IT’S OFFICIALLY a Biron-Garin tandem for the May 2019 elections.
No less than the Garin clan’s patriarch, Mayor Oscar “Oca” Garin Sr. of Guimbal, Iloilo, ended all speculations when he announced that their family is supporting fourth district Rep. Ferjenel Biron for governor.
“We are for Ferj Biron,” Garin announced during the mass oath-taking of Nacionalista Party members in Iloilo and Antique on Sept 8, 2018 at the Iloilo Convention Center.
Garin Sr. said the decision to side with Biron also pained him since he is also a friend of incumbent Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr., who is fielding his son, third district Rep. Arthur Defensor Jr. for governor.
The Garin patriarch said they tried to “play it clean with a clear conscience” so as to avoid ill-feelings from the Defensors.
“We treasure our friendship. But I became frank with Arthur Defensor and told him, ‘Sorry Gov. For so many reasons, we cannot be with you’,” he added.
Few weeks ago, the entire Garin family met with Rep. Biron to discuss the offer for vice governorship. A few days after, they also met with the Defensors when the latter learned about the sit-down with Biron.
Garin Sr. said they decided to make the official announcement in the first week of September.
Many expected the announcement during the pre-fiesta event of Guimbal at the Garin residence on Sept 7 but Oscar Sr. said he wanted to maintain political neutrality in his house.
The decision was finalized after the family reached several concessions with Rep. Biron relative to the May 2019 elections:
-a Garin will run for vice-governor in tandem with Biron;
-Biron will support in official and personal capacities the municipal candidates of the Garins;
-Biron will support AAMBIS-OWA party-list of the Garin clan. The first nominee will be incumbent Vice Gov. Christine Garin, who will not seek re-election, while the second nominee is former fourth district congressman Hernan “Jun” Biron Jr, brother of Rep. Biron.
“We are looking forward to something good for the people of the first district and we are also looking forward to something good for us,” Garin Sr. said.
WHO AMONG THE GARINS
Three Garin family members are being floated as Rep Biron’s potential running-mate. It could either be first district Rep. Richard Garin or his wife Janette. Another option is AAMBIS-OWA party-list Rep. Sharon Garin.
“As long as it’s within the family,” Rep. Garin said.
The support of the Garin clan has been touted as a swing vote of sorts for Biron and Defensor.
Based on political alliances, Biron has the upper hand as he already has the support of Reps. Arcadio Gorriceta of the second district and Raul Tupas of the fifth district.
Biron said his alliance with the Garins will certainly boost his chances in next year’s elections.
“I am very ahppy that we got the support of the Garin Faimly. This is a big development for us and it seals the commitment of the entire province of Iloilo. We have four districts that are supporting us wholeheartedly and we owe this to the province of Iloilo.
Biron said the details of their alliance are products of high-level discussions.
“There were some things that were considered from our part and also from their part. This is for the good of the entire province,” he added.
Biron said his other allies, particularly Reps. Gorriceta and Tupas and the Nacionalista Party leadership were also aware of the negotiations with the Garins.