One team, different parties

As it appears now, the winning team of Governor Joseph Cua, Congressman Hector Sanchez and Vice Governor Shirley Abundo in 2019 will be running under different political parties.
It may be recalled that during that successful run three years ago, Cua belonged to the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), Sanchez ran as an independent and Abundo was with the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP).
Cong. Sanchez will be filing his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) under the banner of the Lakas Kampi CMD headed by its president, House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez. Lakas is reportedly backing Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio for the presidency should she run for her father’s post.
Gov. Cua is reportedly running under the auspices of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), according to a reliable source, along with candidates for Sangguniang Panlalawigan seats in the East and West districts.
On the other hand, San Andres Mayor Peter Cua, who is considered a shoo-in for the vice governorship, will have his Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA) issued by the PDP-Laban wing of party president and incumbent Malacanang occupant Rodrigo Duterte.
Vice Gov. Abundo has yet to announce her decision on the direction of her political career. Supporters are of unanimous accord that she stands no chance against the popular mayor of San Andres should she decide to defend her present office.
An easy victory could be attained should she wisely choose to step down to the provincial board.
Capitol sources say that this possibility is being entertained by the Capitol leadership, which has reportedly reserved a slot in the SP slate for the West district.
She could join the other three candidates: PBM Raffy Zuniega, Virac councilor Sonny Francisco, and former PBM Atty. Fred Gianan Jr.
In the East district, three aspirants are sure of their slots: PBM Obet Fernandez of Panganiban, Viga Councilor Josevan Balidoy, and balikbayan Robert Dean Vergara of Baras. The nominee for the last slot is still being weighed, with retired Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer Alex Teves as the leading bet.
Despite not showing up in the island since his defeat in the 2019 gubernatorial race, Jardin Brian “JB” Wong is reportedly challenging Cua for the Capitol seat.
He is reportedly in a loose alliance with former Cong. Cesar Sarmiento, with both to run under the PDP-Laban Pacquiao wing.
Expect the battlefield for the May 2022 local elections to be clearly defined after the Oct. 1-8 period for the filing of COCs and CONAs.


Two favorable developments have enabled the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FICELCO) to claim that the intermittent brownouts of the recent past have been reduced.
Last Sept. 7, 2021, after months (or is it more than a year) of being idled, the SUWECO hydroelectric power plant in Solong, San Miguel began delivering power to the grid.
From the initial 800 kilowatts, the hydro plant is now capable of producing 1,600 kW of electricity following the onset of the rainy season.
Still out of action is SUWECO’s 1,500-kW Hitoma hydro plant, which has been “under repair” for more than two years now. While no timeline has been announced by the power firm, a recent report stated that the plant is scheduled for a transformer test.
SUWECO’s lone operating hydro plant and its 20 “backup” diesel genset plants are capable of producing 11.32 megawatts of electricity to the grid, nearly 7 megawatts less than its promised dependable capacity.
More fortunate for FICELCO and its over 55,000 member-consumer-owners is the decision of the National Power Corporation to allow operation of its NPC Balongbong hydro power plant, the No. 6 Marinawa diesel genset, and its 3.6-mW Daihatsu genset whenever needed.
Awaiting approval by the FICELCO board of directors is the interim power supply agreement covering the Balongbong HPP for a period of five years, instead of the one year originally proposed by Napocor.


REAL PEARLS. Two women in their sixties – fierce rivals in high society – met at a posh party.
“My dear,” said the first patronizingly, “are those real pearls?”
“They are.”
“Of course,” continued the first, smiling, “the only way I could tell would be for me to bite them.”
“Yes,” countered the second, “but for that, you would need real teeth.”

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