Reelection bids of political clans in EV reflection of tradpols to control local governance – analyst
TACLOBAN CITY – Reelection bid of same political clans in the region is a “reflection of traditional politics” aiming to “control” local governance, a political analyst said.
Ladylyn Lim, associate professor of the University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College, said the filing of certificates of candidacy of same politicians and their immediate family members reaffirms public perception that those who are popular and wealthy are the only capable to seek for elective posts.
“Political dynasty happens because other families and individuals have no capacity or chance to emerge as leaders. For many of the poor people, a leader is the one who has extra means to provide assistance during emergencies,” Lim told Leyte Samar Daily Express.
“It seems that there’s no chance for common people to share their talents and expertise because they do not belong to a political clan even if they are capable, sincere and have the vision to improve a province, city, or municipality.”
In Leyte, the rivalry is between Romualdezes comprising the nephews of former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos and the Petilla clan whose families have been in control of the provincial government for more than two decades.
Businessman Leopoldo Dominico Petilla filed his certificate of candidacy seeking to replace his brother outgoing Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla who is in his last term. His running- mate is his cousin Carlo Loreto, a three-termer board member.
Dominico and Jericho are sons of couple Leopoldo and Remedios Petilla. Their father was a one- termer governor while their mother was a governor for nine years and a solon for three years. The mother is seeking a reelection for mayor in the nearby town of Palo.
Mayor Alfred Romualdez and wife, Councilor Cristina G. Romualdez are both seeking another term.
In Baybay City, Mayor Carmen Cari is eyeing another term with his son Vice Mayor Michael Cari as her running-mate. The mayor’s son Leyte Rep. Jose Carlos L. Cari (5th district) will also run.
In Southern Leyte, brothers Rep. Roger Mercado (lone district) and Governor Damian Mercado are to switch positions.
Political dynasties remain in Samar with the reelection bids of Governor Sharee Ann Tan, her mother Rep. Milagrosa Tan. Brother Vice Governor Stephen James Tan, is to run for Congress. The Samar governor will be challenged by Aika Uy-Delgado, daughter of slain Calbayog city mayor Reynaldo Uy who ruled Calbayog City and Samar 2nd district for decades.
Her brother, Vice Mayor Rey James will run for mayor of the city.
In Northern Samar, Rep. Raul Daza (1st district) and son Governor Paul Daza are both seeking their reelection bids. Same scenario prevails in Biliran province with the reelection bids of Gov. Gerardo Espina, Jr. and brother Rep. Roger Espina. Some clan members are running for mayor and councilors in some towns of the province. The Espina patriarch was a former congressman and mayor in Biliran.
The Codillas in Ormoc are determined to retain their political stronghold. Outgoing Ormoc City Mayor Eric Codilla will run for Congress, his brother Edward will seek a mayoralty post. Another Codilla is seeking reelection in nearby town of Kananga. Their father, Eufrocino Sr., was three-termer Ormoc mayor and Leyte 4th district congressman.
“After the husband, it’s the turn of the wife, children, and even grandchildren to run. It’s like inheritance. Political dynasty happens because other families and individuals have no capacity or chance to emerge as leader,” Lim added.
“I think voters got tired of choosing the right candidate because there has been no significant improvement. People are just contended that there’s somebody who can give them money during elections and help them in their emergencies.”
Lim noted that there are new challengers but they end up establishing another political dynasty when they succeed in their first attempt just like Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez (4th district) whose actor husband Richard will run for Ormoc City Mayor.
The political analyst said that the region has not benefitted from political dynasty with its ranking still as one of the poorest region in the country.
The 2011 economic growth in Eastern Visayas was nailed at 1.8%, way below than the 5.26% target under the six-year Regional Development Plan. The region’s economy ranks 3rd lowest among the 17 regions in the country in terms of growth.
The region recorded the highest infant mortality rate and under five mortality rate in the 2011 Family Health Survey among the 17 regions in the country. (SARWELL Q. MENIANO)
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