Two new provinces were created in Mindanao as of December 2006: Dinagat Islands, carved out of seven towns of Surigao del Norte and Shariff Kabunsuan, carved out of Maguindanao.
Of 56 seats for Mindanao in the House of Representatives, six are new – one each for the new provinces of Dinagat and Shariff, and additional one each for Sultan Kudarat, Zamboanga Sibugay, Cagayan de Oro City and Zamboanga City.
Lawyer and provincial board member Solema Jubilan, who died from accidental gunfire on April 28 was substituted by her younger sister Zaida Jubilan-Rinsulat, the provincial social welfare and development officer.
Mindanao’s candidates are vying for 56 congressional seats; 27 city mayors; 27 vice mayors; 27 governors; 27 vice governors; 422 municipal mayors; 422 vice mayors; 256 provincial board members; 300 city councilors, 3,366 municipal councilors.
Seventy-nine candidates are running for the 27 city mayoral seats while 69 candidates are running for the 27 gubernatorial seats.
In Agusan del Norte, the Amantes versus the Plazas dominate the political scene with the Amante patriarch, Edelmiro and Plaza matriarch, Valentina, running for governor.
Incumbent Governor Erlpe John Amante is running for representative while Angelica Rosedell Amante, former governor and incumbent representative, is running for Butuan City mayor against incumbent mayor Democrito Plaza II.
In Agusan del Sur, Governor Adolph Edward Plaza is seeking a third term while brother Rodolfo Rodrigo is also seeking a third term in the lone congressional district.
In Basilan, three-term governor Wahab Akbar is running for congressman while his 1st wife Jum is running for mayor against three-term Basilan Representative and former governor Gerry Salapuddin. Akbar’s 2nd wife, Nur-in is running for mayor of Lamitan while 3rd wife Cherry Lyn Santos is running for mayor of Isabela City.
Akbar’s two nephews, Waluso Mayor Sakib Salajin and Lantawan Mayor Tahira Ismail are running for reelection. Also, a new municipality has been added to Basilan’s seven – Akbar, carved out of Tipo-tipo and Tuburan towns.
In Bukidnon, it’s Zubiri vs Acosta with Zubiri patriarch Jose seeking reelection as governor against Rep. Nereus Acosta who is completing his third term in Congress.
Zubiri’s son, Juan Miguel is running for senator while another son, Jose III, is running for the congressional seat his brother Miguel is vacating. Nephew Ignacio is seeking reelection as Malaybalay City vice mayor.
Acosta’s sister, Malou, is running for the seat he is vacating while his mother, Socorro, a former three-term representative, is seeking reelection as mayor of Manolo Fortich. Malou is facing the controversial former Comelec commissioner Virgilio “Hello Garci” Garcillano.
In Camiguin, the Romualdos are still lording it over but the patriarch, former Camiguin Governor Pedro Romualdo, who is running for Congress is now facing his own son, Mambajao Mayor Noordin Efigenio “Gogo” Romualdo, as opponent.
Gogo is allied with former governor Antonieto Gallardo who is making a comeback against three-term Rep. Jurdin Jesus, Gogo’s brother.
In Compostela Valley, three-term governor Jose Caballero is running for the 2nd congressional district seat against Rommel Amatong, son of former Davao del Norte governor and Compostela Valley Rep. Prospero Amatong.
Caballero’s daughter, Kristina Mae, a provincial board member, is running for governor.
In Davao del Norte, it would have been an uncle versus nephew race had not the family intervened. Three-term Rep. Antonio Floirendo, Jr., backed out of an earlier plan to run for governor in favor of his uncle, Rodolfo del Rosario, a former governor and congressman. Taking over Floirendo’s congressional seat is Anton Floirendo Lagdameo, whose wife is actress Dawn Zulueta.
In Davao del Sur, it’s still the Bautistas versus the Cagas family with Rep. Douglas Cagas, a former governor, eyeing that seat again against Rep. Claude Bautista.
Governor Benjamin Bautista, Jr. is running for the 2nd congressional district while Cagas’s son, Mark is running for the 1st congressional district.
In Davao Oriental, Governor Elena Palma Gil (Lakas-CMD) is seeking reelection against Rep. Corazon Malanyaon (Kampi).
Former three-term representative Thelma Almario is staging a comeback in Congress while her son Mayo, who is completing his third term in Congress, is running for vice governor.
In Lanao del Norte, it’s the Dimaporo family, still.
Governor Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo, who is completing her third term, is running for 1st district representative while husband Abdullah (Bobby), also a former governor, is running for 2nd district representative.
Their eldest son, Khalid, is running for governor.
The elder Dimaporo’s brother, Marcos Abdulrahman, is also running for the 2nd congressional seat.
Three-term representative Cirilo Alipio Badelles (1st district), and son of the late congressman Mariano Badelles, fielded his daughter-lawyer Angelique Badelles-Bacareza to run for the seat he is vacating. Badelles’ daughter is facing Imelda Dimaporo who is finishing her gubernatorial term on June 30. (Carolyn O. Arguillas with reports from Violeta M. Gloria and Walter Balane/MindaNews)