MANILA - Former Comelec and MMDA chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. will run for mayor in Mandaluyong City, a position he first held in the 1980s, he bared Wednesday, two days before the filing of candidacy for the 2022 elections closes.
Abalos was the city's mayor for 10 years from 1988 to 1998, before his son, now Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chair Benhur Abalos, took over the post until 2004.
His daughter-in-law, incumbent Mayor Menchie Abalos, wife of Benhur, will be his running mate. She earlier said she was planning to seek reelection.
"Nagulat ako dito sa mag-asawa, kay Benhur at saka si Mayor Menchie. Coming from them, sabi nila, 'Dad, alam mo, nag-usap kami. Baka pwedeng ikaw na ang mag-mayor. Continue your pledge.' I was so touched. Although I wanted to, nahihiya naman ako. We never had any problem with each other. Sabi ko, 'Salamat, Menchie. Salamat. I assure you, I will do my very best.' I have no more family. Mandaluyong would be my family," Abalos Sr. told reporters.
He said this year was rough for them, as his wife, Corazon succumbed to COVID-19 last January. "I am returning to politics to fulfill my last promise to my late wife Cora," he said in a statement.
After the EDSA Revolution, Abalos Sr. was appointed officer-in-charge of Mandaluyong, before being elected as mayor in 1988.
He became chairperson of the MMDA from 2001-2002.
He was then appointed chairman of the Commission on Elections from 2002 until his resignation in 2007, as he faced impeachment raps over the NBN-ZTE corruption scandal.
Benhur, meanwhile, said he does not have plans to run for a position in next year's elections.
Meanwhile, incumbent Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali Gonzales II formalized his reelection bid by filing his COC.
In the past three decades, an Abalos has kept hold of the mayoralty post in Mandaluyong, home to 425,758 people, except from 2004 to 2007, when Gonzales was mayor.
-- Report from Arra Perez, ABS-CBN News