MANILA – Two allies in the senatorial race are rivals in the local elections in Zambales.
Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay and former senator Richard Gordon, both senatorial candidates of United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), have their sons and other kin fighting for local positions in Olongapo.
Brian Gordon, son of the former senator, and Vic Vic Magsaysay, son of Magsaysay, are both running for vice-mayor of Olongapo.
|Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay and former senator Richard Gordon. Composite/File Photo
Magsaysay’s other son, Jobo Magsaysay, is running for Congressman of Zambales 1st District against James Gordon, the brother of Richard.
Two more Gordons are also running for local electoral posts in the May elections.
Anne Gordon, sister-in-law of Richard, is running for mayor of Olongapo against another family member, Bugsy Gordon delos Reyes, who is the nephew of Richard.
In all, there are four Gordons running in the local level and Richard in the national, while there are two Magsaysay's in the local level while Mitos is in the national race.
While Richard is with UNA, Anne and James, however, are Liberal Party candidates, while his son Brian is running as independent.
Richard, popularly known as Dick, believes there is no rift between him and Mitos. The two have been together on the campaign trail since the campaign period started February 12.
He said their relationship with each other is cordial. "I’m always civil with them. It’s OK with me,” he said.
In a separate interview with ANC, Magsaysay acknowledged that her sons and Gordon’s relatives are fighting over the same posts in the local elections.
Magsaysay said she and Gordon are civil to each other.
"Yes, we are normally beside each other during sorties. We are very civil to each other," she said.
She added: "As far as I am concerned, when there’s local elections, we slug it out for the position but after the elections we go our own way and they go theirs. It is only at the election period that we are at each others’ throats. We are both professional legislators. There are some advocacies that we can work on together and I don’t think we are that kind of legislator that just because you fought it out in the election period kaaway mo na for the rest of your life."
Gordon said he will not be campaigning for his son, a fact that he made clear to Brian when the latter asked his permission to run for a higher post.
"He will have to carry himself. Manalo ka on your own accord,” he said.
Gordon also refused to believe that this is dynasty in the making between two ruling families in Zambales. "Ang isyu dyan, yung kakayahan ng tao na pumili," Gordon said.
He believes that despite differences in political beliefs and affiliations, their family remains intact.
"Kaming magkakapatid, we argue over dinner, not on money, but on principles," he said.
“There is no rift in the family. That’s what I’m proud of.”