Latest Stories


No ‘better alternatives’ for unopposed bets?


Gov. Joey Salceda

Why rock the boat when it is sailing smoothly? A political science professor says this is not a good time for the opposition in Albay to compete with some incumbent candidates whose economic achievements are already “smoothly sailing” and have found themselves running without opponents.

Professor Alexander de Guzman of Bicol University believes organizing an opposition is difficult because the people are not “disgruntled” with the administration.

He cites the case of Gov. Joey Salceda, the lone candidate for provincial chief executive. “Any politician in his right mind would not dare go against Salceda …,” he says.

The opposition, De Guzman says, may not offer voters a “better alternative.”

“If you are a little bit satisfied [with the administration], why rock the boat when the boat is smoothly sailing?” he says.


Also unopposed are Noel Rosal, a former mayor of Legazpi City who is reclaiming the seat held by his wife Carmen Geraldine, and his running mate, reelectionist Vice Mayor Vittorio “Bitoy” Roces. Rosal, the current city administrator, served as mayor for three straight terms before he fielded his wife in 2010.

But unlike his wife who ran under the Lakas-Kampi coalition in the 2010 polls, Rosal is now allied with the Liberal Party (LP). He used to be a member of the Lakas-CMD coalition before he switched to LP.

De Guzman says Rosal’s projects are “highly visible” to the public.

Salceda, who is acknowledged for his keen acumen in managing human resources, as well as the financial capacities of the province, has projects which are evident in each municipality.

“When it comes to money, Salceda thinks in terms of dollars,” De Guzman says.

Good housekeeping

In March, the Department of the Interior and Local Government presented to Albay the 2012 Gawad Pamana ng Lahi Award, a “seal of good housekeeping” given to a local government unit for three years of consistent performance.

The first province to win the award, Albay bested 79 other provinces in the country because of its innovative programs in education, health and the environment.


Salceda, a management engineering graduate from Ateneo de Manila University, was a student of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and a college classmate of President Aquino. He briefly served as Malacañang chief of staff during the Arroyo administration.

Before he became governor, Salceda served as representative of Albay’s third district for three terms.

Having received awards in the field of financial markets research, he has brought along a rich experience in the field of economics when he entered public office.

In 2010, Salceda left the Lakas-Kampi-CMD during the Arroyo administration and joined the LP. He became the party’s regional chair for Bicol.

Only one vote needed

Elsewhere in Albay and the rest of southern Luzon, similarly “fortunate” candidates are running unopposed and need only one vote to seal their victories.

They included Mayor Jorem Arcangel (LP) and Vice Mayor Jose Nobleza Jr. (LP) of Jovellar town; Vice Mayors Wilfredo Maronilla (LP) of Libon town; Raul Lim (LP) of Polangui town, and Reynaldo Bragais (LP) of Tabaco City, all in Albay;

Catanduanes Vice Gov. Jose Teves Jr. (Lakas-CMD), Vice Mayor Joselito Alberto (LP) of Bato town; and Mayor Robert Fernandez (LP) of Panganiban town;

Mayor Ruel Velarde (NPC) and Vice Mayor June Barrion (NPC) of Tinambac town in Camarines Sur; and Vice Mayors Henry Ragodon (Nationalist People’s Coalition) of Canaman town, Ramiro Felipe Fortuna (Nacionalista Party) of Nabua town, Thaddeus Ramos (LP) of Ragay town and Evelio Peña (NPC) of San Jose town, all in Camarines Sur;

Mayor Edgar Condor (NPC) and Vice Mayor Ramon Abinuman (LP) of Cawayan town in Masbate; Mayor Percival Castillo (Lakas-CMD) of Mobo town, also in Masbate;

Mayor Olivia Bermillo (NPC) of Castilla town in Sorsogon; Mayor Enrico Alvarez (NP) of Noveleta town in Cavite; Mayor Jose Ricafrente Jr. (Ind.) and Vice Mayor Jose Voltaire Ricafrente (Independent) of Rosario town; and Mayor Melandres de Sagun (United Nationalist Alliance) and Vice Mayor Alexander Lubigan (UNA) of Trece Martires City, all in Cavite.


