Expectation high on youngest elected governor in PH history

Miguel 'Migz' Villafuerte, youngest elected governor in Philippine history. Photo grab from Migz Villafuerte twitter account.
Miguel ‘Migz’ Villafuerte, youngest elected governor in Philippine history. Photo grab from Migz Villafuerte twitter account.

By John Mark Escandor

PILI, Camarines Sur, 28May2013 – Camarines Sur’s incoming chief executive who is the country’s youngest elected governor in history, is now confronted with great expectations and has been barraged with doubts on his capacity to govern the biggest province in Bicolandia.

Miguel “Migz” Luis Villafuerte, 24, son of outgoing provincial chief executive, Governor Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte, has no experience in governance and public service to speak of.

Yet, he bears the great responsibility of governing Camarines Sur, the largest province in Bicol, southeast of Metro Manila and carries the torch of the Villafuertes who have dominated the provincial politics for decades.

Miguel brushed aside doubts on his capability to run Camarines Sur.

“In the first place, being a public servant, a governor is not about age, sex or religion. I believe that in order to be a good leader, one must be sincere and dedicated,” he said in Filipino.

Pressed to react on the issue that he is inexperienced, he said, “Where am I inexperienced? I don’t believe in it. I believe in the sincerity and determination of a man to serve the country.”

Miguel is a graduate of Political Science at the University of San Diego in California in 2012.

He vowed to uplift the plight of the Camarinenses by continuing what his father has started, referring to the phenomenal rise of Camarines Sur in its tourism projects.

These projects that his father has pursued, like the Camsur Watersports Complex (CWC) and development of the Caramoan peninsula, have made the province the top tourist destination in the Philippines since 2010, according to the Department of Tourism.

Miguel was introduced to the public through wakeboarding competitions at CWC, a commercial watersports facility inside the more than 100-hectare provincial government compound in Cadlan, Pili, Camarines Sur.

In his Facebook account, he listed his work as founder and chief executive officer of JungleFace and founder and president of Republic Inc.

JungleFace and Republic are business enterprises owned by the family of LRay.

He attended pre-school and grade schools at De La Salle Zobel and high school at the International School of Manila.

Miguel said he will start his work as a governor by providing villagers with drinking water, classrooms and livelihood opportunities from tourism.

His father Luis Raymund believes that his (Miguel’s) victory “is test testament that the votes Migz earned were also votes for him because he had done many great things and helped many people in Camarines Sur.”

He said he will not meddle with his son in running the provincial government even eith the president talks he would be the real power behind.

Miguel won with a total of 263,794 votes against his grandfather, Rep. Luis Villafuerte, who got 200,086 votes.

He said he has never lost hope that he and his grandfather will reconcile someday.

“Now that the election is over, it’s time for reconciliation, unity and love. I am advised to let it cool down first; for sure, I will initiate,” he said. [PNA]


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