3 VP aspirants trace roots to Sorsogon | Inquirer News

3 VP aspirants trace roots to Sorsogon

/ 12:35 AM October 06, 2015

Sen. Chiz Escudero, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Gerona Robredo and Sen. Sonny Trillanes FILE PHOTOS

Sen. Chiz Escudero, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Gerona Robredo and Sen. Sonny Trillanes FILE PHOTOS

NAGA CITY—They come from different backgrounds but they are bound by their—or their ancestors’—provincial origins.

Sen. Chiz Escudero, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Gerona Robredo and Sen. Sonny Trillanes have something in common other than being aspirants for the vice presidency in 2016.


They all come from Bicol.


If you add to the list Sen. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan, touted as a possible running mate of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard-bearer, Vice President Jejomar Binay, that will make all four vice presidential aspirants tracing their roots to Bicol.

And three of them—Escudero, Robredo and Honasan—have links to Sorsogon province.

Even Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, who has also declared his run for Vice President, can claim links to Bicol. His wife, Taguig City Mayor Ma. Laarni “Lani” Reyes-Cayetano, is a native of Tiwi, Albay province.

The Gerona relatives of Leni Robredo—like the Honasan family—are from the town of Bulan, Sorsogon.

Escudero’s roots can be traced to the town of Casiguran—also in Sorsogon.

Trillanes, while born and raised in Caloocan City, also traces his roots to Ligao City in Albay, where his father, retired Navy Capt. Antonio Floranza Trillanes Sr., grew up.


Leni’s links

Although raised in Naga City in Camarines Sur province, Leni’s father, the late Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Antonio Gerona, came from the big Gerona clan in Bulan town.

Leni, 51, visits Bulan regularly to attend family affairs, like weddings, reunions or burials, according to RTC Judge Rofebar Gerona, Leni’s third cousin who is assigned in Sorsogon.

Both Rofebar and Leni trace their roots to Julian Gerona, a member of a law firm established before the turn of the 20th century.

Julian was exiled to Guam in 1901 together with other revolutionaries. He never made it back home and died there, according to Rofebar.

Some of Leni’s other relatives are also judges and lawyers.

Thus, it was no surprise that Leni also became a lawyer, even if she was then already married to Jesse Robredo, raising three daughters with him.

Leni’s uncle Ronando, a law instructor in Sorsogon, said his niece’s decision to be the running mate of Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas would mean Sorsogon would be divided.

Even if Escudero has the advantage of having an established link to Sorsogon and a strong machinery, “it will not be a big win for Chiz against Leni,” Ronando said.

“[Leni] will get the votes in the urban centers,” Ronando said.

Gringo’s links

The Gerona clan is also intertwined with the Honasan clan through marriages, said Bobby Honasan, a first cousin of the senator.

The senator’s father was an Army colonel during World War II. The Honasan patriarch came from Oas, Albay, who married a teacher from Sorsogon.

Senator Honasan, 67, the eldest among six siblings, was born in Baguio City to Col. Romeo Gillego Honasan and Alicia Masip Ballesteros.

Bobby said Senator Honasan would usually inform his relatives whenever he planned to run in an election. At present, the senator has not told them whether he would run for Vice President.

Senator Honasan’s name is intertwined with the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution. He was a leader of coup attempts that almost toppled then President Corazon Aquino.

He later entered politics and was elected to the Senate.

Chiz’s links

Escudero’s great-grandfather is Salvador Escudero Sr., Sorsogon governor when World War II broke out and leader of a faction of guerrilla groups operating against the Japanese.

The direct descendants of Escudero Sr. include son Antonio Escudero Sr., who married Flordeliza Hatoc, Chiz’s grandparents.

Chiz’ father, Salvador H. Escudero III married Evelina Buencamino Guevara of Sorsogon City. They have three children.

Chiz, 46, entered politics in 1998 as a representative from Sorsogon. In 2007, he was elected to the Senate.

His father, Salvador III, was Ferdinand Marcos’ agriculture minister who served as assemblyman of Batasang Pambansa from 1984-1986.

Chiz’s mother, Evelina, is the incumbent representative of the first district of Sorsogon.

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The Escuderos are the longest surviving political clan in Sorsogon.

Chiz entered politics at 29. He finished three terms as congressman from 1998 to 2007. He was also a prosecutor in the impeachment proceedings against former President Joseph Estrada in 2001.


TAGS: Francis Escudero, Leni Robredo, Nation, News

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