LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 3 - Albay's political arena would be a derby among three dominant political parties belonging to the administration's Lakas-Kampi-CMD party, Nacionalista and the Liberal parties as 42 candidates would slug it out in various high stake provincial posts, the Commission on Election (Comelec) provincial office told the Philippines News Agency, Thursday.
Lawyer Romeo Serrano, Comelec provincial election supervisor said two candidates are eying to grab the gubernatorial post from Governor Joey Salceda who is seeking re-election, while four candidates are vying for the vice gubernatorial position.
Businesswoman Linda Montayre of the Kapayapaan, Katarungan, Kaunlaran (KKK) Party a native of Guinobatan town and Marcelino Gallardo, a business man from Daraga town will challenge Salceda the incumbent governor who is gunning for his second term under the Lakas-Kampi-CMD party banner.
For the vice-gubernatorial bets, former Albay Vice Governor Jesus "Bayan" Calisin of the Nationlista Party would try to regain his post by outdoing his rivals Raul Borejon, a provincial board member running as independent, Harold Imperial, a provincial board member a Lakas-Kampi-CMD bet and independent candidate Gil Goyena, a businessman.
For the congressional race, in first district incumbent Lakas House Representative Edcel Lagman will seek re-election for his third term but he will be challenged by lawyer Wilfredo Brizuela of the Liberal Party, while in the second district, incumbent House Representative Al Francis Bichara, who is seeking for his second term under the Nacionalista Party will be challenged for the second time by Amelia Apin, an entrepreneur-educator under the Liberal Party banner and independent candidate, Ricardo Ayala, a businessman.
In the third district of Albay, former Albay Governor Fernando Gonzales of the Liberal Party, and incumbent Vice Gov. Brando Sael of the Nacionalista Party and independent candidate Armondo Redillas will be contesting incumbent Congressman Reno Lim of the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC).
Political analyst predicts that Salceda the incumbent Governor will easily win over his opponents by a landslide votes because of his strong political machinery and achievements.
For the vice gubernatorial post, it would be a close fight between Calisin, Borehon and Imperial who all have political credentials and bailiwicks to boast of, observers said.
Political observers here are closely watching the political derby in the third district of the province since the congressional post would be a tight three cornered fight between Rep. Lim, former Gov. Gonzales and Vice Gov. Brando Sael who claims to have the machineries, the funds and political bailiwicks.
In the second district of the province, political analysts said it is a fight between the Nacionalista and the Liberals, giving incumbent Rep. Bichara a wider margin over Apin who run and lost to Bichara in the 2007 congressional race. Observers said Bichara had maintained his followers, the funding and machinery.
Meanwhile, Salceda in a press statement thanked his constituents for their collective support.
He said, "I am honored and humbled by the zero-opposition to my leadership but it poses a higher challenge to me and the entire provincial government to do even better than the past three years." (PNA)