TRECE MARTIRES CITY—Could the 2013 elections end the decades-old political rift in Cavite?
Even with seven more towns and cities that have yet to transmit the election results, Liberal Party candidate and Imus Representative Erineo “Ayong” Maliksi, on Tuesday afternoon, conceded his defeat to re-electionist Juanito Victor “Jonvic” Remulla in the gubernatorial race.
In his concession letter, received by the provincial government here 3:35 p.m., Maliksi offered his hand to Remulla “para sa kapayapaan at ikatatahimik ng ating lalawigan…Tanging hangad natin ang pagsulong at kaunlaran ng lalawigan,” (for the peace and stability of our province…all we wish for is to push for progress in the province), the letter read.
Remulla, who ran under the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats, was consistently leading throughout the canvassing with 264,095 votes against Maliksi, based on the partial results from the Commission on Elections by Tuesday noon.
In a text message to the Inquirer, Remulla said the 2013 elections have been “a seminal moment for Cavite politics.”
“I hope that major (political) families can unite and find the greater cause of developing the province,” the 45-year-old governor said.
Maliksi, in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon, agreed this year’s elections might heal the long-standing differences between him and the Remullas.
“As someone who has deep love for this province, I do not wish for the people to be divided over politics,” Maliksi said, adding that the feud with the Remullas was water under the bridge.
Maliksi used to be a friend and an ally of Remulla’s father Juanito “Johnny” Remulla, a governor of Cavite for 14 years.
According to Sister Marilena Narvaes, convenor of the church-based Cavite People’s Advocacy for Good Governance, “as in the mafia, Johnny was like their Godfather. He honed the political skills of Ayong.” She said Maliksi was, in fact, the “inaanak sa kasal” (wedding godson) of the Remulla patriarch and that their ancestral homes in Imus City stood across each other.
In an earlier interview, Remulla said the corrupt practices he saw at the provincial capitol prompted the charges he had filed against Maliksi, the governor from 2001 to 2010.
The younger Remulla refused to comment on their families’ falling-out but called it “a fight where no one wins.”
The 74-year-old Maliksi said he has decided to bow out of politics, but promised to support the government’s programs for Cavite. Meanwhile, he said his son’s reelection as mayor of Imus City validated the people’s votes for Manny in 2010.
“In my own little ways, as a private citizen, I can still help,” he said.
In Bacoor City, the election day drama at the residence of the Revillas ended with a triumph for Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.’s son and actor Jolo, who won in the vice gubernatorial race over the LP candidate, Jay Lacson.
Jolo, Remulla’s running mate, was way ahead with 255,381 votes over Senator Pafilo Lacson’s son with 146,542 as of noon.
Senator Revilla, whose face showed deep frustration, spoke for the family as the Cavite police surrounded their mansion since Monday on suspicions that armed men were being kept inside the Senator’s home.
Revilla earlier sought help from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against the local policemen he accused of being biased to the rival party.
The Cavite police arrested an NBI agent and five other civilian assets of the bureau over possession of firearms during the election gun ban.
Senator Revilla insisted the policemen took orders from “a higher-up,” and promised to initiate a Senate inquiry into the “political harassment” of their group.