Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Old hats show strong grip on Albay politics

LEGAZPI CITY, May 10 (PNA) -- Seasoned and old Albay politicians reigned again in this year's local elections by showing Monday that they still have a firm hold on the local political arena and emerging with overwhelming votes from local residents.

Among these old guards who have been elected in various posts are Albay 2nd District Rep. Al Francis Bichara (NP), Albay Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda (Ind), Albay 3rd District Rep. Fernando Gonzalez, and former Albay 1st Dist Rep. Edcel Lagman.

Based on the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting's quick count, Bichara bagged an overwhelming vote (325,915) against his rivals to take over the gubernatorial post now held by Salceda who will end his term this June.

An independent candidate after jumping ship from the LP camp to Grace Poe's side, Salceda won by landslide with 146,507 votes for Albay’s 2nd District congressman.

One the country’s top economist, the incumbent Albay governor was a three-term congressman of Albay's 3rd District, then was appointed Chief of Staff by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and elected Albay governor for three terms.

His father, Jesus, was the three-term mayor of Polangui town while his brother Jesap was elected provincial board member, representing the province's third district.

When asked what he feels about Rodrigo Duterte's landslide presidential win, and Duterte's previous offer to be his National Economic and Development Authority chief, he said he needs all the leeway in making decisions and all support in ways that fit his management style.

"Given his historic mandate, it will be an honor to serve his maiden cabinet, especially since it would provide a better alternative in serving my 2nd district constituency which is a duty from my own mandate,” Salceda said.

Lagman, an LP stalwart, had been elected for a total of five terms as a member of the House of Representatives.

He won over two rivals by garnering majority votes to replace his son, Grex, the incumbent representative of the district, who will go on a foreign study grant.

Lagman’s daughter, Krisel Lagman-Luistro, will be the next Tabaco City mayor, replacing City Mayor Marie Demetriou who did not run for reelection due to health problem.

Gonzalez (LP) got re-elected with an overwhelming vote of 161,214 over his rivals.

He was formerly a three-term mayor of Ligao, a one-term governor in 1999 and incumbent congressman on his last term.

His wife, Linda, also became three-term mayor of Ligao City while his niece Patricia Gonzalez-Alsua was re-elected city mayor of Ligao, serving his second term as city executive.

Another old political guard that won Monday’s election is Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal, re-elected with overwhelming votes.

Rosal held the city mayoral post for five terms while his wife, Geraldine, was elected city mayor for one term.

His brother, Rolly, who serve as a city councilor, was elected Board Member of the 2nd District of the province.(PNA) JMC/FGS/MSA/CBD