Same families to rule Leyte, Biliran provinces


TACLOBAN CITY – Same clans will hold the key elective positions in Leyte and Biliran provinces in the next three years, as incumbent officials and their family members defeated their less popular rivals.

In Leyte, Carlos Jericho Petilla will return as governor, the post he held for three full terms nine years ago. He will replace his younger brother, Leopoldo Dominico, who has been the province’s chief executive since 2013.

The family has been reigning in Leyte province since 1992. The clan’s matriarch Remedios, the former Leyte governor and solon, will return as mayor of Palo town, replacing Anne, the wife of Carlos Jericho.

Remedios’ nephew, Jose Carlos was re-elected as mayor of Baybay City. The mayor’s son, Nicholas Carl, is unopposed in the congressional race.

Leyte 1st district Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez had no opponent in his bid to return to Congress for the third term, the post he held since 2007.

Martin is the nephew of former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos and son of former Leyte Governor Benjamin Romualdez, who ruled the province during the administration of Ferdinand Marcos, Sr.

Marcos, Jr., who has a wide lead in the presidential vote, is Martin’s first cousin.

Martin’s wife, Tingog Party-list Rep. Yedda, is assured of a seat in the House of Representatives as their party list ranks third in the partial and unofficial count as of May 10.

Another cousin of Marcos, Jr., Alfred won in his bid to again lead the regional capital. He has been the city mayor from 2007 to 2016 and from 2019 to present.

Lolita Javier will serve a second term in the House of Representatives after defeating former Rep. Henry Ong. Her son, Jassie Tañala won in the mayoralty race in Jaro town.

Lolita is the wife of Leonardo Javier, the owner of Andok’s Litson Corp.

Javier, a former mayor of Javier town, will be the new Leyte vice governor. He is the running-mate of Carlos Jericho.

Javier’s son, Michael Dragon won a second term as Javier town mayor.

Actor-turned Mayor Richard Gomez of Ormoc City and wife, Leyte 4th district Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez succeeded in their bid to swap posts.

The couple defeated the Codilla clan in the mayoralty race and former election commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal in the congressional race.

Lucy’s brother, Matt Torres is still the mayor of Kananga, Leyte.

In Leyte’s 3rd district, unopposed Anna Veloso-Tuazon, an incumbent board member, will replace his father, Rep. Ching Veloso, a former appellate court justice, in the House of Representatives.

Meanwhile in Biliran Province, Naval Mayor Gerard Espina won the gubernatorial race, replacing his father, Rogelio, who is retiring from politics. His uncle, Gerardo, Jr. is re-elected as the lone district representative of the province.

In Southern Leyte, Governor Damian Mercado and her sister, Emily, the vice gubernatorial bet are unopposed.

Emily is a neophyte in local politics, replacing the clan’s ally, Vice Governor Christopherson Yap, who won the congressional race in the Southern Leyte’s new 2nd district.

In the first district, Luz Mercado won the congressional race. Luz is the wife of Roger, the acting public works secretary, who served as a member of the House of Representatives from 2004 to 2013 and from 2016 to last year when he was appointed as a Cabinet member. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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