PALO, Leyte, Oct. (PNA) – The matriarch of the most powerful clan and a member of the oldest political dynasty in Leyte province formally sealed her re-election bid as mayor of this historic town.
Remedios L. Petilla, 77, is seeking a third term as chief executive in this town, next to Tacloban City.
She is the mother of senatorial aspirant and former Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho and Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico.
Her unbreakable hold on power is manifested by the presence of their family and key elected officials when she filed her certificate of candidacy on Thursday at the local election office.
She will run against former Palo Mayor Teodoro Sevilla, reportedly backed by Petilla’s political opponent.
In her re-election bid, Petilla is banking on her six-year accomplishments to control the town for another three years.
Among these is the new town hall; scheduled construction of public market and slaughter house; and repair of gymnasium, rural health units and farm to market roads.
“The thrust of the local government is to promote tourism and intensifying livelihood programs, if the people of Palo will still give me another term,” she said.
The Petilla matriarch is not threatened of Sevilla’s comeback since she already beaten him twice.
“We are in a democratic country, so anyone can file but ultimately it’s the people’s choice that will prevail.”
Remedios entered politics as successor of her husband, Leopoldo, as governor from 1995 to 2004. She became Leyte’s first district representative in 2004-2007.
She is the grand niece Jose Ma. Veloso, who became a Leyte representative and Senator between 1926 and 1946, according to a research of Vera Files.
Other members of clan who are incumbent official are Baybay Mayor Carmen L. Cari (sister), Leyte 5th dist. Rep. Jose Carlos Cari (niece), and Vice Governor Carlo Loreto (niece)
. RMA/SQM/LIZBETH ANN A. ABELLA/EGR