Biliran guv chooses time with Mom over reelection bid

TACLOBAN CITY — Family is the reason behind Biliran Governor Rogelio Espina's withdrawal of his reelection bid for the May 2022 elections.

"Family is the number one reason why I filed for withdrawal (of my candidacy) because my mother is already 85 years old. I want to spend time taking care of her," he shared in a media interview.

He recalled that one of his frustrations was his failure to spend time with his father when he was still alive due to his work as a public servant.

"It's hard to give quality time especially when you have this kind of responsibility," he lamented.

The 61-year-old governor also clarified that it is not a political strategy for the 2025 elections since it will still be the people who will choose whom to vote for.

"Time changes. People's minds and perceptions change so it's not a strategy or whatever," he pointed out.

He will be replaced by his son, Naval town Mayor Gerard Roger Espina. He noted that his successor is trustworthy and has a good performance as a public official, which he believes would exceed his accomplishments.

The governor has been in politics for 19 years and has also served as a medical specialist in a hospital in Metro Manila for two years.Mayor Espina will then be substituted by his sister Gretchen who was supposed to run as councilor in Naval.

"It's not a hasty decision. I had to think about it a lot of times before deciding," said Espina

Espina believes his track record as a two-term mayor of the province's capital would help him fulfill a greater obligation.