Political dynasties in Metro Manila
In nearly all Local Government Units (LGUs) in the National Capital Region (NCR), there are candidates from political families who will be running for various local posts in the 2022 elections.
In the NCR alone, there are 107 local candidates from 46 political families. Political families have candidates in 14 out of 17 mayoral positions, 7 out of 17 vice-mayoral positions, and 24 out of 33 congressional district positions in the NCR. Additionally, 10 members of these families are seeking national positions like Vicente Sotto III for vice-president and Sherwin Gatchalian and Jejomar Binay for senator.
For the purpose of this research, the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group defined political families as those that have at least two members running simultaneously in the 2022 national and local elections, or may have only one member running in the 2022 elections but also have at least two other members who are either incumbent or former elective officials. Consequently, a candidate is considered a member of a political family if he or she has at least one relative who is also running in the 2022 elections, or has at least two relatives who are either incumbent or former elective officials.
QUEZON CITY TOPS THE LIST
Out of all the NCR cities, Quezon City has the most political families competing against each other within a single city. Based on the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) tentative list of candidates, at least 15 political families in the city will be fielding candidates for mayor, vice mayor, district representative, and councilor in the coming elections. The list still does not include party-list nominees.
The political families in Quezon City include the Belmontes--with Mayor Joy Belmonte, daughter of former mayor and House Speaker Sonny Belmonte seeking reelection. Also seeking reelection is Belmonte’s running mate, Vice Mayor Gian Sotto, son of Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, who himself is running for vice president.
The list also includes the Bautistas, Defensors, Crisologos, and Herreras, among others.
Manila follows Quezon City, with at least seven families that are eyeing seats in the upcoming elections.
Of the political families in Manila, the Bagatsings will be fielding the most candidates—five in all—for the positions of district representative, mayor, vice mayor, and two for city councilor.
Malabon and Parañaque follow with four families whose members will be running for various positions.
Caloocan and Taguig will each have three political families, while Makati, Pasay, Pasig, and San Juan will have two political families each.
Las Piñas, Mandaluyong, Marikina, and Valenzuela will each have one political family that will be fielding members in the upcoming elections.
AGUILAR-VILLAR CLAN FIELDING THE MOST CANDIDATES
Out of all the political families in NCR, the Villar-Aguilar clan of Las Piñas has the most family members running in 2022: five are vying for all local positions in Las Piñas, and a sixth family member who is running for senator (Mark Villar).
The Aguilar-Villar family will have five members who will be seeking to maintain their hold on all local posts in Las Piñas: mayoral, vice-mayoral, lone congressional district representative, and councilor posts in both districts of the city.
The Sottos and the Zamoras have branched out to different cities.
Three members of the Sotto family will be running for various elective positions in as many cities--Quezon City, Pasig, and Parañaque—while Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III is gunning for the vice presidency.
Senator Sotto’s son, Quezon City vice mayor Gian Carlo Sotto, is seeking re-election. Likewise seeking re-election is the senator’s nephew, Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto, while the senator’s niece-in-law Nina Celine Sotto is seeking to replace her husband, Wahoo, as Parañaque 2nd District Councilor.
The Zamoras is another political family that has branched out of its bailiwick in San Juan and onto Taguig City.
San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora is seeking reelection while his sister Ysabel Zamora is seeking to replace their father Ronaldo as representative of the city’s lone congressional district.
Another sister, Amparo Zamora, is seeking re-election as representative of Taguig City’s lone congressional district.
And then there’s former Mata Party-list Representative Tricia Nicole Velasco-Catera, sister of Marinduque Lone District Representative and House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco, and daughter of Marinduque Governor Presbitero Velasco and Torrijos, Marinduque Mayor Lorna Velasco.
Unlike her other family members, Nicole is going out of the family’s bailiwick in Marinduque and will attempt to penetrate Quezon City politics as 6th District Representative.
