Espina clan still holds sway in Biliran

Published May 21, 2019, 6:12 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Marie Tonette Marticio

TACLOBAN CITY– With their landslide victory in last week’s midterm elections, the Espina political clan bared plans to boost tourism in Biliran province.

Outgoing congressman Rogelio Espina was elected governor, while his younger brother, the outgoing governor Gerry Boy Espina, won in the lone congressional district.

Rogelio said that among his priorities is to promote Biliran’s tourism industry.

He is also eyeing cityhood for the province’s capital, Naval town.

Brigido Canejas III, who was elected vice governor, is an Espina ally, and so are all eight provincial board members and the municipal councilors.

All mayors except in the town of Cabucgayan are from Bando Espina, the clan’s political group. Marisol Masbang, the wife of Edwin Masbang won as mayor.

Among the seven mayors who won under Bando Espina is Congressman Espina’s son, Mayor Gerard Espina of Naval.

Gerard Espina, the youngest member of the clan, also prioritizes tourism in order to lure more investors.

One of his projects is to promote Higatangan Island, which will be holding its 3rd summer festival on May 25-26.

“This year’s festival will showcase local food products, culture, and livelihood of the locals such as mat weaving,” he said.

The island has been provided by the Department of Tourism with a two-lane circumferential road to facilitate travel around the island. Among the other destinations are a lighthouse, rock formations, and cliff diving site.