NAGA CITY, Philippines – Political realignments have started in Camarines Sur, where Representative Leni Robredo has just left one crucial elective post open when she agreed to seek the vice presidency under the Liberal Party (LP) banner.
Before Robredo made the decision, as recent as last week, Governor Miguel “Migs” Luis Villafuerte and his father, former Governor Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte, of the Nationalista Party were hoping to coalesce with LP, which Robredo chairs in the region.
The Villafuertes had a falling out with LRay's father, former Representative Luis Villafuerte Sr in 2013. During that election, where the old man Villafuerte was challenged by his grandson Miguel, he also fielded his wife against Robredo in the congressional race in the 3rd district.
Governor Miguel Villafuerte had said he wanted Robredo to run for re-election as congresswoman, apparently to prevent his grandfather from winning the district seat. It is not clear yet whom LP will field in Robredo's district.
In the 4th district, meanwhile, former Representative Arnulfo Fuentebella of the Nationalist People’s Coalition will be fielding his son, Tigaon Mayor Arnie Fuentebella, to challenge re-electionist Governor Miguel Villafuerte.
Arnie Fuentebella's running mate, lawyer Peachie Alfelor, will be challenging Vice Governor Fortunato Peña.
The Fuentebellas are the country's oldest political dynasty. They have ruled in the 4th district or the Partido area in Camarines Sur for 107 years.
Arnulfo Fuentebella is the current patriarch of the clan and is the major proponent of the bill dividing Camarines Sur into two provinces. He seeks to turn the current 4th district, which has 10 municipalities, into the Nueva Camarines province.
It is widely believed here that the Fuentebellas want a new province they can rule because they had failed to win the governorship of Camarines Sur since former Governor Luis Villafuerte held the position. – Rappler.com