IT'S BINAY VS BINAY AGAIN IN MAKATI
Mayor Abigail “Abby” Binay is seeking re-election, running against her younger sister, Marita Angeline Binay. In 2019, Abby likewise ran against another sibling, former Mayor Jejomar “Junjun” Binay Jr.. Their father, former Vice President Jejomar Binay, is vying for a senatorial seat after an unsuccessful bid for a congressional seat representing the city’s 1st District in 2019. Should he win, he will join eldest daughter Nancy in the Senate.
Abby’s husband, Luis Campos Jr., is likewise seeking re-election as Makati’s 2nd District representative.
The Binays have been holding the Makati mayoral post for more than three decades since 1986, when Jejomar was appointed OIC of Makati by then President Corazon C. Aquino. He was subsequently elected mayor in 1988.
Members of the Binay clan have also been occupying the congressional seat of the city’s second district for nearly 15 years: Abby from 2007-2016 and her husband, Luis, from 2016 to the present.
PARENTS AND CHILDREN RUNNING TOGETHER
Aside from Jejomar Binay and his children in Makati, and vice-presidential candidate Vicente Sotto III and son Gian Carlos in Quezon City, 11 other parent-children teams are likewise running simultaneously for various positions in other areas in Metro Manila.
In Las Piñas, the mother-daughter tandem of Imelda Aguilar and April Aguilar-Nery is seeking re-election as mayor and vice mayor.
In Caloocan, Mayor Oscar Malapitan is seeking to swap places with his son, 1st District Representative Dale, in the coming elections. Another son, Vincent Ryan, is seeking re-election as 1st District Councilor.
In Manila, 6th District Representative Bienvenido Abante Jr. is seeking re-election while his son, Benny Fog III, is vying for councilor of the city’s 6th District--a post currently occupied by sister Princess.
Over at the 3rd District, Arlene Maile Atienza is running for Councilor while her father, Jose “Lito” Atienza, is seeking the vice presidency as Manila Mayor and presidential candidate Isko Moreno’s running mate. Lito Atienza’s grandson, Daniel Nikko, is likewise running for councilor in the 5th District.
Other parent-children teams who are running in Metro Manila include:
● Current Mandaluyong Mayor Carmelita Abalos who is running as vice mayor and her son Benjamin III, who is seeking reelection as 2nd District councilor.
● Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez who is seeking to swap places with his brother, 1st District Representative, Eric Olivarez. Edwin’s son, Pablo Olivarez II, is running for 1st District councilor.
● Pasay City mayoral candidate Richard Advincula and daughter Justine Jane Advincula, who is running for 1st District councilor.
● Re-electionist Pasay City Lone District Representative Antonino Calixto and son, Mark Anthony, also seeking reelection as 1st District councilor.
● Re-electionist Quezon City 1st District Representative Anthony Peter “Onyx” Crisologo and father, Vincent, who is vying for 6th District representative.
● Re-electionist Quezon City 3rd District Representative Allan Benedict Reyes and son, Antonio Gabriel, who is vying for city councilor in the same district.
● Quezon City candidate for 2nd District representative Ralph Wendell Tulfo and his father, senatorial candidate Raffy Tulfo.
COUPLES WHO ARE SEEKING POSTS TOGETHER
There are also quite a number of couples who are vying for various positions in Metro Manila.
The husband-and-wife representatives of the two congressional districts of Taguig-City Pateros and Taguig City Alan Peter Cayetano and Maria Laarni Cayetano are running for senator and Taguig City mayor, respectively.
In the same city, the husband-and-wife tandem of Arnel and Janelle Cerafica are running for mayor and vice mayor, respectively.
Both Makati Mayor Mar-Len Abigail Binay and her husband 2nd District Representative Luis Jose Angel Campos Jr. are seeking re-election.
In Malabon, Federico Sandoval II is running for District Representative while wife Jeannie Ng is seeking the mayoralty.
In Quezon City, 1st District Representative Anthony Peter “Onyx” Crisologo is seeking re-election, as is his wife Nicole as 1st District councilor.
Marvin Rillo is running for representative of the 4th District while wife Maria Imelda is seeking re-election as 4th District Councilor.
