Tupas brothers fight anew for N. Iloilo congressional seat

Published October 8, 2021, 12:20 PM

by Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY – For the May 2022 elections, the Tupas brothers are running against each other for the congressional seat representing northern Iloilo province.

Incumbent Iloilo 5th District Rep. Raul “Boboy” Tupas will again face his older brother, former congressman Niel “Junjun” Tupas Jr.

They separately filed their certificates of candidacy (COCs) this week with Rep. Tupas running under the Nacionalista Party (NP) while Niel Jr. is running under the Liberal Party (LP).

Iloilo 5th District Rep. Raul Tupas (right) and brother Niel “Junjun” Tupas Jr. (Tara Yap/File/Manila Bulletin)

During the May 2019 elections, Rep. Tupas defeated Niel Jr. by 65,317 votes.

The rift between the sons of former Iloilo governor Niel Tupas Sr. traces back to 2015.

Initially, then mayor Raul of Barotac Viejo town was supposed to replace Niel Jr., who was then serving his third and final term as congressman. But Niel Jr. decided that his wife, Yvonne Angeli “Gel” Lee-Tupas, would be the official candidate.

Rep. Tupas eventually defeated Niel Jr.’s wife in the 2016 congressional race. Niel Jr. also lost to Christine “Tingting” Garin for vice governor that year.

The ongoing rift between the brothers has strained relations among the Tupas family and their allies in northern Iloilo province.