Mayor Bruno Ramos (Ind.) abd Vice Mayor Soriano Escuete (Ind.) of Bay town and Vice Mayor Allan Jun Sanchez (UNA) of Calauan town, both in Laguna;

Mayor Leovino Hidalgo (LP) and Vice Mayor Wilson Maralit (LP) of Balete town in Batangas; Vice Mayors Renato Perez (LP) of Lobo town and Octavio Antonio Marasigan (NPC) of San Juan town; Mayor Carlito Reyes (LP) and Vice Mayor Cristeta Reyes (LP) of Malvar town; Mayor Victor Portugal Jr (NPC) and Vice Mayor Grande Gutierrez (NPC) of Taysan town; Mayor Lauro Alvarez (LP) and Vice Mayor Danilo Datingaling (LP) of Tingloy town, all in Batangas;

Mayor Maria Remedios Rivera (NUP) and Vice Mayor Myrna Villamater (NUP) of Buenavista town in Quezon; Vice Mayor Alfred Rigor Mitra (NUP) of Panukulan town; Mayor Sergio Emprese (NUP) of San Andres town; Mayor Eleanor Allen Uy (NUP) and Vice Mayor Raymond Medenilla (NUP) of San Narciso town, all in Quezon;

Oriental Mindoro Gov. Alfonso Umali Jr. (LP), Vice Gov. Humerlito Dolor (LP) and Rep. Reynaldo Umali (LP) of the second district; Vice Mayor Ernesto Torreliza (Lakas-CMD) of Santa Cruz town in Occidental Mindoro;

Mayor Russel Madrigal (NUP) and Vice Mayor Montano Saguid (LP) of Buenavista town; Mayor Hercules Umali (LP) and Vice Mayor Alfonso Montalbo (LP) of Bongabong town; and Mayor Rolando Arreola (LP) and Vice Mayor Marvin Umbao (LP) of Socorro town, all in Marinduque;

Mayors Fabella Robert (NPC) of Calatrava town and Limuel Cipriano (LP) of Concepcion, both in Romblon; and Vice Mayors Cesario Benedito Jr. (NPC) of Brooke’s Point and Patricia Hilao (NUP) of Culion town, both in Palawan. With reports from Maricar Cinco, Marrah Erika Lesaba, Romulo Ponte, Delfin Mallari Jr., Mar Arguelles, Fernan Gianan, Juan Escandor Jr., Jonas Cabiles Soltes, Redempto Anda and Madonna Virola

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: 2013 elections , Albay , Local Politics , News , Regions

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  2. Chinese lawyers say they were tortured by police
  3. Hair salon’s Kim Jong Un poster riles embassy
  4. Siquijor ‘healer’: For every cure, there’s a plant
  5. State seeks guilty verdict for Abalos
  6. Why college grads end up in the PNP
  7. Estrada: I will pray for my detractors
  8. Miraculous image makes Gapan City top site for pilgrimage in Central Luzon
  9. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  10. Five men from Cavite found dead in jeep in Batangas
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. Massage attendant arrested on rape complaint filed by Japanese tourist
  3. ‘Tell no one’ Makati bettor won P250M lotto
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  6. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  7. North Korea uses flamethrower to execute official
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  10. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’


  • How other faiths observe Holy Week
  • No noise, partying in Boracay on Good Friday
  • More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  • NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat
  • DOH issues official statement on confirmed case of MERS-CoV
  • Sports

  • Tenacious Iran frustrates Qatar to retain Asian Club volleyball crown
  • Floyd Mayweather is ESPN’s top-paid athlete
  • Pistorius trial: Judge sets 2-week adjournment
  • China, Taiwan rout foes for 3rd, 5th places in Asian Club volleyball
  • Ginebra’s new import Freeman arrives, makes PBA return vs ROS
  • Lifestyle

  • Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Entertainment

  • Filipino rock icons to hold silent concert
  • Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao’s greatest hits
  • Deniece Cornejo posts bail—report
  • Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels US concert
  • Otaku Summer Jam 2014: Summer’s hottest J-rock/Cosplay event
  • Business

  • Russian economy hit by Ukraine turmoil
  • PSEi firms up ahead of Lenten break
  • I-Remit teams up with Lakhoo for remittances from Oman
  • Megawide nets P1.4 B in 2013
  • Longer TRO sought on rate hike
  • Technology

  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Opinion

  • We may never know
  • Couple of things
  • Mommy D’s magic
  • Stop bizarre and bloody Good Friday rituals
  • Holy Week taboos
  • Global Nation

  • Netizens welcome Japan’s visa-free travel plan
  • Visa-free travel by Filipinos to Japan still a proposal
  • Visa-free travel to Japan could boost tourism
  • 2 PCG men ordered arrested over Balintang Channel shooting
  • US Embassy closed on Holy Thursday, Good Friday
  • Marketplace