Friday, February 19, 2010

It’s still all in the family in Mindanao’s political landscape

by Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews
1st of a series

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/15 February) – Thousands of Mindanawons are vying for 4,944 posts across Mindanao’s 26 provinces, 56 congressional districts, 33 cities and 422 towns but as in previous elections, it’s still all in the family in the island’s political landscape, records of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) show.

Up for elections are the posts of 26 governors, 26 vice governors and 250 provincial board members; 56 congressional representatives; 33 city mayors, 33 city vice mayors and 300 city councilors; 422 town mayors, 422 town vice mayors and 3,376 town councilors.

In 2007, a total of 12,395 Mindanawons, many of them bearing the same family or middle names, vied for 4,930 posts across what were then Mindanao’s 27 provinces and 27 cities.

The 27th province, Shariff Kabunsuan, was abolished in early 2009 and returned back to Maguindanao after the Supreme Court ruled that its creation by the Regional Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao was unconstitutional.

Six new cities were created after 2007: Tandag in Surigao del Sur, Lamitan in Basilan, Bayugan in Agusan del Sur, Mati in Davao Oriental, Cabadbaran in Agusan del Norte and El Salvador in Misamis Oriental.

The pre-election period was marred by what turned out to be the worst election-related massacre in Philippine history – the Ampatuan massacre of November 23, 2009 where at least 58 persons, including 32 media workers, were killed. Except for six commuters who happened to pass the highway at the wrong time, the rest were part of a convoy from Buluan, Maguindanao to the provincial office of the Commission on Elections in Shariff Aguak town in Maguindanao to file the certificate of candidacy for governor of Buluan Vice Mayor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu. The convoy was stopped by armed men reportedly led by Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan, Sr., who would have wanted to run for governor of Maguindanao, unopposed.

Ampatuan’s father, Andal Ampatuan, Sr., ran for governor of Maguindanao in 2007, unopposed with his youngest brother Sajid as running mate and their slate of provincial board members, unopposed. Twenty of 22 town mayors under Maguindanao then (at that time there were 11 towns under Shariff Kabunsuan) had candidates running unopposed.

Sixty-eight Ampatuans, 50 of them carrying the surname (at least 23 of whom are directly related to the Ampatuan patriarch) are running for top posts in the province. The patriarch himself is running for vice governor as an Independent, against three others, including his daughter Shaydee Ampatuan—Abutazil.

The Ampatuans were Lakas-Kampi (LK) leaders until a day after the massacre when the LK leadership expelled them from the party.

Fifteen Mangudadatus are running for top posts, most of them under LK.
But it’s not only in Maguindanao where candidates come from the same families, the same clans.

In Agusan del Norte and del Sur, it’s still the Amantes and the Plazas with the Aquinos now making their presence felt in both provinces.

Erlpe John Malbas Amante (LK) is running for a third term as governor with Vice Governor Enrico Raymundo Corvera (LK) as running mate.

Amante’s opponent is Roger Macabali Patanao (Ind). While Corvera’s opponent is Mercedes Bacalso Atupan (Ind).

Amante’s sister, Angelica Malbas Amante, who was governor for three terms before Erlpe John became governor in 2004, is running for second district representative against Independent candidates Jovitte Cabrera Calo, Van Amelio Dolofina udalan and Jore Maceda Lomongsod.

In Butuan City, Leonides Theresa Borja Plaza (LK) is running against Ferdinand Magdamo Amante, Jr., (LP), Romeo Cuenca Buyan (Ind), Teodoro Alutaya Emboy (Ind), and Roberto Gillera Rosales (LM).

Plaza is married to incumbent mayor Democrito Galido Plaza II, brother of the Plazas dominating the political scene in Agusan del Sur.

Mayor Plaza’s son, Randolph Borja Plaza (LK) is running for councilor of Butuan City while another son, Roscoe Democrito Borja (NP), is running for mayor of Nasipit town against reelectionist mayor Roy Orlando dela Riarte Doyon (LK).

Rep. Jose Sabijon Aquino II (Lakas-Kampi) is seeking reelection as first district representative of Agusan del Norte against Angelo Azuar Jimenez (LP).

Aquino’s brother, Roberto (LP) is running for first district representative of Agusan del Sur against Maria Valentina Galido Plaza (LK), the incumbent governor.
In the second district, the governor’s sister, Evelyn Plaza-Millana(LK), is running for 2nd district representative against Bienvenido Macapal Cebuala, Ceferino Salva Paredes Jr. (LP) and Reynaldo Mordeno Quijada (PDP-Laban).

Their brother, Adolph Edward “Eddiebong” Galido Plaza, is running for governor against Dominador Cebuala Miolata and Isoceles Piencenevaes Otero.

