LUCENA CITY—By sheer number, Quezon remains to be the bailiwick of the political opposition.
According to records at the Commission on Elections (Comelec), at least 21 re-electionist mayors belong to the opposition National Unity Party (NUP) and one each from the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) and United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
The administration Liberal Party (LP), also according to Comelec records, is fielding nine re-electionist mayors.
Of 21 NUP re-electionist mayors, three are running unopposed—Remedios Uri-Rivera (Buenavista), Sergio Emprese (San Andres) and Eleanor Uy (San Francisco). In San Andres, only eight LP candidates are running.
In Gumaca, hometown of the Tanada clan, there is no LP ticket to speak of. Only two candidates for councilor are carrying the LP name.
Nine towns are considered “free zones,” as no incumbent mayor is seeking re-election.
In November last year, former Quezon Gov. Eduardo Rodriguez resigned from the LP over what he said was the weak LP leadership in the province. He, however, returned to the party two months later.
The elections will be a showdown between dynasties in the province—Alcala, headed by Proceso; Suarez, headed by House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez; Talaga, led by ex-Lucena Mayor Ramon Talaga Jr.; and the Tanadas.
Rep. Irvin Alcala, (LP, 2nd district), son of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, will challenge incumbent Gov. David Suarez (NUP), son of Representative Suarez.
Irvin’s running mate is Sam Nantes, a political neophyte and son of the late Gov. Rafael Nantes and current Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office director Betty Nantes.
The relationship of political personalities in the province is a classic example of politics based on shaky alliances.