Political dynasties battle it out in Zambo Norte

DIPOLOG CITY (MindaNews / 17 Nov) – It is a battle of political dynasties in Zamboanga del Norte as the period of substitution of candidates ended on Monday.

Rommel Jalosjos files his certificate of candidacy for mayor of Dipolog City, capital of Zamboanga del Norte. Photo from his Facebook page

The four top posts appear to be a clash of big political rivals – the Uy and Jalosjos families.

For the gubernatorial post, Evelyn T. Uy (PDP-Laban) – who was mayor of Dipolog City for three terms – will go against Rosalina G. Jalosjos (NP), the incumbent mayor of Dapitan City who is now on her third and last term.

Other candidates for the province’s top post include Emmanuel M. Cabigon (Independent), Reynaldo A. Diputado (Independent), Emmanuel E. Nueva (PPM) and Eduardo A. Sumalpong (Independent).

For the province’s first district representative, Rep. Romeo M. Jalosjos Jr. (NP), who is on his first term, is being challenged by Roberto “Pinpin” Uy Jr. (PDP-Laban), former mayor of the municipality of Polanco.

Other congressional candidates include Richard E. Amazon (PPM) and Lester Uy Ong (NUP) but was substituted by Frederico P. Jalosjos.

For mayor of capital Dipolog City, incumbent Mayor Darel Dexter (PDP-Laban), who is gunning for his third term, is challenged by Rommel A. Jalosjos (NP), former governor of neighboring Zamboanga Sibugay province.

With them in the mayoralty race are Leonard P. Eddai (Independent) and Clyde R. Naong (PFP).

The mayoralty post in nearby Dapitan City is being contested by Roberto Uy Sr., incumbent governor of Zamboanga del Norte who is on his third term, and Seth Frederick “Bullet” Jalosjos (NP), former congressional representative of the province’s first district.

Since 1998, Dipolog has been under the Uys as mayor: Roberto Sr. from 1998 to 2007, his wife Evelyn from 2007 to 2016, and their son Darel Dexter from 2016.

Pinpin Uy, also son of Roberto Sr. and Evelyn, served as mayor of Polanco from 2013 to 2016.

Dapitan Mayor Rosalina Jalosjos is a sister of political kingpin Romeo “Nonong” Jalojos Sr., who served as congressional representative of the first district of Zamboanga del Norte since 1995, supposedly until 2004 but was dropped from the rolls after the Supreme Court ruled with finality his conviction for rape of a minor.

His children – Romeo Jr., Rommel and Seth Frederick – are now active in politics as well.

Rommel served a term as governor of Zamboanga Sibugay from 2010 to 2013. He sought reelection in 2013 but lost to Wilter Palma, who is now completing his third term. Romeo Jr. served as second district representative of Zamboanga Sibugay from 2010 to 2013. In his attempt for a second term, he lost to incumbent Rep. Dulce Ann K. Hofer.

Romeo Sr.’s sister Cecilia won the congressional seat in the special elections held in August 2002 because of the Supreme Court ruling on her brother’s rape case. Cecilia again ran and won twice, in 2004 and 2007.

Seth Frederick Jalosjos followed in his aunt’s footsteps and served as congressional representative from 2010 to 2019. Romeo Jr. then took over, and is hoping to get reelected in next year’s polls.

Romeo Sr.’s brother Cesar also served three terms as representative in the third district of the province, from 2004 to 2013.

The Jalosjos clan has held the mayoralty of Dapitan since 2004. (Rey J. Garcia / MindaNews)