CONTROVERSIAL ex-elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano is facing a member of the Acosta power clan in the fight for the first congressional district of Bukidnon.
Ma. Lourdes ‘Malou’ Acosta, 38, has filed her candidacy for the congressional contest. If she wins, Acosta will inherit the position of older brother J.R. Nereus or Neric, three-term representative who is now aiming for the gubernatorial post. Their mother, Socorro (or Coring), is running for a third mayoral term in the family bailiwick, Manolo Fortich.
“I’m excited about my candidacy,” Acosta tells PCIJ. She says she will embark on a “political education campaign” with civil society groups “to save our democracy.” This is a fight, she says, “against money politics and undemocratic electoral practices.”
Acosta describes herself as an academic researcher specializing in women’s health and rights, for over 12 years working from the Diliman and Manila units of the University of the Philippines.
This development must be giving 69-year-old Garcillano a sense of déjà vu. After all, in 1987, he had faced Malou’s mother Coring for the same position. Coring won that round against Garcillano and five other aspirants, and she would then sit in Congress for nine years eventually being replaced by Neric in 1998.
The question now is, will Malou be able to keep the Acostas’ 20-year-old turf?