Another brother, Rodolfo, who is ending three terms in Congress, is running for senator while another brother, Victor, is running for provincial board member in the first district.

In Basilan, Jum Jainuddin Akbar (LK), first wife of the late Basilan Gov. Wahab Akbar, is seeking reelection as governor against five others, including Anak Mindanao party-list Representative Mujiv Sabbihin Hataman (LP).

The lone seat of Basilan in Congress is being contested by 11aspirants, among them a Rajam Mujamad (Aksyon) and Hadiiman Sabbii Hataman-Salliman (LP).

In Isabela City, Akbar’s third wife, Cherrylyn Santos Akbar (LK), is seeking reelection as mayor, against Alan Ritchie Bisquera Biel (Ind), Arnulfo Gregorio Dans (LP), Sihon Anji Indanan (Ind), Edwin Alvarez Pantaleta (NP).

Biel’s brother, Luis Bisquera Biel VI (Ind), is running for vice mayor against five others. The incumbent vice mayor is another brother, Luis B. Biel IV.

In Bukidnon, three-term governor Jose Ma. Zubiri is running for vice governor (LK) against Emma Puertas Asok (LP), Joevy Madero Baldevarona (Ind) while his vice governor, Alex Padua Calingasan (LK) is running for governor against Delfina Dorman Bicatulo (Ind), Diosdado Fredluces Tabios (NP), Ernesto Nazareno Tabios (LP) and Romeo Klem Zuce (Ind).

Former Rep. Socorro Olaivar Acosta (LP), is running for 1st district representative against Daniel Jambalon Onahon (PMP), Candido Pios Pancrudo, Jr. (LK), and Jesus Emmanuel Magbag Paras (NPC).

Acosta’s son, Neric, is running for senator under the Liberal Party.

In the second district, three-term Malaybalay City mayor, Dr. Florencio Flores (LK), is running for reprsesentative against Wienfiredo Eduave Agripo, Fernando Ma. Tiongson Carrascoso III, Joan Mae Tarnate Dichosa and Erwin Abales Marte.

In the third district, Rep. Jose Ma. Fernandez Zubiri III, is seeking reelection against Delia Saloay-ay and Salvador Garcia Galon.

In Malaybalay City, Vice Mayor Inigo “Inaki” Wuthrich Zubiri is running for mayor against Provo Balicao Antipasado, Jr. (Ind) and Glorio Dagacdac Sajulga (LP).

In Valencia City, Mayor Leandro Jose Hallazgo Catarata (LK) is running for relelection as mayor against former mayor Jose Magallanes Galario, Jr. (NPC) and Susan Calva Bangis (Ind).

In Camiguin, the Romualdos’ division in 2007 remains but the family continues to lord it over. The patriarch, former Rep. and former Governor Pedro Palarca Romualdo (LK) is running for representative of the lone district against Forencio Aranas Narido, Jr. (LP) while his son, Governor Jurdin Jesus Modina Romualdo (NPC) is seeking reelection for governor against Rogelio Adaniel Gallardo (LP).

Another Romualdo is running for vice governor: Nicolas Vicente Romualdo Elio (Ind) who is running against LK’s Leo Gales asacar and Juan Margarito Edon Neri.

In Mambajao, Noodin Efigenio Modina Romualdo is running for mayor against his sister-in-law, the incumbent mayor, Ma. Luisa dela Fuente Romualdo, wife of Jurdin Jesus. [Tomorrow: All in the family, too, in Davao, Lanao] (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)

It’s still all in the family in Mindanao (2): the ties that bind in ComVal, Davao
by Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews

2nd in a series

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/16 February) – Compostela Valley Governor Arturo “Chongkee” Tao Uy (LK) and Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario (LP) need not campaign for reelection. They are running unopposed.

Compostela Valley Vice Governor Ramil Lao Gentugaya, is assured of victory, too. Like his governor, he is running unopposed.

Compostela Valley 1st district representative Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora (LK) who became famous for biking his way to Congress and for carrying the ballot boxes during the canvassing of votes in Congress, is ending his three terms. His only daughter, Maria Carmen Zamora-Apsay (LK), two-term provincial board member and President of the Lady Local Legislators of the Philippines (Four-L) and the National Vice-President for Mindanao of the National Movement of Young Legislators (NMYL) is running for the post he is vacating, against Cezar Ochoco Mancao II (Aksyon) and Jaime Monforte Lopoz (LP).

Mancao is a former police officer who fled to the United States in 2001 allegedly on the advice of his former boss at the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force, Senator Panfilo Lacson. Mancao last year, turned his back on Lacson and former President Joseph Estrada by implicating them in the November 2000 kidnapping and murder of Salvardor “Bubby” Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito. Mancao was among those charged for murder.

