Albay political old guards dominate 2022 local polls

By Mar S. Arguelles


Political old guards still dominate the local politics in Albay province following the filing of their certificates of candidacy (COC) aimed to maintain their strong grip on their respective bailiwicks.


Among them are: Gov. Al Francis Bichara (NP); 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda (PDP-Laban); 1st Dist. Rep. Edcel Lagman (LP); 3rd District Rep Fernando Cabredo; Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal; Tabaco City Mayor Krisel Lagman Luisto; and ex-Congressman Fernando Gonzales.


At least 34 individuals have filed their COC for the gubernatorial, congressional and provincial board in the 2022 national and local elections in Albay province, the Commission on Election (Comelec) said.


Incumbent Gov. Al Francis Bichara (NP) who is gunning for this third and last term as provincial executive is being challenge by Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal (Katipunan ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino Party), who is on his last term as mayor, and two independent candidates Riodel Luna and Mario Bascuil.


Bichara and Rosal are former allies during past local elections but because of some political issues the two broke ties and would launch a tight campaign against each other for the gubernatorial seat, political observers said.


Bichara has been a two-term congressman representing Albay’s 3rd District (1992-1995), 2nd District (2007-2016), as governor twice (1995-2004; 2016 to date), and mayor of LIgao (1986-1992).


While Rosal has been Legazpi City Mayor for 27 years, city administrator, city councilor, and a barangay captain.


For the vice governor, incumbent Vice Gov. Edcel Greco Lagman of Aksyon Demokratico is being challenge by former Albay Vice Gov. Harold Imperial of Abag Promdi.


For the congressional seat in 1st District, incumbent 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman (LP) is gunning for his third term. His post is being contested by three independent candidates, Rebecca Quijano, (crying lady during the Aquino assassination), Nard Bruce, and Adela Villar.


In the 2nd District, incumbent Rep. Joey Salceda (PDP-Laban) who running for his last term is being challenged by Carmelo Redencion De Leoz, Jr. (Partido Lakas ng Masa), Danilo Maravillas (Katipunan ng Kamalayang Kayumanggi) and two independent candidates Gil Goyena and Domingo Arao.


For the 3rd District congressional seat, incumbent Rep. Fernando Cabredo (NUP) who is on his second term is being challenged by ex-Congressman Reno Lim, an independent.


In Legazpi City, the mayoral race will be between former Mayor Geraldine Rosal, wife of outgoing Mayor Noel Rosal, and Ako Bicol Party List Rep. Alfredo Garbin.


In Ligao City, former Congressman Fernando Gonzales (NUP) would stage a comeback as mayor. He is being challenged by four independent candidates, among them are: former Provincial Board member Ramon Alsua; Ramon Jaucian; Alex Polidario; and Elmer Pornel.


Gonzales began his political career as three-term mayor of Ligao City, one-term provincial governor, and three-term congressman of the 3rd district, while Ramon Alsua was a provincial board member from 2007-2013.


Incumbent Tabaco City Mayor Krisel Lagman Luistro (LP) on her last term is being challenged by Josef Bocalbos, an independent candidate.


Luistro is the daughter of Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman and the older sister of incumbent Vice Gov. Edcel Greco Lagman.