Family feud worsens with creation of new Camarines province
The creation of the new province of Nueva Camarines has further divided one of the more influential political families in Bicol.
Rep. Luis Villafuerte (3rd district, Camarines Sur), revealed that his son, Camarines Sur Gov. Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte Jr., plans to pit his 22-year-old son against him in the 2013 gubernatorial elections.
The elder Villafuerte has indicated his desire to replace LRay who is on his third and final term as CamSur governor.
“You know what he plans to do? He will field his son who is 22 years old now as governor of CamSur against me. A 22-year-old student studying in the United States (who) does not speak Bicol,” said Villafuerte during a dinner-meeting with Inquirer editors recently.
“I kept repeating that this is very embarrassing. It has never happened. To my mind, where in the world can you find a grandson fighting his own grandfather? He will be punished by the people,” he said.
Villafuerte swore his feud with his son was for real, adding that he had tried to patch things up with LRay, to no avail.
Humiliated and driven away
Accompanied by his wife and daughter, the elder Villafuerte said they went to LRay’s house a week before Father’s Day last June only to be humiliated and driven away by his son.
But this was denied by LRay in a separate interview with the Inquirer.
“You think I can do that to him? C’mon. Do you really believe that?” LRay said.
“Why is he maligning me in public? Why does he not leave me alone? He’s been portraying me as a bad son and has been portraying this issue (of NuevaCam) from a family angle,” LRay said.
“Everything I know, I learned from him. He’s my idol. I’m very successful because of him. He should be proud of me. If he said that I’m a bad person, that reflects on him (too),” he said.
But the elder Villafuerte insisted their rift was for real.
Their squabble, he said, started in 2004 when LRay succeeded him as governor after he “campaigned so hard for him.”
Upon assuming office, Villafuerte said LRay removed his people from the provincial capitol and did not spare even those with civil service eligibility whom he assigned to far-flung areas where they were not residents.
In the succeeding election, he said, LRay fielded his own people to run against incumbent officials allied with him.
The two then slugged it out in the Supreme Court on the issue of the creation of another district which was opposed by LRay and whose seat was won by Rolando Andaya.
United in coming election
Local officials of CamSur have always squabbled but Villafuerte said this would be the first time that political enemies would be united in the coming election.
“One of the reasons why he would lose in the coming election is for fighting his father,” he said.
But LRay, second to the youngest of 6 siblings told a different story.
He said “greed” was the reason for NuevaCam’s creation because his father wanted to divide the mother province so he could run again for governor.
“My father is selfish. I told him, ‘Why do you want to divide the province? Why don’t you or all of you just run against me instead of dividing it?’” LRay said.
LRay said their rift began on personal issues.
“My father is personally mad at me because I did not follow his requests to give favored contracts to his mistress, and his dictates on the choice of provincial police director in CamSur together with my brother Bong Villafuerte who is linked to illegal gambling, particularly jueteng,” he said.
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