Ex-agri chief faces governor in Congress race
LUCENA CITY — Outgoing Quezon Gov. David Suarez beat the deadline in filing his certificate of candidacy (COC) for a seat in the House of Representatives to face former Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala.
Suarez filed his substitute COC last week to replace his cousin, Kneigoutina “Tinton” Suarez. He will run for second district representative under Nacionalista Party.
Alcala is seeking to replace his older brother, Vicente, as representative of the second district that covers five towns and the provincial capital, Lucena City.
Alcala served as representative before he was appointed secretary of the Department of Agriculture in the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III.
Alcala filed his COC despite an Ombudsman decision last year that ordered his dismissal and perpetual disqualification from government service for the alleged misuse of P13.5 million for the construction of Quezon Corn Trading and Processing Center during his term as agriculture secretary.
He was also found liable over the alleged anomalous procurement of deep well pump and engine sets worth P116 million.
But the Court of Appeals (CA), in a decision last month, junked the Ombudsman’s decision, finding Alcala guilty of a lesser charge of simple neglect of duty. The decision carried a penalty of suspension for six months.
In the 2013 election, Suarez defeated Irvin Alcala, Proceso’s eldest son, in the gubernatorial contest.
The Suarez clan is also seeking to firm its dominance in local politics in the 2019 elections.
House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, the clan patriarch, is seeking to replace his son, David, as governor.
He will face challenge from Vicente Alcala and four other candidates.
Danilo’s wife, Aleta, is running for representative of the province’s third district, which will be vacated by her husband.
The couple will run under Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats.
David’s wife, Rep. Anna Suarez, is the first nominee of the party-list group, Alona.
David’s siblings, Donaldo and Danilo Jr., are seeking local posts. Donaldo is seeking reelection as a provincial board member while Danilo Jr., the vice mayor of Unisan town, is running for mayor. —Delftin T. Mallari Jr.
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