THE weeklong filing of Certificates of Candidacy (COC) last week ended with the COMELEC listing the same prominent political families vying for various local leadership posts – some making a political comeback and others sliding down and or switching elective posts.
Switches in Leyte
In Leyte, former Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho “Icot” L. Petilla filed on Friday his CoC for governor of Leyte. He will replace his younger brother – incumbent Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico “Mic” L. Petilla. Guv Mic is now on his last term.
Outgoing Leyte Vice Governor Carlo Loreto, who is a first cousin of the Petillas’, has filed his CoC for board member of the 5th Legislative District of the province. During the 2019 elections, rumors had it that he almost locked horns with his cousins in Baybay City – the Caris’, but the brewing rift within the prominent Loreto political family in Baybay was effectively subdued.
In another surprise development, the Petilla political matriarch – former Palo Mayor Remedios “Matin” L. Petilla sealed last Friday her rumored political comeback after filing her CoC for mayor of the said town.
Incumbent Palo Mayor Ann Petilla, the wife of Icot, is just on her first term. She could not immediately release a statement as to why she gave way to her mother-in-law.
The senior Matin Petilla also served as governor of the province from 1996 to 2004.
Icot Petilla, unopposed?
Not really. A certain Avito T. Opiniano, a civil engineer, has filed his CoC on Friday and he is running against Icot for the gubernatorial post. Earlier, there was another individual who filed his CoC for the same post.
Javier’s expanding clout
Former Leyte town mayor and businessman Sandy Javier is Petilla’s vice gubernatorial bet. The growing Javier political family is poised at solidifying political clout in the 2nd district of Leyte.
His wife, the incumbent congresswoman Lolita Karen Javier, is bidding for re-election as representative of the 2nd Legislative District of Leyte, while his two sons, one an incumbent mayor, have also filed for mayoralty posts in the towns of Javier and Jaro.
Romualdezes vs Chuas
It’s a Romualdez-Romuualdez tandem in Tacloban City with Mayor Alfred Romuladez and son Raymund running for mayor and vice mayor, respectively. Raymund will square off with the Tacloban’s Chuas, with incumbent councilor Edwin Chua as the family’s bet for Tacloban vice mayoral post. Chua who is running for vice mayor was earlier rumored as the tandem of incumbent Vice Mayor Sambo Yaokasin, who is up to challenge Mayor Alfred Romualdez.
Tan siblings switch posts
The Tans in Samar have switched positions. Incumbent Samar Governor Michael Reynolds Tan switches positions with Congresswoman Sharee Ann Tan of the 2nd District of Samar. The former is running for congressman in the 2nd Legislative District, and the latter for governor of Samar.
Former Vice Governor Jimboy Tan is up to challenge for the second time the congressional post of the 1st District of the province.
Sharee Ann’s tandem is Arnold Tan, another family member.
Gomez vs Codilla in Ormoc
It will be a Gomez-Codilla bout again in Ormoc City. Incumbent Congresswoman Lucy Torres of the 4th District of Leyte is switching posts with her husband and Ormoc Mayor Richard Gomez, but not without rival, as Ondo Codilla, a former mayor, who lost to Gomez in 2016, has filed his CoC for the mayoralty post.
Growing political families
In another Leyte town – Tanauan-- incumbent Mayor Pel Tecson, who is now on his last term as mayor, is passing his leadership torch to his wife, Penny. Tecson held a socially distanced proclamation rally at the town’s Civic Center on October 8 before filing their CoCs as a slate at the COMELEC office.
Many observers in the town said her win will further solidify the Tecsons' growing political clout in the town. Tecson, however, is up for a challenge after Board Member Gina Merilo, a former barangay chief executive, made official her bid for mayor on October 6. Both are political allies of the Petilla political powerhouse.
Husband vs wife
It’s a husband-and-wife fight in Kawayan, Biliran mayoralty race. A certain lawyer named Manolo Rubi has filed his CoC for mayor. No less than his wife, Jessica Rubi, 70 years old, is opposing his bid. Atty. Rubi, who is the official candidate of the municipality's ruling PDP- Laban Party, is a retired Registrar of Deeds of Region VII. It’s not immediately clear what happened between the couple, except that his wife has just happened to be running against him.