Leyte Samar Daily Express
TACLOBAN CITY — Businessman Charlie Chong, the father of Congressman Glen Chong, plans to run for governor of the Biliran province in the coming 2010 elections, a person with knowledge of his political aspirations disclosed recently.
Chong plans to run in 2010 for the seat Biliran Governor Roger Espina is leaving but is not ready to make a formal announcement, said the person, who was not authorized to talk publicly and has spoken on condition of anonymity.
Gov. Espina, who is on his third and final term, is constitutionally barred from seeking a fourth straight term. He is reportedly eyeing a run against Cong. Chong in the next elections for the province’s lone congressional seat.
“The formal announcement will be made in the most appropriate time this year,” the source said.
The same source added that if Charlie Chong pushes through with his plans for 2010, the gubernatorial contest in the province could be a four-way race.
He said that three other political heavyweights in Biliran have already announced their intention or are reported to be interested in seeking the gubernatorial post in the coming elections.
These three, according to him, were former Biliran Congressman Gerardo Espina Sr., Biliran town Mayor Carlos Chan, and Director Raffy Salazar of the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC).
Former Congressman Espina, who is the father of the incumbent provincial governor, is reportedly eyeing a political comeback after losing a congressional race against the younger Chong in the 2007 elections.
The elder Chong, whose family owns several big businesses in the island province, came to prominence last year when he was nearly killed in an ambush incident in Naval town. That incident was blamed by the Chongs on the Espinas, their long-time political rivals.
Two of Chong’s bodyguards were killed in that incident. The Espinas vehemently denied the accusation.
If he pushes through with his planned candidacy, it could the first foray into politics by the elder Chong.
Biliran, an island-province, which has more than 100, 000 registered voters, comprise eight municipalities, namely: Naval (capital town), Almeria, Biliran, Caibiran, Culaba, Kawayan, and Maripipi. (Jose Rodriguez T. Señase)