Lacson and Estrada have denied involvement in the crime.

Monforte’s brother, Rex Jasper Monforte Lopoz (Ind) is running for 2nd district representative against three-term ComVal governor Jose Rufo Caballero (LP) and reelectionist Rep. Rommel Canos Amatong (LK), son of former Davao del Norte Governor, OIC Compostela Valley governor and ComVal representative to Congress Prospero Amatong.

Caballero ran for the same seat in 2007 but lost to the young Amatong.

In the capital town of Nabunturan town, a Caballero relative, Councilor Raul Benoya Caballero (Aksyon) is running for mayor against Romeo Calamba Clarin (LK) while in Pantukan town, Juan Rufo Caballero, Jr., (LP), brother of the former governor, is running for councilor.

The former governor’s daughter, Kristina Mae Taytayan Caballero, a former provincial board member who ran for governor in 2007, is running for provincial board member in the second district.

Another Lopoz brother is running for provincial board member in the first district, Arvin Dexter Monforte Lopoz.

In Davao del Norte, Governor Rodolfo Pagua del Rosario (LP) and his nephew, Rep. Antonio Floirendo Lagdameo, Jr. (LK) of the second district are running unopposed.
Vice Governor Victorio Suaybaguio, Jr. (LP) is running against Rogelio Esguerra Israel (LK).

Del Rosario’s son, Antonio Rafael Garcia del Rosario (LP), a former vice governor, is running for 1st district representative against Emelita Apostol Alvarez (NP), wife of former Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.

In Tagum City, Mayor Rey Tao Uy or Chiong Uy (LP) brother of Compostela Governor Uy is seeking reelection against former governor Gelacio Gementiza (Ind), three-term district representative Arrel Reyes Olano (Ind), Cesar Bangayan Cuntapay (Ind) and Charlieto Piencenavez Amespero, Jr.. (Ind).

In the Island Garden City of Samal, Mayor Aniano Paraiso Antalan (LK), brother of former three-term mayor Rogelio Antalan, is seeking reelection against Austerio Flores Obenza (Ind), Orly Adarmeo Amit (LP), and Armando Balintong Sanano (PDSP).
Running under LK for councilor in Babak is Gemma Sahitarios Antalan, wife of the incumbent mayor; for councilor in Samal is Teresita Buchan Antalan, wife of the former mayor.

In Davao del Sur’s political landscape, it’s still Cagas, Bautista, Llanos, Almendras, Latasa.

Governor Douglas Ralota Cagas (NP) is seeking reelection against Claude Peralta Bautista (NPC) , Dominador Fiel Carrillo (Ind), Rosemarie Chavez Villamor (Ind) and Alex Bangoyan Wangkay.(PMP).

Governor Cagas’ wife, Mercedes Chan (NP) is running for provincial board member in the 1st district.

The couple’s son Marc Doug Chan Cagas IV (NP) is seeking reelection as 1st district representative to Congress against Wilhelmina King Almendras (LMWPP) and provincial board member Erwin Soriano Llanos (NPC). Another Llanos, Nonito Avila Llanos III (Ind) is running for 1st district board member.

Two Latasa brothers are slugging it out for the vice governorship: Vice Governor Simplicio Agonia Latasa (PMP) who is seeking reelection, and three-term Digos City mayor Arsenio Agonio Latasa (NPC).

The brothers are running against Lorna Bautista Bandigan (LK), Merlin Beltran Bello (NP), an dablo Cambarejan Villaber (Ind).

In the second congressional district, Rep. Franklin Peralta Bautista (LK) is running for reelection against Alberto Uy Baliota(NP) and Jimmy Yatco Renovilla (PMP).

In Malita, Davao del Sur, Mayor Benjamin Peralta Bautista (LK), brother of Claude and Franklin, is running for reelection against Alberto Uy Baliota II (NP), brother of the congressional candidate. Another Bautista, Bradly Llido Bautista (LK) is running for vice mayor against Aberto Salang Mante (NP).

In Digos City, Governor Cagas’ cousins, Alejandro Cabahug Almendras, Jr., (LP) and Josef Fortich Cagas (NP) are running for mayor against Joseph Roble Penas (NPC), and Romeo Leyson Vicariato (Ind).

Alejandro Almendras’ brother, Sta. Cruz vice mayor Alexis Almendras, is running for reelection. Alexis used to be a Davao City councilor. The Almendras brothers are sons of the late Senator Alejandro "Landring" Almendras.

Wilhelmina King Almendras’ sibling, Alejandro King Almendras (LMWPP) is running for board member of the 1st district against 11 others, among them Aileen Condevillamar Almendras whose brother, Alvin Rey is running for councilor of Sta. Cruz town.
Michael Latasa, private secretary of last-termer mayor Arsenio Latasa, is running for councilor.

