IF TEDDY Casiño is looking mighty lonely in the Senate race, it’s not only because he’s running as an independent. Among the House members now seeking a Senate seat, Casiño is the only one without a relative to share campaign war stories with.
For instance, Sonny Angara, a Team PNoy’s candidate, has four relatives who are seeking local positions in the May 2013 elections. At present, he has relatives serving as governor, mayor, and councilor of Baler. The Angaras have dominated Aurora since post World War II when Sonny Angara’s grandfather, Juan C. Angara, became mayor of Baler, Aurora in 1945.
Sonny’s father Edgardo, who will have his term at the Senate end this year, is running for governor in Baler. Sonny’s aunt, Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, the current Baler governor, wants to occupy the congressional seat in the lone district of Aurora. His cousin, Karen G. Angara-Ularan, who is now councilor in Baler, is running for its vice mayor. An uncle, Arturo J. Angara, is the current mayor of Baler. Another relative, Rommel Rico T. Angara, is running for vice governor in Baler. (Arturo and Bellaflor are Ed Angara’s siblings.)
Juan ‘Jack’ Ponce Enrile Jr., a candidate of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), is the son of incumbent Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who has a long history in public office and became key figure in significant political events. The elder Enrile was a protégé of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos and was a key figure in the 1986 EDSA Revolution. Juan Ponce Enrile’s position as senate president was also important in the impeachment of former Supreme Court chief justice Renato C. Corona in 2012. Jack’s wife Salvacion ‘Sally’ Ponce Enrile, meanwhile, was once representative of the first district of Cagayan from 2007 to 2010.
JV Ejercito, another candidate of UNA, comes from a line of politicians and showbiz personalities. His family’s political influence spans from national to local level and across city and provinces. His half-brother, Jose ‘Jinggoy’ Estrada, is currently serving his term as a senator until 2016. JV Ejercito has nine relatives who are running for local positions in the 2013 election.
JV is the son of former movie actor and deposed President Joseph ‘Erap’ Ejercito Estrada, who is now running for mayor in Manila. JV’s mother Guia G. Gomez, meanwhile, is seeking re-election as mayor of San Juan City. His cousin, Emilio Ramon ‘E.R.’ P. Ejercito, is also seeking re-election as governor in Laguna. E.R.’s wife, Girlie J. Ejercito, also wants another turn as mayor of Pagsanjan, Laguna. Another cousin, Jannah A. Ejercito, is running for congresswoman in the lone district of San Juan City. Yet another cousin, George Gerald P. Ejercito, is vying for a seat in the provincial board of the fourth district of Laguna. Gary Jayson P. Ejercito, popularly known as Gary Estrada and E.R’s half-brother, is a re-electionist board member of the second district of Quezon.
J.V.’s nephew, Gherome Eric A. Ejercito, is also seeking for a seat in the provincial board of the first district of Laguna. Lastly, his niece, Jinggoy’s daughter Janella Marie V. Ejercito, is running for councilor in San Juan City.
Meantime, being married to a Magsaysay has made UNA candidate Mitos Magsaysay part of one of the longest-running political dynasties in Philippine history. The Magsaysays have members of the family who held and continue to hold key congressional and local positions.
Mitos’s father-in-law is former Zambales governor Vicente Pulido Magsaysay. Her uncle-in-law, Antonio M. Diaz, was representative of the second district of Zambales in the 15th Congress until his death in August 2011. Another uncle-in-law, Eulogio ‘Amang’ Rodriguez-Magsaysay, is a party-list representative of the Alliance of Volunteer Educators, or AVE.
Mitos has three relatives who will run in the upcoming elections. Her uncle-in-law Ramon ‘Jun’ Magsaysay Jr. is also running for senator under rival party, Team PNoy. Jun is the son of Ramon F. Magsaysay, the seventh president of the country. Mitos’s two sons, Vicente H. Magsaysay II and Jesus Vicente H. Magsaysay III, are respectively running for vice mayor of Olongapo City, Zambales and representative of first district of Zambales.
Mitos is also cousin to Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel A. Roxas II, who is as well the president of the Liberal Party. —With reporting and research by Rowena Caronan, PCIJ, May 2013