Over at the 6th District, Ma. Victoria Pilar is running for District Representative while husband Emmanuel is running for councilor of the same district.
Aside from the Binay sisters who are competing against each other for the mayoral post in Makati, at least 23 other sibling teams are running in the 2022 elections.
The Gatchalian and Zamora siblings lead the pack, each having three siblings running in 2022.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is seeking a fresh mandate in the Senate while his brothers, Valenzuela Mayor Weslie Gatchalian and 1st District Representative Rexlon are are aiming to swap places in 2022.
The Zamora siblings are vying for positions in two different cities, San Juan and Taguig. Francis Zamora is running for a fresh term as San Juan mayor while sister Ysabel is eyeing to be representative of the city’s lone congressional district. Their sister Amparo, meanwhile, is seeking re-election as Taguig City’s lone district representative.
The children of Senator Cynthia Villar and former Senator Manny Villar, Mark and Camille, are gunning for the Senate and a fresh term as Las Piñas lone district representative, respectively.
Former Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista is running for senator, his first attempt at a national position. His brother, Hero, who is seeking re-election as the city’s 4th District councilor.
Former President Joseph Estrada’s children, Jinggoy Estrada and JV Ejercito, are once again attempting a comeback at the Senate after failing in 2019.
In Navotas, brothers Toby Tiangco, incumbent mayor, and John Reynald Tiangco, incumbent Lone District representative, will attempt to swap positions in 2022.
Other siblings who will run for various local positions in Metro Manila are:
● In Caloocan, Jacqueline Nubla is seeking to replace her sister Marylou as 1st District councilor while the latter vies for the city’s 1st District Representative post.
● Malabon 1st District Councilor Maria Anna Lizza Yambao is seeking re-election while her brother, Mark Allan, is running for Vice Mayor.
● Manila Vice Mayor Maria Sheila Lacuna-Pangan is running for Mayor while her brother, 6th District Councilor Salvador Philip seeks re-election.
● Manila 3rd District Representative John Marvin Nieto is running for Vice Mayor while his sister Johanna Maureen seeks re-election as 3rd District councilor.
● Twins Rommel and Ronnie Acuña are gunning for councilor of the city’s 1st and 2nd Districts, the former as a re-electionist.
● Current Parañaque Vice Mayor Maritess De Asis is running for 2nd District Councilor and her brother Jerome, who is also running for the same post as 2nd District Councilor.
● Reelectionist Parañaque 1st District Councilor Jose Maria Yllana and his brother John Ryan, who is running for 2nd District Councilor.
● Current ANAKALUSUGAN Party-List Representative Michael Defensor is running for Mayor of Quezon City and his brother Matias Defensor, who is seeking reelection as the city’s 3rd District Councilor.
● In Quezon City, Julienne Alyson Rae Medalla is running for 2nd District Councilor and her brother Ramon Vicente, who is running for 5th District Councilor.
● Current Quezon City 5th District Councilor Patrick Michael Vargas is aiming to switch posts with his brother, 5th District Representative, Alfredo Paolo.
● Current Caloocan Vice Mayor Luis Macario Asistio is running for 2nd District Representative and his brother Luis III, who is seeking reelection as 2nd District Councilor.
● Reelectionist Manila 4th District Councilor Don Juan Bagatsing and his brother Don Jose Javier, who is also running for the same post as 4th District Councilor.
● Taguig Mayor candidate Arnel Cerafica and his brother Allan, who is running for Lone District Representative of Taguig-Pateros.
● Current Caloocan 1st District Representative Dale Malapitan is aiming to replace his father as the city Mayor, while his brother Vincent, is seeking reelection as 1st District Councilor.
● Current Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez is switching posts with his brother, 1st District Representative, Eric.
● Pasay Mayor candidate Richard Advincula and his brother Ronjay, who is running for 1st District Councilor.
● Reelectionist Pasay Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano and her brother Antonino, who is also seeking reelection as Lone District Representative.
-- Additional research by Oscar Magpusao, ABS-CBN Investigative & Research Group.