In Hagonoy, Davao del Sur, Presidential Adviser for Mindanao Jesus Dureza’s son, Jesus “Jay” Salutillo Dureza, Jr (PDSP) is running for mayor against reelectionist Franco Calida (NP), Davao City’s police chief in the late 1980s who claimed to be the “godfather of the Alsa Masa;” Leonilo Palmero Junsay (Ind); Jose Manoza Superales, Jr. (NPC).

Jay Dureza’s uncle, Jimmy is running for councilor of the 2nd district in Davao City. Jay’s father was a former congressional representative of Davao City’s first district.

In Davao Oriental, Vice Governor Joel Mayo Zosa Almario and Rep. Nelson Lechoncito Dayanghirang (NP) are assured of reelection. They are running unopposed.

The vice governor’s mother, Thelma Zosa Almario is running for reelection as representative of the second district.

Governor Corazon Nunez Malanyaon (NP) is seeking reelection against Ruben Orinza Feliciano (PMP).

Mario Jose Toroba Palma Gil, son of former Governor Marlene Pama Gil, is running for provincial board member.

In Manay town, Jon Marco Mendoza Dayanghiran (NP), president of the Association of Barangay Captains in the area and son of Mayor Antero Dayanghirang, is running for mayor against Jurgen delos Reyes Ompang (LP).

Mayor Dayanghirang, Jr.(NP), brother of Rep. Dayanghirang, is running for councilor. A Samuel Castillo Dayanghirang is also running for councilor.

Mati City mayor Michelle Marie Denise Nakpil Rabat, daughter of former Governor Francisco Rabat and Edith Nakpil, is running for reelection against former Mati mayor Edgardo Endriga Lopez (Ind) .

Vice Mayor Cesar Del Rosario De Erio (LK) is running for reelection against Carlo Luis Peralta Rabat of LDP. (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews) [Tomorrow:In Davao City, It’s Duterte vs Nograles; councilors’ kin are candidates, too]

It’s still all in the family in Mindanao’s political landscape (3):Davao City, Dinagat and Lanaos
by Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/17 February) – In Davao City, it’s Duterte versus Nograles and in the City Council, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, wives and husbands are running for the post their loved ones are vacating.

Post-EDSA six-termer mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte (1988 to 1998; 2001 to 2010) is not running for congressman of the first district as he did in 1998 when he “graduated” from his first three terms as mayor. Duterte (LP) is running for vice mayor, the post currently held by his daughter, Sara Zimmerman Duterte (PDP Laban) who is running for mayor against House Speaker Prospero Castillo Nograles (LK) and three others.

Nograles’ son, Karlo Alexei Bendigo Nograles (LK), his chief of staff, is running for the post he served for three terms.

The elder Duterte is facing two opponents in the vice mayoralty race: his former city administrator and later vice mayor, Benjamin de Guzman (LK) who was the mayor from 1998 to 2001 and Roberto Viloria Macaraeg (Ind).

The younger Nograles is facing six opponents, including the estranged sister of Duterte, Jocelyn Roa Duterte (Ind), three-term councilor Maria Belen Sunga-Acosta (LP), Bernard Sabino Custodio (Ind), Anacleto Belleza Millendez (Ind), Robert Elnar Olanolan (Ind) and Juan Resemilla Zamora (Ind).

In the second congressional district, three-term Rep. Vincent Garcia’s sister Mylene De Joya Castillo (Ind) is running against Dexter Antonio Alcebar (Ind), Joji Ilagan Bian (LK), and councilors Danilo Castillo Dayanghirang (LP), and Diosdado Angelo Abello Mahipus (PDP Laban).

In the third district, Rep. Isidro Ungab (LP), is facing five other candidates: Wilberto Echavez Al-ag (PDP Laban), Gerardo Caalaman Braganza (Ind), Gregorio Chavez Canada (NP), and former Rep. Ruy Elias Lopez (NPC).

A total of 100 candidates are running for the city’s 24 council seats in three districts -- the biggest number in Mindanao: 41 in the 1st district, 29 in the 2nd and 30 in the 3rd.

In all three districts, the sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands are running for the posts their relatives are vacating.

Among those running in the first district are: Nilo Abellera’s son, Nilo, Jr. (LP); Leo Avila’s son, Lester Lawrence (Ind); Bonguyan’s daughter Joanne Mendoza (LK); Peter Lavina’s wife, Evelyn Gonzales (LP); Angela Librado’s sister, Leah; Bonifacio Militar’s son, Napoleon Tac-an.

