Poll quest pits brother vs brother
JORDAN, Guimas—A widening rift that appears irreconcilable between brothers Guimaras Rep. Joaquin Carlos (JC) Rahman Nava and Gov. Felipe Nava will be at the forefront in next year’s elections as their camps fight for provincial posts.
The reelectionist brothers filed their certificates of candidacies (COCs) minutes after each other on Wednesday at the provincial office of the Commission on Elections.
Joaquin Carlos, of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), first filed his COC accompanied by candidates under his slate including candidates for governor, vice governor and eight provincial board members.
Buenavista Mayor Samuel Gumarin will run for governor with Board Member Vicente De Asis as his running mate.
Minutes later, Felipe, who is seeking reelection under the PDP-Laban and United Nationalist Alliance, filed his COC. He was accompanied by his running mate, Board Member Avelino Gonzaga.
The governor said his party will not field a candidate for congressman to run against his brother.
“It’s a personal decision, which I sought approval from the party. He (Joaquin Carlos) is still my brother,” the governor said.
But in separate interviews, the brothers said their rift is irreconcilable, especially that lines have been drawn for next year’s elections.
“We have major differences and disagreements in policies and programs. We have tried to settle these but it didn’t work out,” said Representative Nava.
In a press conference following the filing of their COCs, the congressman’s fellow candidates, including four of the five incumbent mayors in the province, took turns accusing the governor of mismanaging the affairs of the province and of alleged irregularities.
The governor has repeatedly denied the allegations and has claimed that these were part of efforts to remove him from office.
The brothers, who are both seeking a third term of office, have dominated politics in the province for more than a decade.
Their father, Dr. Catalino Nava, was appointed acting governor after the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution until 1992. He was elected the first congressman of the province in 1995 but did not finish his term when he died from an illness in December that year.
Joaquin Carlos defeated former Rep. Edgar Espinosa, an ally of the Lopez family, in the congressional race in the 2007 elections. He had served three terms as governor, from 1998 to 2007.
Felipe was mayor of the capital town of Jordan also for three terms, from 1998 until 2007.
In Maasin City, Southern Leyte, two political families will be pitted against each other. With a report from Jani Arnaiz, Inquirer Visayas
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.