(First of two parts)
The recently-held elections once again demonstrated that in choosing our leaders, old political clans continue to dominate the Metro Manila landscape.
The Manila Times found that 20 old political families won various posts in 14 cities of the metropolis.
Only the cities of Marikina and Muntinlupa and the Municipality of Pateros have no political dynasties.
However, the winners in Marikina and Muntinlupa were long-time traditional politicians.
Officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the 14 cities have proclaimed all the winners.
In Manila, the country’s capital, Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada was reelected for a second term.
Estrada, who became president from June 1998 to January 2001, has no relatives holding elective posts in Manila.
But his partner Guia Gomez was re-elected for the third and last term as mayor of San Juan City.
Their son, Joseph Victor Ejercito, is currently a senator.
Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Estrada’s son with wife former Senator Luisa “Loi” Estrada, has been a senator since 2004, but is now detained at Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center while awaiting trial on the plunder charges slapped against him in connection with the P10 billion Priority Development Allocation Fund (PDAF).
Sen. Estrada’s daughter, Janella Estrada Ejercito, is the incoming vice mayor of San Juan City.
In Laguna, Mayor Estrada’s grandson George Gerald Ejercito was elected as member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Laguna. He represents District 4 of the province.
Another old political family in Manila are the Lopezes.
Manny and Carlo Lopez were elected congressmen of the city’s first and second districts, respectively. The two are sons of one-time Manila Mayor Mel Lopez.
In Quezon City, Mayor Herbert Bautista was re-elected for his third and last term. His brother, Hero, was elected councilor of district 4.
Joy Belmonte was also re-elected vice mayor. Her father, Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte, got another term as congressman of the city’s fourth district.
Three other Belmontes made it — District 6 Representative-elect Kit Belmonte, Councilor-elect Ollie Belmonte of district 1, and Councilor-elect Irene Belmonte of district 4.
Another well-entrenched old political clan in Quezon City is the Castelo family. District 2 Rep. Winnie Castelo won his third and last term.
Castelo’s wife, Councilor Precious Castelo, was re-elected city councilor representing district 2 in the Sangguniang Panglunsod.
Rep. Castelo’s relatives, district 5 Councilor Karl Castelo and district 6 Bobby Castelo, also won another term.
Former Congressman Bingbong Crisologo will return to the House of Representatives to represent the city’s district 1.
His son Onyx won as councilor in the same district.
Members of the Sotto family, headed by Senator Vicente Sotto 3rd who was re-elected to the Senate, got several elective posts not only in Quezon City but also in Parañaque City and Pasig City.
In Quezon City, Sotto’s children, district 3 Councilor Gian Sotto and district 6 Councilor Lala Sotto, remain local lawmakers.
Their cousin, Vico Sotto (son of Vic Sotto and Connie Reyes) won as number one councilor of Pasig City’s district 1.
Wawoo Sotto, son of former Councilor Val Sotto, was elected as district 2 councilor of Parañaque City.
Pasig City Mayor Maribel Eusebio did not seek reelection, but her husband Bobby will become the city’s mayor once again.
Bobby was Pasig mayor from 2007 to 2013.
His brother, outgoing Councilor Ricky Eusebio, is the city’s lone representative at the House of Representatives.
In Taguig City, while Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano lost the vice presidential race, he remains a senator for three more years since his term will end in 2019.
His wife, Ma. Laarni Cayetano, is still the mayor of the city for the third and last term.
Alan’s elder sister, Sen. Pia Cayetano, was elected district 2 representative of the city.
Incidentally, Representative-elect Cayetano was designated by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to the transition team of the latter’s incoming administration.