In the second didstrict, two Alterados are running: Ernie Ilagan (PDP Laban) and Senforiano Ilagan Jr (Ind); two Aportaderas: Angelo Arancel (LK) and Michael Protacio (LP); two Orcullos: Nenita Roldan and her brother-in-law Beethoven; former councilor and former vice mayor’s son Louie John Jose (LP); In the third district, two Dalodos are running: Myrna Gerolin Dalodo-Ortiz (PDP Laban) and her brother Doming Gerolin Dalodo (Ind).

Karlo Santos Bello, grandson of former Davao City mayor Luis Santos and son of former Justice Secretary Silvestre Bello, a senatorial candidate, is running for reelection as councilor; Rene Elias Lopez is also seeking reelection while his brother Ruy Elias, former representative to Congress, is running for the same seat in Congress.

Ecleo Islands

Dinagat Islands province is still the Ecleos’. Glenda Buray Ecleo (LK) is running for governor against Harry Echin Meso (LP); her daughter Geraldine Ecleo Villaroman (Ind) is running for vice governor against Elvis Arrocena dela Merced (LK) and Sangkil Ham Park (LP); and her son Ruben Ecleo, Jr. (LK) is running for the lone representative to Congress against Francisco Gorres Rojas, Sr.

One Ecleo is running for first district provincial board membership: Romeo Palapo Ecleo (LK); while three Ecleos are running for the second district: Joslyn Itable Ecleo (LK), Jurry Echin Ecleo (Ind) and Lordes Gersalino Ecleo (Ind).

Three Ecleo children need not campaign. They are running unopposed: Alan Buray Ecleo I (LK) for mayor of Basilisa town; Gwendolyn Buray Ecleo (LK) for mayor of Dinagat town; Alan Buray Ecleo II (LK) for mayor of San Jose.

In Dinagat, it is not just the mayoral candidate who is running unopposed but her running mate, Lilibeth Diegas Edradan (LK) and her entire slate of eight candidates for the eight-seat municipal board.

In Cagdianao, Ruben Alborja Ecleo (LK) is running for vice mayor against Orlando Lazaro Oyales (Ind).

In San Jose, three other Ecleos are running for councilor: Elvin Palapo (LK), Jessie Dagairag (LK) and Michael Angelo Madron.

In Lanao del Norte, the Dimaporos are still the family to beat.

Governor Mohammad K. Quibranza Dimaporo is running for reelection. His mother, Imelda Quibranza Dimaporo is running for 1st district representative against Independent bets Rangiit Gedren Llorente Amisola and Macarupung Butong Dibaratun and Romulo Cailing Rizalda (LP) while his sister, Fatima Aliah Quibranza Dimaporo is running for 2nd district representative against Tingagon Ampaso Umpa (LP).

The incumbent 2nd district Rep is her father, Abdullah who also once served as governor of the province.

In Lanao del Sur, Governor Mamintal Alonto Adiong, Jr., (LK) is running for reelection against six other candidates: former three-term Marawi City mayor Omar Macabalang Ali (NP), Ahmadjam Marogong Abdulcarim (Ind), Abohamadmahmod Tuan Abdullah (Ind), Jiamil Maruhom Dianalan (LM), Muhammadomar Sarip Malawad (Ind) and Bashier Dimaalaang Manalao (PMP).

In the first congressional district, Rep. Faysah Dumarpa is ending her three terms in office with her husband Salic Biston Dumarpa (NP) running for her post against Abul Khayr Abul Alonto (Ind), Salic Ayo Mundir (PMP), Mohammed Hussein Pacasum Pangandaman (LK) and Princess Johayra D. Pacasum Pangarungan (Ind).

Pangandaman is son of Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pagandaman and grandson of former ARMM governor Liningding Pangandaman while Diamond is wife of former OIC Lanao del Sur Governor Saidamen Pangarungan. [Tomorrow: Same faces, same family names in Maguindanao, Misamis, North Cotabato] (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)

It’s still all in the family in Mindanao’s political landscape (4)
by Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews

4th of a series

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/19 February) – Iligan City’s mayoralty race is a contest among nine – the incumbent Lawrence Lluch Cruz (LP) against former mayor Franklin Quijano (PMP), former Rep. Alipio Badelles (NP), Samuel Yacomba Acut (Ind), Voltaire Bugnay Lluch (Ind), Ismael Aragon Naga, Jr., (PDSP), Alberto Loquez Ong, Jr. (PGRP) and Yuri Monsanto Taongan (Ind).

Rep. Vicente Florendo Belmonte, Jr. (LP, 1st district, Lanao del Norte) is running for the lone seat of Iligan in Congress, against Samson Nisperos Dajao (Ind) and Jose Cagalawan Pantoja (PMP).


