MANNY AND JINKEE PACQUIAO, United Nationalist Alliance
Jinkee Pacquiao, the so-called first lady of Philippine boxing, pulled a surprise when she filed her candidacy for Sarangani vice governor. Her husband, pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao, seeks reelection as Sarangani representative. The Pacquiaos allied with a former political rival, the Chiongbian dynasty. The duo is entering the political arena with not just their global fame, wealth, and celebrity-endorser status. They are making efforts to prepare, having taken a crash course in public administration. They’ve weathered sports, showbiz, and marital problems. Can Manny and Jinkee conquer politics together?
He said: “Maganda iyon dahil may katulong ako na ma-implement nang husto ang mga project ko.” (Her candidacy is good because I will have someone to help me implement my projects well.)
She said: “Sa pulitika, hindi naman patalinuhan. Ang importante is matulungan natin ang kababayan natin.” (In politics, it’s not about being more intelligent than the others. What’s important is we’re able to help our countrymen.)
Photo by Ayee Macaraig
Eyes Wide Open
RICHARD AND LUCY GOMEZ, Liberal Party
Once called an accidental congresswoman, actress-host Lucy Torres-Gomez seeks reelection in Leyte’s 4th district “with eyes wide open.” Lucy, 37, ran for Congress in 2010 after her husband, actor Richard Gomez, was disqualified due to lack of residency in her home province. Now, 46-year-old Richard is running for mayor of Ormoc after serving as his wife’s chief of staff. Richard and Lucy are up against Lakas bets businessman Edward Codilla and his brother, Ormoc Mayor Eric Codilla, respectively. Will showbiz royalty outshine entrenched politicos?
He said: “We’ve shown Ormoc there is such a thing as good governance. Lucy has shown Ormocanons that there is such a thing called compassionate leadership.”
She said: “This was bound to happen, really. He’s always had this calling to serve, so it’s really just a matter of time.” (Quote from ABS-CBN News)
Photo by Don Regachuelo
‘Not A Package Deal’
ALAN PETER AND LANI CAYETANO, Nacionalista Party
Sen Alan Peter Cayetano, 42, and Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano, 30, are both seeking reelection after battling hot races. Alan claimed he was cheated in 2007, while Lani fought an election protest in 2010 filed by retired Supreme Court Justice Dante Tinga, whose lawyer was now Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. Tinga’s daughter Rica is now running against Lani. The pair has retained hold of Taguig since Alan was a councilor in the nineties—he became Taguig congressman, Lani succeeded him, and now and he and his older sister Pia are senators, their brother Lino is president of the barangay captains’ association. Will they still stick together through accusations of dynasty building?
He said: “Hindi naman package deal ito. Kung 4 ang magkamag-anak na tumatakbo at lahat sila ay magaling, then iboto silang lahat. Kung hindi, huwag.” (This is not a package deal. If there are 4 relatives running for office and all of them are good, then vote for them all. If not, don’t.)
She said: “We will continue what we have started here and that is extending basic social services to the people. We will also invest heavily on education.”
Congress’ Husband-Wife Tandem?
ROMAN AND SHALANI ROMULO, LP-NP-NPC ticket
Newlyweds Roman Romulo and Shalani Soledad are vying for a political rarity: to be a husband and wife tandem in the same Congress, representing separate cities. Roman is seeking reelection in Pasig City, while Shalani is running for congresswoman of Valenzuela’s 2nd district. President Aquino’s ex-girlfriend is on her last term as Valenzuela councilor and does TV hosting on the side. Shalani is a member of the Liberal Party, allied with Roman’s party, the National Union Party of ex-Arroyo allies. The two wed in January 2012. Will they be together in both home and House?
He said: “Our politics is very separate. Though I join her in her meetings and dealings with her constituents, I don’t meddle in Valenzuela politics.”
She said: “When we visit Pasig, I don’t encroach in his style of public service. I’m very careful to give him the space.” (Quote from Philippine Star)
Photo from Mayor Hagedorn’s Facebook page
Beyond Puerto Princesa
EDWARD AND ELLEN HAGEDORN, Nationalist People’s Coalition
Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Mayor Edward Hagedorn surprised even his supporters when he decided to run for the Senate at the spur of the moment, upon the prodding of his friend, former President Joseph Estrada. The mayor, whose life story was made into a movie starring Estrada’s other friend Fernando Poe Jr, is running as an independent. In the two decades that he led Puerto Princesa, Edward has been credited for making his city a top eco-tourist destination and a model for sustainable development, receiving international and national recognition for that. His wife Ellen is running to replace him. As the city's first lady, she has been known for her behind-the-scenes but tireless engagement with women and communities in livelihood projects, and for her independent views. Will Edward’s achievements win him a national post? And can Mrs Hagedorn lead Puerto Princesa to greater heights?
He said: “I have no more place in Puerto Princesa. I have wanted to rest but I don’t want to get bored. I just want to test it.”
She said: “I think he wouldn’t reach his position now if I didn’t’ support him as much as I did.”