2022 PH local races

Political dynasties dominate Bicol’s 2022 local polls

Rhaydz Barcia
Political dynasties dominate Bicol’s 2022 local polls

WINNERS ALL. The Kho political dynasty of Masbate, from left to right: Representative-elect Richard Kho, outgoing 2nd District and vice governor-elect Olga Kho, reelected Governor Antonio Kho, Vice Governor and representative-elect Ara Kho, and reelected 3rd District Representative Tonton Kho during their proclamation as winners in the 2022 elections.

Representative Tonton Kho Facebook

In Masbate, the Khos capture the executive and all legislative posts, which usually serve to check and balance each other

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – Old political dynasties again dominated the local races in all six provinces of Bicol.  

The 2022 elections also marked the first time that an entire family has captured the top executive and all the legislative seats of Masbate, the country’s rodeo capital.

Governor Antonio Kho won his reelection bid for his third and last term against his rival, Masbate’s 1st District Representative Narciso “Bong” Bravo Jr. based on partial, unofficial results from the Commission on Election’s (Comelec) transparency server as of 3:18 pm on May 13.

Kho got 250,493 votes against his opponent’s 185,001 votes. Kho’s wife, 2nd District Representative Elisa (Olga) Kho, also captured the vice gubernatorial seat against lawyer Jesi Howard Lanete, son of former Masbate governor Rizalina “Dayan” Lanete.

Olga got 251,229 votes against Jesi’s 138,689 votes. A physician by profession, she will replace her daughter in the province’s second top post.  

It’s a Kho capture of both executive and legislative posts, which usually serve to check and balance each other.

Their children, Wilton, Richard, and Ara were also victorious in Masbate’s three congressional districts as the people’s representatives. 

Their eldest son, Representative Tonton Kho (3rd District) is set to secure his seat after outdoing former governor Dayan Lanete (Nationalist People’s Coalition). Tonton got 94,373 votes while Lanete had 54,121 votes.

Vice Governor Ara Kho dumped her rival Dr. Scott Davies Lanete (NUP), getting 123,160 votes against Lanete’s 44,000. Dr. Scott is also the son of the former governor. Ara will be taking her mother’s 2nd District seat in Congress.

Richard Kho is the newest politician in the family. He is the leader in the 1st District against former Masbate representative Marvi Bravo, (NUP) wife of the outgoing congressman. Richard garnered 57,770 votes against Marvi’s 39,591.

Tonton’s wife, Tintin Hao-Kho, will be mayor in Mandaon town, which is in the 2nd District.

“Rest assured that we will do our best to bring forth excellent service to our beloved province of Masbate. Let us set aside our differences during the election period and unite as one for the betterment of our province!” Tonton said in his FB post.

Camarines provinces

The entrenched Villafuertes of Camarines Sur also secured the province’s top post and two congressional seats.

Vincenzo Renato Luigi Villafuerte, a neophyte, will replace his older brother Miguel Luis (Migz) as governor of Camarines Sur. He defeated former representative Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya Jr. and singer-turned-politician vice governor Imelda Papin.

The Comelec transparency server’s count showed 492,415 votes for Villafuerte, 416,434 Andaya, and 13,699 for Papin.

Migz, the three-term governor of Camarines Sur, won against Iriga City Mayor Madel Alfelor in the 5th District congressional race. Migz got 153,852 votes to Alfelor’s 101,944 votes.

LRay, Migz’s father, won a third and last term as 2nd District representative, getting 111,743 votes against his opponent Aba Abasola’s 30,324 votes.

The Villafuertes’ reign started from late governor Luis Robredo Villafuerte Sr., who held the province’s top post from 1988 to 1992, and from 1995 to 2004.

After his term, he passed on the baton to his son Luis Raymund “LRay” Favis Villafuerte Jr., who served from 2004 to 2013 before being elected as Camarines Sur’s 2nd District representative in 2016.

LRay’s eldest son, Migz, became governor of Camarines Sur in 2013, defeating his grandfather who tried to regain the province’s top executive post after three terms in Congress from 2004 to 2013.

From Luis to Luigi, the Villafuertes have reigned in Camarines Sur for three decades.

In the 2022 elections, Luigi endorsed presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo, the first in the family to do so.

The older Villafuertes had met with Uniteam candidates but stressed they were only endorsing Marcos’ running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. LRay refused to endorse Robredo too but said allies and followers were free to back her.

