ILOILO City Mayor Jose Espinosa III remains mum on his slate for the 2019 elections. All we can get from him are bits, pieces, and hints to his candidates for congressman, vice mayor, and councilors.
The mystery gets deeper as other parties like the Gonzalez group also offer an alliance with Espinosa. Talks of councilor RLeoni Gerochi running for vice mayor or congressman also titillates the political “tsismosos.”
Worse, some speculate that his dilly-dallying is part of a political telenovela which could end up in a reconciliation with his bilas, Rep. Jerry Treñas. In short, it could be a ploy to keep the opposition at bay and prevent them from coming up with a formidable ticket.
In Iloilo province, things are definitely clearer, at least at the level of fourth district Rep. Ferjenel Biron and Mayor Oscar Garin of Guimbal.
The Garin patriarch was unequivocal in his declaration that their family is for Biron’s gubernatorial bid.
But some observers noted the deafening silence on the part of first district Rep. Richard Garin, the provincial chairman of the ruling PDP-Laban where another gubernatorial candidate, third district Rep. Arthur Defensor Jr. is a member.
But a post by veteran journalist Limuel Celebria on his Facebook page The Southern Leader showed a video clip of Biron, a member of the Nacionalista Party, talking about a possible alliance with PDP-Laban.
The video is accompanied by an excerpt of the interview with Rep. Biron:
NP-PDP coalition in Iloilo seen; Biron to field full slate
A local or provincial coalition between the Nacionalista Party (NP) and the PDP-Laban (PDP) is likely to happen in Iloilo during the run-up to the local elections of 2019. And it may happen sooner rather than later.
A well-placed source told the Southern Leader that Guimbal Mayor Oscar Garin’s open declaration of conditional support for the gubernatorial bid of 4th District Rep. Ferjenel Biron has factored heavily towards making the coalition a reality. Another is the fact that, as one of the conditions to the promised support, a Garin will definitely become Biron’s vice gubernatorial running mate
First District Rep. Richard Garin is PDP-Laban provincial chair and may likely be Biron’s running mate. Incumbent vice governor Christine Garin won’t be seeking reelection as she has become the first nominee of the Garin Party-List Aambis Owwa replacing Deputy Speaker Sharon Garin who is serving her third and final term. Sharon is also a potential vice gubernatorial bet.
Biron, who is also NP provincial chairman, is certain there are already on-going talks about the local coalition since the two parties are part of the greater coalition under the present administration. Biron said that he has “already been cleared” to forge any local coalition by the NP national leadership under Senator Cynthia Villar. On the other hand, it was said that PDP National President, Senator Koko Pimentel has also given the nod to proceed with local coalition talks.
Biron is “delighted” the Garins have finally decided to join his bandwagon.
“Natapos na,” Biron said to describe his effort to put up a province-wide campaign line up and organization. The entire province of Iloilo have practically joined us except for the third district where we also have viable, credible, and winnable candidates, he added.
He thanked fellow congressmen, 5th District Rep. Raul “Boboy” Tupas and 2nd District Rep. Arcadio Gorriceta as well as the mayors of Iloilo for their continuing support.
“We are hopeful that our cause will be successful now that the province is virtually with us,” Biron said.