Gender and Development Office, and the Pasig City Livelihood Foundation Inc.
Robert Eusebio, meanwhile, entered politics in 1998, when he became the No. 1 councilor of the city. In 2007, he won the mayoral race by defeating former professional basketball player and Pasig City Rep. Robert Jaworski Jr.
Maribel will face Ismael Mejia and Wainwright Rivera for the mayoralty contest in May.