By Vicente Labro
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.