In Maguindanao, Datu Unsay mayor Datu Andal Ampatuan, Jr., may have dug his own political grave in Ampatuan town with the November 23, 2009 massacre of at least 58 persons, 32 of them from the media, but it may not be the end as yet for the rest of his clan.

Ampatuan, Jr., wanted to be governor of Maguindanao, like his father, three-term governor Datu Andal Ampatuan, Sr. And like his father, he wanted to run unopposed.

Ampatuan, Sr., his running mate Sajid (his youngest son with first wife, Bai Laila) and their provincial board slate, ran unopposed in 2007. And so did candidates in 20 out of then 22 towns in Maguindanao (before Shariff Kabunsuan was declared unconstitutional and its 11 towns transferred back to Maguindanao).

This is also why Lakas-Kampi partymates were trying to dissuade Buluan Vice Mayor Esmael “Toto” Gaguil Mangudadatu, from running for governor. The “Ampatuan formula” of fielding unopposed bets had been tried and tested. It promised “peaceful” elections, as did the other “Ampatuan formula” of creating new towns to give rival politicians their own territories to govern.

The “Ampatuan formula” also guaranteed a “command vote” for national candidates.

In a survey on Muslim Mindanao Attitude Towards Democracy and Elections done on February 1-7, 2008 by the Social Weather Stations and The Asia Foundation, 62% said “it is good to have an unopposed candidate in an election since it reduces campaign violence and insecurity,” while 38% said “it is important to have at least two candidates for every position so that everyone has a choice.”

The ARMM areas voted 65% favoring unopposed candidates against 35% while the non-ARMM areas of Zamboanga City, Cotabato, Isabela, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Lanao del Norte voted 49% against 51%.

In the ARMM areas, Maguindanao posted the highest approval on having unopposed candidates at 86%. Only 14% said there must be at least two candidates per position.
With Ampatuan, Jr., out of the electoral race (the massacre came on the fourth day of the filing of certificates of candidacy; he was “arrested” on 26 November), and the Ampatuans expelled by the Lakas-Kami, the family and supporters gathered to discuss their next moves.

Sixty-eight Ampatuans are running for elective posts, at least 23 of whom are directly related to the patriarch, Datu Andal Salibo Ampatuan, Sr. (see previous story).

Ampatuan Sr., is running for vice governor against his daughter Shaydee Ampatuan-Abutazil and two others.

Like his junior, Ampatuan Sr. has been charged with multiple murder for the Nov. 23 massacre.

In the first congressional district, Rep. Didagen Piang Dilangalen is running for reelection against Bai Sandra Ampatuan Sema, wife of Cotabato City three-term mayor, Muslimin Sema.

In the second congressional district, Simeon Ampatuan Datumanong is assured of another term: he is running unopposed.

Misamis Occidental and Oriental clans

In Misamis Occidental, it's still all in the family for the Parojinogs, Ocampos, Tans, Claretes and Almontes.

Governor Loreto Leo Solis Ocampos (LP) is running for 2nd district representative against Ozamiz Mayor Reynaldo Ozamiz Parojinog (LK), Tangub City mayor Jennifer Wee Tan (NPC) and Alfredo Agad Paglinawan (Ind).

Ocampos’ wife, Geogina (LP) is running for Tangub City mayor; Parojinog’s daughter ova is running for mayor and his brother, Ricardo, is running for provincial board member while Tan’s husband, a former mayor, is running for the post she will be vacating.

Rep. Herminia de Mesa Ramiro (LK,2nd district) is ending her three terms and is running for governor against Carlos Patricio Cruz Bernad (LP), Francisco Tac-an Paylaga, Jr. (NP) and Carlo Dalogdog Zafra (PMP).

In the first district, Oroquieta Mayor Jorge Taghap Almonte is running against Ernie Dulalas Clarete, former governor and husband of Rep. Marina Clarete.

In Oroquieta City, Almonte’s son, Councilor Jason Paredes Almonte (LK) is running for mayor against Leuel Meyrick Mananggit Acosta (NP).

In Ozamiz City, Councilor Nova P. Engracia Parojinog-Echavez (LK), daughter of outgoing mayor Parojinog, is running for mayor against Ma. Constanceia Corominas Lim (LP).

In Tangub City, Philip Tiu Tan, husband of incumbent mayor Jennifer Wee Tan, is running again for mayor. Mrs. Tan is now running for 2nd district representative.

In Misamis Oriental, Governor Oscar Serina Moreno (LK) is seeking a third term against Michael Angelo Guibone Paderanga (PMP) and Manuel Azcuna Go (Ind).

Moreno’s brother, Genaro Jose Serina Moreno, Jr. (LK) is running for 1st district representative against Jennifer Artadi Lagbas (LP), Wevino Agcopra Palamine (Ind), Peter Mamawag Unabia (PMP) and Romeo Salvana Zagado (KBL).

