MANILA, Philippines--Incumbent government officials in the cities of San Juan and Navotas are keeping it all in the family for next year?s elections.
Guia Gomez, the mother of San Juan Mayor Joseph Victor Ejercito, will be gunning for the post of her son who in turn wants to represent the city?s lone district in Congress.
Gomez, the official candidate of Partido Magdiwang, will face off with four other candidates for the mayoral seat. She will be pitted against Manuel Andrada of Lakas-Kampi-CMD, Alson Glenn Angeles of Ang Kapatiran Party, and two independent candidates, Eduardo San Pascual and Chito Tamayo.
Her running mate is Francisco Javier Zamora, the son of San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora.
Meanwhile, John Rey Tiangco, the younger brother of incumbent Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco, is running unopposed for mayor, according to the city?s Commission on Elections office.
Toby, on the other hand, is hoping to represent the city in the House of Representatives. Like his brother, he is the only candidate vying for the post.
The Tiangcos are running under a local party, Partido Navoteño.
John Rey is paired with incumbent Vice Mayor Patrick Joseph Javier who is seeking a third and last term.
Javier is also running unopposed.
In Pasig City, a four-cornered fight is shaping up for the mayoral seat. Those vying for the post are incumbent Mayor Robert Eusebio, Mario Bangasan of the Liberal Party and independent candidates Lucila Hernandez and Ismael Mejia.
Eusebio and his running mate, Vice Mayor Rosalio ?Yoyoy? Martirez, earlier jumped from the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD to the Nacionalista Party along with several other local politicians.
Saying he had received a sign from above, actor and former Parañaque Mayor Joey Marquez declared his intention to return to politics when he filed his certificate of candidacy for his old post on Tuesday night, just a few hours before the 12 midnight deadline set by Comelec.
?In the past six years, the people of Parañaque have been convincing me to run and change the kind of governance here,? he told the Inquirer.
According to him, his decision to run was not done in haste and that he had even asked for a sign.
?I prayed to God that if [the Supreme Court] would acquit me, I would heed the call of the people,? Marquez said.
Three months ago, the Supreme Court overturned a ruling by the Sandiganbayan which found Marquez guilty of graft charges. The case stemmed from the Parañaque City government?s purchase, when Marquez was still in office, of P2.9 million worth of broomsticks which his accusers claimed were overpriced.
?It would have been hard for me to explain to the people my innocence if I was not vindicated,? he said. ?In a way, winning could be another vindication.?
Marquez, meanwhile, took the opportunity to criticize incumbent Mayor Florencio Bernabe who is facing graft cases himself at the Office of the Ombudsman.
?He?s my neighbor and I saw him grow richer and richer in just five years,? he said.
Among the cases filed against Bernabe were the alleged misuse of P30 million worth of intelligence funds and overpriced infrastructure projects.
Bernabe, however, has denied the allegations against him, saying he had been already cleared by the Commission on Audit on the P30-million funds while stressing that all government projects had gone through the required bidding processes.
Apart from Bernabe, Marquez is running against his former ally, Parañaque Rep. Ed Zialcita.
Marquez?s former wife, actress Alma Moreno, is running for city councilor under Bernabe?s ticket while his friend, comedian and TV host, Anjo Yllana is Zialcita?s running mate.
But Marquez said Moreno and Yllana would still get his support even if they were running with his rivals.
Meanwhile, former Presidential Chief of Staff Mike Defensor, who filed his CoC for Quezon City mayor the other day, took potshots at his rival for the post, Vice Mayor Herbert Bautista, whom incumbent Mayor Feliciano ?Sonny? Belmonte, had picked to succeed him.
?He has done nothing for the city and if you can find a single project he did, I will withdraw my candidacy,? he told reporters yesterday.
Defensor, however, refused to say whether he would be seeking the support of his former boss, President Macapagal-Arroyo.
?I will be running on my own track record and not anyone else?s,? he stressed. With Nancy C. Carvajal