Feuding Singsons reconcile
LAOAG CITY—The dominant Singson clan of Ilocos Sur has decided to not allow politics to continue to divide them after the family patriarch, Luis “Chavit” Singson, withdrew on Monday his candidacy in the May 2022 vice gubernatorial race that would have pitted him against his son Ryan, the outgoing last-term governor of the province.
Chavit backed out from the race at about the same time that his daughter-in-law, Patch Savellano-Singson, Ryan’s wife, also withdraw her certificate of candidacy (COC) for governor that Chavit’s younger brother, Jerry, is also gunning for.
The withdrawal of the candidacies left Ryan and Jerry running unopposed for the province’s top posts.
The 80-year-old patriarch of the Singson clan arrived at the Commission on Elections provincial office to withdraw his COC on Monday morning amid the onslaught of severe Tropical Storm “Maring” (international name: Kompasu).
Before the family reconciliation, both the camps of Chavit and Ryan threw barbs against each other, with the former saying that he would be willing to bring out his “political resources” to ensure victory in the coming elections against Ryan’s camp.
Ryan has previously said that he would be willing to give way to his father if his older brother Ronald should also withdraw his candidacy for representative of the first district against reelectionist Rep. Deogracias Victor Savellano, Ryan’s father-in-law.
According to Chavit, his sons Ryan and Ronald, who became estranged because of politics, have reconciled.
“Politics is full of intrigues. [But] I am happy that my two sons are already speaking with each other,” Chavit said.
The political disarray among family members stemmed from “miscommunication,” said Chavit when he spoke to local reporters after filing his withdrawal from the race.
It was not clear, however, if Savellano would also drop from the race to give way to Ronald.
“I hope he (Savellano) would be able to think about dropping from the race,” Chavit said.
In Western Visayas, it was also reconciliation time for the Nava brothers of Guimaras province.
The COVID-19 pandemic has helped bring to an end the decade-old political animosity between former Guimaras Rep. Joaquin Carlos Rahman Nava and his younger brother and former Gov. Felipe “Nene” Nava.
The brothers are running together under the same slate in the May 2022 elections, with Joaquin running for governor and Felipe running for a seat in the provincial board.
The Nava brothers, both physicians, have been at odds shortly after the 2010 elections but avoided running against each other.
Their family has dominated Guimaras politics for decades. Their patriach, Dr. Catalino Nava, served as acting governor after the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution until 1992. He was elected the first congressman of the province’s lone district in 1995. Joaquin was congressman from 2007 to 2016 and governor from 1998 to 2007.
Felipe, who was mayor of the capital town of Jordan (1998 until 2007) and also served as governor (2007 to 2013), said his hospitalization due to COVID-19 was one factor that led to their reconciliation.
“But a big factor is our love for our mother and the realization that it is not good if we keep on fighting. Family first,” he told reporters in Guimaras on Oct. 6 after they filed their COCs.
But in Iloilo province’s fifth district, reelectionist Rep. Raul “Boboy” Tupas will square off for the second time with his elder brother and former Rep. Niel “Junjun” Tupas Jr.
The Tupas family is among the biggest political figures in Iloilo. Their father, the late former Gov. Niel Tupas Sr., was one of the province’s longest-serving politicians.
The schism between the brothers erupted shortly before the 2016 elections after Niel Jr. supported his wife, Yvonne Angeli Lee-Tupas, to replace him as representative of the congressional district. Raul defeated his sister-in-law in the 2016 elections and his elder brother in the 2019 elections for the same post.
In Mindanao, two former governors allied with the administration are trying to regain their old posts.
In Cotabato province, former three-term Gov. Emmylou “Lala” Taliño-Mendoza (Nationalista Party), the incumbent vice governor, will attempt to retake the gubernatorial seat from reelectionist Gov. Nancy Catamco, who is running for her second term under the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
In Agusan del Norte, second district Rep. Angel Amante-Matba is making a comeback as governor while incumbent Gov. Dale Corvera is running for the seat Matba currently holds at the House of Representatives.
In Butuan City, the provincial capital, the reelection bid of Mayor Ronnie Vicente Lagnada (National Unity Party) is being challenged by Buenavista town Mayor Norbert Pagaspas (PDP-Laban Cusi wing), who is also manager of a local radio station. NUP is allied with the PDP-Laban Cusi wing, making Butuan City a free zone.
—REPORTS FROM JOHN MICHAEL MUGAS, NESTOR P. BURGOS JR., JUDY QUIROS AND CHRIS PANGANIBAN INQ
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