Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri’s father, northern Mindanao’s oldest surviving political kingpin, filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for Bukidnon congressman in absentia, his party mate confirmed on Saturday, October 2.
Provincial board member Oliver Owen Garcia said Bukidnon Governor Jose Maria “Joe” Zubiri submitted his COC through capitol legal officer Paul Vincent Villegas Jr., who was given a special power of attorney.
Garcia confirmed that Villegas filed the governor’s certificate on behalf of Zubiri at the provincial office of the Commission on Elections in Malaybalay City on Friday, October 1, the first day for the filing of COCs.
Zubiri is seeking to trade places with his son Manuel, the representative of the 3rd District, who also filed his COC for governor on the same day.
The 81-year-old Zubiri is serving his third and final term as governor of the landlocked agricultural province.
The oldest surviving local political kingpin in northern Mindanao, he has been in Bukidnon’s political milieu for 37 years, and leads the Bukidnon Paglaum Party.
He has also served as a Bukidnon congressman and vice governor on separate occasions. Born and raised in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental, he came to Bukidnon for work in the late ‘70s as the executive vice president of Bukidnon Sugar Milling Company.
Zubiri served as assemblyman in the Batasang Pambansa from 1984 to 1986, and was subsequently elected representative of Bukidnon’s 3rd District from 1987 to 1998, and then as governor. He served as the province’s vice governor from 2010 to 2013 and then ran for governor again. – Rappler.com
Grace Cantal-Albasin is a Mindanao-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship