Gov. Boboy Cua, Bong Teves join forces in tactical alliance
posted 10-Mar-2019  ·  
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In an ongoing realignment of forces in local politics, the camps of Governor Joseph Cua and former Vice Governor Jose Teves Jr. have sealed a strategic alliance aimed at ensuring the victory of their local candidates as well as the latter’s partylist group.

Reliable sources disclosed that Cua, who is running for reelection, and his team mates, congressional bet Engr. Hector Sanchez and reelectionist Vice Governor Shirley Abundo, have agreed to adopt Teves’ Talino at Galing ng Pinoy (TGP) as their partylist group.

TGP, which has Teves as first nominee along with two other members of the Tau Gamma Phi fraternity, is locked in a battle to gain majority of the island’s votes with two other partylist groups with local links.

Barangay Natin partylist, whose first nominee is Provincial Board Member Joseph Al-Randie Wong, is being carried by his mother, former Governor Araceli Wong, who is running for the House seat to be vacated by Rep. Cesar Sarmiento.

Sarmiento, on the other hand, is likely to back the Ako Bicol partylist founded by Sunwest Water & Electric Co. (SUWECO) owner Elizaldy Co, who has allegedly supported the former in past elections.

A fourth group, Inang Mahal based in Pangasinan, has Pandan native “Manay Gina” de Venecia as first nominee.

The union between the Cua and Teves groups was formally announced through a press statement by Cua ally and ex-officio PBM Juan Velchez Jr.

In the race for the four local legislative seats in the East district, Panganiban Mayor Robert Fernandez has been joined by Teves partymates PBM Lorenzo Templonuevo Jr., PBM Arnel Turado and former PBM Edwin Tanael.

PBM Velchez’s withdrawal from the race will reportedly be followed by that of PBM Vincent Villaluna, who will allegedly become the municipal administrator of Bagamanoc where his father, Mayor Remegio Villaluna, is running unopposed.

Two other candidates in the East district, retired seaman Francisco Torres of Viga and businessman Cesar Vitalicio, are reportedly not given much of a chance at victory on account of their running as independents.

The Tribune source also claimed that negotiations are underway for a similar arrangement in the West district where five of the eight bets are considered heavweights – PBM Rafael Zuniega, PBM Giovanni Balmadrid, PBM Natalio Popa Jr., Virac’s three-termer Councilor Nel Asanza, and former PBM Fred Gianan Jr.

Aside from Zuniega and Asanza, the other candidate of the Cua combine is “graduating” Virac councilor Hermin Zafe. Cong. Sarmiento’s party is backing Atty. Gianan and former Virac Mayor Santos Zafe while Teves has Balmadrid. The eighth bet is Tribune columnist Jex Lucero who is running under Lakas.

Meanwhile, Engr. Hector Sanchez has ramped up his visibility in the barangays in the last two weeks, joining Gov. Cua in visiting villages in several towns.

Last week, he met with youth leaders from Caramoran, who went home pleased with the businessman’s repartee and campaign platform.

Cong. Sarmiento’s brother, Atty. Jorge, was also busy in his morning sorties last week to various barangays in the different towns together with SP hopeful Atty. Fred Gianan Jr.

Both Sanchez and Sarmiento are locked in a battle for the congressional seat with former Gov. Wong, who is perceived to have the early lead.

On the other hand, former Cong. Joseph Santiago has yet to return to the island after showing up for two days last month on a personal matter.

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