New six-man bloc emerges in Bicol polls


LEGAZPI CITY: Four provincial governors in Bicol region have kept their posts, two new faces have emerged including a 23-year-old son of an outgoing governor to complete what was touted as the Bicol Bloc.

The Bicol Bloc of six governors has five oppositionists and one from the ruling Liberal Party who happened to run unopposed.

The Commission on Elections has proclaimed the six without running into any pre-proclamation protests.

The six governors are Ed-gardo Tallado (NPC) of Ca-marines Norte, Raul Lee (UNA) of Sorsogon, Rizalina Seachon Lanete (NPC) of Masbate, and Joey Sarte Salceda (LP) of Albay. The two newly elected governors are businesswoman Cecilia Wong of Catanduanes (Independent), and L-Ray “Migs” Villafuerte Jr., (NP), Camarines Sur.
The four reelected governors are in their last third terms.

Comelec provincial supervisor Mae Ann Cortes immediately proclaimed Salceda, saying even for only one vote, he can be proclaimed winner. Comelec records, however, showed Salceda earned almost 300,000 votes or 73 percent of the P411,271 votes cast during the election.

The young Migs Villafuerte, son of outgoing Gov. L-Ray Villafuerte defeated his
grandfather veteran Bicol politico Rep. Luis Villafuerte whose wife Nelly was also trounced by the late Interior Sec. Jesse Robredo’s wife Leni in the third district of Camarines Sur.

Migs Villafuerte’s father L-Ray lost to Rep. Diosdado ‘Dato’ Arroyo. The feuding
Villafuertes had been drastically reduced to only one with the election of the patriarch’s grandson as governor.

Comelec records showed Robredo won in 181 barangays out of the 186 barangays of the third district garnering 31,232 votes against Villafuerte’s 11,414 votes while the young Villafuerte got 209,554 votes against his grandfather’s 148,487.

The heavy support for Robredo was interpreted as sympathy votes for her late husband who was in a feud with his first cousin, Rep. Villafuerte.

Another local candidate who won by a landslide via “sympathy” votes was Vice Mayor Alice Morales (UNA) of Malinao town in Albay who trounced Avelino Ceriola (LP). The Morales family had linked Ceriola in the murder last year of Makati City engineer Nelson Morales, a mayoral bet and elder brother of the elected mayor. Ceriola had strongly denied any knowledge in the reported murder.

In Catanduanes, Gov. Joseph Cua lost to businesswoman Celia Wong who lost twice in her bid for a House seat. Cua who controls almost all big businesses in the province from transportation (shipping and land), gasoline, restaurants, hardware stores, malls, cement supply, construction, abaca, drug stores, name it and he has it as traders would say, has been credited for shouldering burial expenses of poor families in barangays during his two terms. He, however, immediately conceded his defeat.

Manny T. Ugalde


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