Clans assert rule in Luzon, Visayas
Track record, sheer tenacity, sufficient resources and some last-minute wheeling and dealing, helped influential political families retain control of their bailiwicks in Luzon and the Visayas.
Former Ilocos Sur governor and now Narvacan town councilor, Luis “Chavit” Singson, trounced Narvacan Mayor Edgardo Zaragoza in the mayoral race, cementing his family’s hold over the province.
The mayoral race has been touted as the main bout in the midterm election clash between the families of Singson and Zaragoza, who governed Narvacan for more than three decades.
Chavit’s son, Ilocos Sur Gov. Ryan Luis Singson, bested Zaragoza’s son, Narvacan Mayor Zuriel Zaragoza, in the gubernatorial contest. Chavit’s younger brother, reelectionist Vice Gov. Jeremias Singson, defeated Zaragoza’s daughter, Anicka.
In Ilocos Norte, the son of Gov. Imee Marcos has won unopposed for governor of the province that remains loyal to the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Matthew Manotoc’s victory owed much to the 11-hour decision of Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas to withdraw from the race.
Fariñas’ daughter, Board Member Ria Cristina, is taking her father’s seat in Congress.
The Marcos magic extends to almost all of the 23 newly elected city and town mayors of Ilocos Norte, who were backed by Governor Marcos.
The Marcos clan also took control of the capital city, Laoag, which has been a stronghold of the Fariñas family for almost three decades.
Garnering 29,679 votes, former Ilocos Norte governor, Michael Marcos Keon, 62, defeated incumbent Laoag Mayor Chevylle Fariñas.
In La Union province, Ortega remained the political brand to beat in the midterm races. Although a clan member failed in his mayoral bid in San Fernando City, six others emerged victorious in various posts.
Gov. Francisco Emmanuel Ortega won in his reelection bid. His uncle, Mario Ortega, won as vice governor.
Councilor Francisco Paolo Ortega V, who also sits in the provincial board as chapter president of the Philippine Councilors’ League, got the most number of votes among bets for board seats to represent La Union’s first district.
His father, reelectionist La Union Rep. Pablo Ortega, won his third term unopposed.
Jose Maria Ortega lost to reelectionist San Fernando Mayor Hermenegildo Gualberto. But his nephew, reelectionist Vice Mayor Alfredo Pablo Ortega won unopposed.
The Pineda family continues to dominate Pampanga province.
Vice Gov. Dennis Pineda was winning against Jomar Hizon in the gubernatorial race, and may assume the post held by his mother, Lilia Pineda, who ran unopposed for vice governor.
Lilia Pineda’s daughter, Esmeralda, ran unopposed for Lubao town mayor. Another daughter, Mylin, won a seat in the provincial board.
In Bataan province, the Garcia siblings still call the shots following fresh mandates from the midterm elections.
Reelectionist Gov. Albert Garcia received 44,421 votes against opponent Ver Roque’s 6,386. Garcia’s siblings, Bataan Rep. Jose Enrique Garcia III and Balanga City Mayor Francis Anthony Garcia, won unopposed. So did cousin, Vice Gov. Cristina Garcia.
In Quezon, members of the Suarez family were leading in races against their rivals, the Alcala family.
Partial results in 18 towns showed outgoing House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, the clan patriarch, leading Quezon Rep. Vicente Alcala in the gubernatorial race.
Outgoing Gov. David Suarez, Danilo’s son, was also leading former Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala in the congressional race in the second district. Alcala, a brother of Vicente, used to represent the district.
Danilo Suarez’s wife, Aleta, won in the province’s third congressional district race to replace her husband.
David’s wife, Anna, is poised to return to Congress as representative of the Alona party list. Jet, another son of Danilo, had been reelected provincial board member.
In Cavite province, relatives of senatorial candidate Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. are serving fresh terms. His brother, Strike, was reelected Bacoor City’s lone representative.
Bong’s wife and actress Lani Mercado Revilla was reelected Bacoor City mayor, while their son, Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla, ran unopposed.
In Leyte, the Petillas and their relatives from the Loreto-Cari family continue to dominate politics in the province.
Leyte Gov. Leopoldo Dominico Petilla won a third term while his sister-in-law, Ann, wife of former Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla, was elected mayor of Palo.
Also among the winners were Carlo Loreto as vice governor, Carl Nicholas Cari as representative of Leyte’s fifth district and Jose Carlos Cari as mayor of Baybay.
The Romualdezes, who are relatives of former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos, will continue to dominate other areas in Leyte.
Former Rep. Martin Romualdez won in the congressional race, replacing his wife, Yedda, who is expected to return to Congress as first nominee of party list group Tingog.
Romualdez’s cousin, Alfred, is also set to reclaim his post as mayor of Tacloban City, currently occupied by his wife, Cristina.—Reports from Leilanie Adriano, Tonette Orejas, Greg Refraccion, Leoncio Balbin Jr., Gabriel Cardinoza, Delfin Mallari Jr., Maricar Cinco, Joey Gabieta and Nestle Semilla
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