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Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Ilocos Sur kingpin Luis “Chavit” Singson joining the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) will strengthen the party’s power up North with less than a year before the 2022 elections.
Sotto, chair of the NPC, told reporters on Monday, June 21, that the Narvacan mayor “carries a lot of political weight” as Singson is also the national president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines.
With Singson joining its ranks, NPC is fortifying its machinery ahead of the 2022 national elections, which could see Sotto himself running for vice president. The NPC chairman said he would run for the post only if his close friend and ally, Senator Panfilo Lacson, guns for the presidency.
NPC was founded in 1992 by the late business tycoon Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr. for his failed presidential bid. This was the first and only year so far that the NPC fielded its own presidential candidate.
“Aside from being, as they say, the godfather of Ilocos Sur, he is the president of the League of Municipalities and therefore, he carries a lot of political weight. So joining the NPC, I think, he has added luster to our already solid political party,” the Senate President said.
Sotto administered Singson’s oath as NPC’s newest member on Saturday, June 19, at the party’s clubhouse in Quezon City.
Singson’s membership in the NPC will be a strategic asset for the party as it gears up for the 2022 elections.
NPC already counts the veteran politician Rodolfo Fariñas Jr. of Ilocos Norte as one of its longtime honorary members.
“It’s a big deal. Given the fact that we also have a honorary member in Ilocos Norte, Rudy Fariñas, so it’s very strong for the party – the entry of Singson,” Sotto said in a mix of English and Filipino.
He believes Singson may either seek reelection as Narvacan mayor or run for governor in 2022.
Singson is considered a political heavyweight in Ilocos Sur, where several members of his family currently hold elected posts.
In 2019, Singson ran under his local party Bileg Ti Ilokano and toppled the Zaragoza clan’s three-decade reign in Narvacan town.
Singson has built a strong political machinery in Ilocos Sur, having been its longtime governor. He has served several terms as provincial chief executive between 1972 to 2013.
His son, Ryan Luis Singson, is the incumbent governor of Ilocos Sur, while his brother Jeremias Singson won as vice governor.
Singson’s niece, Kristine Singson-Meehan, is congresswoman of Ilocos Sur’s 2nd District and is one of the deputy speakers in the House of Representatives.
NPC has not fielded its own presidential candidate since the 1992 elections. The party instead threw its support behind other presidential bets who were non-NPC members.
In 1998, NPC had backed the successful presidential candidacy of Joseph Estrada, who had been Cojuangco’s former running mate in 1992.
In the 2016 polls, the party endorsed Senator Grace Poe for president. But she finished third in the race, after the victor and now President Rodrigo Duterte and former interior secretary Mar Roxas. – Rappler.com