Mindanao local executives, like the rest of their kind throughout the country, are a persistent lot. Once elected in office, very few of them ever quit after one term. Some will seek another office once their term limits are up.
With 18 of the 26 governors running for re-election, the May 2013 local elections in Mindanao are fast shaping to be more of the same.
Of the candidates for the top provincial posts, six are unopposed and also six are seeking to regain their old posts.
Of those who are barred from running due to term limits, only Sarangani Gov. Miguel Rene Dominguez and Tawi-tawi Gov. Sadikul Sahali are no longer running for any elective post. Sahali will turn 72 before his term ends on June 20 while the 37-year old Dominguez said he will take a break from politics.
Sarangani Vice Gov. Steve Chiongbian Solon is one of the gubernatorial candidates that is already a lockup, running unopposed.
Solon joins governors Corazon Malanyaon (Davao Oriental) and Arturo Uy (Compostela Valley), Rodolfo del Rosario (Davao del Norte) and Antonio Ceriles (Zamboanga del Sur). The other unopposed candidate is Ma. Angelica Amante-Matba (Agusan del Norte), a former three-term governor and incumbent 2nd District Representative.
The same pattern follows in the mayoralty races in Mindanao’s 33 cities.
Among the city mayors of Mindanao, Davao City’s Sara Duterte is one of the few stepping down after only one term in office as mayor, paving the way for a city hall comeback of father and Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who is seeking an unprecedented 7th 3-year term, excluding one three-year term as elected congressman for the city’s 1st Congressional District.
Sarah Duterte is one of the 9 incumbent mayors who are no longer running in the May 2013 elections.
The list includes Dominador Jalosjos of Dapitan, Samuel Co (Pagadian), Nova Princess Parojinog-Echavez (Ozamis), Lawrence Cruz (Iligan) and Ruth Guingona (Gingoog). Joining them are Rey Uy (Tagum), Rodolfo Gantuangco (Kidapawan) and Alexander Pimentel (Tandag).
In the list are 2 mayors who, though no longer seeking re-election, are gunning for new posts. They are Co (for Rep. 1st District of Zamboanga del Sur) and Nova Echavez (for vice mayor of Ozamis),
Running for re-election are 23 incumbent city mayors.
They are Cagayan de Oro Mayor Vicente Emano, Celso Lobregat of Zamboanga City, Ignacio Zubiri (Malaybalay), Leandro Jose Catarata (Valencia) and Alfredo Tan (El Salvador).
Also seeking fresh mandates are Evelyn Uy (Dipolog), Cherrylyn Akbar (Isabela City), Jason Almonte (Oroqueta), Philip Tan (Tangub), Aniano Antalan of Island Garden City of Samal, Jose Silvosa Sr (Panabo), Michelle Marie Denise Rabat (Mati) and Joseph Peñas (Digos City). Also again seeking another term are Peter Miguel (Koronadal City), Darlene Antonino Custodio (General Santos City), Lina Montilla (Tacurong City) in Region 12 and Japal Guiani Jr (Cotabato City) and Dale Corvera of Cabadbaran
Likewise in the running are Ferdinand Amante (Butuan City), Ernesto Matugas (Surigao City), Librado Navarro (Bislig City) and Fahad Panarigan Salic (Marawi City).
Only Jayson Almonte of Oroquieta and Dale Corvera of Cabadbaran are running unopposed among the city mayoralty candidates in Mindanao.
Most of the times, incumbents do win when they run for re-elections. In 2010, 19 city mayors were re-elected while 8 either won when they traded posts with outgoing mayors or they prevailed upon their allies like Emano when Constantino Jaraulla opted to take a break from politics. Very few re-electionists lost. One of them is former Bislig Mayor Albert Tan who lost to Navarro in the 2010 elections.
Those barred from running, they handpicked their relatives or proteges to run for them. Many also are running to reclaim their old posts.
Among the comebacking candidates who formerly held the post of governors, aside from Amante, are Jose Ma. Zubiri (Bukidnon), Emmanuel Piñol (North Cotabato), incumbent Rep. Daisy Fuentes (South Cotabato), Robert Lyndon Barbers (Surigao del Norte) and Rashidin Matba of Tawi-tawi.
Those barred from seeking re-election but are running for other posts are Davao del Sur Gov. Douglas Cagas who is running for mayor of Digos City, Oscar Moreno of Misamis Oriental who is running for mayor of Cagayan de Oro City and Sulu Governor Abdsusakur Tan who is running for vice governor. Zamboanga del Gov. Norte Rolando Yebes is now likewise running for the province’s 2nd Congressional District.
The incumbent governors who are seeking re-election are Adolph Edward (Agusan del Sur) Plaza, Jum Akbar (Basilan), Jurdin Jesus Romualdo (Camgiuin), Compostela Valley’s Arturo Uy Also running as re-electionist are Rodolfo del Rosario (Davao del Norte), Corazon Malanyaon (Davao Oriental). Glenda Ecleo (Dinagat Island province), Lanao del Norte’s Mohamad Khalid Dimaporo.
Mamintal Adiong (Lanao del Sur), Esmael Mangudadatu (Maguindanao), Herminia Ramiro (Misamis Occidental), Emmylou Talino-Mendoza (North Cotabato), Arthur Pingoy (South Cotabato, Suharto ‘Teng’ Mangudadatu (Maguindanao), Johnny Pimentel (Surigao del Sur), and Sol Matugas (Surigao del Norte)
Zamboanga del Sur’s Antonio Cerilles is also again running for governor. So is Zamboanga Sibugay’s Rommel Jalosjos.
With history on their side, it looks like Mindanaoans are going to see familiar faces in their provincial capitols and city halls when the 2013 elections area over.