Gubernatorial race in Camarines Sur excites public

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By Rhaydz B. Barcia

LEGAZPI CITY (19April2013) – There are three gubernatorial aspirants in Camarines Sur but the limelight of the race is focused on the grandfather and grandson political battle for the top post.

As it is now, the province of Camarines Sur is seen by the public as having the most colorful and exciting political drama in the upcoming May 13 polls where Rep. Luis R. Villafuerte or LRV, the grandfather and patriarch of the Villafuerte clan, is pitted against his grandson Miguel “Migz” Villafuerte, the son of Luis Raymond “LRay” Villafuerte.

Viewed as first in the history of Philippine politics, the blood-against-blood political battle for the gubernatorial position is viewed by Bicolanos as a unpalatable display of being “paslo sa poder” or “power hungry.”

The Villafuertes have reigned in the province since 1978.

The three candidates for the gubernatorial race are former Solicitor General Joel Cadiz of the Liberal Party, LRV and Migz.

Two other members of the Villafuerte family have thrown their hats in Camarines Sur’s two congressional races.

LRV’s wife, lawyer Nelly Favis-Villafuerte, is pitted in the third district congressional race against lawyer Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, wife of the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.

LRay is also running against his former political ally, re-electionist Rep. Dato Arroyo of the second district.

Leni was convinced by the administration party to run against Nelly in the hope to cut the dynasty rule of the Villafuertes.

Among the six provinces of Bicol, Camarines Sur is home to the longest-serving political dynasties in the country.

The Fuentebella clan is the longest serving political dynasty in Bicol, ruling for 105 years; followed by the Andayas, the Alfelors and the Villafuertes, who have been controlling their respective bailiwicks for over three decades now.

Unfortunately, at the backdrop, the highest numbers of poverty and malnutrition incidences have been taking place in Camarines Sur for several decades now, based on the reports of the National Statistical Coordination Board and the National Nutrition Council regional offices here.

But the exciting political feud in the province is that of the Villafuertes, which started between LRV and youngest son LRay.

The Villafuerte patriarch and estranged son LRay since 2007 elections then publicly came to part ways following the move of LRV, Arroyo , Deputy Speaker Arnulfo Fuentebella and Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. to split Camarines Sur into two provinces.

LRay is very much against the political subdivision of the province.

The family feud was carried down the line to grandson Migz, eldest son of LRay.

The squabble between Luis and LRay even worsened after the patriarch of the Villafuertes publicly endorsed the candidacy of Arroyo, LRay’s opponent.

The elder Villafuerte even asked the electorate in his bailiwick to give majority votes and support to the son of former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as his son LRay, he claimed, is ungrateful and rude. [PNA]

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