Lagbas is the daughter of Rep. Danilo Lagas, who passed away in June 2008.

In the second district, Rep. Yevgeny Vincente Beja Emano (NP) is seeking reelection against former Rep. Augusto Hojas Baculio (LP) and Julio Tadoy Uy (LK).

Baculio’s brother, Pedrito (LP) is running for mayor of El Salvador City against Felipe Candones Cabaron (Ind), Alfredo Quilab Tan (LK) while the incumbent mayor, Emelita Baculio-Almirante (LP) is running for vice mayor against Nilo Tan Pates (LK).

Vice Governor Norris Babiera Casino Sr. (LK) is seeking reelection against Victorico Vicente Valderrama Chaves, Jr., (PMP), son of former three-term Rep. Victorico L. Chavez.

In Cagayan de Oro City, Vice Mayor Vicente Emano (PMP) who had earlier served as three-term Governor of Misamis Oriental and three-term city mayor, is running for mayor against 1st district Rep. RolandoAdlao Uy (LK), Berchmans Daing Abejuela (LP), Felix Frias Borres, Jr. (Ind), Sulpicio Bete Illana (Ind), Romerico Nunez LLoren (Ind) and Jasper Fernandez Uy (Ind).

Rep. Uy’s son, Raineir Joaquin Velez Uy (LK) is running for the post he is vacating, against Jose Banjamin Abrio Benaldo (PMP), Lourdes Candy dela Rosa Darimbang (Ind), Tito Pontino Dichosa (Ind), and Dulcisimo Balandra Ytem, Sr., (Ind).

2nd district Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (PMP) is seeking reelection against Samuel Aloysius Magdadaro Jardin (LP) and Alrhoy Velasco Naliponguit (Ind) [Tomorrow: The Pinols, Chiongbians, (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)

It’s still all in the family in Mindanao’s political landscape (5): 7 of 11 Pinol brothers running
by Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/20 February) -- North Cotabato Vice Governor Emmanuel Fantin Pinol (NPC) wants to reclaim the post of governor which he held from 1998 to 2007. His younger brother Bernardo Jr., (LP) also wants to retain his seat as representative of the second district.

But they are not the only Pinols running. Seven out of 11 Pinol brothers are running for top posts in May 2010: one for governor, one for representative, three for town mayor, one for city vice mayor and one for municipal councilor.

Patricio Fantin Pinol (LP), the executive secretary of the Vice Governor, is running for vice mayor of Kidapawan City against Joseph Arellano Evangelista (LK). Evangelista was elected number one councilor in 2007 but assumed the post of vice mayor in late November 2008 when Vice Mayor Luis Malaluan passed away.

Magpet Mayor Efren Pinol (NPC) is seeking reelection against Reuben Camanao Lebrillo, Sr., (LK) while another brother, Ferdinand Sr. (NPC), chief of staff of Rep. Pinol, is running for mayor of Matalam against reelectionist Oscar Moreno Vadevieso (LK).

In M’lang, hometown of the Pinols, another brother, Joselito (LP) is seeking reelection as mayor against Tadeo Paluay Andres (LK), while another brother, Gerardo (LP) is running for councilor of M’lang.

The Pinols’ late father, Bernardo, Sr. was a provincial board member.

Vice Governor Pinol is running against outgoing 1st district Rep. Emmylou Talino-Mendoza (LK), Kier Guiaman Labog (PGRP) and Sucre Parael Romancar (Ind). Rep. Bernardo Pinol is running against Nancy Alaan Catamco (LK).

The youngest Piñol brother, Socrates, is serving as ex-officio member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan representing the Association of Barangay Chairman in North Cotabato.

Vice Governor Pinol, however, has dismissed criticisms about the Pinols building a dynasty.

No dynasty

In the elections of 2007, he said his brothers’ fate at the polls depends on the people.
“We are 11 in the family. I think it is not bad to field my brothers in politics. People will decide on my brother’s fate in politics, not me,” he said.

Pinol challenged his critics to field their candidates instead of accusing him of building a political dynasty.

“If my political critics believe that they have better candidates then why don’t they field them and let the people choose the best leader?” Piñol asked.

Pinol’s running mate is Romeo Daruca Arana (NPC) who will run against former Makilala mayor and former 1st district Rep. Gregorio Tocmo Ipong (LK), and Baculudan Pandi Talib (Ind).

Still in North Cotabato, Governor Jesus Sacdalan is running for 1st district represntative against former Rep. Anthony Pabiona Dequina (NPAC), Dan Omawas Ebo (Ind), Ronaldo Bertumen Pader (LP) and former three-term Kabacan mayor Luzviminda Jumuad Tan (GAD).