The clan has a complicated history with the Vice President. Her late husband, former interior secretary Jesse, was the late governor Villafuerte’s nephew. He was initially seen as a protégé of Luis but set a deep break with reform programs like a crackdown on gambling operations and increasing business tax collections.

In 2015, however, then-governor Migz and LRay endorsed the vice presidential run of Jesse’s widow Leni, then-representative of the province’s 3rd District. This was just three years after Leni said in 2012 that she was running for Congress to help stop the rule of the Villafuertes who had “badly managed” the province.

In Camarines Norte, reelectionist Governor Edgardo Tallado lost to former Mayor Ricarte “Dong” Padilla, an older brother of Senate race front-runner and movie actor Robin Padilla.

Dong served for nine years as mayor of Jose Panganiban town. He is the son of the late former Camarines Norte governor Casimero “Roy” Padilla Sr.

Padilla dethroned Tallado with 162,081 votes to the incumbent’s 147,985.

Tallado’s wife, incumbent Representative Josie Tallado of Camarines Norte’s 1st District won in a closer fight, with 79,882 votes to opponent Cathy Barcelona-Reyes’s 74,662.

WINNER. Newly-elected Camarines Norte Governor Ricarte ‘Dong’ Padilla, elder brother of Senate race front-runner and movie actor Robin Padilla, is proclaimed governor by the Commission on Elections.
Regional hub

In Albay province, hub of the Bicol region, the Rosal family dominated the polls. Mayor-elect Carmen Geraldine Rosal, wife of outgoing Mayor Noel Rosal, won the post against Ako Bicol Partylist Representative Alfredo Garbin.

Geraldine used to hold Legazpi (2010-2013) before her husband took over in 2013 to 2022.

Noel defeated incumbent governor Al Francis Bichara – a veteran with almost half a century in politics – with a huge margin, 469,481 votes to Bichara’s 238,746.

But Bichara’s son Albert was elected councilor with the most votes in Ligao City.

Representative Joey Salceda (2nd District) of Albay was reelected for a third term, while his elder brother Jesap is the topnotcher board member for the 3rd District.

Salceda’s nephew, Kap Adrian Salceda, was elected mayor of Polangui town and his son Juan Miguel Salceda won as municipal councilor. Another nephew of Salceda, Jungie Jaucian, was also elected as vice mayor of Daraga town.

In the 1st District of Albay, Representative Edcel Lagman will add one voice to what is expected to be a tiny minority against the coalition being formed in the House by allies of presumptive president Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Edcel’s eldest daughter Krisel Lagman-Luistro was reelected mayor of Tabaco City, while son Grecon “Grex” Lagman was also reelected vice governor of Albay for a second term.

Former governor and representative Fernando Gonzalez was elected mayor of Ligao City. His former chief of staff, Representative Fernando Cabredo was reelected for a second term unopposed.

ALBAY KINGPINS. Ligao mayor-elect Fernando Gonzalez, Tabaco mayor-elect Krisel Lagman-Luistro, Rep. Edcel Lagman, VIce Governor Grecon Lagman, 3rd District Rep. Fernando Cabredo, governor-elect Mayor Noel Rosal, 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda, and Legazpi mayor-elect Carmen Geraldine Rosal. Photo by Rhaydz B. Barcia  

In Catanduanes, Governor Joseph Cua was reelected and will serve with his brother, San Andres Mayor Peter Cua, who won as vice governor.

Cua won his reelection bid with 101,838 votes against his rival Shirley Abundo, who garnered 51,967 votes.

Cua’s brother Peter, is the third-term mayor of San Andres town. Peter defeated Natalio Popa Jr. with 110,049 against 24,611 votes.

Cua said that the next three years of his leadership would focus on health programs, specifically the expansion of the hospital bed capacity at Eastern Bicol Medical Center, also turning it into a training center for students.

Cua will focus, too, on eco-tourism in the province by improving and creating more livelihood for abaca planters.

In Sorsogon province, Casiguran town Mayor Boboy Hamor was elected governor while his wife Ester, was reelected mayor of Sorsogon City for the second term.

Dette Escudero, younger brother of outgoing governor Francis “Chiz” Escudero – among the leaders in this year’s Senate race – won the congressional race in the 1st District of Sorsogon against Joan Lorenzano, 141,922 votes to 71,297.

In the 2nd District of Sorsogon, Vice Governor Wowo Fortes was elected 2nd District representative against former governor Bobet Rodrigueza Lee. Fortes got 102,103 votes against Lee with 93,996 votes. – Rappler.com