By Vicente Labro
Inquirer Visayas
First Posted 17:01:00 11/13/2009

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines—The political clans will still dominate politics in Eastern Visayas with some former elected officials running again for office and others who are on their last terms eyeing other elective positions.

In Tacloban City, former mayor Alfredo “Bejo” Romualdez announced on Thursday his desire to run in next year’s elections. He was the latest among members of prominent political clans in the region to signify an intention to seek public office.

Romualdez, in his mid-70s, said he will run as vice mayor under on the slate of his son, incumbent Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez, who earlier made known his intention to seek reelection in 2010.

The elder Romualdez cited his desire to make the city council of Tacloban “one of the best in the country” as among his reasons for making a political comeback. The former city mayor also cited completition of unfinished projects.

It was during the elder Romualdez’s nine-year term that the astrodome and modern bus terminal were built and the city’s first traffic lights were installed.

He admitted though that their family was consolidating their political force to help the candidacy of Ilocos Representative Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos, who is seeking a seat in the Senate. Bongbong is a son of his elder sister, former first lady Imelda R. Marcos.

Mayor Romualdez’s wife, Tacloban City Councilor Cristina G. Romualdez, and his cousin, Leyte first district Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, a son of former Leyte Gov. Benjamin “Kokoy” Romualdez, also plan to seek reelection.

The mayor, his wife and his cousin are all first-termers.

In Ormoc City, a chartered city in Leyte, incumbent Mayor Eric Codilla will run for reelection in May 2010, as will his brother, Mayor Elmer Codilla of nearby Kananga town.

However, their father, incumbent Representative Eufrocino Codilla Sr. of the fourth district of Leyte, is already on his third term and no longer eligible to run for reelection. Instead, another brother, Winnie Codilla Jr., will vie for the position held by their father.

In Samar, incumbent Governor Milagrosa Tan, now on her third and last term, has also signified her intention to seek the congressional seat of Samar’s second district, a post currently held by her daughter, Representative Sharee Ann Tan, who is said to be running for governor,

The situation is similar in Northern Samar, where 74-year-old Governor Raul Daza, now on his third and last term, wants to run for Congress representing the province’s first district, a post that he once held for nine years before becoming the governor.

Incumbent first district Representative Paul Daza, the governor’s son who is only on his first term, plans to run for governor of Northern Samar.

On the island province of Biliran, incumbent and third-termer Governor Rogelio Espina, 49, who recently bolted the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD to join the Nacionalista Party, earlier said he would run for congressman in the lone district of Biliran. Espina’s brother, Gerryboy Espina, former three-term mayor of the capital town of Naval, is rumored to be seeking the gubernatorial post.

Siblings Governor Damian Mercado and Representative Roger Mercado in Southern Leyte are also expected to seek reelection.


  1. Damn right! Best business indeed! And i cant help but wonder, does one think these politicians really want to alleviate the poor without enriching themselves first?

  2. We can turn the tide slowly the political dynasty in the Philippines.

    One way is to educate the electorates as much as possible in

    any little we can.

    Let us keep blogging, share anti-dynasty ideas everywhere in

    every blog sites we encounter, post comments in your friendster,

    facebook, myspace, and youtube accounts or put links where

    available online….slowly but surely.

    Just too bad no jalmz in Tacloban…wink wink jalmz.

    Below is a sample dynasty article link where I am thinking

    to plant, maybe, in any youtube channels about Tacloban.

    If I am not the only one doing this, the electorates outside

    Biliran may begin to realize/understand about this issue

    and vote wisely in the coming election.

    Let’s keep our fingers crossed and please help me out.



  3. As per explanation by the “enlightened” one, dynasty daw is when, let say, a father congressman was succeeded by his son, to illustrate, Espina Sr was a congressman and after his term his son Espina Jr succeeded his position.

    Question, was it a dynasty if the mayor (the son) is a romualdez, the vice-mayor (the father) is a romualdez, a councilor the wife of the mayor and the congressman (the cousin) is also a romualdez?

    Can we call it a dynasty if the congressman is Espina, the governor is Espina, the mayor of Naval is Espina, the mayor of Kawayan is also a Espina?

    Dynasty rin ba kung, for example, ang Codilla Jr congressman and ang Codilla Sr governor?

    Madlangbayan wrote: “… the dynasty of one family, which I hope the good Congressman does not commit the same mistake, that of fielding a member of the immediate family for another local position. You see this is very unproductive and this according to a study of the UP political science department has been the very reason why graft and corruption flourishes, since this gives an opportunity for family members to connive with each other.”

