Election Watch: Jalosjoses set to control 3 Zamboanga provinces, Matugases in Surigao del Norte, Ecleos in Dinagat

As in past elections, political dynasties are closing ranks again to keep their hold to power in Mindanao.
The Jalosjos clan will be fielding members and allies in at least three provinces and two cities in the Zamboanga Peninsula in next year’s elections.
Zamboanga del Sur Gov. Antonio Cerilles of the Nationalist People’s Coalition said he had received reports that Dapitan City Mayor Dominador Jalosjos would be challenging his reelection bid. In the first district, Kat-Kat Jalosjos will face the governor’s wife, reelectionist Rep. Aurora Cerilles.
Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co, a third-termer who had allied with the Jalosjoses, will be running to represent the second district. He will face reelectionist Rep. Victor Yu.
In Zamboanga del Norte, the Jalosjoses continue to carry the National Unity Party in dominating the province, according to Gov. Rolando Yebes, a third-termer, who is running to represent the second district against reelectionist Rep. Rosendo Labad-labad.
In Dipolog City, reelectionist Mayor Evelyn Uy of the Liberal Party will face former Rep. Cecilia Jalosjos Carreon.
For the Zamboanga del Norte gubernatorial post, it will be a fight between Mayor Evelyn Uy’s husband, Roberto, and Cesar Jalosjos. Rep. Bullet Jalosjos (first district) and Hannah Jalosjos (third district) are seeking another term.
Zamboanga Sibugay Gov. Rommel Jalosjos will seek reelection.
In Zamboanga City, Rep. Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar (first district) may trade places with third-term Mayor Celso Lobregat. The mayor’s son, Jomar, will seek the congressional seat in the second district.

Dimaporos
The Dimaporos will not go unchallenged by estranged relatives and former allies in Lanao del Norte.
A second generation of Dimaporo politicians have been adding steam to the clan whose foothold to power was built by the warlord Ali Dimaporo half-a-century ago after failed attempts to rule Lanao del Sur.
Ali’s son, Abdullah, has been scarcely seen in public since 2010. Abdullah’s son, incumbent Gov. Mohamad Khalid, is seeking a third and last term, while a daughter, Fatima Aliah, a first-term representative of the second district, is expected to seek another mandate although there is talk that she may run for mayor to give way to her father’s comeback.
Abdullah’s wife, Imelda Quibranza, will be seeking a second-term as representative of the first district. Imelda’s older sister, Mayor Nelieta Noval of Tubod town, is expected to run for a second-term.
Abdullah’s cousin, Motalib, incumbent mayor of Sultan Naga Dimaporo town, is also expected to breeze through reelection. Another cousin, former Rep. Abdullah Mangotara, will challenge the political bids of Abdullah’s family.
Mangotara is allied with the politician-brothers Romulo and Rafael Rizalda. Rafael is incumbent mayor of Maigo town, who filed plunder raps against the Dimaporo couple several months back. Romulo squared off with Imelda in the 2010 congressional race.
Mangotara also counts the support of Pantao-Ragat Vice Mayor Lacson Lantod, who is married to a Dimaporo.
Dutertes
Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is fielding his son, Paolo, for vice mayor under the newly registered Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod political party.
Duterte, however, still has to announce who will run for mayor and first district representative, which will be decided between him and his daughter Sara, the incumbent mayor.
He defended himself against accusations of building a political dynasty, saying Hugpong risked “weakening” itself if it would field candidates with less chances of winning. “This is for our own (political) survival,” he told over 3,000 members.
Former Speaker Prospero Nograles, who  lost the mayoral race to the Dutertes thrice, was reportedly “retiring from politics,” but reports still say he might be planning a fourth attempt. His son, Karlo Alexei, the city’s first district representative, filed his certificate of candidacy for reelection on Monday.
Yus
Last-term Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy has groomed his son, De Carlo, a second-term councilor, to replace him. In past media interviews, Uy said he would prefer returning to “civilian life” than break Liberal Party (LP) unity and risk a showdown with reelectionist Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario.
In Compostela Valley, Uy’s brother, Gov. Arturo Uy, may be running unopposed for his last term. The governor’s son, Tyrone, is said to be running for provincial board member in the second district.
Amantes, Plazas
In the Agusan provinces, as well as Butuan City, the same powerful clans would be dominating the election landscape.
Butuan Mayor Ferdinand Amante Jr., a known ally of President Aquino, will seek reelection against Rep. Jose Aquino II. Ferdinand’s first cousin, Agusan del Norte Gov. Erlpe John Amante, who is in his last term, will reportedly swap post with a younger sister, Rep. Angel Amante.
In Agusan del Sur, sibling rivalry is heating up in the Plaza clan. Former Rep. Rodolfo Plaza has publicly declared that he would take back his position from his younger sister, Rep. Rowena Plaza-Millana.
Rodolfo’s younger siblings, incumbent Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza and Rep. Maria Valentina Tina Plaza (first district) are expected to run unopposed.
Matugases
Surigao del Norte’s Matugas family, which  controls the top provincial and and city elective posts, will be up against old foes.
The Padajon Surigao party of the Matugases has declared the reelection bids of Gov. Sol Matugas and her husband, Rep. Francisco Matugas (first district). An ally, Rep. Guillermo A. Romarate (second district), is also seeking reelection.
Surigao City Mayor Ernesto Matugas is seeking a second term; his son, Ernest, is in the administration’s city council lineup.
Padajon is up against the newly reconstituted Koalisyon nan mga Partido Oposisyon sa Surigao or Kusog, headed by former Surigao City Mayor Alfonso Casurra. But Casurra admitted that the coalition slate might encounter difficulties, noting that brothers Lyndon and Robert Ace Barbers have not disclosed their political intentions yet.
Lyndon, a former governor, is rumored to be eyeing his former post. Ace is said to be gunning for the second congressional seat.
Ecleos
It’s a different political road in Dinagat Islands. Vice Gov. Geraldine “Jade” Ecleo wants to displace her mother, Gov. Glenda Ecleo.
Jade’s running mate, Merlinda Lagroma, is an incumbent provincial board member who belongs to the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA)—a religious sect controlled by the Ecleo family.
The PBMA leadership, however, is closely allied with the governor, wife of its founder, Ruben Sr. The younger Ecleo’s enlistment of PBMA members is seen as a strategy to weaken her mother’s influence in the sect.
Jade has also included Hero Ecleo, son of the current PBMA figurehead, Ruben Jr., on her provincial board slate.
Elsewhere in Mindanao, family members are giving way to one another. For instance, Sulu Vice Gov. Ben Loong is stepping aside for his eldest brother, reelectionist Rep. Tupay Loong (first district). Reports from Edwin O. Fernandez, Julie S. Alipala, Ryan D. Rosauro, Germelina Lacorte, Franklin Caliguid, Danilo Adorador, Frinston Lim, Williamor Magbanua, Cai Panlilio, Bobby Lagsa and Aquiles Z. Zonio, Inquirer Mindanao

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