It’s father and son tandem in Carigara, Leyte

Published May 15, 2019, 10:59 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Philippine News Agency

CARIGARA, Leyte — Politics became a family affair after a father-son tandem won in the mayoral and vice mayoral race in Leyte’s oldest town, defeating their opponents by a huge margin.

Eduardo Ong Sr. got a fresh mandate as mayor of Carigara town while his son, Eduardo Jr. beat incumbent Vice Mayor Mildred Modesto. The younger Ong garnered 20,585 votes while Modesto, a veteran politician, only got 7,317 votes.

The father succeeded in his bid to lead the town for a third term after obtaining 23,571 votes, defeating his challenger, town Councilor Rachel Makabenta, who only got 4,228 votes.

“I am thankful that for the third time, the people of Carigara chose me as their mayor. The trust and confidence given to me by the people of Carigara, will serve as my motivation to work hard and to bring necessary improvements,” Eduardo Sr. said in an interview after their proclamation Tuesday.

Eduardo Jr. is a fresh graduate of business management of the De La Salle University in Manila.

He’s been running a year-old comedy bar with 10 workers in Metrowalk, a commercial hub in Pasig City.

He considers his win an opportunity to contribute to the sustainable development of Carigara town.

Managing businesses run in their blood. His father’s family-owned Cherry Foodarama, which has been in the business since the early 1950s is considered one of the pioneers in the grocery business. In 2015, SM Investments Corp. acquired the business.

“Even though I’m the youngest to hold a vice mayoralty position in Leyte, I won’t take the responsibility lightly. Rest assured, I, together with the eight newly-elected councilors, will maximize this opportunity to change the lives of the people of Carigara. Thank you so much!” Eduardo Jr. said.

Of the eight newly-elected town councilors, seven are allies of the Ongs. This early, the younger Ong is reportedly being groomed to replace his father in 2022.

The Ong clan is known for toppling the Apostol political clan, one of the oldest dynasties in central Leyte.

Eduardo Sr. defeated two members of the Apostol family in the 2013 and the 2016 mayoral race, ending the decades-long rule of the Apostols in Carigara town.

The mayor’s brother, Henry, won in 2016 as Leyte’s 2nd District representative against Sergio Apostol, a former lawmaker and Cabinet official, who ruled the legislative district for decades.

But Henry failed in his reelection bid Monday.

It was Lolita Javier, wife of Andok’s Litson Corp. owner Leonardo Javier, the outgoing mayor of Javier town who won in the 2nd District.