  4. Espina – true meaning of political dynasty!
    What? 12+ years!

    Chong – not yet….look up the book dictionary and not

    someone else’s biased meaning because he is a human

    dictionary for another candidate whose motive/affiliation

    unknown and unassured yet…

    So abangan and Chong Dynasty in the future….keep

    and open-mind…let us criticize them in a civil manner

    if they are not doing right…at least one of them knows

    how to answer online unlike the big unkowns

    and the momentary silent here of one for whatever reason.

    (maybe a promise not fulfilled – napahiya?).

  5. Napahiya?
    Ayy, di lang pala ito mapapahiya, nakakahiya pa!
    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, in the dynasty context, it is much EASIER to prevent an upcoming Chong dynasty than to cure an existing Espina dynasty. Oppss! Take note, am NOT saying nga pasagdan na lang ang Espina dynasty, of course we have to cure that, that is why madlangbayan says, “….. I hope the good congressman would not do the same mistake….”

    Just a word of advice, kung mag istorya ka ngani nga you are against dynasty do not limit your definition of the word with what is written in the dictionary. Do not limit your understanding of the word from what you have learned from the four walls of the classroom. Broaden your horizon, open-minded man kaha…

  6. Dynasty as defined in the dictionary is always ascribed to kings and nobles. It is a succession of one family or group to any position.

    In the Philippine context, no definition as of yet has been given to polticial dynasty. But the The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines: Article 2 – Declaration of Principles and State Policies, Section 26 states that:

    “ The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law. ”

    This provision clearly prohibits the existence of political dynasties in the country to preclude equal access to public service and the right for people to choose in the local election. However, it is not self-executory, meaning the provision needs an implementing law before it can be applied. Unfortunately, no such law has been approved in twenty years, mainly because of disagreements on the definition of a political dynasty, thus it continues to exert a pervasive influence on Philippine politics. Furthermore, the democratic character of the government, allows such groups to justify their existence and thrive under the mantle of legitimacy. It is true that no political family should exercise monopoly of leadership but they have all the economic resources and political clout to do so.

    Verily, I believe, this provision in the constitution contmeplates to PREVENT ONE FAMILY to control the political affairs in government or dominate in political contests.

    The Espina’s therefore definitely belongs to this category, it is a political dynasty. The Chongs are not yet but are positioning themselves to be one if the Cingressman fields his father. Thus, there is the dynastic tendency. One might say but they have not yet been elected and thus they are not yet a dynasty. Well, that may be true, but the simple fact, that Congressman Chong is considering to field his father as governor belies the underlying truth, that of personal interests overriding the consideration for the welfare of the general public and thus, again denying the people of equal acccess to public service. Does this mean that we are bereft of good leaders and promising leaders in the province?

    That I believe, is the spirit of the law which our constitutional framers were contemplating. This therefore means that political dynasty in Philippine context refers to families who are fielding thier next of kin in not just one but two or more political positions. This is what I believe dynasty is all about.

    If fielding two or more candidates from the same family is not dynasty, well surely it smells of a dynasty in the making. But shall we wait for this to happen and let us again suffer the same fate as we had before?

    As they say, in politics, money is power, and power corrupts absolutely. Power is not only an aphrodisiac but when it gets hold of one person it corrupts his mind as well. That in itself is corruption.

    Daghang Salamat!

  7. If one is REALLY against dynasty, the political dynasty to be specific, one should understand The Anti-Political Dynasty Act (which is still pending because of lack of political will of those who are in power?) that would ban any spouse or RELATIVE of an incumbent elective official to run for any elected office. NOTE VERY WELL, IT IS NOT JUST THE SUCCESSION OF FATHER TO SON OR SON TO FATHER.

    It is very clear that The Anti-Political Dynasty Act prohibit, ban, forbid, disallow any spouse or relative of an incumbent elective official to run for any elected office.

    Still insisting with what you have read from the dictionary? Hahahaha. Am just hoping that the good Rep Chong would not make the same mistake the Espina did, that is, creating a dynasty.

  8. Biliranons;

    Please remember the following people when you come to vote in the next year’s election:

    1. Former Vice Mayor EPOY ALMEN of Caibiran

    2. Dr. Gloria Ramirez of Caibiran

    3. Former Governor Danny Parilla of Biliran Province

    4. The two Close in Security Personnel of Naval who perished during the massacre in Naval

    5. The other victims whose names were not mentioned in here..

    Be watchful Biliranons….your safe and secure future lies within your hands…



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