Dominant political families fall in Eastern Visayas
Miriam Garcia Desacada (The Freeman) - May 10, 2016 - 10:00am

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines — Except for the Tan family of Samar, Romualdezes and Caris in Leyte, Espinas in Biliran and Mercados in Southern Leyte, at least four political families who had dominated Eastern Visayas for more than two decades lost their foothold after the May 9 elections.

In Leyte’s 2nd district, a stronghold of the Apostol family, Carigara town Mayor Eduardo Ong garnered 14,595 votes to defeat Provincial Board Member Anlie Apostol who got 11,802 votes only.

Eduardo’s brother Henry took 93,187 to defeat the political giant, re-electionist Representative Sergio Apostol (80,357 votes), with only the congressman’s wife Ebbie winning a seat in Leyte’s PB (2nd district).

In Leyte’s 4th district, the decades-long grip of the Codilla families ended with re-electionist Rep. Lucy Torres Gomez frustrating the bid of Violy Codilla, and husband Richard Gomez unseating Mayor Edward Codilla in Ormoc City.

In Leyte’s 3rd district, the Salvacion family got its taste of defeat when Ching Veloso raked in 41,540 votes to edge out Leyte town Mayor Tinting Salvacion (40,591 votes) for the congressional seat.

Tingting’s father, outgoing Rep. Andy Salvacion also lost the Leyte mayoralty with 8,472 votes against the winner, Noli Isidoro who got 9,403 votes.

In Northern Samar province, the Daza family lost its political grip when former Deputy House Speaker Raul Daza of the Liberal Party, lost his bid anew against re-electionist Rep. Harlin Abayan of the Nacionalista Party (71,432 votes against 72,726 votes).

Continuing their political dominance in Eastern Visayas however were the Romualdez families. Councilor Cristina Romualdez, wife of outgoing Mayor Alfred, won as Tacloban City mayor with 72,072 votes against broadcaster, Councilor Neil Glova who only earned 23,612 votes.

Yedda, wife of senatorial bet, Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, won the 1st congressional district post with a rout of144,190 votes against lawyer Fiel Clemencio who only got 49,272 votes.

The 5th district of Leyte remained in the hands of the Cari family: Rep. Boying Cari had 129,501 votes to defeat Marciano Jose Galenzoga (11,818 votes), while Baybay City Mayor Carmen Cari, in a rematch, edged out her nemesis, Malot Galenzoga-Baligod for another term as mayor.

The Tan families in Samar province also kept their stronghold. Governor Sharee Ann Tan got re-elected with 156,244 votes against retired military Colonel Emil Soza who had 103,854 votes.

Stephen Tan also won the vice gubernatorial seat, while their mother Mila took the congressional post of Samar’s 2nd district. Angel Tan, however, lost the mayoralty bid against re-electionist Mayor Ronald Aquino.

In Samar’s 1st district, Edgar Sarmiento, brother of DILG Secretary Mel Senen, was proclaimed the winner for a Congress seat, defeating Monmon Uy.

Re-electionist Governor Condrad Nicart of Eastern Samar won 112,144 votes against former congressman Marcelino Libanan, while LP Rep. Ben Evardone toppled former Guiuan Mayor Annaliza Kwan for the congressional post of the lone district of the province.

The Mercado family in Southern Leyte maintained its stronghold when Gov. Roger Mercado (33,068 votes) won the lone congressional seat against Rico Rentuza (7,844 votes). His brother, Mian Mercado (32,696 votes), took the gubernatorial post against Sheffered Tan (9,551 votes), and son Niko Mercado (27,946 votes) clinched the mayoralty of Maasin City against Gerardo Dator (10,881 votes).

In Biliran province, the Espina family meanwhile retained its stronghold with its members running for elective posts unopposed for the first time.

Representative Roger Espina remained as congressman of the province’s lone district, Gerry Boy Espina was still the governor.

The congressman’s son, Gerald Espina defeated Aime Limpiado for the mayoralty post of Naval, the capital town of Biliran. (FREEMAN)

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