In Carmen town, Rogelio Talino (LK), who had earlier served as three-term mayor of Carmen town, is running again for mayor, against Hector Monsale Salvador (LP).
In Kidapawan City, Mayor Rodolfo Yamyamin Gantuangco (LK) is seeking reelection against Ponciano Umpan Bangcas, Sr., (Ind) and Francis Ela Palmones (NP).

In Kabacan town, Mayor George Tan is seeking reelection (Ind) against Wilfredo Villa Bataga, Sr. (LP), Ludencio Amerila dela Cruz (NP), and Tanny Masukat Sultan (Ind). Tan’s wife Luz is running for 1st district representative.

In Matalam, it’s a Valdevieso – Valdevieso team-up for mayor and vice mayor, under Lakas Kampi: Oscar Moreno Valdevieso for reelection as mayor and Cheryl Valdevieso Catamco for vice mayor. Catamco is running against Tranquilino Fusilero Pulanco, Jr. (NPC).

The Chiongbians

In Sarangani, Governor Miguel Rene Alcantara Dominguez (LK) is running for his third term against Juan Domingo Domino of PCM (People’s Champ Movement).

Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao aka the boxing champ, Manny Pacquiao (PCM), is running for congressman against Roy Lopong Chiongbian (Sarro), younger brother of outgoing Rep. Erwin Chiongbian.

The Chiongbian’s nephew, Steve Chiongbian Solon (LK), is seeking reelection as Vice Governor, against Fredo Pandian Basino (PCM).

In South Cotabato, three-term Rep. Arthur Yusay Pingoy, Jr. (LK) is running for governor against three-term Koronadal City mayor Fernando Quirao Miguel (PMP) and Ferdinand Ledesma Hernandez (NPC).

Miguel’s son, Peter Bascon-Miguel (PMP), a doctor, is running for the post his father is vacating. The younger Miguel is running against Efren Hiponia Biclar (Ind), Vicente Reyes De Jesus (LK), Vicente Reyes De Jesus (LK) and Abdullah Jess Mangudadatu.

Two former governors who also served as former representatives are running for the 2nd district seat Pingoy is vacating: Hilario Lutero de Pedro III (LK) and outgoing governor Daisy Avance-Fuentes (NPC).

The Acharons

In the first district of South Cotabato, six candidates are running: outgoing mayor Pedro Busgano Acharon, Jr. (NPC), Aldwin Bernae ANgangan (Ind), Franklin Mabini Gacal, Jr. (Ind), Rogelio Valmores Garcia (PDP Laban),. Ramon Razo Melliza (Ind) and Abelardo Serrano Plaza (Ind)

Acharon’s brother, Loreto (LK), is running for mayor against Vice Mayor Florentina Lopez-Congson, former Mayor Rosalita Nunez (PDP Laban), and outgoing1st district Rep. Darlene M. Ricasa Antonino-Custodio (NPC).

Custodio is the daughter of former General Santos City mayor Adelbert Antonino and former Rep. Luwalhati Antonino.

Another Acharon brother, Honesto, is running for councilor while Jose Orlando Remolana Acharon (AIM). is running for vice mayor against Shirlyn Legario Banas (PCM), and Benjur Salazar Mongao of PDP—Laban.

The Mangudadatus

In Sultan Kudarat province, Governor Suharto Tan Mangudadatu (LK) is seeking reelection against Ephraim Baldomero Defino (Ind), Rodolfo Villaceran Estorque (Ind) and Carlos de Leon Valez, Jr. (NPC).

Mangudadatu was former congressman of the 1st district. His father, former three-term governor Pax Pakung Sandigan Mangudadatu (LK) is running for a second term as representative. He is running against Raden Camlian Sakaluran (Ind), former Lutayan his son-in-law who was former mayor. Sakaluran’s wife, Ruth, the incumbent mayor of Lutayan, is Mangudadatu’s daughter.

In the second district, Rep. Arnulfo Fegarido Go (LK) is running for reelection against Reynaldo Forro Arguelles (Ind), Roberto Esteta Examen (Ind), former governor and former Rep. Nesthur Raymundo Gumana (Ind) and Jaquelien P. Villagracia Talmadge (LP).

In the race for vice governor, Ernesto Fontanilla Matias, elected number one provincial board member in 2007, is assured of victory. He is running unopposed.

In Lutayan town, however, the entire slate does not need to campaign. They are all running unopposed: Ruth Mangudadatu Sakaluran (LK), sister of the governor and daughter of the 1st district representative for yet another term as mayor; Felix Lechonsito Lavilles (LK) for vice mayor and all eight LK candidates for councilor. [Tomorrow: The clans of Sulu and Surigao] (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)

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